Recent Posts

  • Biden’s Antitrust Push

    By Steven Hill, American Purpose, July 21, 2023

    The White House has advanced new efforts to rein in monopolistic companies, but years of lax enforcement have created persistent hurdles.

    Amidst the loud headlines that have been capturing the nation’s attention, the Biden Administration has been quietly dusting off a long-neglected economic strategy: antitrust enforcement.…

  • San Francisco: a Multi-Everything City that needs a new approach to local democracy

    By Steven Hill, New Democracy Institute, May 11, 2023

    How should urban zones structure local democracy to ensure fewer turf wars, broad participation and greater engagement of its human talent and genius?

    San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York City, Boston, San Jose, Atlanta, San Diego, Houston, Chicago – these large metropolises are what I call “multi-everything cities.”…

  • Another shooting, another crazy day in Winner-Take-All land

    By Steven Hill, DemocracySOS, March 28, 2023

    America’s winner-take-all elections bedevil common sense and ensure a vast gap between public opinion and policy

    Another shooting. Another SHOOTING? ANOTHER SHOOTING!!!

    Another SCHOOL shooting. I can hardly believe it. Three school children are dead, gunned down at nine years of age, along with three of their adult care keepers.…

  • How Trump could win the GOP nomination–again

    By Steven Hill, DemocracySOS, March 23, 2023

    Like in 2016, the pathway to the nomination is clear due to the “winner take all” rules in most GOP states; RCV would ensure a true majority of GOP primary voters prevail

    Donald Trump seems to be showing up more and more in the headlines these days.…

  • Can California’s top-two primary handle the race for Feinstein’s seat? Don’t count on it

    By Steven Hill, Los Angeles Times, February 17, 2023

    California‘s Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the oldest member of Congress, announced her retirement this week effective next year, which will end a remarkable career of leading on key issues such as gun control and environmental protection. In a less polarized era, her moderate politics sometimes allowed her to bridge the gap between the parties on tough issues.…

  • Employer surveillance against workers spreads

    By Steven Hill,  Hans Böckler Stiftung, December 2, 2022

    Silicon Valley says technology will liberate. In reality, it is trapping workers inside a Big Brother panopticon where you don’t even know when and how you are being watched.

    The relentless tentacles of Big Brother digital surveillance continue to creep into the workplace and the lives of workers.…

  • If it seems too good to be true…it probably is

    By Steven Hill,  Hans Böckler Stiftung, July 6, 2022

    Why it’s important to separate worker reality from corporate media hype, which often tries to decree what is best for workers – despite being wrong again and again and again.

    There is an old saying: “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.”…

  • The center is not holding – here’s why, and how to fix it

    By Steven Hill, DemocracySOS, June 28, 2022

    Recent Supreme Court rulings are the latest examples of a future under “minority rule”

    Over the last few months, we have slowly awoken to a troubling new world. The unfamiliar America that is emerging has become post-Roe, post-gun control, post-safe schools, post-Supreme Court impartiality, post-majoritarian and possibly post-fair elections (we shall see in November and in 2024).…

  • Why electoral systems matter: a thought experiment

    By Steven Hill, DemocracySOS, June 24, 2022

    What’s this? The same votes cast through different electoral systems can elect completely different representatives?

    Imagine a mythical city in the heartland, which is seeking a better method to ensure that all of its residents in their “multi-everything” city feel like they have adequate political representation and a vested interest in participating in a healthy society.…

  • Why no gun control? Because of the failure of winner-take-all elections

    By Steven Hill, DemocracySOS, May 26, 2022

    “Swing voter-ocracy” is contributing to this tragedy for America’s children

    FairVote’s Rob Richie and I first wrote about the role of swing voters blocking popular gun control legislation in the 1990s. The problem remains true today.

    We have seen this movie too many times.…

  • Helping gig workers help themselves

    By Steven Hill,  Hans Böckler Stiftung, April 11, 2022

    From new technologies to new organizing methods, tools and training for gig workers: Support is starting to emerge. Will it help? Will organized labor in the US pitch in?

    Gig workers emerged from an economy flattened by the contraction of 2008-9, which saw massive layoffs and a growing reserve labor pool.…

  • Workers of the world…QUIT?

    By Steven Hill,  Hans Böckler Stiftung, December 9, 2021

    US workers are leaving their jobs in record numbers. Are they newly empowered? Or just taking a break from reality?

    US workers of all ages and occupations have been voluntarily quitting their jobs in record numbers. In April 2021, the Bureau of Labor Statistics recorded a giant surge in the number of people who left their jobs, with just under 4 million workers quitting voluntarily.…

  • A Facelift for Facebook

    By Steven Hill, Project Syndicate, October 8, 2021

    The free market has never been a free-for-all, yet tech companies have long operated with few constraints on their business models. Perhaps the latest Facebook scandal will finally provide the impetus governments need to take effective action – beginning with the implementation of digital operating permits.

  • The Digital Wild West Needs a Sheriff

    By Steven Hill, American Purpose, October 6, 2021

    Licenses and permits are standard fare in the brick-and-mortar world. Why not for internet companies?

    Since the birth of the Big Tech media platforms fifteen years ago, democracies around the world have been the subjects of an unfolding experiment based on this question: Can a nation’s crucial news and information infrastructure depend on digital technologies that facilitate (a) a global free-speech zone of (b) unlimited audience size with (c) non-human, algorithmic curation of massive volumes of disinformation that (d) can be spread with unprecedented ease?…

  • Will US labor unions stand by Uber drivers and gig workers?

    By Steven Hill,  Hans Böckler Stiftung, August 23, 2021

    Following the labor movement’s defeat by Uber over gig drivers in California’s Proposition 22, key unions appear ready to imitate a weak version of Germany’s sectoral bargaining as a desperate compromise.

    In September 2019, California passed a law, known as AB 5, that gave gig workers and other types of freelancers/solo self-employed workers the legal standing of employees.…

  • The Rise of the Distributariat

    By Steven Hill, Project Syndicate, July 16, 2021

    The shift to remote work during the pandemic has brought both disturbing developments, like the increased use of surveillance technology, and promising ones, like the de-linking of employment from geographic location. But without new rules of the road, workers overall will be worse off than they were before COVID-19.

  • The Perils of “Minority Rule”

    By Steven Hill, Common Dreams, July 16, 2021

    Minority rule has metastasized like a cancer and is now pervasive throughout the US political system.

    After a strong start with his ambitious Covid relief bill and vaccination rollout, President Joe Biden’s momentum has slowed considerably. Like President Barack Obama before him, he has now hit the buzzsaw of…Republican minority rule.…

  • The ‘Uber Economy’ Needs Guardrails

    By Steven Hill, American Compass, June 3, 2021

    Part of the “Lost in the Super Market” panel discussion

    Wingham Rowan wants to “remake the modern [labor] market,” while Neil Chilson wants “freedom from [labor] market frictions.” Yet neither seems to understand these markets from the perspective of the many freelancers and so-called “independent” contractors whom they purport to advocate for.…

  • On RCV, NYC’s BOE is MIA

    By Steven Hill, NY Daily News, June 3, 2021

    The Board of Elections is taking way too long to tabulate ranked-choice voting results

    Election officials in New York City are unnecessarily withholding crucial election results from the public regarding the races for mayor, comptroller, City Council and other offices. Specifically, they have refused to run the ranked-choice voting (RCV) tally for the 800,000 ballots that, as of this past Friday, were in their possession.…

  • World Wide Weapon

    by Steven Hill, American Purpose, May 10, 2021

    Review of Breaking the Social Media Prism: How to Make Our Platforms Less Polarizing
    by Chris Bail (Princeton University Press, 240 pp., $24.95)

    An author writing a political nonfiction book has to try to see into the future. From finished manuscript to bookstore delivery can easily take two years.…

  • How to avoid a recall meltdown and improve California elections

    by Steven Hill and Larry Diamond, CalMatters, May 4, 2021

    It’s game on for the recall of Gov. Gavin Newsom. The gubernatorial recall in 2003 that struck California like an earthquake seems like ancient history, so here is a quick recap in a bid to help California do it better than the last time.…

  • Reining in Facebook and Google: A Common Transatlantic Project

    By Steven Hill and Stephan Richter, The Globalist, April 7, 2021

    Big Tech media present a serious challenge for Western democracies. Tackling them is a worthy mission for the Biden Administration and the EU to work on jointly.

    In recent weeks, two remarkable developments took place affecting Big Tech media.…

  • The Real Battle Between Big Tech and the Free Press Is Just Beginning

    By Steven Hill, Zocalo Public Square, April 1, 2021

    From Australia to Maryland, the news industry is in a fight for Its life against Facebook and Google

    From Australia to Maryland, the free press is waging a battle for survival against Facebook and Google. Besides being gushing firehoses of COVID disinformation and QAnon conspiracies, Google and Facebook have been dangerously undermining the financial stability of media outlets all over the world.…

  • Europe’s Digital Fix Is Already Broken

    by Steven Hill, Project Syndicate, March 25, 2021

    After unveiling two new digital regulations to much fanfare last year, the European Commission already needs to go back to the drawing board. Big Tech’s latest scandals have made clear that the only workable governance model for the digital economy is one that treats the leading platforms as utilities.

  • Big Tech vs the Free Press

    By Steven Hill, International Politics and Society, March 18, 2021

    Beyond censorship, Big Tech’s capture of digital ad revenue poses a major threat to the free press. But it could now face a united transatlantic front

    At the end of February 2021, two remarkable developments took place. First, Facebook and Google were trying to bully Australia over a new law requiring the Big Tech platforms to share digital advertising revenues with Australian media companies.…