Author Archives: Jim Hightower

What’s being compromised?

In any policy fight, it’s never the priorities of the wealthy that are compromised—it’s working and middle-class Americans who are.

Sometimes, when watching Congress in action, I can’t decide whether to laugh, cry, or check myself into an insane asylum. Continue reading

Why do Supreme Court justices keep saying they’re not hacks?

Because there’s good reason to believe they are.

Ralph Waldo Emerson once told about a guest who came to dinner and spent the entire evening prattling about his own integrity: “The louder he talked of his honor,” Emerson wrote: “the faster we counted our spoons.” Continue reading

Corporate vets serve profit over animals

Solo practitioners who became veterinarians to provide friendly, community-based service now must answer to bean counters at headquarters.

Question: What does a packet of M&M’s and your local veterinarian have in common? Answer: Both are owned by Mars Inc., the global candy monopolist. Continue reading

Follow Alabama’s lead on child care

If one of our poorest states can rise to meet this basic human need, why can’t Congress?

Here are two terms you don’t expect to see together: “The state of Alabama” and “progressive leader.” (Okay, I’m a Texan, so I have no standing to point at the rank regressiveness of any other state government… but still, Alabama?) Continue reading

The Postal Service is a service—not a business

It’s supposed to deliver mail cheaply and effectively, not turn a profit. And it does.

Corporate ideologues never cease blathering that government programs should be run like a business. Continue reading

Reconciling profit and morality

After the corporate plunder during the pandemic, it’s worth remembering the ‘B Corporations’ that serve a different purpose.

Is “corporate ethics” an oxymoron? Do you have to be a jerk to be a successful CEO? Is exploitation the only path to profit? Continue reading

Protect workers from this heat

As temperatures rise, we need to stop corporate lobbyists from blocking common sense rules to keep workers safe.

Corporate acolytes and right-wing moralists constantly preach to laboring stiffs about the uplifting dignity of work. Continue reading

Workers are quitting their jobs—and that’s good

Workers are quitting jobs where they don’t feel respected. That’s a welcome sea change.

Corporate bosses across America have been sputtering in outrage at you working stiffs this summer, spewing expletives about the fact that while the U.S. economy has been coming back, you haven’t! Continue reading

The fix is in on fixing things

Big corporations want to make it illegal for you to repair the devices you bought from them.

America’s economic and political inequality has led workaday Americans to exclaim: “The system is broken. Let’s fix it!” Continue reading

Working from home—while your boss watches on video

A company that handles Amazon customer service calls wants cameras in employees’ homes—even on their kids.

If you’re a corporate employee, you know that something unpleasant is afoot when top executives are suddenly issuing statements about how committed they are to their employees, making sure that all of them are treated with dignity and respect. Continue reading

Jeff ‘Space Cowboy’ Bezos

Space flights used to achieve scientific purpose. Now they're a rich man's carnival ride.

When I was a tyke, cowboy actors were marketed as role models for little backyard cowpokes like me. We could send off to get a certificate making us “Pals of the Saddle” or some such with Roy Rogers, Hopalong Cassidy, or others. Continue reading

Readers didn’t give up on local news. Corporations did.

Corporations gutted local newspapers and then wondered why people stopped buying them.

Mega-investor Warren Buffett once held a big portfolio of daily and weekly newspapers. Continue reading

The GOP’s border stunt isn’t helping anyone

Republican governors are sending troops to the border, which local officials don't want, to exploit the suffering of refugees for political gain.

Herd immunity is important in stopping deadly viruses, but in politics the herd instinct can send a whole species over a cliff. Continue reading

The GOP is trying to outlaw democracy

The more Americans vote, the stronger our democracy. For Republican lawmakers, that’s a problem.

Ralph Waldo Emerson told of a dinner guest who went on and on about the virtue of honesty, offering his own life as a model of perfect rectitude. “The louder he talked of his honor,” said Emerson, “the faster we counted our spoons.” Continue reading

Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, and you. Which one pays taxes?

Leaked IRS data shows just how little billionaires pay in taxes.

Here’s a thought-provoking bumper sticker: “The system is fixed. We must break it.” Continue reading

There’s no ‘labor shortage.’ There’s a wage shortage.

To find workers, there’s a free-enterprise solution right at employers’ fingertips: raise pay, improve conditions, and show respect.

At a recent congressional hearing on America’s so-called “labor shortage,” megabanker Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase, offered this insight: “People actually have a lot of money, and they don’t particularly feel like going back to work.” Continue reading

Banking that serves people, not bankers

The post office could offer simple, honest banking, including checking and savings accounts, consumer loans, and low-fee debit cards.

Corporate ideologues never cease blathering that government programs should be run like a business. Continue reading

Crocodile tears on corporate taxes

Biden’s modest corporate tax increases to fund public infrastructure projects are wildly popular—except among CEOs.

“Outrageous,” screeched the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “It doesn’t feel fair,” whimpered a top corporate executive. Continue reading

We need to talk about Jeff Bezos’s boat

The Amazon CEO’s yacht actually requires its own “support yacht”—so he can land his helicopter.

Not only are the rich different from you and me—they’re getting more different than ever. Continue reading

Poverty and wealth clash in the Hamptons

Homeowners in one of America’s wealthiest zip codes are fighting their impoverished indigenous neighbors efforts to develop.

It’s tough being rich. For one thing, you have to be on constant alert to keep commoners from encroaching on your turf and upsetting your sense of proper social order. Continue reading

The award for sleaziest corporate profiteering goes to…

… Tyson Foods, which forced its employees back to work and took bets on how many would die.

We’ve got the Academy Awards, the Emmys, and Grammys. But what should we call the award for the most extraordinary performance by a corporate profiteer? Continue reading

Don’t let Wall Street get rich off water

Shameless speculators are trying to privatize and commoditize the water all humans need to live.

Oh great—here comes a new stealth attack on the fragile, life-sustaining natural resources of Planet Earth. This latest assault by Wall Street alchemists would redefine one of our most basic resources: water. Continue reading

America, go big again

Joe Biden may be a lifelong, go-slow politician, but his infrastructure plan is a serious, ambitious investment in the public good.

It’s time for America to go back to the future—a future of true greatness created by a people united to build a strong nation for the common good. Continue reading

Our elections are being rigged

Republican lawmakers are stealing our electoral process in broad daylight.

After looking into one of their main issues, I have to agree with Republicans: Our elections are being rigged. Continue reading

The end of trickle-down economics

The past year has laid waste to the arguments behind “trickle down” theory. Instead, let’s have wealth “percolate up.”

The past year proves that a lot of conventional economic wisdom is neither true nor wise. Continue reading

Where does the buck stop in Texas?

Texas Republicans took money from the utilities they failed to regulate. Now they’re pointing the finger elsewhere for power failures.

There is a weasel word that politicians use whenever something goes wrong on their watch: “unacceptable.” Continue reading

Overhaul the USDA

For decades, the agriculture department has been indifferent to struggling rural communities. That has to change.

We can’t just settle for disinfecting the White House after four-years of Trump. A fundamental, structural rebuild is necessary, including on health care, immigration, the environment, civil rights, labor law, and infrastructure. Continue reading

Why working people spell ‘BOSS’ backwards

Grocery giants like Kroger are refusing employees hazard pay while buying their own stock with their extra profits.

What is it about billionaires and multimillionaires that make them so clueless about the impacts of their greed? Continue reading

Biden, listen to the outsiders

The new president is a lifetime insider, but his legacy now depends on working with those the status quo has failed.

The Democratic Party establishment is now issuing a go-slow warning to the new president they backed. Continue reading

Planet Plastic

The vast tonnage of this trash increases every minute, with an afterlife lasting centuries.

What do your toothbrush and your running shoes have in common? Plastic. Continue reading

The other Capitol mob

Much to the embarrassment of major corporations, their political donations were traced to the mayhem of January 6. Continue reading

Two timeless truths for these trying times

These maxims might help all of us get a grip, step back from hopelessness, and push ahead.

What’s wrong with people? Has the savagery, selfishness, and raw, animal hatred within the human species finally come out of the darkness to devour our society? Continue reading