Centralization in nearly every facet of American life has quietly crept up on us. Our food, our money, and our rules have all been pushed steadily uphill, creating a top-heavy and imbalanced structure that we're only beginning to lash back at.
How have these trends concerning money and inequality affected life on a university campus? We can see it at either end of the college experience, beginning with access and ending with jobs (or a lack thereof) after graduation.
Little more than two centuries after his quiet dinner with his friend Madison and rival Hamilton in 1790, Thomas Jefferson would be invited to another grand gathering to discuss politics and the future of his nation.
This week the Supreme Court will hear a case concerning what ought to be called "copyright rendition." The plaintiffs are challenging a 1994 law that, for the first time in U.S. history, removed hundreds of thousands of works from the public domain.
Since the recession, bashing the European Union has become a sport for U.S. commentators. Just skim the most recent headlines, and one is led to believe that the old continent is on the brink of economic, political and social collapse.
What should be of grave concern to all persons of goodwill is the rising antipathy, meanness, disrespect, anger and hostility not just to President Obama's policies but to him personally. There is a palpable atmosphere of anger and bitterness.
Imagine a very different Constitution -- one where Congress could kill any state law, where a twenty-six member Senate controlled treaty-making with other nations, and where the president's veto was exercised jointly with the Supreme Court.
The ten years it took to create the National 9/11 Memorial is just right. So-called delay is actually a benediction. Intervening events that often seemed like delays were instead a sum of outcomes spawned by competing and largely honorable intent.
Efforts by Rick Perry and others to undo the separation of church and state, meant to appeal to religious conservatives, are alienating a potentially large group of moderate voters who often have a decisive role in elections in presidential years.
If Madison could see the role that partisan factions played in Washington this summer, he might well have been sympathetic to the concerns of those observers who fret that his constitutional remedies might not be working so well when power is shared by two rival factions.
We seemingly jump from crisis to crisis as harsh rhetoric replaces substantive reform. However, the lack of civility certainly apparent today is far from new. In fact, it is as old as our republic and, historically speaking, much tamer.
As the debt ceiling clock ticks down, we will soon find out if we are a people possessed by selfish personal desire or a people who promote the public good. In what kind of society do you want your children to live?
Let us not ignore our responsibility to invest in the future by supporting education. We must not allow our representatives to protect tax breaks for the most advantaged while ignoring our responsibility to give the next generation the education they need.
How educated is your state legislator? The answer varies considerably from state to state. While many lawmakers hold a college degree, support of public higher education, it seems, has always been a challenge.