Current Articles

  • Next Generation Thinking

    One in a series of occasional articles on ideas we like, though we acknowledge their time has not yet come

    Nothing is more central to the organization of collective life than the question of who owns what. As 18th-century British philosopher David Hume put it (in an 18th-century way), “the convention for the distinction of property, and for the stability of possession, is of all circumstances the most necessary to the establishment of human society.” In this article I will look especially at the ownership of what lawyers call real property: what the rest of us generally call “real estate.”

    Perhaps because property rights are so deeply embedded in our collective arrangements, we take them largely for granted. It requires an effort of the imagination to recognize… Read More

  • Work & Wages: U.S.

    The American economic system is cruel in many ways, but perhaps the cruelest is the manner in which it intentionally consigns, as a matter of policy, several millions of our fellow citizens to unemployment. A person without employment faces a disaster of overwhelming scale: without a source of income in a money economy, shelter, food, transportation and every other necessity of life become unattainable. If the situation persists too long, chronic pauperization is distinctly possible. What’s more, these catastrophic practical problems bring in their train a host of equally severe difficulties on the psychological and social planes. Poor health, depression, marriage failure, violence and criminal behavior, suicide: these and many other serious ills strongly correlate with the distress brought on by unemployment.

    Read More

  • Work & Wages: U.S.

    Dave Seyler, writing in the Outer Banks Beacon, takes aim at North Carolina's Republican senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis on their opposition to living wages.

    If we get our way, one day Senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis will fight their way out of their Washington office suites, tunneling through mountains of waste and scuzz, and visit the inviting and picturesque Outer Banks. Here, they will enjoy a plate of undercooked, unshelled, sand-vein-still-in shrimp before sharing their unmade dirty-sheet hotel bed with a collection of the finest insects the Eastern United States has to offer.

    Why do they deserve such a fate? It’s this simple: Those who don’t think workers in the various Outer Banks… Read More

  • The Social Democracy Project

    After Bernie Sanders unabashedly announced, during the recent presidential campaign, that he is a socialist, the term experienced a whole new lease on life. A spate of articles appeared—and they are appearing still—chronicling the disaffection of millennials with “capitalism” and their embrace of the “s-word.” With the New York Times asking the rhetorical question, “Why Are So Many Young Voters Falling for Old Socialists?” the Washington Post revealed that “Millennials Have a Higher Opinion of Socialism than of Capitalism.” Helpful explanations, such as “This is Why Millennials Favor Socialism,” or “Why Millennials Aren’t Afraid of Socialism,” came from the Huffington Post and The Nation.

    Read More

  • Social Democratic History

    Sweden has long been a bellwether of social democracy. The following excerpt admirably sums up Sweden’s accomplishments:

    Once one of Europe’s poorest countries, in the post World War II decades Sweden evolved into a slum-free, affluent, egalitarian full employment welfare state, with a strong commitment to work for all and women's equality –the poster child of advanced welfare states. Income differences narrowed dramatically and poverty was nearly eliminated. Labor-management cooperation, high union density, high taxes and (except for a few years) Social Democratic political dominance, were the norms. A strong commitment to the welfare state and jobs for all eventually cut across political party lines.

    Full employment was a national ethos and the top priority… Read More

  • Gender Fairness

    By Linda Kinne, courtesy the Outer Banks Beacon

    Related story: Sexism in the Age of Trump: Part one

    Women on the political left are beyond horrified that Donald Trump and Mike Pence are setting the examples for how the nation’s men may treat women. While Pence avoids women, fearing they will lead him astray, Trump has treated women with lecherous contempt, bragging of his sexual prowess and conquests. Pence calls his wife “Mother,” Trump locks his third in a golden tower far away.

    These two men’s behaviors are bizarre at best, depraved at worst. And political correctness should not keep us from pointing that out.

    The War on Women… Read More