December 10, 2013
I want to explore an important comparison that has not been addressed about Nelson Mandela.
There have been many great twentieth century leaders. Some like Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Aung San Suu Kyi never became presidents or prime ministers. But three did – Mandela in South Africa, Jawaharlal Nehru in India and Franklin Roosevelt here. Nehru and Roosevelt held onto power until they died in office.
In Roosevelt’s case I’m glad he did. Read the rest of this entry »
July 9, 2013
Obviously I’ve been following the news from Egypt like everyone else. You don’t need commentators to tell you that ousting a democratically elected government is undemocratic and unacceptable. But I want to talk about Morsi’s mistakes because they illustrate a major misunderstanding of democracy. Read the rest of this entry »
February 26, 2013
I’ve spoken often about why sequester type budget cuts threaten a weak economy and can worsen the debt. Today I want to talk about history.
In 1787 the delegates to the Constitutional Convention struggled over the shape of Congress. Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia had the largest populations. The Carolinas and Georgia realized they had far fewer people, but since the primary activity of most Americans was farm or plantation labor, they thought their size would eventually give them large populations. So they formed a six state coalition for representation in proportion to population, especially with the added voting power of three fifths the number of their slaves – turning the principle of majority rule into a deal with the devil. Read the rest of this entry »
November 15, 2011
A bumper sticker said “I work so that someone on welfare doesn’t.” No, I work to support captains of finance who make costly problems for everybody else, threatening their jobs, their homes and the food on the table. What the titans of finance caused doesn’t compare with what little the rest of us can do to affect the economy. Read the rest of this entry »
May 17, 2011
The Republicans are playing hardball. They want Democrats to cut the budget, repeatedly, without raising taxes, and without cutting military expenditures. And in return they’re willing to give nothing.
The story is that the Democrats cave. But it’s more insidious. Read the rest of this entry »
January 18, 2011
If winning is the only thing, there is no democracy. If winning is by murder and intimidation, there is only Darfur, Iraq, the Congo, what was once Yugoslavia, and scores of other killing fields around the globe. Read the rest of this entry »
November 30, 2010
Many of us share the feeling that the election was decided by slogans. But how could it be otherwise? Read the rest of this entry »
November 2, 2010
I’ve been thinking about my retirement account. From the time George Bush entered the White my account has been flat – even though my employer and I add to it every pay period. Read the rest of this entry »
October 12, 2010
For most of the past two years, we have had a President who has been trying to make changes and an opposition party that has been blocking everything, leveraging 40 votes with arcane senate rules to block the majority in both houses of Congress. Read the rest of this entry »
April 29, 2010
Ronald Reagan famously said government is the problem. Lawyers are taught to be very careful about making all or nothing statements like that. The real world is usually full of qualifications. Like all categorical statements, the claim that government is the problem is false, misleading and harmful. Read the rest of this entry »