Our Dysfunctional Economics and Politics: Reflections on Joseph Stiglitz’s The Price of Inequality

joseph stiglitz

Walter Moss: Nobel-Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz’s The Price of Inequality: How Today’s Divided Society Endangers Our Future (2012) demonstrates how and why our present economy and government are a mess and how they have increased inequality, including widening the opportunity gap.

Interracial Love in Alice Childress’s Wedding Band: A Love/Hate Story in Black and White

wedding band

Walter Moss: The Wedding Band indicated that even for a loving couple, the racial divide was difficult to overcome. For the rest of us, despite all our progress since the 1960s, it still remains even more so.

Testing the New Pope’s Commitment to Poverty

Dorothy-Day-590

Walter Moss: Since the new pope seems to have a good sense of humor, he might appreciate the following irony: Although the Catholic Church he now heads bars women from the priesthood and his church is often accused of gender bias, the twentieth-century person who most forcefully embraced the ideals of St. Francis was a woman — Dorothy Day.

Progressive TV Journalism: Moyers & Company, Media, and Vietnam

bill moyers susan crawford

Walter Moss: Bill Moyers is “one of the few broadcast journalists who might be said to approach the stature of Edward R. Murrow. If Murrow founded broadcast journalism,

Lincoln, Spielberg, Sandburg, Kennedy, and Compromise

carl sandburg

Walter Moss: With House Speaker John Boehner unable to convince uncompromising Republicans to give just a little to avoid the “fiscal cliff,” the lessons that Lincoln, Spielberg, Sandburg, and Kennedy have to offer seem more important than ever.

From the Dust Bowl to Hurricane Sandy

dust bowl

Wa;ter Moss: The destruction, personal suffering, and tragedies caused by our recent Hurricane Sandy were not a repeat of the 1930s’ Dust Bowl, but they were close enough to remind us that we have ignored at our peril a basic historical lesson: Screw up the environment badly enough and it’ll come back to blow you away with a vengeance.

The President We Now Need

president obama

Walter Moss: Given the continuing Republican control of the House of Representatives and the leading role of John Boehner, Eric Cantor, and Paul Ryan, how does the president move the country forward? By principled compromise and exercising abundant political craftsmanship!

Ideology and Pragmatism: The Republicans and Obama

aromney binder full of women

Walter Moss: One also wonders if there is still another word that better describes a man who in his dogged desire for the presidency has twisted and turned in so many ways. And that word is opportunist.

The 2012 Election: Freedom, Justice, Fairness, and Opportunity

obama biden

Walter Moss: What is troubling is that most conservatives still believe that the chief way to more equality of opportunity is cutting back on government programs and reducing taxes, especially for the wealthy.

Dorothy Day, Pacifism, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki

Dorothy Day

Walkter Moss: Dorothy Day’s opposition to warring against Japan and Nazi Germany does not mean she was unsympathetic to those who suffered from their aggression.

Cornel West and Barack Obama: Prophet and President

cornel west barack obama

Walter Moss: What West fails to fully recognize is that Obama by necessity is a politician, not a prophet.

Mitt Romney’s Soliloquy

willard romney

Walter Moss: Krugman simply doesn’t understand in government there’s too much fat (and if you’re a teacher or state worker, probably a Democrat).

Advertising, Our National Values, and Truth and Beauty

advertising

Walter Moss: What is it about our nation’s values that inclines us to be so accepting of advertising and all the falsity and ugliness that comes with it?

Religion and Life: A Personal and Public Essay

church pew

Walter Moss: When I was a Catholic one of the virtues I heard most praised was humility, and I have often regretted how little of it is evidenced by religious and political leaders.

Blessed Are the Poor, But Not in America

peter edelman

Walter Moss: The first thing we need to do is roll back the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. If we can’t do that, we’re not going to have the resources to do the next ten things.

Racism, Wheeling, and a Small-Town Newspaper, 1968 and 2008

wheeling west virginia

Walter Moss: Conservative newspapers still have influence in American small towns. Combined with the popularity of Fox News in such towns, they present a significant cultural barrier to overcoming lingering bias toward our first black president

E.F. Schumacher: The Perils of Productivity

E.F. Schumacher

Walter Moss: Schumacher called for a wisdom-centered economics that would emphasize well-being rather than consumption, and meaningful and rewarding employment rather than productivity.

Can Capitalist Cultures Become More Humane?

homeless man

Walter Moss: The capitalist cultures of corporations and other capitalist institutions can become more humane. Whether they will or not is another question.

Does Barack Obama Have True Political Wisdom?

obama purple lady

Walter Moss: The primary question is not whether President Obama has always acted wisely (or unwisely) during his first three years in office, but the extent to which he possesses the values necessary for political wisdom and has displayed it.

What Is True Political Wisdom? A Primer for the 2012 Election

political magic

Walter Moss: We want our leaders to exercise political wisdom. At least, we do if we think about it. Does anybody really desire unwise leaders? But what do we mean by political wisdom? What virtues and values does a wise leader possess?

Santorum, Gingrich, U. S. Bishops, Catholic Women, and Birth Control

contraception controversy

Walter Moss: The main reason that Obama is not at “war” with the Catholic Church is that the U. S. bishops ARE NOT the Catholic Church in the United States.

Keynes and Hayek, Obama and the Republicans

friedrich von hayek

Walter Moss: From the Reagan years to the present, conservatives have been fond of quoting Friedman and Hayek. Their influence can be seen in such documents as the Republican Party’s 1994 “Contract with America.”

Why Leftists Should Support Obama’s Reelection

obama purple lady

An Open Letter to Fellow Leftists: Please Support President Obama’s Reelection On LA Progressive’s pages, I have read many articles and commentaries which threaten not to support President Obama’s reelection. Although I distrust political labels, I consider myself a liberal and progressive, and thus a leftist, but I differ from some of you in several [...]

What Speaker Boehner Should Have Told House Republicans about Compromise—A Year Ago

john boehner

Walter Moss: Rather than using his leadership position as House Speaker to help educate new House Republicans and others, including American voters, about the noble history of political compromise, he succumbed to ignorance, displaying a lack of leadership.

Why Does the 99 Percent Let Athletes, Executives, and Movie Stars Get Away with Huge Salaries?

joe dimaggio and marilyn monroe

Walter Moss: When Babe Ruth was asked about earning more than the president, he responded, “I know, but I had a better year than Hoover.”

Is Consumer Capitalism Outdated?

Walter Moss: If consumer capitalism is indeed replaced by a new economic structure, many capitalist bricks may still be needed for any new construction. Whether we choose to attempt new building or just apply a little patching here or there is up to us.

Gorbachev and Obama

Mikhail-Gorbachev-wide-2

Walter Moss: I have come to fear that Obama may possess two of the flaws that led to Gorbachev’s downfall — an inability to forge a political consensus and a failure to articulate a political vision that can inspire average people.

Dorothy Day, Radicalism, and Present-Day Politics

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Walter Moss: Dorothy Day’s work and legacy serve as a gentle reminder to politicians and those of us among the “chattering classes,” that what matters most is not what we say or how we or others label us, but how we contribute to the common good.

Boehner, Day, and Obama: Contrasting Christian Approaches to Society and Politics

barack-obama

Walter Moss: Christian teaching, as Boehner, Day, and Obama all have recognized, stresses humility. Such humility should lead Christians, as the great majority of our politicians claim to be, to work openly and pragmatically, not dogmatically, for the common good.

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Progressivism and a Tea Party Approach to State Government

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Walter G. Moss: Florida’s new governor, Rick Scott, is demonstrating why most of us who consider ourselves progressives dislike the politics of Tea-Party-backed candidates. For many of us, compassion and empathy are central political values, and Scott’s first budget proposal, unveiled on February 7th, reflects little of either value.

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