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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 New City States and four other non-fiction books. His essays on public policy are regularly published by On the Commons, Alternet, Common Dreams and the Huffington Post. More

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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

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Featured Article filed under The Public Good | Written by David Morris | No Comments | Updated on Jan 30, 2014

Can Cities Tackle Inequality?

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

After Bill de Blasio was elected mayor of New York City on a promise to narrow the gap between rich and poor, former Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer (D) lectured him on the facts of local government life. “The point is, you’re a mayor, buster, you’ve got to make sure the snow gets plowed. You’ve got… Continue reading

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

Republican Rhetoric Changes Depending On Whether They Are Dealing With Labor Or Capital

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/republican-rhetoric-depending-dealing-labor-capital/

Are Republicans inconsistent when they sometimes support using offsets and indexing and sometimes don’t?  Not at all.  They’re actually very consistent.  When capital comes asking for gifts Republicans act like Santa Claus.  When labor is the supplicant they conduct themselves more like Scrooge. Consider the Republicans’ different approach to the estate tax, the minimum wage,… Continue reading

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Featured Article filed under The Public Good | Written by David Morris | No Comments | Updated on Jan 14, 2014

Republican Principles Change Depending On Whether A Bill Favors Labor Or Capital

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/republican-principles-change-depending-bill-favors-labor-capital/

Are Republicans inconsistent when they sometimes support using offsets and indexing and sometimes don’t?  Not at all.  They’re actually very consistent.  When capital comes asking for gifts Republicans act like Santa Claus.  When labor is the supplicant they conduct themselves more like Scrooge. Consider the Republicans’ different approach to the estate tax, the minimum wage,… Continue reading

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Featured Article filed under The Public Good | Written by David Morris | No Comments | Updated on Jan 14, 2014

The End Of Personal Space

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

The natural tendency of the private sector, when unrestrained, is to strip us of our personal physical and psychic space.  Just look at what has happened in the airline and broadcasting industries. When it comes to air travel, private companies’ profits depend on maximizing revenue per cubic inch of space inside a plane. Fifty years… Continue reading

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Featured Article filed under The Public Good | Written by David Morris | No Comments | Updated on Jan 13, 2014

It’s Been A Very Bad Month For the Private Sector

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/bad-month-private-sector/

The private sector has had a very bad month.   Its most widely publicized failure occurred when UPS and FedEx fumbled their Christmas deliveries while the U.S. Postal Service scored a touchdown.    “An unlikely Star of the Holiday Shipping Season:  The U.S. Postal Service” is how Business Week described the clear victory of the public… Continue reading

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Featured Article filed under The Public Good News | Written by David Morris | No Comments | Updated on Dec 19, 2013

The Single Best Article on the End of the Social Contract in the U.S.

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/single-piece-social-contract-ended-united-states/

In the recent issue of the American Prospect editor-at-large Harold Meyerson has written what may be the single best piece on the reasons behind the decline and fall of the American worker since the 1960s and the rise of the age of anxiety. The disparity between then and now is stark. In the 25 years… Continue reading