Income gap grows as unions decline

To judge from the news, you might think that organized labor was alive and well. On the West Coast, the slowdown at the nation’s largest ports is coming to an end after lengthy negotiations between unions and employers. In northern New England, a settlement has been reached between Fairpoint, the telephone company, and its striking […]

Higher electric rates or “personal power”

Sometimes, bad things happen to good people. Take electricity. The more you save, the more it may cost. You reduce your consumption of electricity by using more efficient equipment and appliances and changing all your light bulbs. Because you now use fewer units of electricity – kilowatt-hours or kWhs, you expect lower electric bills. Now […]

Measles shots: Can we trust government, science?

The argument over measles shots is really about bigger questions – if citizens are free to reject government authority and if science merits the public’s respect. By now, most people are aware of the political debate about the proper role of government. These days, it focuses on the size of government budgets, taxes and the […]

No need to fix federal, state constitutions

The American system of government, enshrined in the federal and state constitutions that are two centuries old, is challenged. Is change needed? Do Americans want a stronger legislature or more powerful executive? The federal system, with Congress and the president elected separately, is unlike the British parliamentary system where the prime minister is a member […]

America “exceptional,” but needs new focus

Recently, a French television program, featuring political humor, called on its viewers to inundate Fox News with emails about its obviously false reports, made since 2006, that there were “no-go zones” in Britain and France, where Muslims controlled. Thousand of emails flooded Fox, and the station apologized, admitting that such zones do not exist. Meanwhile, […]

Tax reform in doubt if it’s linked to tax cuts

Tax reform is in the air. Republicans now have the opportunity, through their legislative control and governors’ chairs, to propose alternatives to a tax system created in 1986 and patched and amended ever since. In Washington, the talk about comprehensive tax reform is just that – talk – but some changes are possible. Most of […]

GOP can dominate American politics

This should be the best of years for the Republican Party. It holds its largest majority since 1928 in the U.S. House of Representatives. It controls the governor’s chair and both houses of the state legislature (there only one in Nebraska) in 24 states. If you add up the popular vote for House members across […]

Race still influences elections

Is race a factor in American politics? That has been a tough question to answer, because in recent decades, people have become unlikely to express openly their views on race. Academic analysis has found that people have a “tendency to withhold socially unacceptable attitudes.” And, with the election of African-American Barack Obama as president, some […]