Tag Archives: capitalism

The importance of distinguishing between two kinds of work

Were any glasses raised on Labor Day to toast workers or work? It seems to me that the holiday is about work in name only and mostly about the end of summer. Robert Frost wrote a poem about two different sorts of labor: labor to make money vs. labor of love. It depicts the poet […]

Trump as capitalist-in-chief

Opponents often see what they consider Trump’s ill fit for the presidency in terms of psychological sickness. Some imagine that, suffering from such dire-sounding conditions as “narcissistic personality disorder” or “attention deficit disorder” or maybe a version of Asbergers, (and what about those symptoms of dictator envy), he may not last long in the job. […]

Capitalism: burning down the house to roast a pig.

Inequality, one of capitalism’s chief products, has become in recent years the elephant in the room. But capitalism is the room itself and tends to be invisible. Largely thanks to Bernie Sanders and the undemonizing of “democratic socialism,” that may be changing. Capitalism reminds me of Charles Lamb’s apocryphal story about the discovery of roast […]

JUNKING JUNK MAIL?

In a world with so many big and possibly insoluble problems (cancer, climate, income inequality, religion), this seems a little thing. But it has the advantage of seeming doable, and probably has a connection to the big things. I hereby nominate junk mail reform for my short list of no-brainer improvements in the quality of […]

The Christmas revolution

It’s the best of times, it’s the worst of times. That paraphrase from that other Dickens novel pretty much sums up Christmastime. Christmas is full of contradictions, contrasts, conflict: some of the most dismal weather of the year vs. the demand to be jolly. The darkest month, the holiday lights. Death of the year but […]

Black Friday eating the Thanksgiving turkey

Forget about “The dingo ate your baby.” Black Friday is eating your Thanksgiving turkey. Thanksgiving has always had an unhealthy (and lord knows unsustainable) emphasis on consumption. But there has always been, along with the gobbling, a shot at some creative ritual, an element of mindfulness, rising to the occasion with heartfelt toasts. Sure, the […]

Ken Burns’ America: is there another one?

I assume a lot of us spent a lot of the evenings of last week watching Ken Burns’ latest American saga, “The Roosevelts.” By linking Teddy Roosevelt with his relatives Eleanor and FDR, “The Roosevelts” tells a story of our country covering more than a century— a lot more, if you think of us as […]

Michael Moore’s story of capitalism: the only one?

Speaking, as I was in a recent column, about stories of our nations’ meaning, stories we can—or cannot–imagine being taught in the schools, or without embarrassment telling our children. In 2009 I did a column about Michael Moore’s movie with the ironic title, “Capitalism: a Love story.” This movie is the most powerful and inspirational […]

Money versus votes

I wonder how many of our votes the Koch brothers and friends could buy directly, by offering, say, $1000 paid directly to voters for switching our votes in the midterm election? What would it take? $100? Maybe they don’t have to spend that much. I must say I find it depressing news that we are […]

The Christmas revolution [op-ed Cape Cod Times, 24 December 2013]

It’s the best of times, it’s the worst of times. That paraphrase from that other Dickens novel pretty much sums up Christmastime. Christmas is full of contradictions, contrasts, conflict: some of the most dismal weather of the year vs. the demand to be jolly. The darkest month, the holiday lights. Death of the year but […]