John Buell

John Buell has a PhD in political science, taught for 10 years at College of the Atlantic, and was an Associate Editor of The Progressive for ten years. He lives in Southwest Harbor, Maine and writes on labor and environmental issues. His most recent book, published by Palgrave in August 2011, is "Politics, Religion, and Culture in an Anxious Age." He may be reached at jbuell@acadia.net

Articles by this author

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Arizona, Globalization, and the Politics of Immigration
Arizona, a U.S. state for only about a century, serves as microcosm of our national experience. Most of our ancestors are from away, do not share a common heritage and have seen themselves as God's chosen. We experience an especially strong need and temptation to affirm the unity and simplicity of a set of core values.
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Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Give Me Your Huddled Masses — Sometimes
The president may have no appetite for immigration reform, but most commentators find it hard to avoid. Liberal columnist Paul Krugman agonizes over the topic in recent blog posts: "Democrats are torn individually ... On one side, they favor helping those in need, which inclines them to look sympathetically on immigrants; plus they're relatively open to a multicultural, multiracial society ... today's Mexicans and Central Americans seem to me fundamentally the same as my grandparents seeking a better life in America.
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Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Coal and Predatory Capitalism
Just days after the worst U.S. coal mine disaster in a quarter-century, the World Bank approved a $3.75 billion loan to South Africa to build one of the world’s largest coal-fired electric power plants. Though both South African and U.S. environmentalists had urged the U.S. to vote no, abstention was the best they could achieve. Coal plays an outsized role in our politics. Just how and with what consequences are questions that must be addressed if we are to enjoy sustainable growth.
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Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Mid-April Draws Out US Tax Bashers, Blue Dog Dems
Mid-April is surely one of the favorite times of the year for Republicans, Tea Party members and their covert allies, the Blue Dog Democrats. Much as they hate to pay taxes, they love the opportunity to remind hard-pressed Americans about their steep taxes and their evil consequences. One of their familiar chords is Europe as the land of high taxes and sluggish growth. The only problem with this tale is that the European experience raises a whole set of ethical and economic issues U.S. tax bashers may not want to face.
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Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Humans, Climate Change
Despite growing consensus among scientists regarding human-induced climate change, the U.S. remains a leader in resistance to corrective action. Some blame our recalcitrance on the small minority of climate skeptics or on the simple self-interest of oil companies. There may, however, be deeper and more intractable reasons.
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Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Labor's Leadership Lost
Remember when the U.S. model of "flexible" labor markets, deregulated transportation and innovative finance was supposed to be an example to the world? Freed from the constraints of minimum wages, burdensome product regulations and troublesome unions, American corporations would develop qualitatively superior products at competitive prices.
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Tuesday, March 02, 2010
Rewarding Failure, at Our Expense
Many middle-class Americans are outraged by the bonuses Goldman Sachs is paying its top traders. The corporate media treat such outrage as "populist" irrationality or simple envy. CNBC's anchors worry that curbing bonuses will undermine banks' ability to do their jobs and thereby slow the recovery. These worries are misplaced. The risks to long-term recovery lie in the continuing failure of Congress and the media to understand the role that investment banks played in the crisis.
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Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Car Culture and Global Energy Conflict
This ad (herein condensed) did not make the Super Bowl roster, but Sarah Palin probably likes it:
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Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Our Ethical Obligations to Haiti
What to say about a disaster as horrific as the earthquake in Haiti? An earthquake that destroyed Lisbon in the 18th century led Voltaire to satirize Leibniz's claim that "this is the best of all possible worlds." Unexpected, agonizing death on a mass scale inevitably evokes questions as to the meaning of life, human beings' place in the cosmos, and even the power and justice of God.
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Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Division Between Developed and Developing Countries
Why did Copenhagen yield meager results? Divisions between the so-called developed and developing worlds have been cited as one of the major causes, with the developed nations — especially the U.S. — being seen as especially reluctant to reduce their carbon footprint.
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