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A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
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 Laura Gottesdiener Archive
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Economics

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In Appalachia, the Coal Industry Is in Collapse, But the Mountains Aren’t Coming Back
In Appalachia, explosions have leveled the mountain tops into perfect race tracks for Ryan Hensley’s all-terrain vehicle (ATV). At least, that’s how the 14-year-old sees the barren expanses of dirt that stretch for miles atop the hills surrounding his home in the former coal town of Whitesville, West Virginia. “They’re going to blast that one... Read More
One State’s Attempt to Destroy Democracy and the Environment
Something is rotten in the state of Michigan. One city neglected to inform its residents that its water supply was laced with cancerous chemicals. Another dissolved its public school district and replaced it with a charter school system, only to witness the for-profit management company it hired flee the scene after determining it couldn’t turn... Read More
The Continuing Depopulation of Detroit
Unlike so many industrial innovations, the revolving door was not developed in Detroit. It took its first spin in Philadelphia in 1888, the brainchild of Theophilus Van Kannel, the soon-to-be founder of the Van Kannel Revolving Door Company. Its purpose was twofold: to better insulate buildings from the cold and to allow greater numbers of... Read More
One of the first indications of just how bad it would get was the slew of abandoned Ferraris and Porsches ditched in the Dubai Airport parking lot by foreigners fleeing the country -- and the debts they’d incurred there -- as the 2008 global economic crisis descended with full force. Within months, housing prices in... Read More
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Life Inside the Boom
At 9 p.m. on that August night, when I arrived for my first shift as a cocktail waitress at Whispers, one of the two strip clubs in downtown Williston, I didn’t expect a 25-year-old man to get beaten to death outside the joint. Then again, I didn’t really expect most of the things I encountered... Read More
A Private Equity Firm, a Missing Pool Fence, and the Price of a Child’s Death
Security is a slippery idea these days -- especially when it comes to homes and neighborhoods. Perhaps the most controversial development in America’s housing “recovery” is the role played by large private equity firms. In recent years, they have bought up more than 200,000 mostly foreclosed houses nationwide and turned them into rental empires. In... Read More
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How Private Equity Came to New York’s Rental Market -- and What That Tells Us About the Future
Things are heating up inside Wall Street’s new rental empire. Over the last few years, giant private equity firms have bet big on the housing market, buying up more than 200,000 cheap homes across the country. Their plan is to rent the houses back to families -- sometimes the very same people who were displaced... Read More
How Wall Street Has Turned Housing Into a Dangerous Get-Rich-Quick Scheme -- Again
You can hardly turn on the television or open a newspaper without hearing about the nation’s impressive, much celebrated housing recovery. Home prices are rising! New construction has started! The crisis is over! Yet beneath the fanfare, a whole new get-rich-quick scheme is brewing. Over the last year and a half, Wall Street hedge funds... Read More
PastClassics
The major media overlooked Communist spies and Madoff’s fraud. What are they missing today?
The “war hero” candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam.
What Was John McCain's True Wartime Record in Vietnam?
The evidence is clear — but often ignored