Tag Archives: capitalism

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 […]

The logic of super-taxing the super-rich [op-ed CCT 19 March 2013}

I have to admit that I’m puzzled by the amount of sympathy for the very wealthy. Not everybody is prepared to feel their pain, as the re-election of Obama, with his interest in raising taxes modestly on the 1% ,would suggest. But what about the Republicans and their constituents who seem so reluctant to exact […]

The politics of Christmas [op-ed CCT 11 December 2012]

Christmas has the reputation of being apolitical, above the fray. Maybe a lot of us are seeing this season as a welcome relief from the intense election season just past, or the struggles in Washington. As if. Dickens’ beloved “A Christmas Carol” pretty well lays it out. Scrooge loses his m iserly ways and in […]