Author Archives: Jim Hightower

Is Trump giving Amazon the Postal Service?

Trump wanted to use the Postal Service to hit back at Amazon, but he may end up doing the opposite.

The U.S. postal system has 30,000 outlets serving every part of America. It employs 630,000 people in good middle-class jobs. And it proudly delivers letters and packages clear across the country for a pittance. Continue reading

A quiet conspiracy of billionaires

For decades, the Koch brothers have led a secret coup for the billionaire class.

The Koch brothers are oil magnates and billionaire GOP funders. Continue reading

Betsy DeVos needs an education on ethics

The student loan sharks who prey on veterans and single moms have a friend in Trump's education secretary.

Question: What do you get when you combine ignorance, imperiousness, and incompetence? Continue reading

A shiny new tool to pad profits: Stealing

From making workers deliver packages off-hours to pocketing their tips, corporate greed is turning theft into business as usual.

Workplace exploitation is at least as old as the industrial revolution. But rather than using whips to make the assembly lines move ever faster, today’s corporate exploiters use technology, devious work schedules, and lobbyists to extract more work from employees—for less pay. Continue reading

What’s the point of satire anymore?

How can anyone satirize a presidency that gleefully flaunts its own awfulness every day?

Some might call the Trump administration a murderous mob. Specifically, they’ve been serial killers of the English language. Continue reading

Forget the Dow Jones. How’s Doug Jones?

The stock market is owned by the rich. It tells you little about how ordinary Americans are doing.

Language matters. For example, the words that corporate and government officials use to report on the health of America’s economy can either make clear to us commoners what’s going on—or hide and even lie about the reality we face. Continue reading

Corporations are spending their tax cut—on themselves

Instead of creating jobs, big businesses are using their tax cut bonanza to hike stock value and CEO pay.

Remember last year when Donald Trump and his congressional Trumpeteers bragged that their “yuge” tax cut for corporations would spark a “yuge” corporate spending spree to create new jobs and higher wages? Continue reading

A food stamp indignity worthy of Dickens

Behind the White House's demeaning "food box" idea is a plan to eliminate food aid for poor people completely.

Even Charles Dickens, England’s masterful satirist of the Victorian upper class, couldn’t have imagined elite rulers using a box of food as a gratuitous way to slap poor people. Continue reading

Americans hate the tax bill because it wasn’t written for them

In today’s rigged political system, the special interests of a tiny minority trump the will of the great majority.

It’s odd that Washington Republicans are so loudly crowing about their passage of the Trump-McConnell-Ryan tax law. Odd because the people outside of Washington hate that law. Continue reading

No, big corporations shouldn’t get tax breaks to create jobs

The breaks seldom pay for themselves—and put employees of local businesses out of work.

Governors and mayors insist that giving our tax dollars to corporations to lure them to move to our cities is good public policy. The corporations create jobs, those workers pay taxes, and—voila!—the giveaway pays for itself! Continue reading

A rigged game only Amazon will win

The bidding war to host the retail giant's second headquarters pits taxpayers across America against each other.

In September, the giant retail monopolist Amazon announced its intention to build a second corporate headquarters in Someplace, North America. Continue reading

This CEO wants a key to your house

Jeff Bezos expects you to pay for the privilege of letting Amazon employees enter your home when you're not there.

Would you give your house key to a complete stranger, letting that person (whose name you don’t even know) walk right into your home when you’re not there? Continue reading

The rise and fall of America’s middle class

The middle class was built by movements—and can be rebuilt by movements.

Ever since 1776, the “common yeoman”—America’s middle class—has been hailed as the virtuous heart and backbone of our nation. Continue reading

America’s farmworkers face poverty, neglect, and now deportation

Up to 70 percent of the people who put food on America's tables may be undocumented.

Every decade or so, America’s mass media are surprised to discover that migrant farmworkers are being miserably paid and despicably treated by the industry that profits from their labor. Continue reading

If you make under $75,000, you lose

Behind closed doors, Republicans admit that their tax plan is all for their rich donors.

Sam Rayburn, a legendary speaker of the U.S. House in the 1940s and ’50s, offered this piece of ethical advice for lawmakers who were conflicted over whether to vote for the people or the lobbyists: “Every now and then,” he said, “a politician ought to do something just because it’s right.” Continue reading

A mass murderer’s love song to Trump

When a guy who's compared himself to Hitler sings love ballads to the U.S. president, we've got a problem.

“We’ve had a great relationship,” exulted a giddy Donald Trump, following his two-day schmoozefest in Manila with the thuggish Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte. Continue reading

Leading Democrats are way behind the public on health care

60 percent of Americans support single payer health care. So why is the party leadership dragging its feet?

Good news, people—at last, congressional Democrats have gotten a clue, grown some spine, and are beginning to act like . . . well, like progressives. Continue reading

Robots aren’t taking our jobs, corporations are

They're creating a robot economy with inexpensive machines that don't demand wages or health care.

There’s a robot in your future. Not one of those cute little labor-saving automatons—like a “Roomba” vacuum cleaner. Continue reading

What happened to Trump’s pledge to close this billionaire loophole?

The president's pledge to roll back a hedge fund loophole has mysteriously vanished from his tax plan.

These are hard times for America’s gold miners. They’re scrambling to get ahead, but seeing their pay dropping. Continue reading

Trump wants $1.6 billion for the border wall that spans just 74 miles

All this for a boondoggle project most Americans continue to oppose.

How much of your money does Donald Trump want to pour into his xenophobic fantasy of erecting an impenetrable wall on our Mexican border? Continue reading

Our health care system is a corporate care system

Why is health system flailing? Because its guiding ethic is profit, not care.

Rather than a health care system, our country’s leaders have kept us shackled to a “corporate care” system. Continue reading

Trump’s running out of friends and it’s his own fault

Seems like the only one still standing by him is David Duke. They deserve each other.

I hate to say this, but I’m starting to feel sorry for Donald Trump. He’s only been in office for half a year, and already he’s running out of Americans to attack. Continue reading

What happened to all those foreclosed houses?

Wall Street bought them—and is now leasing them out and driving up rents.

We know that millions of American families lost their homes after Wall Street’s 2007 financial crash. But where did all those houses go? Continue reading

Turning churches into super PACs

A bogus campaign for ‘religious freedom’ could create unholy temples of dark money.

You know what’s wrong with American politics? It’s that there just aren’t enough ways for giant corporations and mega-rich political donors to funnel their big bucks into our elections and buy our government. Continue reading

Billionaire donors plot a ‘renaissance of freedom’—for the privileged

Who needs roads when you've got a private jet?

Charles and David Koch—the billionaire oil men who’ve financed a vast network of right-wing advocacy groups—have stayed out of the national limelight recently. But they’re still trying to supplant American democracy with their little laissez-fairyland plutocracy. Continue reading

Don’t trust business with education

Greasy politicians use education funds to enrich corporations—and themselves.

Betsy DeVos and her husband Dick are lucky: They inherited a big chunk of the multi-billion-dollar fortune that Dick’s dad Richard amassed through his shady Amway corporation. But what they’ve done with their Amway money is certainly not the American Way. Continue reading

‘1984’ at the grocery store

Amazon is buying Whole Foods, and that's bad news for humans.

Wall Street analysts tell us that Amazon’s $14 billion buyout of Whole Foods isn’t only a win-win for both of them, but also for consumers, for Amazon intends to lower the organic grocer’s prices. Continue reading

Free as you can afford to be

GOP leaders want to protect your "freedom" to be poor, powerless, sick, and uninsured.

I think of freedom in positive, aspirational terms—as in FDR’s “Four freedoms,” or in the uplifting songs of freedom sung by oppressed people everywhere. Continue reading

Trump’s Twitter bombs

If a president is going to pick a mess of foreign fights, wouldn't it be better not to pick them with allies?

Donald Trump missed his opportunity to become a General Patton-style military commander and glorious war hero back in the Vietnam era. He surely would’ve been the greatest in history, to hear him tell it. Continue reading

Billionaires lay siege to state governments

While we're mesmerized by Trump, shady groups are pushing corporate-friendly legislation in statehouses all over the country.

It’s easy to become mesmerized by The Donald Show in this year’s political circus. Continue reading

Walling them out, or walling us in?

Shall we wall off Canada, too?

Evading security cameras in the remote expanse along the U.S. border, three Guatemalans waited till dusk to slip illicitly into our country. Continue reading