A Payday Loans window in Henrico County, Virginia (2007).

The Shark and the Hound

America’s long history of predatory lending.
Wood engraving depicting man representing the Freedman's Bureau between armed groups of white and black Americans (1868).
Partner

Paying for the Past: Reparations and American History

Reparations for African-Americans has been a hot topic on the presidential campaign trail, but the debate goes back centuries.
New York postal workers boarding a bus to the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963.

To Save Democracy, We Need Class Struggle

The historical record is clear: democracy was only won when poor people waged disruptive class struggle against the rich.
The March to Valley Forge, a painting by William Trego depicting George Washington leading the Continental Army to Valley Forge in 1777 (c. 1883)

The American Revolution’s Starving, Barefoot, Heroic Troops

Our young nation was very poor, the war was very expensive, and Congress and the states wanted everyone else to pay.
Policemen guard civil rights marchers as they trek through all-white Northwest Side neighborhood in Chicago, August 2, 1966.

Contract Buying Robbed Black Families In Chicago Of Billions

A new study on the toll of contract buying in Chicago during the 1950s and 1960s: $3 billion to $4 billion in lost black wealth.
A Saildrone is displayed at the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental in Mountain View, Calif. (2017)

Full Metal Racket

A history sheds light on venture capital’s ties to the military-industrial complex.
Dick's Drive-In on Broadway in Seattle, Washington (1955).

When America Was a Developing Country

The nostalgia of some conservatives hearkens back to a different—and irretrievable—economic time.
Engineers of the 8th New York State Militia in front of a tent (1861).

Expanding the Slaveocracy

The international ambitions of the US slaveholding class and the abolitionist movement that brought them down.
Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan is sworn in before a congressional hearing on the 2008 economic crisis.

When Alan Met Ayn: "Atlas Shrugged" and Our Tanked Economy

We owe at least part of the 2008 financial crisis to Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism.
New York City, ca. 1970s.

Fiscal Fright in NYC

A review of Kim Phillips-Fein’s "Fear City: New York’s Fiscal Crisis and the Rise of Austerity Politics."
Economist John Kenneth Galbraith gestures during a press conference at Rome's European School of Economics (1995).

The Forgotten Economic Idea Democrats Need to Rediscover

A neglected theory that helps explain today’s problems.
A photograph of a mountain of damaged oil drums near the Exxon refinery in Baton Rouge, Louisiana (1972).

Oil Barrels Aren't Real Anymore

Once a cask that held crude, the oil barrel is now mostly an economic concept.