Author Archives: Jim Hightower

Silicon Valley’s next target: America’s farmers

They're building robots to siphon farm profits out of local communities and into the pockets of rich investors.

How’re you gonna keep ‘em down on the farm after they’ve seen… Angus? Not the cattle breed, but the 1,000-pound “farmer of the future.” Continue reading

Never stop pushing elected officials

If you don't keep on them once they're elected, you can be sure special interests will.

Sometimes we forget that the progressive movement’s political goal is not just to elect good officials, but to enact good public policy. Continue reading

The city that refused to play Amazon’s game

San Antonio told Jeff Bezos to beat it over a year before New York sent him packing.

The richest man in the world, who heads one of the world’s largest and richest corporations, is also filthy rich in arrogance and pomposity. Continue reading

Foxconn bilked Wisconsin and the GOP helped

After pocketing a huge taxpayer bribe from former Gov. Scott Walker, the manufacturer all but canceled plans to build a factory in the state. Jim Hightower

A newspaper photograph last summer portrayed three guys in suits and ties shoveling dirt. They were Donald Trump, then-Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, and the chairman of Foxconn, the Taiwanese electronics conglomerate. Continue reading

Don’t listen to billionaires who complain about taxes

When the U.S. last had a top tax rate of over 70 percent, it was a period of unparalleled prosperity.

Once upon a time, there was a place where the prevailing ethic of the very richest people was that monetary self-indulgence was tacky. Wealth, they believed, was a matter of good fortune, carrying with it an obligation to the Common Good. Continue reading

Build that wall (around Mar-a-Largo)

Time for a pop quiz on Trump’s Wall. Continue reading

AI wants to reprogram you

Driverless cars cost jobs and threaten pedestrians. Investors' advice? Just get out of the way!

With chaos in the White House, worsening climate disasters, more wars than we can count, and a wobbling economy here at home, the last thing we need is another big challenge. But—look out!—here comes a doozy! Continue reading

Extraplanetary extravagance

Maintaining our bloated machine on earth costs over $700 billion a year. Trump wants to blast those costs into space.

If you think our government’s war policy has become out-of-this world cuckoo, consider the spaciness being proposed by the cosmonauts on Spaceship Trump. Continue reading

Don’t let them take your post office away

America’s most popular public service literally delivers for its people. Anti-government zealots want to sell it off.

Last spring, President Trump created an inter-agency federal task force to propose structural reforms in the U.S. Postal Service. Continue reading

The progressive promise of ‘Trump Country’

The left can offer much of what Trump voters say they want: health care, fair wages, education, clean water, and a government uncorrupted by big money.

If you despair that a mysterious plague of incurable political knuckle-headism has swept our country, turning previously progressive white working-class people into mindless Trump worshipers, then I want to tell you about a new report. Continue reading

Free the free press from Wall Street plunder

Our right to a free press is meaningless if hedge funds can gobble up and gut the community newspapers that exercise it.

A two-panel cartoon I recently saw showed a character with a sign saying: “First they came for the reporters.” In the next panel, his sign says: “We don’t know what happened after that.” Continue reading

Did you hear? Poverty ended

Trump's advisers say there's no more need for anti-poverty programs. Let's see them raise a family of four on $25,000.

Someone needs to buy a Grassroots USA tour package for the members of Donald Trump’s Council of Economic Advisers, so they can at least visit the real world once in their lives. Continue reading

White House economists are obsessed with socialism

A new White House report links the idea of Medicare for All with Mao. Really?

Trump’s White House seems to be both spooked . . . and spooky. Continue reading

Stealing the vote

The GOP isn't out to 'win' elections anymore. They're just trying to make sure anyone who might vote against them can't.

At last, November 6 is coming: Time to vote! Let’s all join the majestic panorama of democracy in action! Continue reading

Cowboys for climate action

A new group is naming and shaming the people bankrolling climate change denial.

Shame is that queasy feeling you get when you realize you’ve done something improper, ridiculous, or just flat-out contemptible. But it’s socially invaluable, for feeling ashamed is a built-in jerk alarm, keeping most of us from doing the same embarrassing thing again. Continue reading

Amazon is making workers tweet about how great it is to work there

They even get bathroom breaks, they say. Doesn't sound suspicious at all!

In Corporate World, when trouble pops up and things get sticky, CEOs don’t wring their hands and try to dodge the issue. Continue reading

Amazon’s worth $1 trillion, so why is it robbing taxpayers?

It’s like Bonnie and Clyde, but instead of robbing banks, Amazon has enticed city and state officials to rob their own citizens.

How much are you paying Amazon? Continue reading

The economy is supposed to be great, so why are workers miserable?

Quantity is on one thing, but quality is what really matters when it comes to jobs

It’s practically unanimous: Nine out of 10 establishment economists agree that America’s solid job growth and the low unemployment rate truly make ours “The Land of Opportunity.” Continue reading

Our economy is more concentrated than ever

Just four tech superpowers raked in half of this year’s stock price gains by the 500 largest corporations.

America’s political history has been written in the fierce narrative of war. Not our country’s many military clashes with foreign nations, but our own unending war for democracy in the United States. Continue reading

The United States of Monopoly Rule

Five banks control half of all U.S. financial assets, and six conglomerates control 90 percent of our media.

Monopolies aren’t merely un-American—they’re virulently anti-American. They suppress our fundamental values of fairness and opportunity for all. Continue reading

Kafka on the border

The administration has trapped immigrant families in a bureaucratic nightmare—and brought media hacks rushing to defend the indefensible.

Insanity reigns. The inmates are now officially in charge of the national asylum. Continue reading

Toddlers on trial

Kids as young as 1-year-old are being forced to stand trial alone in Trump's immigration courts, often without even attorneys.

We Americans believe everyone has a right to have their day in court. Right? Continue reading

The New York Times is still getting the Bernie movement wrong

America's paper of record said a Bernie Sanders-inspired grassroots group was "failing"—just one day before its candidates rocked the Democratic establishment.

Before major news organizations pronounce someone dead, they ought to check the person’s pulse. Continue reading

A wall won’t fix immigration

The wailing in our country about the “invasion of immigrants” has been long and loud. As one complainant put it, “Few of their children in the country learn English . . . The signs in our streets have inscriptions in both languages . . . Unless the stream of the importation could be turned they will soon so outnumber us that all the advantages we have will not be able to preserve our language, and even our government will become precarious.” Continue reading

Big Oil’s man in foreign policy

The Koch brothers are really getting their money's worth from Trump's secretary of state.

The Koch brothers’ extremist political agenda of empowering multinational corporations to reign as sovereigns has always been inextricably entwined with the profiteering agenda of their wholly-owned, $100-billion-a-year industrial conglomerate. Continue reading

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