About Richard Eskow

Richard (RJ) Eskow is a former executive with experience in health care, benefits, and risk management, finance, and information technology. He is a Senior Fellow with the Campaign for America's Future and hosts The Breakdown, which is broadcast on We Act Radio in Washington DC.

Richard worked for AIG and other insurance, risk management, and financial organizations. He was also a public policy and finance/economics consultant, in the US and over 20 countries. Past clients include USAID, the World Bank, the State Department, the Harvard School of International Public Health, the Government of Hungary, as well as corporations and investors. He has experience in financial and numerical analysis (of benefit plans, financial risk, corporate investments), systems design, and management.

Richard has worked on long-range health policy and forecasting. His predictions are included in the recently-released Rough Guide To the Future in it's review of "the hopes, fears, and best prediction of fifty of the world's leading futurologists."

Richard is also a freelance writer. He's a regular columnist for the science and culture blog 3 Quarks Daily and a Contributing Editor for Tricycle magazine. His reflections on blogging and spiritual principles were included in Best Buddhist Writing of 2008.

Richard's also an (occasionally) working musician and songwriter who appeared regularly at venues such as CBGB's, the Washington Folk Festival, and motorcycle shows throughout the American South from 1970 through the year 2000. His last appearance was as the "opening act" for Gen. Wesley Clark in 2007, but he may be available again for the right price - or the right cause.
He can be reached at "rjeskow@gmail.com." His Twitter ID is "@rjeskow."

Snakes and Ladders at Netroots Nation

Netroots Nation 14

RJ Eskow: When it comes to influencing the presidential campaign, this year’s Netroots Nation was a missed opportunity. Ready for Warren had an extraordinary impact on the convention, however, and there will be other opportunities.

Citigroup’s $7 Billion Fraud Deal: The Clique’s Still Clicking in D.C.

Citigroup Fraud Deal

RJ Eskow: This $7 billion deal is being trumpeted as a major win for the American people. It’s not. The money’s not enough (and some of it probably won’t be paid out), the wrong people are paying, and there will be no prosecutions for criminal behavior.

5 Signs the U.S. Is Failing to Protect Women’s Rights in the Workplace

Women in the Workplace

RJ Eskow: “Giving women my Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act without the Paycheck Fairness Act,” said Ledbetter herself, “is like giving them a nail without the hammer.”

The GDP Fiasco: It’s Been One Snafu After Another

Shrinking Economy

Richard “RJ” Eskow: Granted, everybody gets it wrong sometimes, but this time our economists were really wrong. We were told the economy grew slightly in the first quarter of this year. Now, two revisions later, the latest GDP estimate concluded that the economy actually shrank.

Outsource Social Security?

Outsource Social Security

RJ Eskow: One of the bitter ironies of the bipartisan austerity craze has been the fact that, while there has been an assault on government jobs, there has been an equal or greater push to transfer government revenues to the private sector using lucrative, cost-inflating “privatization” contracts.

The Real Piketty Scandal (Is Right-Wing Deception)

Piketty Scandal

RJ Eskow: Encouraging more conservatives to engage in honorable debate may seem like an overly ambitious goal. But, hey, they got me to say something nice about the National Review, so anything’s possible.

Is the ‘New Populism’ Real?

New Populism

RJ Eskow: Profound social change — whether in the agrarian economy of the 1900s, the growth of labor rights, civil rights, women’s rights, or in other transformative historical moments — has always begun with a popular movement.

Tim Geithner’s Pillow Book

Tim Geithner

RJ Eskow: It’s not that Tim Geithner is venal, or evil, or corrupt. The problem is that he is deeply embedded in a social group whose worldview is insulated from the very experiences and viewpoints that could have enriched and improved Geithner’s public service immeasurably.

Did Washington Rescue the Wrong Economy?

Tim Geithner Is Wrong

Richard Eskow: Borrower relief has an even greater stimulus effect than originally thought — if it is targeted towards non-wealthy homeowners. Wealthier homeowners are less likely to spend money when offered debt relief.

What Does Hillary Believe?

What Does Hillary Believe

Richard “RJ” Eskow: The New Populism promises to re-energize the political conversation and could potentially restore the Democratic Party’s fortunes as well. But the Democratic Party is at risk of being sidelined from the debate, paralyzed by the Sphinx-like silence of its presumptive 2016 nominee.

Look Out, Wall Street, the New Populism Is Coming

New Populism

RJ Eskow: Make no mistake about it: the public’s mood, despite years of attempts by most Republicans and many Democrats to placate them, is distinctly populist.

Who Makes the Game? Donald Sterling Asked the Right Question

Radical Rich

RJ Eskow: The “plantation” isn’t the only analogy for Sterling’s mindset. His attitude toward the players also resembles that of baronial landlords toward tenant farmers, or mine owners toward miners who were paid in “credits” for the company store.

Invisible Social Security Cuts: Now You See Them, Now You Don’t


RJ Eskow: Congress has cut 14 out of the last 16 SSA budget requests. There’s only one rational explanation for that: a hostility toward government itself, combined with the determination to place more public resources in corporate hands through “privatization.”

Charles Koch Un-American? Let Thomas Jefferson Decide


RJ Eskow: Thomas Jefferson seems like an arbitrator all parties can agree upon. Koch even cites Jefferson in his own defense. Unfortunately, all that citation accomplishes is to make it painfully clear that Koch is no Jefferson scholar.

McCutcheon, the Majority, and the Challenge of Our Time


RJ Eskow: The Supreme Court’s McCutcheon ruling will be remembered as a decisive battle in a determined and wealthy minority’s war against the popular will.

Bill Clinton and Steny Hoyer: ‘Wall Street Democrats’ Fight Back


Richard Eskow: People wonder why Gallup reports that millennials are at or near record levels of alienation from both political parties? When leaders of both parties emphasize deficits over jobs, their disaffection becomes easier to understand.

Madoff’s Billionaires: The Fear and the Fury


Richard “RJ” Eskow: There’s more than fear at work among these billionaires. There’s rage, too. These are people who are unaccustomed to hearing “no.” And many of them got where they are because they possess an overwhelming and insatiable drive for more.

Dear Abby: An Open Letter to MSNBC’s Huntsman About Social Security


RJ Eskow and Richard Fowler: Last week MSNBC’s Abby Huntsman expressed some strong opinions about Social Security. That’s her right and her privilege. Unfortunately, she also made some inaccurate and misleading statements.

Has the Left Surrendered?

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American Left: While neoliberalism may be ascendant, there are also signs of a nascent but potentially vibrant left.

Yes, the Left Killed the Chained CPI


Killing the Chained CPI: Could the chained CPI be revived at some point? Of course. But, for now at least, it’s dead.

Five Years After the Stimulus, Reality Itself Is Under Attack


Fighting for Jobs: It’s never too late to start fighting for the jobs and growth this nation deserves.

Obamacare and the Right-Wing Fight for Indentured Servitude


Promoting Indentured Servitude: It’s as if a movement which proclaims its devotion to freedom is actually promoting indentured servitude.

Reagan Remembered: The Failed Legacy of Our First Corporate Politician


Ronald Reagan Failed Presidency: Reagan’s economic legacy is one of failure, but it could be argued that he was genuinely transformative.

The Populist Moment


Populist Revolt — The signs indicate that, however much the folkways of Washington may resist, this nation has entered a Populist Moment.

On Wall Street, Sounds of Silence From the President


Wall Street State of the Union — Obama made no mention of the financial industry’s central role in the devastating 2008 financial crisis.

Congress: Of Millionaires, By Millionaires, For Millionaires


Millionaire Congress — What does it mean when its representatives are insulated from the real-world economic experiences of its citizens?

“Jobs or Inequality”? That’s No Choice at All


Jobs or Inequality — Unemployment and long-term wage stagnation are suppressing consumer demand that is the engine of a healthy economy .

Was This the Social Contract’s Comeback Year?


Social Contract — It’s a sign of change to see the idea of increasing Social Security move into the mainstream debate.

‘Green Shoots’: The Year in Wall Street Reform


Green Shoots — Perhaps the most compelling symbol of political change we saw all year was when Larry Summers reached out to Elizabeth Warren in a bid for the Fed job — and was rebuffed.

We Have Met the Enemy and She Is Old


War on Elderly — How do self-interested executives, politicians, and pundits convince an entire society to turn against its elders?

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