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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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Featured Article filed under The Public Good, The Public Good News | Written by David Morris | No Comments | Updated on May 11, 2013

Why Won’t Conservatives Let Communities Decide for Themselves?

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

In his 1996 State of the Union Address Democratic President Bill Clinton famously declared, “the era of big government is over.”  And during his tenure he did everything he could to make that true–deregulating the telecommunications and the financial industry, enacting a free trade agreement severely restricting the authority of the federal government to protect… Continue reading

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Featured Article filed under The Public Good, The Public Good News | Written by David Morris | No Comments | Updated on Apr 17, 2013

Four Victories for the Public Good

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

I’m not saying it’s time to break out the champagne and start chanting, “The people united will never be defeated”.  But the past few weeks have brought us some heartwarming demonstrations that the popular will still has a bite. February 22:  After a major public outcry, the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) directed… Continue reading

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Article, Resource filed under General | Written by David Morris | No Comments | Updated on Feb 25, 2013

ILSR’s Mother Earth News Columns

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/ilsr-mother-earth-news-columns-1977-1983/

Back in 1977 Mother Earth News asked ILSR to write a column called Local Self-Reliance.  Over the next several years we ended up writing more than three dozen. Rereading them after all these years, we’re struck by how current they seem.  Back then we were identifying pioneering communities that were establishing solar utilities, expanding recycling,… Continue reading

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Featured Article filed under The Public Good | Written by David Morris | No Comments | Updated on Feb 6, 2013

The End of the Post Office as a Public Institution?

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

“When the post office is closed, the flag comes down.  When the human side of government closes its doors, we’re all in trouble.”   Senator Jennings Randolph (West Virginia) 1958-85 For the post office the end game is on.  This year the post office will close half its processing centers.  By late spring a first… Continue reading

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Featured Article filed under The Public Good, The Public Good News | Written by David Morris | No Comments | Updated on Jan 4, 2013

Who Should Pay the Costs of Climate Disasters?

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

Who should pay the costs of climate disasters?  In light of the current debate in the United States about federal assistance to Hurricane Sandy victims and the recent debate at the recent Doha Climate Conference about international assistance for climate change victims, that has become an increasingly pressing question for humankind. The frequency and cost… Continue reading

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Featured Article filed under The Public Good, The Public Good News | Written by David Morris | No Comments | Updated on Dec 19, 2012

Should We Subsidize Giving?

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

Robert J. Shiller, Professor of Economics and Finance at Yale recently weighed in with his perspective on subsidizing charity with a New York Times column whose title clearly conveys his message: “Please Don’t Mess With the Charitable Deduction.” There is a case to be made for charitable deductions.  Regrettably, this isn’t it. Shiller offers three… Continue reading

Featured Article filed under The Public Good | Written by David Morris | 2 Comments | Updated on Dec 18, 2012

The Headlines Say It All. When Guns Are Involved, People Die

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/headlines-all-guns-involved-people-die/

A letter to the editor in today’s New York Times succinctly makes the case that when guns are involved, people die. When they’re not, people are hurt. To the Editor: The New York Times, Dec. 15, 2012: Page A1: “Gunman Massacres 20 Children at School in Connecticut.” Twenty children shot, 20 died. Page A9: “Man… Continue reading

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Featured Article filed under The Public Good, The Public Good News | Written by David Morris | No Comments | Updated on Dec 7, 2012

Lincoln, the Movie, and The Rest of the Story

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

Lincoln is a magnificent movie. But as I left the theatre, to echo Paul Harvey, the late radio commentator, I wanted to know “the rest of the story”. The movie begins in January 1865, exactly 2 years after Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring slaves of the Confederate States “thenceforward and forever free. ” As… Continue reading

Featured Article filed under The Public Good | Written by David Morris | No Comments | Updated on Nov 8, 2012

Even Superstorm Sandy Couldn’t Stop the Mailman

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

“Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor hail shall keep the postmen from their appointed rounds.” Bill Fletcher Jr. of the Institute for Policy Studies tells of how he was reminded of that covenant when in the middle of superstorm Sandy he saw a postal van traveling on his street. And he reminded us that… Continue reading

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Featured Article filed under The Public Good, The Public Good News | Written by David Morris | No Comments | Updated on Oct 30, 2012

Sandy and the Importance of Government

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

If this election is a referendum on the benefit of government then superstorm Sandy should be Exhibit A for the affirmative. The government weather service, using data from government weather satellites delivered a remarkably accurate and sobering long range forecast that both catalyzed action and gave communities sufficient time to prepare. Those visually stunning maps… Continue reading