John Buell

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

Views
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.
Read more
Views
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.
Read more
Views
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:
Read more
Views
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.
Read more
Views
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.
Read more
Views
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
Obama and His (Virtual) Virtuous War
I expected to be disappointed by President Barack Obama's West Point address. During the campaign he constantly reminded us that this war had been thrust upon us. Like World War II, it would define us. Unfortunately, even after months of reflection Obama's speech added little more to his case than catchy metaphors and inconsistent analysis, with spick-and-span cadets as props.
Read more
Views
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Bad Times Could Get Worse for Obama
The Obama administration faces the midterm elections in the vortex of forces that might impale it. Does President Obama recognize the magnitude of the risks?
Read more
Views
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Capitalism’s Incarnations
Is capitalism evil? Is it bound to pass from the scene? I thought such questions were forever relegated to occasional seminars in a few cloistered left academies. Now, compliments of Michael Moore and the Great Recession, such questions are part of our national discourse. Yet, as even many on the left would caution, shorting capitalism is a dangerous strategy that has burned many over the last two centuries.
Read more
Views
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Debating Burns’ Thesis on National Parks’ Value
Living on the doorstep of Acadia National Park, my family hardly needs to be reminded that national parks are a good idea. But are they America’s best idea, as Ken Burns’ PBS documentary suggests? Scott Klinger and Rebecca Adamson of the First People’s Alliance challenge Burns’ unequivocal enthusiasm. They credit Burns for acknowledging the violence against first peoples that stains the history of our parks. But for them the problem with the parks endures.
Read more
Views
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Justice for the Unemployed
With the official unemployment rate nearly 10 percent, now is no time to let talk of recovery deter us from concern for the suffering of the unemployed. The unemployment rate continues to grow and will likely do so even if a modest growth in statistical GDP is under way. Paul Krugman points out that “comparing actual GDP since the recession began with what it would have been if the economy had continued growing at its 1999-2007 trend, we’re something like 8 percent below where we should be.
Read more

Pages