David Dayen

David Dayen is the executive editor of The American Prospect. His work has appeared in The Intercept, The New RepublicHuffPost, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and more. His first book, Chain of Title: How Three Ordinary Americans Uncovered Wall Street's Great Foreclosure Fraud, winner of the Studs and Ida Terkel Prize, was released by The New Press in 2016.

Recent Articles

The Democrats’ Retirement Debacle—and Ted Cruz’s Last-Minute Save

The House resoundingly passed a retirement bill that could be dangerous for workers. It’s been blocked in the Senate because of an unrelated perk Cruz wants to give to homeschooling families.

House Democratic leaders are frustrated . They thought America would thrill to the bills they’re passing that have no chance of making it into law so long as Republicans control the Senate, and Donald Trump the White House. Why they thought that is beyond my comprehension—minority-party agendas hardly ever drive political discussion—but they’re desperate to turn attention to a policy agenda rather than oversight of the president (another mistake, in my view). “I’m spending a lot of time on the issues that my district sent me here to work on,” Representative Ben McAdams, a Blue Dog from Utah, told The Washington Post . “But it doesn’t break through. People understand controversy more than they understand retirement reform, you know?” McAdams should hope that people don’t start to understand retirement reform, because then they’d know that the House, by an overwhelming 417-3 margin, passed a retirement reform bill...

Ro Khanna’s Continuing Fight Against Defense Contractor Rip-Offs

Representative Ro Khanna is navigating a major reform through the House, but can Elizabeth Warren do the same in the Republican-run Senate?

When I talked to Representative Ro Khanna last week he sounded a bit groggy, coming off an all-night session in the House Armed Services Committee where he had put forward an amendment to fundamentally change how military procurement works. It came out of a two-year battle over TransDigm, a private equity–style supplier of spare parts for commercial and military aircraft. TransDigm acquires firms to corner the market on certain parts and then jacks up the price to the government, with markups as high as 4,451 percent. Khanna’s amendment would eventually pass, barely, after a major fight that put him up against the ranking Republican on Armed Services, Mac Thornberry. Turning the amendment into law, however, requires getting it through the Republican-controlled Senate, and the key figure there is his Senate partner in the TransDigm skirmish, Elizabeth Warren. Well before the Armed Services Committee took up Khanna’s amendment, the TransDigm case had already yielded a...

Monopolist’s Worst Nightmare: The Elizabeth Warren Interview

"The problem is a government that won't get in the fight on the side of the people." 

Darron Cummings/AP Photo
Darron Cummings/AP Photo Democratic presidential candidate Senator Elizabeth Warren speaks in Indiana. W e have the most intense concentration of corporate power in America since the Gilded Age of the late 1800s. And Senator Elizabeth Warren has a plan for that , as you might have heard. The presidential candidate has long been one of the few public officials to address the growing dominance of monopolies, and she’s highlighted the problem—and how to fix it—on the campaign trail. (She’s even placed billboards demanding the breakup of Big Tech in Silicon Valley’s backyard.) I had a chance to talk with Warren between Senate votes in Washington. We discussed how she talks about monopolies to the public, what Congress can do with its authority, and building an antitrust movement. David Dayen: We’re doing this issue about economic concentration. And one thing I’ve noticed is that, probably since 1912 there hasn’t been this much talk about...

The Big Tech Investigations That Should Have Started in 2012

Two missed opportunities from the Federal Trade Commission, on Google and Facebook, led us to the monopoly crisis we face today.

The antitrust authorities, roused after a decades-long slumber, sorted out jurisdictional issues on the dominant technology platforms last week, with the Justice Department taking Google and Apple, and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) taking Facebook and Amazon. There wouldn’t be any reason for the agencies to determine who handles what if they weren’t ramping up investigations. Companies harmed by Big Tech are assembling their complaints , lawmakers in both parties are demanding action , and we could very well have the biggest monopolization case in America since the legal fight against Microsoft during the Clinton administration. This newly vigorous enforcement throws into sharp relief the failures of the past, and actually the failures of one pivotal year: 2012. There could have been credible antitrust investigations that year of both Big Tech companies that are now squarely in the government’s sights: Google and Facebook. In both cases, the FTC had demonstrable...

Tom Perez Traded a Puerto Rico Statehood Endorsement for DNC Chair Votes

The revelation from a new book says that pro-statehood politicians quietly took over Puerto Rico’s Democratic Party, then made a deal with Perez for their votes.

The DNC’s rejection of a presidential primary debate focused entirely on the climate crisis has roused the grassroots. Not only did DNC chair Tom Perez deny the request from 2020 candidate and climate warrior Jay Inslee , he flatly stated that any candidate appearing in someone else’s climate-focused debate would disqualify them for future DNC debates. Already Elizabeth Warren and Beto O’Rourke have joined Inslee in urging Perez to reverse his decision. But a revelation in a recent book adds a rich layer of irony to the situation. Because the reason that Tom Perez is in the position to decline a climate debate in the first place is that he won the DNC election in 2017 in large part thanks to the most prominent North American victim of the climate crisis in the Trump era: Puerto Rico. The details come in the new book We’ve Got People: From Jesse Jackson to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the End of Big Money and the Rise of a Movement by Ryan Grim, Washington editor...

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