David Morris

David Morris is Vice President and director of the New Rules Project at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, which is based in Minneapolis and Washington, D.C. focusing on local economic and social development.

Articles by this author

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Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - 11:00am
The Most Substantive Political Debate in Recent Political History
Win or lose, Bernie Sanders has made this Democratic primary the most substantive in my lifetime. Not that Hillary Clinton’s campaign is devoid of ideas. She has some thoughtful ones. But the boldness of Sanders’ proposals is what has driven this historic and instructive debate. The dynamic so far...
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Wednesday, March 16, 2016 - 12:45pm
American Democracy: Progress and Relapse
The founding fathers minced no words about their distrust of the masses. Our first President, John Adams warned , “Democracy will soon degenerate into an anarchy…” Our second President, Thomas Jefferson insisted , "Democracy is nothing more than mob rule.” Our third President, James Madison, the...
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Friday, February 19, 2016 - 10:15am
Downton Abbey, Obamacare, and the Road to Socialized Healthcare
As the rightly acclaimed television series Downton Abbey unspools its final episode some fans have criticized the producers decision to devote so much time to a debate about the future of Downton’s Cottage Hospital. The show makes the issue mostly personal with delightfully snippy exchanges between...
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Monday, December 21, 2015 - 12:30pm
Obama’s Two Mistakes That Lost The Country
Early this year President Obama spoke before the Cleveland Club. After the speech 7th grader Alura Winfrey inquired, “If you could go back to the first day of your first term what advice would you give yourself?” Obama reflected for a moment and then blithely explained he would have worked harder...
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Saturday, November 14, 2015 - 1:00pm
The People United in New York
New York makes it hard for citizens to influence policy. They cannot put an issue on the state ballot no matter how many signatures they gather. And although the state Constitution has a home rule provision, cities and counties lack authority to undertake some of the most basic initiatives. Even...
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Wednesday, October 28, 2015 - 8:15am
Texas: Neutering Democracy
In Texas liberty trumps democracy. The Texas Supreme Court itself says so. In a recent decision, three of the five Justice majority bluntly declared. “(O)ur federal and state charters are not, contrary to popular belief, about ‘democracy’.” They are about “liberty’s primacy.” The Justices concluded...
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Saturday, October 3, 2015 - 8:30am
Now We Have a Judicial System Just for Corporations
In the last 20 years the Supreme Court has created a parallel judicial system to resolve disputes involving corporations that is effectively run by the very corporations whose behavior is under investigation. Here is how that judicial coup against an independent judiciary occurred. In 1925 Congress...
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Friday, September 25, 2015 - 4:00pm
The Sperm, the Egg, and Pope Francis
More than 1600 years ago, in the waning days of the Roman Empire, Augustine Aurelius, Bishop of Hippo declared himself a sex addict. His classical 13 book treatise Confessions of St. Augustine, one of the foundational texts of Catholicism was written “to remind myself of my past foulnesses and...
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Wednesday, September 2, 2015 - 7:15am
Conservatives Have Kidnapped Our Language
“Sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never harm me.” A fine sentiment, but any child subjected to cyber bullying knows that words do indeed matter. Language evolves. Sometimes a word that once was negative becomes positive, like “terrific” which originally meant terrifying. Sometimes...
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Wednesday, August 12, 2015 - 12:30pm
Sanding Down the Rough Edges of Capitalism Is Not Enough
The catalyst for a recent column by David Brooks was a speech delivered by his New York Times colleague Anand Giridharadas at the Aspen Action Forum. (Giridharadas writes the Letter from America column for the Global Edition of the Times) Giridharadas questioned the “Aspen Consensus” that the...
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