Left Out creates in-depth conversations with the most interesting political thinkers, heterodox economists, and organizers on the Left.
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Sep 1, 2016
 According to a report issued by Giving USA, an organization which tracks charitable giving, 2015 was a record breaking year with over $358 billion dollars being donated. In this episode of left out we explore the relationship between increased inequality and the rise of philanthropic giving. Close attention is paid to how philanthropic missions often ignore structural root causes and instead focus primarily on 'symptoms'.
In episode we  interview Professor Linsey McGoey Professor at the University of Sussex who recently published a book, "No Such Thing as A Free Gift: The Gates Foundation and the Price of Philanthropy" on new trends in philanthropy, namely the giving of philanthropic dollars to corporate entities.
We also speak with David Callahan, Editor of Inside Philanthropy to discuss philanthropy's relationship to political and economic inequality with an emphasis on recent education efforts.
Finally, we interview Frank Emspak, Executive Director of Diversified Media Enterprises, a Madison based media organization that produces news stories highlighting labor struggles. He reflects back on the growing presence of philanthropy in independent media outfits like his own over the past 30 years and what it means for organizing in the future.
Jul 20, 2016

In this episode we’re going to Cleveland, Ohio to explore the Evergreen Cooperative Initiative.  Launched in 2008 as part of the broader University Circle Initiative, the three cooperatives that make up the Evergreen network are tied together by a non-profit organization called the Evergreen Cooperative Corporation.  The utilization of surrounding institutions historically rooted in the community known as ‘anchor institutions’ play a central role in acting as both initial benefactors and customers of the coops as well.  This novel structure has inspired other cities around the country to adopt what has come to be termed the “Cleveland Model.”

The initiative has offered an alternative to how community and economic development is approached by integrating cooperatives with a 501c3 that promises not only steady employment, but provides an opportunity to begin building wealth through worker-owners’ equity within the enterprise itself.  At the same time, Evergreen has legitimized cooperatives as a vital form of development and introduced a more democratic arrangement that accounts for the interests of workers themselves.   

Evergreen has not come without its own set of unique problems.  Although any business start-up faces challenges getting off the ground, Evergreen’s particular structure presented difficulties that have forced many involved with the initiative to look inward and come up with dynamic responses.

We got in touch with John McMicken, CEO of the Evergreen Cooperative Corporation, the non-profit that links together all three coops.  We were also able to speak with Nicholas Zingale, associate professor at Cleveland State University and Gar Alperovitz, co-chair of the Next Systems Project and co-founder of the Democracy Collaborative, an organization that provided initial support for the Evergreen project.

  • Evergreen’s website contains information about its formation, the three cooperatives, and their overall mission for the city of Cleveland.
  • Professor Nicholas Zingale’s paper “Loose Change and Governance” explains the context of the Evergreen initiative and how deindustrialized spaces provide fertile ground for a project such as Evergreen.
  • Gar Alperovitz has written extensively about what a post-capitalist future may look like and all his work as well as the organizations he is involved with can be found at his website here.  
Jun 16, 2016

This episode takes a critical look at the The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), a trade deal involving 12 countries, encompassing nearly 40% of the global economy. Though lauded by the U.S. government as a deal  “ that will help increase Made-in-America exports, grow the American economy, support well-paying American jobs, and strengthen the American middle class”, a closer look demonstrates otherwise.

Exploring the thousands of pages of text with economists, policy experts, and union leaders, we delve into investor state dispute settlements, the relationship between the TPP and regressive distribution of wealth, monopoly creation through patent protection and what this all means for the working class.

Guests for this episode include Robert E. Scott of the Economic Policy Institute, Melinda St. Louis of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, Wayne Ranick of the United Steelworkers Union and David Rosnick of the Center for Economic Policy and Research. You can link some of their work below.

  • The Economic Policy Institute's Robert E. Scott maintains a blog full of technical information on the TPP and other trade deals. For a review of trade relations with China since 2001 read Robert E. Scott’s The China Toll . He also has a more recent position paper written to the United States International Trade Commision dealing with the TPP in particular

  • Public Citizen has a great webpage of resources particular to the TPP theirinitial analysis of the TPP is eye opening

  • The United Steelworkers covered the effects of the TPP on working families in a recent blog post

  • David Rosnick of the Center for Economic and Policy Research published a report demonstrating how the median wage earner would lose income while top wage earners would gain from the TPP
Jun 16, 2016

May 1st is recognized as the international day of labor. Over 50 countries recognize the day as an official holiday while dozens of others mark the day with large marches and protests. Yet, the nation in which it all began, the United States, does not recognize May 1st as a day for workers, instead the day is curiously observed as "Law Day". In this episode we interviewed Jonah Walters, a writer for Jacobin Magazine who recently published a piece on May Day, to explore the origins of May Day as well as the the peculiar  history and specific struggles that made this day the day of international labor. 

Further resources on the history of May Day
  1. Industrial Workers of the World, "The Brief Origins of May Day"
  2.  Articles from our guest on the show, Jonah Walters, "Labor Day is May 1"  and "Today is Our Day"