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

Congress’s New Progressives Take On the Banks

The House Financial Services Committee—long a landing place for pro-bank Democrats—now includes AOC and a flock of leftists. And Maxine Waters is its new chair.

This is a preview of the Spring issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here . The day before Valentine’s Day, the House Financial Services Committee convened its first hearing of the 116th Congress. For the prior eight years, when Republicans controlled the House, hearings were typically reserved for the majority’s demands that Wall Street be relieved from the shackles of regulation. Proposed deregulatory changes were deliberately buried under technical jargon impenetrable to the average American so almost nobody outside the financial industry would comprehend the committee’s giveaways. But that was then. This year, Maxine Waters (D-CA), who assumed the chair after the Democratic midterm triumph, signaled a break with that past with her first hearing topic: homelessness in America . “In the richest country in the world, it is simply unacceptable that we have people living in the streets,” Waters said in her opening statement, noting that over...

Democracy Needs the National Popular Vote

Want to force presidential candidates to build a real, nationwide base of support? Then ditch the Electoral College.

The next Iraqi presidential election should be exciting, because while we know Muqtada al-Sadr’s Saairun party will pick up most of the electoral votes in the Shiite south, the Forward Alliance has a good shot to take the electoral vote-rich Baghdad governorate, and— Hang on, I’ve been told that’s not how Iraqi elections work. Apparently, Iraq’s American-written constitution doesn’t include an Electoral College system of choosing its president, but a parliamentary proportional representation setup, where the unicameral Parliament then chooses its president (a figurehead) and prime minister. Not only that, but every other country where America directly intervened and rewrote its constitution, from Germany and Japan after World War II to Afghanistan after the 2001 invasion, doesn’t use the Electoral College either. If America is a shining city on the hill, with its perfect, preserved-in-amber system of government, why is it that we never...

Beto and Friends

The blank slate that is Beto O’Rourke looks good to a Wall Street vulture capitalist. 

What passes for much “campaign-finance” reporting in America typically follows the flow of cash from big bundlers to particular candidates, treating the whole thing like a competition over who “got” what rich person to invest in them. Rarely is the central question asked of how that rich person earned their money, and what effect that will have on the candidate’s outlook. In other words, it’s not just the power of Big Money, but what specific kind of Big Money, that often gets overlooked. Yesterday presented a perfect example. Mark Gallogly, a founder and managing partner of Centerbridge Partners, indicated to friends that he would support former Texas Representative Beto O’Rourke as his 2020 candidate, according to CNBC. Gallogly is enthusiastically described as an “Obama bundler” who raised at least $500,000 for the former president in 2012. Centerbridge is merely noted as an “investment firm,” with no indication of,...

The Best Part of Medicare for All That You Haven’t Heard About

Hint: It’s immensely more cost-effective than private insurance or even the Affordable Care Act.

With the release of Progressive Caucus co-chair Pramila Jayapal’s Medicare for All bill , we are mired in the usual debates about the concept, which inevitably come down to cost. “How will you pay for it,” ask skeptics and opponents, pointing to impossibly large estimates ( $32 trillion !) of covering the entire population with a comprehensive health program that covers more than current Medicare and is free of co-pays. The $32 trillion number, of course, discounts the even larger number that Americans currently spend in national health expenditures, which would be saved in the event of a transition. It’s really just thrown out there as bait to get Medicare for All defenders to suggest various taxes, which are then used as a cudgel to weaken public support. But if we’re really going to talk about cost, we should acknowledge that the Jayapal bill is demonstrably more serious about the issue than any comprehensive bill on the right or the center-left,...

California’s Bullet Train Goes Off the Rails

Governor Gavin Newsom decides to slow down what could have been one of the country’s most transformative transportation infrastructure projects.

screen_shot_2017-07-19_at_4.28.52_pm.png A week after the introduction of the Green New Deal resolution, designed to build an inclusive economy while fighting the climate crisis, the textbook version of such a project has been essentially cancelled. In California, Governor Gavin Newsom used his State of the State Address to declare that there’s “ no path ” currently for a high-speed rail network connecting all of the state’s population centers. Instead of abandoning the project, Newsom has committed to completing the segment connecting Bakersfield, Fresno, and Merced, three cities with a population of around one million in a state pushing 40 million. No line would be preferable to running this line, which would create the false impression that high-speed rail cannot work in America. California’s bullet train tragedy is a cautionary tale on numerous levels. It’s about whether big infrastructure projects can flourish in the U.S.; whether a determined...

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