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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Brookings Institution: Video: Sr. Semone Campbell: Faith Has Political Consequences



This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

The American Left, especially the Far-Left, gets stereotyped as being Atheist.  This is reinforced by MSNBC at any point when they are talking about religion.  Ditto,  Salon, The Nation, the AlterNet or  Bill Maher.  But, there's also a strong Religious Left in America and Sr. Simone Campbell is a perfect example of it.

The people of the Religious Left have very strong progressive and social democratic political tendencies.  They believe that their religion tells them to look after people and their communities and that government has a strong role to play in this. They believe in social justice and that all Americans should have equal access to freedom and true equality.

You could make a good case that the Religious Left came of age in the 1950s and 1960s with the civil rights movement and Dr. Martin Luther King and his Southern Christian Leadership Conference.  It was pushing for civil rights and equality for African-Americans but, by the late 1960s, they had  won those battles and moved on to talking about and and pushing for social justice and giving the Federal Government a bigger role to see that more Americans have what they need to live well.

Not everyone on the Left is an atheist, as much as we get stereotyped that way. I come from an atheist family but I'm a liberal and an agnostic.  There are liberal catholics and progressive protestants and  even socialist christians. The problem with stereotypes is that even though they are all based on some truth, it's never the whole truth.  It's a biased characterization of a group that others want the public to see.  The popular religious characterization  of the left is a perfect example of that.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Economist: Video: Richard Davies Interviewing Zanny Minton-Beddoes: Time to Rethink Retirement



This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

This emphasizes the great need for improving the skills of workers, especially in America which ranks  39th in the world in education.  That 1 in 5 Americans lives in poverty is already  unacceptable.

Our aging population means current and future workers are going to have to work longer and be more productive.  They need to put more money away for their own retirements and be less dependent on the public safety net to provide them needed income when they retire.

Private retirement accounts are an attractive policy option that encourages people to put money,  matched by their employers, away for savings and retirement.  This allows people to finance their own retirements bringing down government costs. 

Friday, May 2, 2014

The New Republic: Opinion: Jeffrey Rosen: Schuette Decision: Supreme Court Supported Precedent: Judicial Restraint on Affirmative Action



The New Republic: Opinion: Jeffrey Rosen: Schuette Decision: Supreme Court Supported Restraint

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Jeff Rosen, as almost always, hit it on the mark today in his column in The New Republic.  He said that whether you agree with the Supreme Court decision on affirmative action at the University of Michigan  or not, you should at least agree with how they decided it.  Showing judicial restraint, they said that whether you have affirmative action in your state or not, should be decided by democratic processes, through the legislature and the voters.  It should be not be left to some unelected board or institution.

Today's Progressives are always talking about the need for more democracy in America, that too many important decisions are being left to a handful of people who represent powerful interests.  Yet they take the undemocratic position that an institution, in this case the University of Michigan, knows better than the voters themselves whether or not there should be affirmative action at this public university.  They believe in affirmative action and will seek to preserve it by any means necessary.