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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 | Written by David Morris | No Comments | Updated on Feb 26, 2015

Who Decides?

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

Who decides? Conservative Republicans in Texas are split on the issue. Darren Hodges, a Tea Party councilman in the West Texas city of Fort Stockton, fiercely defends his town’s recent decision to ban plastic bags. City officials have a “God-given right” to make that decision he tells the New York Times. James Quintero of the… Continue reading

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Featured Article filed under The Public Good | Written by David Morris | No Comments | Updated on Jan 12, 2015

What Might Have Been

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/what-might-have-been/

Since its passage in 2009, ferocious opposition to the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare)  had proven a devastatingly effective electoral strategy for Republicans. In 2010, they gained a net 63 seats and control of the House of Representatives. They gained control of 11 additional state governments, bringing their total to 25. When the ACA went into effect… Continue reading

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Featured Article filed under The Public Good | Written by David Morris | No Comments | Updated on Dec 16, 2014

Will Pope Francis Put His Institution Where His Values Are?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/pope-francis-put-institution-values-are/

On December 10th the Vatican released the text of still another vigorous message by Pope Francis in support of oppressed workers. “(M)illions of people today – children, women and men of all ages – are deprived of freedom and are forced to live in conditions akin to slavery,” he asserts. “I think of the many… Continue reading

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

The New Rules for Retail Workers

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/rules-retail-workers/

Every month the federal government issues a new jobs report. The stock market gyrates, pundits pundify, politicians politic. Whether employment expands slowly or fast one central fact remains. The fastest growing occupations all pay low wages: retail salespersons, cashiers, food preparation and food service workers such as waiters and waitresses. Since February 2010 industries whose… Continue reading

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Featured Article filed under The Public Good | Written by David Morris | No Comments | Updated on Dec 4, 2014

Alaska’s Enlightened Approach to Drugs and Privacy

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/alaskas-enlightened-approach-drugs-privacy/

Politicians left and right often use pet phrases to justify their positions:  states rights, individual liberty, personal responsibility.  Rarely are these consistently applied.  Even more rarely do politicians or political parties offer a coherent framework for deciding when a higher level of government should preempt a lower level of government or when individual liberty trumps… Continue reading

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Featured Article filed under The Public Good | Written by David Morris | 1 Comment | Updated on Nov 5, 2014

Democrat Candidates Lost. Democrat Issues Won

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/democrat-candidates-lost-democrat-issues-won/

On Tuesday Democrats lost big when they ran a candidate but won big when they ran an issue. In 42 states about 150 initiatives were on the ballot. The vast majority did not address issues dividing the two parties (e.g. raising the mandatory retirement age for judges, salary increases for state legislators, bond issues supporting… Continue reading

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Featured Article filed under The Public Good | Written by David Morris | No Comments | Updated on Oct 10, 2014

Scotland and Catalonia: Fraternal but not Twins

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/scotland-catalonia-fraternal-twins/

Scotland and Catalonia are brothers in arms. Independence movement leaders communicate regularly.  On September 18, when Scotland voted on uncoupling from the United Kingdom Catalans were there.  When Catalonia votes on independence, a vote originally scheduled for November 9th but delayed pending a court decision, Scots will certainly be in attendance. Scotland and Catalonia have… Continue reading

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

Scotland, Sovereignty and Corporations

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/scotland-sovereignty-corporations/

Since 1945 the number of nations has soared from about 60 to more than 180.  The first wave of new sovereign states came with the decolonization movement of the 1960s and 1970s; the second in the early 1990s with the break-up of the Soviet Union. Scotland’s independence movement is part of a third wave. Dozens of… Continue reading

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Featured Article filed under The Public Good | Written by David Morris | No Comments | Updated on Sep 10, 2014

Debating the Role of Government in Somerset Kentucky

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/debating-role-government-republican-somerset-kentucky/

When two politicians debate the role of government, it is almost always Democrat vs. Republican.  Which is why it was so refreshing and instructive to read of the debate taking place among Republicans in a small city in southeastern Kentucky. On July 19, after years of complaints about local gasoline prices being higher than those… Continue reading

Featured filed under The Public Good News | Written by David Morris | No Comments | Updated on Sep 2, 2014

UK Rail Privatization 20 years Later

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/uk-rail-privatization-20-years/

The United Kingdom privatized its national rail system in 1993. Some 20 years later the unsurprising consequences of transforming a public monopoly into a private monopoly are clear. Higher prices. Worse service. Even more public subsidies. Read the article.     Continue reading