Robert Reich continues to keep timely messages coming. His latest looks at the issue of morality:
Not private morality but public morality
…For years, rightwing Republicans have focused their ire on private morality – on the most intimate aspects of peoples’ lives — including abortion, contraception, gay marriage, and which bathrooms and sports teams trans young people choose.
But the real moral crisis in America today has nothing to do with private morality. The real crisis involves public morality.
Reich lists a number of issues where the Republicans are making a mockery of the very idea of morality. He then makes a critical observation:
I understand why some of you may be reluctant to talk about morality. The right has hijacked the term. And the subject seems uncomfortably close to matters of personal faith and religion. Private moral choices are matters of personal faith and religion — and should stay that way.
But public morality is entirely different. I urge you to speak out about it, make a ruckus about it, and loudly condemn corporate executives, Wall Street bankers, and lawmakers who are defying the common good.
Take morality back from the radical right — in a way that’s profoundly relevant to the challenges we face today.
His conclusion is concise and compelling:
America’s real moral crisis has nothing to do with people deciding to end their pregnancies, or consenting adults choosing to use contraceptives, or trans young people choosing one bathroom or sports team over another. It has to do with the actions of people in boardrooms and legislative cloakrooms, and the failures of so many who occupy positions of power and public trust to honor the public good.
Reich closes with this question:
What do you think?
Bonus: Paul Krugman today — Tax the Rich, Help America’s Children (The link should allow passage through The NY Times paywall.)
…the Biden administration could have done a better job of summarizing its plans in pithy slogans.
So let me propose a one-liner: Tax the rich, help America’s children. This gets at much of what the legislation is likely to do: Reporting suggests that the final bill will include taxes on billionaires’ incomes and minimum taxes for corporations, along with a number of child-oriented programs. And action on climate change can, reasonably, be considered another way of helping future generations.
Republicans will, of course, denounce whatever Democrats come out with. But there are three things you should know about both taxing the rich and helping children: They’re very good ideas from an economic point of view. They’re extremely popular. And they’re very much in the American tradition.
Krugman goes on to list the historical reasons taxing the rich is very much an American tradition.
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.