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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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ExecutionChamber
Article filed under The Public Good News | Written by David Morris | No Comments | Updated on Aug 20, 2013

The Results Are In: On the Death Penalty, Alabama is the Worst of the (Just About) Worst

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/results-in-death-penalty-alabama-worst-just-about-worst/

For several decades the United States stood alone among industrialized country in still allowing criminals to be put to death.   In the last 20 years, as more and more nations have abandoned the death penalty as barbaric—140 at last count—the United States finds itself on a rapidly shrinking list that includes China, Iran, Yemen and… Continue reading

Airplane picture
Featured Article filed under The Public Good News | Written by David Morris | No Comments | Updated on Aug 16, 2013

Stop the Presses: Washington Discovers Mergers Reduce Competition, Increase Prices

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/stop-presses-washington-discovers-mergers-reduce-competition-increase-prices/

In 1985 the United States was home to 24 airlines.  Today there are 7.  The Justice Departments under Presidents Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush II and Obama welcomed all mergers. Then in August 2013 the antitrust division of the Justice Department suddenly discovered why there is an antitrust division. According to the New York Times, “But… Continue reading

Featured Article filed under The Public Good News | Written by David Morris | No Comments | Updated on Aug 15, 2013

“We Can Never Make Enough Money” CEO Tells Ever-Poorer Workers

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/we-money-ceo-ever-poorer-workers/

“Caterpillar has pioneered a two-tier wage system in which workers hired after a certain date are consigned to a significantly lower wage scale than others and it recently pressed its longer-term employees into accepting a six year wage freeze.  Many Caterpillar workers ask why the company insisted on a pay freezer when it reported repeated… Continue reading

free public library image
Featured Article filed under The Public Good | Written by David Morris | No Comments | Updated on Aug 15, 2013

The Tea Party vs. the Public Library

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

In September 2012 the Library Board of Pulaski County raised property taxes $1 per year for a typical homeowner to maintain the existing level of services in its five libraries. Voters were not given the opportunity to reject the increase; in 2006 however, they were and resoundingly approved a much larger increase to finance a… Continue reading

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Featured Article filed under The Public Good | Written by David Morris | No Comments | Updated on Aug 13, 2013

Medical Marijuana: 40 Years of Sanity from the Bottom and Insanity from the Top

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/medical-marijuana-40-years-sanity-bottom-insanity-top/

Our attitude toward medical marijuana has unfolded like a sisyphean tragedy in three acts. Act I:  The People Press Their Case, Again and Again In 1937 Congress passed the Marihuana Tax Act, which made the recreational use of marijuana illegal.  But it affirmed the right of physicians and pharmacists to prescribe and dispense it. The… Continue reading

Republican democrat symbols
Featured Article filed under The Public Good | Written by David Morris | No Comments | Updated on Jun 18, 2013

On Liberty and Security Democrats and Republicans Drastically Differ

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

The gridlock that plagues Washington leads many, fairly or unfairly, to lump together the two parties and declare a pox on both their houses.  But most state governments are not gridlocked. Just the opposite.  In almost two thirds one party controls both legislative houses (Nebraska has a unicameral legislature) and the governorship:  Republicans 20, Democrats… Continue reading

Post Office Box
Featured Article filed under The Public Good, The Public Good News | Written by David Morris | No Comments | Updated on May 13, 2013

Can We Save the Commons that is the Post Office?

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

For 225 years the U.S. Post Office has been the most admired and ubiquitous manifestation of government. From 1789 until the 1960s, the Cabinet level agency saw its mission not only to deliver the mail but to aggressively defend the public good.  In the late 19th century when oligopolistic mail order delivery companies abused their… Continue reading

municipal authority image-5-13
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

V sign
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

motherearthnews
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