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About David Morris

David Morris is co-founder of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and directs its initiative on The Public Good. He is the author of the New City States, Seeing the Light, and three other non-fiction books. His essays on public policy are regularly published by On the Commons, Alternet, Common Dreams and the Huffington Post.

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vermont
Article filed under The Public Good News | Written by David Morris | No Comments | Updated on Aug 12, 2014

VT blazes trail for single payer health insurance.

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/vt-blazes-trail-single-payer-health-insurance/

A single-payer system is one in which the government, rather than private insurance companies, pays all health care costs. Some on the left have long harbored hopes for a national single-payer system, but the odds that Congress would ever extinguish the private insurance industry have never been anything but long.  Vermont is different. Vermonters proudly… Continue reading

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Article filed under The Public Good News | Written by David Morris | No Comments | Updated on Aug 12, 2014

The best single explanation of how and why Newark’s public schools are being privatized.

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/single-explanation-newarks-public-schools-privatized/

Half a year after Newark Public Schools launched an “agenda to ensure all students are in excellent schools,” the plan has come under a federal civil rights investigation to determine whether it “discriminates against black students.”  An in-depth look into the district’s ultimately unsuccessful attempt to close one South Ward school reveals how real estate… Continue reading

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Article filed under The Public Good News | Written by David Morris | No Comments | Updated on Aug 12, 2014

The Private Sector has Proven Inefficient and Corrupt. The Public is Making a Comeback

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/private-sector-proven-inefficient-corrupt-public-making-comeback/

Hilary Wainwright’s booklet – The Tragedy of the Private, the Potential of the Public – describes water, health and education as “the commons” and illustrates a quiet process of remunicipalization is taking place all over the world. There is a palpable momentum to these ideas. Last summer saw the formation of the We Own It… Continue reading

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Article filed under The Public Good News | Written by David Morris | No Comments | Updated on Aug 12, 2014

Privatizing Food Service in Michigan Prisons Proves Disastrous

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/privatizing-food-service-michigan-prisons-proves-disastrous/

Less than a year after Michigan shifted responsibility for feeding its prisoners to a private contract with international food services conglomerate Aramark, the state Department of Corrections (DOC) is warning the company that it may yank the contract. The DOC says Aramark has violated terms of the contract hundreds of times since December. The violations… Continue reading

Featured Article filed under The Public Good | Written by David Morris | No Comments | Updated on Jul 25, 2014

Republicans Again Violate Their Own Principles

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/republicans-violate-principles/

By the time you read this, Congressional Republicans will have overwhelmingly voted to violate one of their most cherished guiding principles: A service should be paid for by those who use the service. If we don’t fully pay for services, Republicans usually insist, markets can’t work effectively.  We undervalue and overuse services, resulting in wasteful… Continue reading

solidarity forever again
Featured Article filed under The Public Good | Written by David Morris | No Comments | Updated on Jul 23, 2014

Will Labor Solidarity Save the Post Office?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/labor-solidarity-save-post-office/

The United States Postal Service (USPS) management just ran into a possible game-changing obstacle to its shameful pursuit of a fully privatized post office:  labor solidarity. Here’s the background. For a decade the USPS has been aggressively shrinking, consolidating, and outsourcing the nation’s postal system.  In July 2011 management upped the ante by announcing the… Continue reading

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Featured Article filed under The Public Good | Written by David Morris | No Comments | Updated on Jul 21, 2014

Who Should Decide? States Rights, Local Authority and the Future of the Internet

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/decide-states-rights-local-authority-future-internet/

“(W)ithout power and independence, a town may contain good subjects, but it can have no active citizens.”  That was the conclusion of Alexis de Tocqueville after touring a youthful American Republic in the early 1830s, as recorded in his classic Democracy in America. Today we are engaged in a renewed debate about the authority of… Continue reading

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Featured Article filed under The Public Good | Written by David Morris | No Comments | Updated on Apr 28, 2014

To Save the Internet We Need To Own The Means Of Distribution

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/save-internet-means-distribution-2/

With the announcement by the FCC that cable and telephone companies will be allowed to prioritize access to their customers only one option remains that can guarantee an open internet:  owning the means of distribution. Thankfully an agency exists for this. Local government.  Owning the means of distribution is a traditional function of local government…. Continue reading

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Featured Article filed under The Public Good | Written by David Morris | No Comments | Updated on Mar 11, 2014

Crimea, Anschluss and the Enduring Quest for Autonomy

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/crimea-anschluss-enduring-quest-autonomy/

The upcoming Crimea referendum is both ordinary and extraordinary. Ordinary because more than 100 times since World War II geographically concentrated ethnic or linguistic groups have voted on the question of independence.  Extraordinary because never before have a people encountered a ballot allowing them to choose only between continuing subservience within their existing nation or… Continue reading

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Featured Article filed under The Public Good | Written by David Morris | No Comments | Updated on Feb 20, 2014

When It Comes to Public Services, Government Knows Best

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/public-services-government/

Minneapolis will soon vote to shift nearly 180 privately owned bus shelters to public ownership following numerous complaints about the lack of maintenance and upkeep.  When it does it will join the burgeoning ranks of cities who have discovered that when it comes to public services government knows best. In the post-Ronald Reagan era Americans… Continue reading