David Dayen

David Dayen is the executive editor of The American Prospect. His work has appeared in The Intercept, The New RepublicHuffPostThe 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. His email is ddayen@prospect.org.

Recent Articles

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...

The Inslee Difference

The Washington governor’s focus on the climate crisis is prodding his fellow presidential candidates to develop their own Green New Deals.

History yields a few examples of presidential candidacies designed not to win office but to raise attention to a pressing issue: “ free soil ” anti-slavery candidates before the Civil War, Pete McCloskey’s anti-Vietnam War Republican primary challenge to Richard Nixon in 1972 , Ellen McCormack’s bid as an anti-abortion Democrat in 1976. Single-issue candidates aren’t necessarily interested in becoming president as much as pulling the party in their favored direction. Most don’t amount to much. But when I see Washington Governor Jay Inslee’s campaign to deal with the climate crisis, and what that has inspired within the Democratic race, I see the model of a successful single-issue campaign. Inslee has hardly been alone in provoking climate action: the Sunrise Movement has been uniquely effective from the outside, as has Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal from the inside. But a tangible policy is incredibly valuable, and Inslee...

In California, Democratic Hopefuls Counter Biden’s Status Quo Politics

Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders offer the most direct challenge yet to the front-runner in the 2020 Democratic primary.

Jeff Chiu/AP Photo
This article appears in the Summer 2019 issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here . SAN FRANCISCO—“We asked a two-word question: ‘Why not?’” said Bernie Sanders, reflecting on his 2016 challenge, at a low-dollar fundraiser near the Moscone Center during the California Democratic Party convention. Many of the 14 Democratic presidential candidates who spoke here, at the first real cattle call of the 2020 primary, were asking that same question, daring to think beyond a cramped politics narrowly focused on defeating Donald Trump and exhaling. “Why not” is the language of activists, the language Robert Kennedy paraphrased from George Bernard Shaw in 1968, the language of the “si se puede” cries from farm laborers. It’s not the language of the front-runner in the Democratic primary, and this weekend in San Francisco offered some of the first lines of attack against Joe Biden thus far in the race. Biden had no...

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