In America, people with lots of money can easily avoid the consequences of bad bets and big losses by cashing out at the first sign of trouble.

The faith that anyone could move from rags to riches - with enough guts and gumption, hard work and nose to the grindstone - was once at the core of the American Dream.

The only way back toward a democracy and economy that work for the majority is for most of us to get politically active once again, becoming organized and mobilized.

You can't create a political movement out of pabulum.

The only way to make sure no bank is too big to fail is to make sure no bank is too big.

Political scientists after World War II hypothesized that even though the voices of individual Americans counted for little, most people belonged to a variety of interest groups and membership organizations - clubs, associations, political parties, unions - to which politicians were responsive.

On the Republican playing field, Republicans always win.

Tax laws favor capital over labor, giving capital gains a lower rate than ordinary income. The rich get humongous mortgage interest deductions while renters get no deduction at all.

Official boundaries are often hard to see. If you head north on Woodward Avenue, away from downtown Detroit, you wouldn't know exactly when you left the city and crossed over into Oakland County - except for a small sign that tells you.

We never used to blink at taking a leadership role in the world. And we understood leadership often required something other than drones and bombs. We accepted global leadership not just for humanitarian reasons, but also because it was in our own best interest. We knew we couldn't isolate ourselves from trouble. There was no place to hide.

As income from work has become more concentrated in America, the super rich have invested in businesses, real estate, art, and other assets. The income from these assets is now concentrating even faster than income from work.

Instead of worrying about who's American and who's not, here's a better idea: Create incentives for any global company to do what we'd like it to do in the United States.

Government subsidies to elite private universities take the form of tax deductions for people who make charitable contributions to them.

The 'free market' is the product of laws and rules continuously emanating from legislatures, executive departments, and courts.

What are called 'public schools' in many of America's wealthy communities aren't really 'public' at all. In effect, they're private schools, whose tuition is hidden away in the purchase price of upscale homes there, and in the corresponding property taxes.

A leader is someone who steps back from the entire system and tries to build a more collaborative, more innovative system that will work over the long term.

In 1968, the sanitation workers of Memphis tried to form a union. The city resisted. The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. came to support them. That was where he lost his life.

The curious thing is Americans don't mind individual mandates when they come in the form of payroll taxes to buy mandatory public insurance. In fact, that's the system we call Social Security and Medicare, and both are so popular politicians dare not touch them.

The Tea Party is but one manifestation of a widening perception that the game is rigged in favor of the rich and powerful.

Globalization and free trade do spur economic growth, and they lead to lower prices on many goods.

Those who take their money abroad in an effort to avoid paying American taxes should lose their American citizenship.

America is one of few advanced nations that allow direct advertising of prescription drugs.

Patagonia, a large apparel manufacturer based in Ventura, California, has organized itself as a 'B-corporation.' That's a for-profit company whose articles of incorporation require it to take into account the interests of workers, the community, and the environment, as well as shareholders.

The job creators are members of America's vast middle class and the poor, whose purchases cause businesses to expand and invest.

You might say those who can't repay their student debts shouldn't have borrowed in the first place. But they had no way of knowing just how bad the jobs market would become.

Sugary drinks are blamed for increasing the rates of chronic disease and obesity in America. Yet efforts to reduce their consumption through taxes or other measures have gone nowhere. The beverage industry has spent millions defeating them.

A society - any society - is defined as a set of mutual benefits and duties embodied most visibly in public institutions: public schools, public libraries, public transportation, public hospitals, public parks, public museums, public recreation, public universities, and so on.

As long as the big banks are allowed to remain big, their political leverage over Washington will remain big. And as long as their political leverage remains big, the taxpayer and economic tab for the next mess they create will be big.

America's real business leaders understand unless or until the middle class regains its footing and its faith, capitalism remains vulnerable.

As we segregate by income into different communities, schools in lower-income areas have fewer resources than ever.

Rather than subsidize 'American' exporters, it makes more sense to subsidize any global company - to the extent it's adding to its exports from the United States.

No company can be expected to build a nuclear reactor, an oil well, a coal mine, or anything else that's one hundred percent safe under all circumstances. The costs would be prohibitive. It's unreasonable to expect corporations to totally guard against small chances of every potential accident.

During three decades from 1947 to 1977, the nation implemented what might be called a basic bargain with American workers. Employers paid them enough to buy what they produced.

It is impossible to fight bullies merely by saying they're going too far.

Centrism is bogus.

The silent majority really is a liberal majority, even though the word liberal has taken a real beating over the last 20 years by radical conservatives.

Over the long term, the only way we're going to raise wages, grow the economy, and improve American competitiveness is by investing in our people - especially their educations.

One tax dodge often used by multi-national companies is to squirrel their earnings abroad in foreign subsidiaries located in countries where taxes are lower.

Tea Partiers hate government more than they hate the national debt. They refuse to reduce that debt with tax increases, even with tax increases on the wealthy, because a tax increase doesn't reduce the size of government.

Only if everyone buys insurance can insurers afford to cover people with preexisting conditions or pay the costs of catastrophic diseases.

Limits should be placed on how big big banks can become.

America spends a fortune on drugs: more per person than any other nation on earth, even though Americans are no healthier than the citizens of other advanced nations.

Universities have to tame their budgets, especially for student amenities that have nothing to do with education.

In the 1980s, corporate raiders began mounting unfriendly takeovers of companies that could deliver higher returns to their shareholders - if they abandoned their other stakeholders.

Medical costs are soaring because our health-care system is totally screwed up. Doctors and hospitals have every incentive to spend on unnecessary tests, drugs, and procedures.

It's not government's business what people do in their private bedrooms.

Walmart is so huge that a wage boost at Walmart would ripple through the entire economy, putting more money in the pockets of low-wage workers. This would help boost the entire economy - including Walmart's own sales.

If we want corporations to act differently, we have to force them to do so through laws that are fully enforced and through penalties higher than the economic benefits of thwarting the laws.

When I was a small boy, I was bullied more than most, mainly because I was a foot shorter than everyone else.