Feb. 22, 2021 — Public banks and the holes they can fill.

Wide wealth gaps are persistent in the U.S., driven not only by disparities in income, but disparities in access to wealth-building opportunities like homeownership or savings accounts as well. That inaccessibility can be intentional, such as denying a loan to someone based on their credit (which is understandable on paper but disproportionately impacts people of color). Or it can be incidental, like when a community simply lacks a local bank branch or ATM, for instance.

At the same time, the institutions that manage wealth-your private banks and Wall…

In an effort to stop Congress from certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election, a violent mob broke into the Capitol building in D.C. to interrupt the process. Lawmakers, aides, staff, and reporters were forced to shelter in place and later evacuate.

Those who entered the Capitol, radical supporters of President Trump, did so on the pretense of “stopping the steal,” waving American, Trump, and Confederate flags, and wearing other far-right symbols for groups like QAnon and neo-Nazis. They broke into offices, occupied the floors of the House and the Senate, and directly confronted law enforcement. Throughout, they posted…

Thanksgiving is just a few dozen hours away here in the U.S. Let’s exclude this Thanksgiving when we say the holiday is centered on food, food comas, and family. (And parades, pies, and perspective.)

But there’s another aspect of this day that is sometimes overlooked or ignored, that it marks a significant step in how America was settled. Many people crossed a seemingly endless ocean and landed here to start something new for themselves and their communities.

While the specific modes for immigrating here and the makeup of who comes to the U.S. have changed over time, we’re still something…

This piece was originally posted on my blog. It has been edited for this site and to reflect more recent developments.

This month, Florida voters approved a raise to the state minimum wage. By 2026, the wage will reach $15 an hour and then each annual increase will be indexed to inflation. All the while, the federal minimum wage remains an abysmal $7.25.

The dialogue about raising the wage (in any geography) has classic fault lines that have defined the conversation for decades: worker well-being vs. employer solvency, higher consumer spending power vs. higher inflation, stuff like that.

There’s a…

On Tuesday, President Trump tweeted that he had told White House aides to cease talks with Congress on an economic stimulus package. Saying he didn’t want to “bail out poorly run, high crime, Democrat states,” Trump will wait until after the election to revisit stimulus negotiations — or in his words, “immediately after I win.”

This happened the same day Jerome Powell, Chair of the Federal Reserve, explained that not passing an adequate economic stimulus package would lead to “unnecessary hardship for households and businesses” and further exacerbate “existing [economic] disparities.”

Last week, the September jobs report from the Department…

If you listen to the science, it’s abundantly clear that we’re killing the planet through carbon emissions, pollution, and waste. The world is growing warmer; significant weather events like hurricanes, floods, heat waves, and wildfires are more frequent toady than even ten years ago. The U.S. will need to address climate change more directly than how it does so now.

It turns out most Americans feel this way, though there’s significant differences among the public when filtering by political affiliation. That difference can be traced back to how polarized the issue is between the major political parties; that polarization has…

The U.S. is the wealthiest country in history. About 30% of the world’s wealth is here, more than all of Europe. Yet, our country continues to maintain some of the worst economic inequality among wealthy nations.

One could argue that this type of inequality is the issue of our time, on par with the climate crisis. Coincidentally, we could properly confront both of these if we found a path through partisanship; we have the resources and power to do address them.

But inequality is not a looming crisis like climate change. Instead, it has nestled into everything American — it’s…

Brendan Rigney

Public policy analyst and advocate. Read some of my stuff here: 101policycorner.com

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