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."

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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?

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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

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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

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

The Budget Deal: A Dirge for the Unemployed

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This budget deal is needlessly punitive. It’s mean-spirited toward people who are struggling through no fault of their own.

The Democrats’ ‘Third Way’ Quarrel Could Change Your Future

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Third Way — Why are Democrats affiliated with a group which works so strenuously to gut Democratic programs?

12 Fast Facts About Thursday’s Fast-Food Strike

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RJ Eskow: 25 percent of American workers receive some form of public assistance – which is a disturbing figure itself. For fast food workers that figure was 52 percent.

‘Thinking Globally, Acting Locally’ In the Minimum Wage Fight

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RJ Eskow: The minimum wage struggle is occurring at the intersection of growing economic inequality, the erosion of working people’s rights, and the globalization of an economic oligarchy whose scope of power is unprecedented in modern times.

For Democrats, a Tax-the-Rich Road to Victory

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RJ Eskow: If Democrats make this budget battle a fight over who has the smartest spending cuts, they’re fighting on the Republicans’ turf. But if they make this a fight over taxes and jobs, that’s a fight they can win.

4 Ways to Identify a Genuinely Supportive Politician

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Richard Eskow: How will we know which politicians are genuinely looking out for the public’s interests? This four-point document is an excellent place to start.

7 Reasons to Take 7 Seconds to Save Medicare and Social Security

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Richard Eskow: A broad coalition of organizations, including the Campaign for America’s Future and Social Security Works, is joining Sen. Bernie Sanders in a petition drive to resist cuts to Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare.

What Americans Need Are Jobs

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Richard Eskow: Congress wasn’t elected to “reduce the deficit.” According to polling from 2012, it — and the president — were elected to create jobs.

Republicans Win Standoff, Shoot Hostages Anyway

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RJ Eskow: Even some other Republicans were appalled. One House member, mixing metaphors as effortlessly as his peers mix martinis, described his fellow Republicans as “lemmings with suicide vests.”

The Robots Are Coming: Now What?

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Richard Eskow: Which profession is most vulnerable to automation? Telemarketers. That will satisfy some people’s vindictive streak, but it will also create more unemployment.

JPMorgan Chase: “Incredibly Guilty”

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Richard Eskow: An outside observer might be forgiven for thinking JPMorgan Chase isn’t so much a bank as it is a criminal enterprise with a bank attached to it.

Straight Talk About the GOP Budget

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RJ Eskow: Who is going to explain to the American people how profoundly misguided, and even immoral, the Republicans’ entire economic agenda has become?

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