Articles by John Buell


Rewarding failure, at our expense

By John Buell on March 01, 2010, at 7:27 p.m.
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 …

Car culture and global energy conflict

By John Buell on Feb. 15, 2010, at 7:37 p.m.

State needs a skilled work force

By John Buell on Feb. 01, 2010, at 6:49 p.m.
If that first dip in the cold bath of recession wasn’t bracing enough, how about a second dip? Most of the mainstream media along with the financial markets are pronouncing the Great Recession …

Our ethical obligations to Haiti

By John Buell on Jan. 19, 2010, at 1:07 a.m.
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 …

The best bipartisanship

By John Buell on Jan. 04, 2010, at 6:01 p.m.
Will the U.S. Congress finally assert its independence of both the finance industry and party leaders beholden to its goals? This would be bipartisanship of which we could be proud. The Huffington …

Division between developed and developing countries

By John Buell on Dec. 21, 2009, at 7:37 p.m.
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

Obama and his (virtual) virtuous war

By John Buell on Dec. 07, 2009, at 6:54 p.m.
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.

Bad times could get worse for Obama

By John Buell on Nov. 23, 2009, at 7 p.m.
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?

Capitalism’s incarnations

By John Buell on Nov. 09, 2009, at 7:55 p.m.
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.

Debating Burns’ thesis on national parks’ value

By John Buell on Oct. 26, 2009, at 7:50 p.m.
Living on the doorstep of Acadia National Park, my family hardly needs to be reminded that national parks are a good idea.

Justice for the unemployed

By John Buell on Oct. 12, 2009, at 7:40 p.m.
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.

Common ground on marriage

By John Buell on Sept. 28, 2009, at 7:45 p.m.
Conventional thinking has it that the debate over same-sex marriage is a contest of secular liberals versus religiously motivated conservatives. The issue is admittedly divisive. Boston University …

Reflections on air travel, defining globalization

By John Buell on Sept. 14, 2009, at 7:43 p.m.
Labor Day weekend, I flew to Toronto for the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association. Not surprisingly, complexity, globalization and unpredictability were themes of the conference.

U.S. mired in tyranny of minority

By John Buell on Aug. 31, 2009, at 7:39 p.m.
Political commentators tell us that the epicenter of health care reform is the Senate Finance Committee, where a “gang of six” reportedly holds decisive influence. Since Olympia Snowe is a member …

Weight of government’s hand on capitalism’s scale

By John Buell on Aug. 17, 2009, at 7:49 p.m.
To advocate a new, robust stimulus package, as in my last column, invites some predictable comments. Government is inefficient, politically motivated in its choice of winners and losers, and out to …

Try holding our leaders accountable

By John Buell on Aug. 03, 2009, at 5:27 p.m.
To stimulate or not to stimulate? While the Obama administration debates whether to request another stimulus package most Republicans trot out the familiar line that deficit spending never works.

The U.S. is lurching from one quagmire to another

By John Buell on July 20, 2009, at 7:15 p.m.
Robert McNamara’s life may illuminate contemporary tragedy. Just weeks before McNamara died, President Obama pressured reluctant Democrats to approve a strange hybrid coupling of Afghanistan war funds with billions for the International Monetary Fund.

On health care politics, why not demand the best?

By John Buell on June 22, 2009, at 7:12 p.m.
Why is Barack Obama dodging a single-payer option? Care would be publicly funded, but privately delivered. People would go to the doctor of their choice. Obama recently answered: “If I were …

Recenter abortion debate on equality of sacrifice

By John Buell on June 08, 2009, at 6:29 p.m.
I am sickened by the death of Dr. George Tiller, a physician who displayed lifelong respect for the woman and her body. Operation Rescue condemned his murder, though in language that tacitly …

Media missing subjects that affect Americans most

By John Buell on May 25, 2009, at 5:33 p.m.
Where are the real fiscal conservatives? The business media anguish over how we can pay down our escalating debt. Their only suggestion is draconian reductions in a successful, well-funded federal …