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Mark Weisbrot is co-Director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is also the author of "Failed: What the 'Experts' Got Wrong About the Global Economy (Oxford University Press, 2015)."
He writes a weekly column for The Guardian Unlimited (U.K.), and a regular column on economic and policy issues that is distributed to over 550 newspapers by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services. He also writes a bi-weekly column for Brazil's largest newspaper, Folha de Sao Paulo. His opinion pieces have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and almost every major U.S. newspaper. He appears regularly on national and local television and radio programs. He is also president of Just Foreign Policy.
(28 comments) SHARE Monday, August 19, 2013 Snowden, Greenwald and Wikileaks are winning
The main target of the NSA's massive spying is not terrorism but the American people themselves (and other non-terrorist populations throughout the world). Pew Research finds for the first time since 2004 there are more Americans concerned that government "anti-terror" programs have "gone too far in restricting civil liberties" than those who think not enough has been done to protect people from terrorism.
(6 comments) SHARE Saturday, September 8, 2012 Assange case: Sweden's shame in violating human rights
Sweden is a highly developed social democracy that has many guarantees of civil rights and liberties to its citizens. The people of Sweden should not allow their government to continue to disgrace itself in another international governmental crime -- this one a pernicious attack on freedom of expression -- simply because Washington wants them to do so.
(13 comments) SHARE Saturday, April 21, 2012 GOP's assault on women bogs down in the quicksand of free contraception
Republican strategy for four decades has been focused on creating a false populist appeal to white swing voters --who are mostly working class--based on appeals to racism, religious extremism, anti-immigrant sentiment, anti-gay attitudes and other "cultural" issues. The current "war on women" is just another one of the ugly locations to which this strategy has taken them, as they build their bridge to the 17th century.
(2 comments) SHARE Sunday, March 23, 2014 The truth about Venezuela: a revolt of the well-off, not a "terror campaign"
Polling data finds the protests to be deeply unpopular in Venezuela, although they do much better abroad when they are promoted as "peaceful protests" by people like Kerry. The data also suggest that a majority of Venezuelans see these disturbances for what they are: an attempt to remove the elected government from power.
(2 comments) SHARE Tuesday, March 3, 2020 Joe Biden Championed the Iraq War: "It's Worth the Price"
Biden did vastly more than just vote for the war. Yet his role in bringing about that war remains mostly unknown or misunderstood by the public. When the war was debated and then authorized by the US Congress in 2002, Democrats controlled the Senate and Biden was chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. Biden himself had enormous influence as chair and argued strongly in favor of the 2002 resolution granting Preside
(3 comments) SHARE Monday, May 5, 2014 The world has nothing to fear from the US losing power
our foreign policy establishment cannot imagine a multipolar world where the US and its allies must negotiate more and give orders less often. Whatever the political systems of the countries whose representation in the international arena will increase, the end result is likely to be more democratic governance at the international level, with greater of international law, fewer wars, and more social and economic progress.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, August 22, 2019 Return of the 'Pink Tide' in Argentina?
What are we to make of Argentina's surprise election results on August 11, which jolted pollsters and analysts alike, and roiled the country's financial markets? In the presidential primary for the country's October election, the opposition ticket of Alberto Ferna'ndez trounced President Mauricio Macri by an unexpected margin of 15.6 percent.
SHARE Wednesday, October 2, 2019 Trump's Trade War With China: Is It About to End?
The latest de-escalation of the trade war with China with exemptions from some tariffs on both sides has left markets uncertain as to whether it will end before there is serious escalation. But if I were managing a hedge fund, I would bet on it.
(14 comments) SHARE Monday, November 13, 2017 Trump Doubles Down on Sanctions and Regime Change for Venezuela
Trump and his allies in the EU and the right-wing governments in Argentina and Brazil, as well as the fanatical Secretary General of the OAS, want to make sure that a recovery never happens. And despite all their blather about human rights and democracy, it is not a peaceful strategy they are promoting as they take measures to increase Venezuelans' suffering in the hopes of provoking the overthrow of the government.
(2 comments) SHARE Friday, January 10, 2014 Snowden's courageous action protected both our privacy and our democracy
The surveillance state is also making the U.S. into a banana republic, as the burgeoning military-intelligence apparatus becomes more powerful relative to our elected officials, including the President. It's not just our privacy that is disappearing because of the abuses that Snowden exposed -- it's the foundations of a democratic society.
SHARE Monday, July 1, 2019 Tariffs Are a Bad Response to an Imaginary Border Crisis
The most up-to-date measure that we have of migrants crossing the border between the U.S. and Mexico without authorization is the Custom and Border Protection's "apprehensions/inadmissibles." Over the past five years (fiscal years 2014 to 2018) this number has actually fallen,
(21 comments) SHARE Tuesday, August 16, 2016 The End of Trump
Sanders has announced the formation of Our Revolution, which plans to continue organizing around the issues that he raised in his presidential campaign, as well as recruit political candidates "from school board to the US Senate." This will be the legacy of the 2016 presidential race, long after Trump has taken his "very nice, long vacation."
(1 comments) SHARE Sunday, November 27, 2016 Breaking From Neoliberalism: Why the Democrats Need New Leadership
Partly because of Bernie Sanders' campaign, the Democratic Party produced its most progressive platform ever this year. But this was not enough to convince swing voters that Hillary, given her record, would implement it. All this is not to ignore the fact that Republicans are reliant on voter suppression, and gerrymandering for the House of Representatives in order to get the power they now have.
(2 comments) SHARE Wednesday, October 1, 2014 Hard choices: Hillary Clinton admits role in Honduran coup aftermath
Clinton's embrace of far-right narrative on Latin America is part of electoral strategy. Clinton's position on Latin America in her bid for the presidency is another example of how the far right exerts disproportionate influence on US foreign policy in the hemisphere.
(1 comments) SHARE Saturday, January 4, 2014 NAFTA: 20 years of regret for Mexico
It's tough to imagine Mexico doing worse without NAFTA. Perhaps this is part of the reason why Washington's proposed "Free Trade Area of the Americas" was roundly rejected by the region in 2005 and the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership is running into trouble.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, August 2, 2016 Is the Republican Party a Legitimate Party?
It is pretty clear that voter disenfranchisement is the bedrock of Republican power. As such, the legitimacy of the Republican Party is questionable. More broadly, this country needs voting reform that can put an end to this form of "American exceptionalism," just as the civil rights legislation of the 1960s put an end to the disgraceful era of African-American disenfranchisement.
(6 comments) SHARE Thursday, August 25, 2016 Obama's Campaign for TPP Could Drag Down the Democrats
Obama has most likely gotten the message that a failure to go all out for the TPP would cause some big money to shift from the Democratic to the Republican party. The most powerful corporations in the country, as well as many actors in the "national security state" want this agreement very badly. It is a coalition of everybody who is anybody. Except for the people.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, March 4, 2014 Venezuela is not Ukraine
Washington has been more committed to "regime change" in Venezuela than anywhere else in South America -- not surprisingly, given that it is sitting on the largest oil reserves in the world. And that has always given opposition politicians a strong incentive to not work within the democratic system.
(1 comments) SHARE Friday, June 20, 2014 Another US spying problem in Latin America: The DEA
thanks to additional leaked documents described by Ryan Devereaux, Glenn Greenwald, and Laura Poitras in The Intercept, we find there is another U.S. agency working with the NSA that poses similar threats: the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). The DEA is helping NSA with its non-drug-related spying programs.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, August 31, 2017 Trump Sanctions on Venezuela Will Cause More Harm
The Trump administration announced new, unprecedented sanctions against Venezuela on Friday that are designed to cut off financing to Venezuela. The Trump team pretends that the sanctions are only directed at the government. But as any economist knows, this is clearly false. By starving the economy of foreign exchange, this action will harm the private sector, most Venezuelans, the poor, and the vulnerable.
(5 comments) SHARE Thursday, November 15, 2018 When will America stop participating in Yemen's genocidal war?
The 1973 War Powers Resolution is still the law of the land, and the courts have not overturned any part of it. There are officials in the "national security state" who believe that the president can decide without Congress to participate in a war. But that is not the law, or is it consistent with the US Constitution.
SHARE Saturday, November 10, 2018 Trump Was Handed a Major Defeat on Tuesday -- And There Will Be More
The Democrats' victory in the House is important not only in the immediate sense that it will provide a check on Trump but also because it could mark the beginning of the end of this nightmare. Trump's strategy for political survival (which appears to be practically his only concern) is to continuously throw red meat to his supporters.
SHARE Wednesday, December 28, 2016 Trump's China Policy is Already a Disaster
We will soon see if the new US presidential administration actually wants to do anything to preserve US manufacturing jobs. In the meantime, picking a fight with China over Taiwan is about the worst way it could start out, short of actual warfare.
SHARE Thursday, October 15, 2020 Possible Recurrence of OAS Electoral Fraud in Bolivia
Bolivia's general elections on Sunday, October 18, could again be threatened by the involvement of the Organization of American States (OAS), Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) Co-Director Mark Weisbrot warns.
(3 comments) SHARE Tuesday, February 14, 2017 NAFTA has Harmed Mexico Much More Than a Wall Will Ever Do
The wall would cause significant environmental as well as economic damage, if it is ever built. But it is the long-term damage that Washington has helped visit upon the Mexican economy that has brought us to the point where a US president could even propose such a monstrosity.
(3 comments) SHARE Friday, October 18, 2013 Shutdown Takeaway: The US Wants A Fair Society, Not "Defund Obamacare" Crazy
The Tea Party and its allies have been funded by the billionaire Koch brothers, and right-wing money has expanded a formidable conservative media empire -- from Fox News to the Wall Street Journal, and talk radio with tens of millions of followers. Still, the majority is holding its own for now, despite its under-representation in the public debate.
SHARE Friday, November 30, 2018 Congress is finally pushing the US to withdraw from Yemen. It's about time
The resolution is already co-sponsored by the Democratic leadership, including Nancy Pelosi and the incoming Democratic chairs of the most important House committees. Then the Senate can pass a companion concurrent resolution to force the president to withdraw, and follow up through defunding offensive US activities in Yemen.
(3 comments) SHARE Thursday, July 31, 2014 Administration split on Venezuela
Not only is there no talk of sanctions against Israel or Egypt, there is not even talk of reducing or even conditioning the billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars, including military aid, that flow annually to these two countries. By comparison, 43 Venezuelans died in more than two months of violent protests seeking to topple a democratically-elected government, about half of them at the hands of the protesters themselves.
(3 comments) SHARE Wednesday, February 18, 2015 Who's Extorting Whom? It's All About Coercion
On Monday, February 16, European officials "handed Athens an ultimatum: Agree by Friday to continue with a bailout program or risk the funding that the country needs to avoid a default," the New York Times reported.
(3 comments) SHARE Monday, April 22, 2013 The United States Shows Its Contempt For Venezuelan Democracy
Washington's efforts to delegitimize the election mark a significant escalation of US efforts at regime change in Venezuela. Not since its involvement in the 2002 military coup has the US government done this much to promote open conflict in Venezuela.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, April 25, 2016 Washington's Dog-Whistle Diplomacy Supports Attempted Coup in Brazil
Washington's strategy in response to the left governments that have governed most of the region in the 21st century is obvious. They have rarely missed an opportunity to undermine or get rid of any of them, and their desire to replace the governing Workers' Party in Brazil with a more compliant, right-wing government is fairly obvious.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, May 8, 2014 With Friends Like The IMF And EU, Ukraine Doesn't Need Enemies
You can't destroy an economy in order to save it. The whole purpose of European lending should be to cushion any adjustments and allow Ukraine's economy and employment to grow and avoid a downward spiral. Unfortunately, EU and IMF leaders all too often see crisis as an opportunity to remake the economy in the divine image that they worship, regardless of costs and consequences.
(1 comments) SHARE Wednesday, December 18, 2013 US budget deal: the good, bad and stupid
The fact that our government is still trying to reduce economic growth and employment while we have more than 20 million people unemployed or underemployed is testimony to the unbridled power of the special interests that dominate debate over economic policy in the United States. It's encouraging that we have some sort of budget, but the economic ignorance continues in Congress.
(4 comments) SHARE Friday, August 30, 2013 President Obama should listen to US and UK public: don't strike Syria
No one had put forth any military or security reason for the rush to attack; no one claimed that speed was essential or even relevant to saving any lives. Rather, it now seems, the urge to shoot first and ask questions later was driven by the need to carry out this illegal attack before the public, and their representatives in national and international bodies, could weigh in.
SHARE Thursday, October 15, 2015 Lessons for the Trans-Pacific Partnership
There are many lessons from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that are relevant to the current debate over the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). First, like the TPP, NAFTA was never mostly about trade and even less about free trade. The lessons from NAFTA are a big part of the reason that the Obama administration is having so much trouble getting the TPP past Congress.
(4 comments) SHARE Thursday, December 10, 2015 What next for Venezuela?
the Venezuelan political system, with all its flaws, is much more democratic than the conventional wisdom has maintained. Now, what about the future? If the opposition gets a two-thirds majority of seats (112 or more), it would have important powers, such as the ability to remove Supreme Court judges, censure the vice president and call an assembly to propose changes to the constitution.
(3 comments) SHARE Monday, January 7, 2013 Why Paul Krugman should be President Obama's pick for US treasury secretary
Since most of Wall Street's money went to Republican nominee Mitt Romney in the run-up to the November election, Obama doesn't owe anything to the people who crashed our economy and are now fighting to make senior citizens, working and poor people reduce their living standards. Actor and human rights activist Danny Glover has launched a petition to the president to nominate Krugman for treasury secretary. It's worth signing.
SHARE Wednesday, September 11, 2013 Syria: thank Congress's resistance to war for the chance of a diplomatic deal
Obama said Monday that he was "not confident" that he would win this vote in Congress -- a stark admission of the new reality. But by leading a "full-court press" for the war, he has insulated himself from pro-war establishment backlash if the Congress votes no. He can say that he tried, but that Congress would not support him.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, May 28, 2013 The US and the Euro-crisis: Lessons from a comparison
An important lesson for any country: don't give away your economic sovereignty, on the most important macroeconomic policies that most of your nation's livelihood depends upon -- unless it is transferred to a set of institutions that you can really trust.
SHARE Saturday, July 2, 2011 "The Audacity Of Hope" waits to sail for Gaza
Greece should let the flotilla go and deliver its letters of support to the people of Gaza, which is perfectly legal and threatens no citizen anywhere. And the US government should declare its concern for the safety of these brave peacemakers, who like Martin Luther King Jr and his fellow civil rights activists are putting their bodies on the line for justice and humanity.
SHARE Tuesday, August 20, 2013 Miranda's rights: how Europe can learn from Latin America's independence
It is clear that Miranda was not suspected of any connection to terrorism. To detain and rob Miranda on this pretext is no more legal than to have done so on trumped-up allegations that he was transporting cocaine. The White House has admitted that Washington had advance knowledge of the crime, and so we can infer approval -- if not active collaboration.