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 Progressivefor 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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Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Corporate Offense Against Unions Relies on Myths
Economic crises are as endemic to capitalism as is its resilience. Nonetheless, the system seldom survives in the terms predicted even by its most powerful players. The corporate CEOs that dominate contemporary capitalism know that the system cannot survive in its present incarnation. Most, however, demand that however much they rely on public dole, they should continue to dominate business and finance.
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Wednesday, February 04, 2009
Inequality Alive and Well in US
President Obama and the Democratic majority in Congress face one overriding domestic challenge. Can they reverse a generation-long plunge toward economic inequality not seen since the Gilded Age?
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Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Lessons taught by GM, United Auto Workers
The rhetoric surrounding the auto industry this holiday season is deja vu all over again. I grew up in a suburb of Detroit. My parents loathed Walter Reuther, legendary head of the United Auto Workers. My father, a general surgeon, remarked on several occasions that Reuther, once wounded in an attempted assassination, was fortunate not to have landed on his operating table. He viewed Reuther as a communist whose government health care proposals would disrupt the voluntary doctor-patient relationship.
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Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Moving American Politics off Dead Center
Conventional wisdom holds that political success lies in finding the center of popular opinion, which remains moderate to conservative. Coming from a media that have consistently failed to anticipate or even fully acknowledge the current economic crisis, such wisdom is suspect. Success in stable times may lie in claiming the center.
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Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Torture's Political Invisibility
That U.S. military personnel -- and their superiors -- supported the torture of enemy combatants elicits disturbingly little outrage among most voters. Human beings seldom torture those they regard as like themselves. Humans need and crave community, but throughout history narrow definitions of community and exaggerated claims on its behalf have occasioned grave injustices.
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Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Tax Oil Companies to Help Energy Conservation Efforts
In a recent [Bangor Daily News] home improvement column, my friend Tom Gocze advises readers to meet the current energy crisis through energy conservation by superinsulating their house.
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Tuesday, June 10, 2008
The Anti-Union Campaign
Watching "Jeopardy" recently on ABC's Bangor affiliate, I was stunned by a visually powerful and virulently anti-labor ad. The ad asked rhetorically "what would happen if labor bosses controlled class elections?" It portrayed a mafialike teen peering over elementary school children about to vote for their class officers.
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Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Amber Waves of Ethanol
The world food crisis is highlighting tragic stories of multitudes on the brink of starvation. Nonetheless, this crisis is likely to encourage a surplus of another kind: market fundamentalism. Its advocates believe that if only markets are allowed to do their thing, economies can easily accommodate weather catastrophes or shortages of agricultural inputs. The U.S. is portrayed as the beneficent advocate of free and open markets while too many "underdeveloped" nations -- and those socialist Europeans -- subsidize their farmers to the detriment of market efficiency.
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Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Food Pantries for Poor, Loans for Hungry Bankers
A friend recently assisted at a local food pantry on Mount Desert Island, and she was shocked to learn that the pantry had distributed more than $6,000 in food vouchers during that Sunday alone. Many working-class residents of our small community have been struck by a perfect storm, an unprecedented increase in food prices combined with deterioration of the labor market. As with Hurricane Katrina, this storm presents two divergent options.
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Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Obama Appears to Take Social Values Seriously
Beware of the campaign sound bite. Candidates live and die by clever one-liners. In Barack Obama's case, it is especially discouraging to see a candidate criticized for an off-the-cuff comment that hardly does justice to his own earlier and more careful reflections.
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