Political Economy

At the Weave we believe that politics and economics have always gone hand in hand. Political economy is about structures of power and how these structures shape the conditions within which all of us live our lives. This section of the Weave is devoted to analysis and discussion of current issues that reveal the dynamics of power, from the local to the global and everywhere in between.

Reporting Poverty

126 As farsighted Americans focus on problems abroad, those beneath their noses worsen. As of late, however, the national media has begun to cover the social issues troubling the United States, especially poverty. What has prompted this change and how long will it last?

Credible but not Confirmed


When airplanes flew into the Twin Towers, I was in Boston, visiting a friend at Tufts University. I watched the tragedy unfold on TV, the whole time thinking “my friends must be freaking out right now.” I couldn’t return to Manhattan for several days, but when I did, my shuttle bus brought me to Brooklyn, and I had to take the D-train onto the island. From the Brooklyn Bridge I saw the smoldering rubble, plumes of smoke where the towers once stood. For a few moments I was the one “freaking out”…

Food Stamps, Anyone?

102 An article in Reuters today dubbed the United States a “food stamp nation.” It reported that 15% of the population, or 46 million Americans, received benefits from the

Shared Sacrifice, Pt. II

101 The Poor Man's BurdenWarren Buffet’s call for fiscal reform has been lambasted by conservatives, especially on Fox News. Calling him a “socialist” (of all things!), these critics claimed that Buffet had waged class warfare against the rich—the so-called “most productive” people in American society. Rather than increase the tax rates for the top 2.3%, critics asked, why not demand that the nation’s poor—that is, those who earn less than $23 thousand for a family of four—actually pay income taxes?

Shared Sacrifice?

100 Warren BuffetMr.

The Poverty Tour

97 The Poverty Tour logoWhen will our mainstream news media start paying attention to the problem of poverty? African-American activists like TV talk show host Tavis Smiley and Yale philosopher Cornel West believe that the time is now, and have been working to put the poverty issue back on the map.

Campaign Poverty

90 Will poverty in the United States be a campaign issue in 2012? I sure hope so…But I also hope any national debate about this issue is less about partisan politics and race-mongering and more about helping the hungry find food, the homeless find homes, and the unemployed find jobs. Right now it looks like we’re going to get a heavy dose of political theater, with the national media headlining all acts.

Another Week in the Post-democratic Trenches

After surprising electoral defeats, average democratic leaders would eat humble pie.


Ratings agencies may have been roundly (and rightly) booed over the past few years for the deep flaws in their work, but markets and governments still pay attention, especially when ratings for weak economies are downgraded.

Berlusconi's Guilt

Berlusconi constantly says the accusations made against him in court are groundless, because he's never been found guilty. Not so fast - let's have a look at his most prominent trials so far:

1. Perjury in the 'P2 case': Accusation with foundation: the Court of Appeal says Berlusconi is guilty, but he is saved by an amnesty