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Role of Government

One Idea, Many Consequences

Henryk A. Kowalczyk | Posted 12.09.2014 | Chicago
Henryk A. Kowalczyk

Preparing to take office in January, Bruce Rauner has turned to Illinoisans for ideas. People providing ideas are asked to allocate them to one of the 88 state agencies. The Department of Aging, being the first on the list, caught my attention.

The New American Dilemma

Jerome Karabel | Posted 07.16.2014 | Politics
Jerome Karabel

Americans face a genuine dilemma. If they are truly committed to equality of opportunity, then they will have to demand vigorous measures to reduce the drastic levels of inequality that now divide the nation.

Community & Security with Freedom: What Canada Geese Can Teach Us

Warren J. Blumenfeld | Posted 05.31.2014 | Impact
Warren J. Blumenfeld

I look forward each spring and autumn to the heavenly performance overhead as Canada geese (Branta canadensis) migrate in their distinctive V-shaped f...

What Do We Have Government For?

Henryk A. Kowalczyk | Posted 02.02.2014 | Politics
Henryk A. Kowalczyk

As frustrating as it is, the ongoing Washington stalemate on health care, immigration and almost any other essential issue should not be surprising. It is not politics as some claim. It is a deep ideological rift among Americans.

Private Gain to a Few Trumps Public Good for the Many

Robert Reich | Posted 10.22.2013 | Politics
Robert Reich

Not even Democrats still use the phrase "the public good." Public goods are now, at best, "public investments." Public institutions have morphed into "public-private partnerships" or, for Republicans, simply "vouchers."

A Seat at the Table

Richard C. Leone | Posted 09.25.2013 | Politics
Richard C. Leone

For Americans at the bottom of the economic ladder -- for example, those who rely on food stamps to feed their families -- government action or inaction can make all the difference in the world.

The Mission of Government

Mike Lux | Posted 04.30.2013 | Politics
Mike Lux

Right wing forces in this country are obsessed with the size of government, but the fundamental debate we should be having is not the size of government but what the goal of government should be: What should government's central mission be?

How to Be American Here in the Future

Jedediah Purdy | Posted 01.09.2013 | Politics
Jedediah Purdy

This country has always been built on racial and religious exclusion and narrow moralism but also, at the same time, on principles of freedom and equality with universal potential, that do not depend in the least on who pronounces them. Everyone knows that what won on Tuesday was not just a candidate or a party, but a version of America's future. But there's a lot we don't know about that future, even though we are living in it, even though we are it. The country chose the version of America that expands its principles and, by doing so, redefines them. We have only begun to consider what the redefinition looks like for the next generation of government, public life, and solidarity. These are hard problems. But three days after we helped keep the country on this course, they feel like good problems to have.

Can Non-State Service Delivery Undermine Governments?

Otaviano Canuto | Posted 12.31.2012 | World
Otaviano Canuto

Whether it is in the U.S. presidential election campaign or as a result of the debt crisis in Europe, people on both sides of the Atlantic are debating the role of the state. Do we need more government or less of it?

Makers, Takers, and YOYOs

Jared Bernstein | Posted 11.20.2012 | Business
Jared Bernstein

The economic discussion over "makers versus takers" misses the dynamics of real lives in America and instead creates a false and divisive framework. Were we to accept this framework and try to embed it in our economic policy, our nation would be the worse for it.

George Washington Would Be Appalled

Barton Kunstler, Ph.D. | Posted 10.09.2012 | Politics
Barton Kunstler, Ph.D.

At a time when domestic and global problems pose serious threats to the United States, the Republican Party has become the party not only of "less government", but of active hostility to the very idea of government itself.

Say 'Obligations,' Not 'Entitlements'

Ken Allen | Posted 10.02.2012 | Politics
Ken Allen

Responsible citizens should not hesitate to approach this subject with ferocity. "Obligations" is actually a weak term, for the obligations of which we are speaking are part of the social contract around which millions of people have built their lives.

Book Review: Power, Inc. by David Rothkopf

Roy Ulrich | Posted 05.30.2012 | Books
Roy Ulrich

Rothkopf argues that thousands of private actors who he calls "super citizens" now hold greater power than most of the countries in the world.

The 2012 Question

Jared Bernstein | Posted 04.13.2012 | Business
Jared Bernstein

People like those in Sunday's New York Times piece struggle with what to them seems like a contradiction: they want to think of themselves as self-sufficient and independent, yet when pushed, most recognize that they need the help.

The Difference Between The Occupiers and The Tea Party? The Meaning of Freedom

Kent Greenfield | Posted 01.03.2012 | Politics
Kent Greenfield

Beneath the surface, Americans have radically different views of what freedom means. And these differences have defined our political battles for more than a hundred years.

Debt Ceiling 101: The 5 Things You Should Know

Bennet Kelley | Posted 09.10.2011 | Business
Bennet Kelley

While Los Angeles braces for the upcoming Carmageddon, the sense of horror felt over not being able to use 10 miles of freeway for a weekend is amplif...

Remembering Ted Sorensen: A Dedicated Advocate for Social Insurance

Merton and Joan Bernstein | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Merton and Joan Bernstein

Last Tuesday Ted Sorensen's family held a memorial for him at Lincoln Center. In the wake of his recent death, much of his stirring writing is being recalled. It seems worthwhile to mention one book that is less well known, Why I Am a Democrat.

The Oklahoma City Bombing Anniversary and Home-Grown Terrorism

Jim Wallis | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Jim Wallis

Are we as concerned about potential terrorists who are home-grown Americans with white skin as we are sometimes obsessed with darker-skinned suspects of Middle Eastern descent?

What Glenn Beck Doesn't Understand About Biblical Social Justice

Jim Wallis | Posted 05.25.2011 | Religion
Jim Wallis

Jesus said that we should love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. I invited Beck to a civil and respectful conversation about the issues at stake here, but he has chosen a different path.

Passing Health Reform Now: Why and How

Ellen R. Shaffer | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Ellen R. Shaffer

We're Americans so we say you have to pay in to claim the right for healthcare. But the bills take a giant step in the right direction. Not a small, insignificant step. A giant, major step.

The Elections You May Not Have Noticed

Jim Wallis | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Jim Wallis

I think as people continue to see so much of politics as usual in this town -- partisan bickering and big money buying votes -- they are increasingly likely to vote against whatever represents the old politics for them.

Time for Progressives to Stand Up Proudly for Government

Robert Creamer | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Robert Creamer

Government is not always the solution, any more than it is always the problem. But in many cases, progressives know that it is more efficient, more effective and more consistent with the values of a democratic society.

A Pastoral Strategy for an Economic Crisis

Jim Wallis | Posted 05.25.2011 | Business
Jim Wallis

What is a Christian response to a deepening economic crisis like this? What should people of faith be thinking, saying, and doing?