Contemporary Liberals, Communitarians, and Individual Choices

May 07, 1992

The recent flurry of exchanges between contemporary liberal philosophers and their communitarian critics points to a theoretical middle ground, directly relevant to economics.

Streets Meaner for Homeless

March 24, 1992

The need to shore up America's productive capacity is widely recognized these days. Some refer to it as revitalization; some as renewal; I coined the term reindustrialization. But whatever the name, the thesis is that economic problems run deeper than high inflation, unemployment, and interest rates; that after decades of public and private overconsumption and underinvestment the economic foundation -- the infrastructure and the capital goods sector -- has been neglected and needs the nation's attention and investment.

On the Place of Virtues in a Pluralistic Democracy

March 01, 1992

If a community recognizes a set of moral values and commitments as compelling, as virtues, these become the foundations of moral discourse in that community.  

How to Fix the Pharmaceuticals

February 23, 1992

One is a lone scoundrel. Two are a couple of rotten apples. But when a whole slew of companies in an industry are caught up in highly questionable - if not criminal - acts, we should reform the system and not just those caught up in it.

Don’t Let Government Give Up on Family

January 28, 1992

We have become so insensitive to what it takes to sustain families that when our policy-makers finally come up with a proposal that they claim is “pro-family,” it actually undermines the foundations of the family.

The Perils of American Tribalism

January 01, 1992

“The Perils of American Tribalism,” Washington Post Book World, September 8, 1991, p. 4. (Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., The Disuniting of America, Reflections on a Multicultural Society.) Also published: International Herald Tribune, 25.IX.91. “Tribalism in America,” Bureaucrat 20, No. 4 (Winter 1991-1992): pp. 63-64.

Making Amends in Public Life

January 01, 1992

Before the press gobbles up the next public figure in what is aptly called a "feeding frenzy," before we throw another individual into the lions' den- a.k.a. the Senate confirmation process--we need to consider the idea of a popularly accepted statute of limitations for moral transgressions.

Coming In Out Of the Cold War

November 11, 1991

At first I did not have any inkling that Bogdan Walewski wanted to involve me in an international intrigue. He introduced himself over the phone as the second secretary of the Polish Mission to the United Nations.

Social Science as a Multicultural Canon

November 01, 1991

The current debate over educational canons largely involves the humanities disciplines of history and literature.

A New Community of Thinkers, Both Liberal and Conservative

October 08, 1991

A sociological prize ought to be awarded to the member of a TV audience who, during a show about the S&L mess, exclaimed: “The taxpayers shouldn’t pay for this; the government should!” He expressed well a major theme of contemporary American civic culture: a strong sense of entitlement and a weak sense of obligation to the community. Americans hold dear the right to be tried by a jury of their peers; but when asked to serve on such juries, most do their damnedest to evade the call. Most Americans cheered our show of force in the Gulf, but very few wish to serve in the armed forces or have their children sign up.

Book cover

Reflections on Teaching Business Ethics

October 07, 1991

“Reflections on Teaching Business Ethics,” Business Ethics Quarterly, Vol. 1, No. 4, (October 1991), pp. 355-365.

American Competitiveness: The Moral Dimension

October 01, 1991

At first glance, America's loss of competitiveness seems a simple matter. The litany is all too familiar.

Beyond 'Political Correctness,' Left or Right

October 01, 1991

A liberal friend scratched me off his cock-tail party guest list. 


The Slings and Errors of a New Publication

September 11, 1991

If you are thinking of starting a quarterly publication, lie down until the urge goes away. I did not; I am still standing, but barely. The economic, social, and intellectual curve balls that I have had to field in the past I would not wish on my least favorite people.

Standing Tall Invites Knocking Down

July 07, 1991

Americans are so anxious to protect their populist, republican, anti-monarchy tradition that whenever a leader or public figure so much as approximates a venerable status, we shred his or her public persona. Lately we have knocked down a peg or two the public servant par excellence Clark Clifford and the super-scientist David Baltimore, and we’ve given Nancy Reagan one more public trashing (adding some swipes at her husband), and the Kennedy clan another working-over (our populism is quite bipartisan).