Social & Economic Justice

Social & Economic Justice


Income Inequality: Right or Wrong?

income inequality April 7th, 2018

Thomas Piketty, a French economist, made a big splash in 2014 with his book Capital in the 21st Century. It piqued my interest in regard to social justice. Specifically, social mobility, status quo, and economic freedom. I believe that America has a serious issue with wealth inequality, and income inequality, and has for quite some time. We are now less of a socially-mobile society than many countries in Europe are. Cross that with some of the standard of living/life satisfaction measures in which Europe and a few other countries do well, and you have a fairly grim assessment of the United States. Here are some thoughts on income inequality by Thomas Piketty.

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Quotes About Wisdom and Values in Full Color!

quotes about wisdom March 29th, 2018

In the last decade, “memes” have become very popular on social media. Memes are graphic images with a very small amount of text. They can be funny, trenchant, pithy, provocative and catchy. I have made a number of memes, and I do so with a bit more wording, and really consider them to represent wisdom and value. In this blog which features quotes about wisdom, I show some of the memes I have made over the last year or two, and point out how the quotes about wisdom and values depicted can really be made engaging and thought-provoking when coupled with graphic imagery. Enjoy!

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Robert Reich is Optimistic About America

Robert Reich March 26th, 2018

Liberal luminary, UC-Berkeley professor, author, former Secretary of Labor, and on and on, Robert Reich, put out a new book named The Common Good. I am very interested based on the title and the promotional wording. In this blog, I share a bit about it, but more importantly I share some thoughts Reich has about why he is optimistic about America’s future. Optimism is not a feeling/stance I can get to every day in these times, but let’s see what case he can make.

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Protesting, Organizing, & Nonviolent Direct Action

nonviolent direct action March 24th, 2018

Non-violent direct action is what persons as great as Henry David Thoreau, Mohandas Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky, and Cesar Chavez counsel as the main way to bring about social change. Indeed, protesting, collective action, organizing, struggle, and the like are key tools in the social justice arsenal. This blog is in commemoration of today’s stellar event that barnstormed Washington, D.C. — the March for Our Lives. I will share a few things, and include many quotes about non-violent direct action, protesting, organizing, social change, and struggle.

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Magnanimity & Altruism: Saving 50 Jews from Death

magnanimity March 22nd, 2018

Eleanor and Gilbert Kraus are very likely two of the greatest unsung heroes in American history – at least, in Jewish history. I watched a documentary about their courageous acts (in 1939), which amounted to nothing less than a full-throated display of magnanimity and altruism. Here is their story. I will also include a selection of quotations about magnanimity by noted Holocaust survivors, human rights activists, altruism researchers, and stalwart exemplars of virtue and honor such as Elie Wiesel, Nelson Mandela, Anne Frank, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Viktor Frankl. 

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Motivational Quotes About Helping Others

helping March 18th, 2018

Does your life matter? Does mine? Do they matter to other people? Do they matter in the larger scheme of things? Significance may be the ultimate issue, and an important yardstick of successful living. Our feelings of self-worth are intimately tied to our sense of significance. What gives the strongest boost to our feelings of self-worth? Isn’t it the knowledge that we are making a meaningful contribution to the world around us? That we are helping others? That we are doing things which somehow matter?

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Fifty Remarkable Quotes by Activists

activists March 10th, 2018

One of the best ways to learn what activists thought, felt, and knew is to read a diverse sampling of engaging activist quotes. Assembled in this blog are fifty or sixty remarkable quotes by activists who were on the front lines, went to jail for their beliefs, or faced social consequences. Heck, many brave activists were jailed for years (Lech Walesa, Nelson Mandela, etc). America has often led the world when it comes to activism, struggle, strikes, social and economic progress, and political change. Very often, though, activists have to take a back-seat compared to politicians, officers of the law, and for a time, public opinion. Without further ado, I present to you fifty enlightening and challenging quotes by famous activists.

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Liberals Are the Heart of the American Republic

liberalism February 25th, 2018

Liberals are the heart of the American republic. At least in my opinion. I think evidence can be found for why the spirit of liberalism in its classical sense imbued the Declaration of Independence and Constitution with something that was missing from hereditary aristocracies of Europe. As well, much or all of the social progress that has occurred since the country’s inception has been due to the liberal impulse to improve conditions, make everyone more truly equal before the law, and rein in the abuses of government and corporations to improve the lives of people. It’s people-power, really. Yes, Democrats have sullied the sterling image of true liberalism, but progressive causes have never been about one political party (evidenced by the massive movement undergirding the Bernie Sanders phenomenon in recent years). One of clearest examples of why we’re liberals was penned by author Eric Alterman, Ph.D. in a book that is, not coincidentally, entitled Why We’re Liberals. In this blog I share a bit of background about liberalism, progressivism, and the like, and use a hundred or so Eric Alterman quotes to illustrate what I think is best about the book and, therefore, most consistent with the wonderful philosophical, political, and economic phenomenon called liberalism. Enjoy. And buy the book.

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American History Reflects Certain Values

American February 13th, 2018

I came across a quote that really moved me, and I was getting into it with a friend about whether liberals are biased and whether conservatism is just a bit odious. I want to “sketch out” why I am a liberal (a political designation, but also the more philosophical meaning of the term), and why, therefore, I criticize America. To that end, I will use quotations, not by crafting sentences and paragraphs. I think of it like a mosaic – every piece is made of a small piece of glass, but together it makes sense to the eye. It’s going to read like social criticism mixed with a clear-eyed recognition of some American strengths. In so doing, I will look to history’s intellectuals, artists, and fighters for social justice to do the talking for me.

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Powerful Quotes By Famous Progressives

quotes by famous progressives February 8th, 2018

Liberals have a long history of bettering this country – and leading it better (than the opposition). When it comes to having a coherent and compelling philosophy, progressives suck. We fight amongst ourselves, equivocate, cower, and are even afraid to proudly use the word liberal. However, as Eric Alterman points out in his great book Why We’re Liberals: A Handbook for Restoring America’s Most Important Ideals, progressive politicians provide superior leadership, have more integrity, and speak for the ideals held by most Americans, by and large. This blog features many compelling and unique quotes by famous progressives.

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