Jeremy Mohler

Jeremy Mohler is a writer and communications strategist for In the Public Interest, a nonprofit advocating for democratic control of public goods and services. His writing has appeared in The Washington Post, USA Today, The Guardian, Jacobin, and other publications.

Recent Articles

The Systemic Racism of Public Debt Collection in California

How public-sector austerity and the privatization of collecting fees and fines helps fuel the incarceration of the poor and people of color in the Golden State.

One thing we learned in the wake of the 2014 police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, is that austerity fuels the systemic racism at the heart of America’s criminal justice system. At the time of Brown’s death, Ferguson’s second-largest revenue source was fines and fees, disproportionately paid by its black residents. Nearby Pine Lawn, Missouri, still imposes a $100 fine on the parents of children caught wearing “saggy pants.” In the age of tax cuts for the wealthy, local governments nationwide have become more reliant on revenue from traffic tickets, court payments, and other fines and fees, with black, brown, and poor people bearing the brunt of these “hidden taxes.” Regressive taxation is a key ingredient to racism in the mass incarceration era, and a new California Reinvestment Coalition report adds a wrinkle to this distressing saga. The group of more than 300 organizations advocating for low-income communities and...

Privatizing Health Care for Veterans Doesn’t Add Up

Medicaid privatization in Kansas and Iowa show why outsourcing the VA would have tragic, even fatal, consequences.

President Donald Trump claims he fired Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin last week to give veterans more health-care choices, saying at an Ohio event, “That's why I made some changes—because I wasn't happy with the speed with which our veterans were taken care of.” But the VA is already experimenting with “choice,” a code word for privatization, with damning results. Add to that the troubles many states are experiencing after privatizing another publicly managed health-care program, Medicaid, and Trump’s rhetoric is exposed for what it really is: ideology. An efficient and well-liked VA upends the free-market dogma being pushed by conservative groups advising the administration, like the Koch-backed Concerned Veterans of America. Veterans and veterans groups have consistently opposed handing it over to private contractors, which has been estimated to potentially double or even triple costs. As journalist David Dayen writes , “To a...