Articles and Essays by Mark Engler

Archive for 2013

Lessons from Shutdown America

Despite offering an opportunity to skewer exceptionalist arrogance, the shutdown was not a good thing. Nevertheless, it did provide some illuminating lessons in American politics.

Even If You Have Nothing to Hide

Story after story, fueled by leaks from former security contractor Edward Snowden, is uncovering a U.S. surveillance empire with unprecedented reach and breadth.

There’s Always Money for War

There is something uniquely disturbing about an industry that not only has incentive to push for war as part of its business plan, but also possesses the lobbying power to move lawmakers who might otherwise object to White House designs.

End Illegal Spying; Don’t Shoot the Whistleblower

What were the elected officials doing for weeks before realizing that runaway surveillance programs might actually be dangerous and unconstitutional? Rather than facing unpleasant facts, they've preferred to kill the proverbial messenger.

Climate of Change: An “Inside-Outside” Strategy Against Global Warming?

If politicians in Washington, DC refuse to talk about our warming planet, how do we shift the climate of national debate?

Should We Have a “Maximum Wage”

Economists love to talk about incentives. In this case, such limits would motivate CEOs to augment the pay of their janitors, secretaries, and cashiers for a simple reason: Their own raises would depend on it.

Obama’s “Free Trade” Voyages: NAFTA Across the Oceans

Seeing drafts of new trade agreements that enhance corporate power could move people to similarly rash displays of democracy.

Provoking an American Climate Crisis

The signs tell us that a climate crisis has arrived in the natural world. The question is: When will this translate into a crisis in the political world?

Hijacked Organic, Limited Local, Faulty Fair Trade: What’s a Radical to Eat?

As the food movement has moved from the countercultural fringe to become a mainstream phenomenon, organic, local, and fair trade advocates have been beset by criticism from overt foes and erstwhile allies alike.

George Takei’s Social Media Activism