Tag: Lawrence S. Wittner

Why Tuition-Free College Makes Sense

LAWRENCE S. WITTNER – The major argument for free public college and university education is the same as for free public education in general: like the free public elementary and high schools already existing in the United States, free public higher education provides educational opportunity for all and strengthens the American workforce.

“Modernizing” the Opportunities for Nuclear War

LAWRENCE S. WITTNER – A fight now underway over newly-designed U.S. nuclear weapons highlights how far the Obama administration has strayed from its commitment to build a nuclear-free world. The fight, as a recent New York Times article indicates, concerns a variety of nuclear weapons that the U.S. military is currently in the process of developing or, as the administration likes to say, “modernizing.”

Has the Time Come for Democratization of the Economy?

LAWRENCE S. WITTNER – Many Americans are becoming fed up with economic inequality. Of course, they might be distracted by xenophobia and fear-mongering, which have been promoted assiduously in recent months by pro-corporate politicians. Even so, there are growing indications that Americans favor democracy not only in their politics, but in their economy.

Democratic Socialism Has Deep Roots in American Life

LAWRENCE WITTNER – The shock and disbelief with which many political pundits have responded to Bernie Sanders’ description of himself as a “democratic socialist”—a supporter of democratic control of the economy—provide a clear indication of how little they know about the popularity and influence of democratic socialism over the course of American history.

After the Iran Nuclear Agreement: Will the Nuclear Powers Also Play by the Rules?

LAWRENCE WITTNER – When all is said and done, what the recently-approved Iran nuclear agreement is all about is ensuring that Iran honors its commitment under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) not to develop nuclear weapons. But the NPT—which was ratified in 1968 and which went into force in 1970—has two kinds of provisions. The first is that non-nuclear powers forswear developing a nuclear weapons capability. The second is that nuclear-armed nations divest themselves of their own nuclear weapons. Article VI of the treaty is quite explicit on this second point, stating: “Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.”

What Do Americans Think About Economic Inequality?

LAWRENCE S. WITTNER – Academician Dr. Lawrence Wittner performed many literature reviews in his scholarly career; this essay is a mini-version of US citizen opinion on the questions surrounding our growing gap between rich and everyone else, as well as the decimation of the middle class. In this clear and objective logical survey of the wishes of the American people on serious questions, Wittner poses the unstated query: If we want it, why can’t we get it? The more times we ask this, the closer we come to saying it out loud and acting on it.

Will the U.S. Government Stand Alone in Rejecting Children’s Rights?

LAWRENCE S. WITTNER – Within a matter of months, the U.S. government seems likely to become the only nation in the world still rejecting the 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Sometimes called “the most ratified human rights treaty in history,” the Convention has been ratified by 195 nations, leaving the United States and South Sudan as the only holdouts. South Sudan is expected to move forward with ratification later this year. But there is no indication that the United States will approve this children’s defense treaty.

How Rich Are the 400 Richest Americans – and What Do They Do with Their Money?

LAWRENCE S. WITTNER – In the supposedly classless society of the United States, the wealthiest Americans are doing remarkably well. According to Forbes, a leading business magazine, the combined wealth of the 400 richest Americans has now reached the staggering total of $2.3 trillion. This gives them an average net worth of $5.7 billion–an increase of 14 percent over the previous year.

Doom from the Depths: Coming Your Way

LAWRENCE S. WITTNER – Ever since the horrors of submarine warfare became a key issue during World War I, submarines have had a sinister reputation. And the building of new, immensely costly, nuclear-armed submarines by the U.S. government and others may soon raise the level of earlier anxiety to a nuclear nightmare.

Defense Giant Tries to Feed at the Public Trough

LAWRENCE S. WITTNER – At this time of severe cutbacks in government funding for food stamps, early childhood education, and Meals on Wheels, some Maryland legislators are hard at work looking out for the welfare of one of the world’s wealthiest corporations. Under a bill rapidly advancing in the legislature of that state, the Lockheed Martin Corporation will have the taxes on its luxurious Montgomery County hotel and conference center reduced by approximately $450,000 a year and will also receive a $1.4 million refund for the period since 2010.

Republican Small Government Aspirations Exposed

LAWRENCE WITTNER – The Republican Party has stood up with remarkable consistency for the post-9/11 U.S. government policies of widespread surveillance, indefinite detention without trial, torture, and extraordinary rendition. It has also supported government subsidies for religious institutions, government restrictions on immigration and free passage across international boundaries, government denial of collective bargaining rights for public sector workers, government attacks on public use of public space (for example, the violent police assaults on the Occupy movement), and government interference with women’s right to abortion and doctors’ right to perform it.

When “Public Options” Serve the Public — and When They Don’t

LAWRENCE S. WITTNER: Currently, there is nothing more controversial in President Barack Obama’s health care reform proposal than the “public option.” Much of the controversy, of course, has been generated by private insurance companies, determined to safeguard their hefty profits, and by Republican politicians, eager to destroy anything that might redound to the benefit of the Democrats. Even so, a little clear thinking on the subject of public programs might illuminate their advantages and disadvantages.