Purple Politics

Ralph Nader marks 50 years of consumer activism

November 30 marked the 50th anniversary of Ralph Nader’s book Unsafe at Any Speed. This book was a stern critique of American automakers who neglected safety in automotive design. It shook up the auto industry and brought Mr. Nader to the forefront in the new role of consumer advocate. Some may disagree with government regulation to protect consumers; but there is no question that his political...

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How to discuss politics without losing your friends

My grandmother used to say that you should never discuss age, race, religion, or politics. In her day, no self-respecting woman would reveal her age. That rule has mostly gone by the wayside. But the other three topics can be very sensitive – and handling them carelessly can indeed cause you to lose friends. But they don’t have to, if you remember a few principles: Race is part of what a person...

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Protesting for a Living Wage

Unemployment, technically, is going down; but most of the new jobs are for low-wage service workers. This is a fact that leads to the politically neutral conclusion that people are going to protest for living wages, either against specific employers such as Wal-Mart (which has faced such protests for years, including cases where Wal-Mart has paid its workers much less than its competitors), or...

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In fear of growing at night

Former Ohio State University President Gordon Gee wrote an article several months ago for Columbus Business First (subscriber content), in which he describes his reaction to reading the book India Grows at Night, by Gurcharan Das. There is an Indian adage, “India grows at night, while the government sleeps.” While government there is paralyzed by inaction and corruption, citizens...

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Is there a solution for poverty?

Sociologist Michael Zweig defines poverty “as a state of privation, or a lack of the usual or socially acceptable amount of money or material possessions.” You do not have to be a conservative to question the effectiveness of government antipoverty programs. According to the Census Bureau, which defines a poverty level for statistical purposes, in 1966, the poverty rate was 14.7%. Fifty years...

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The Left loves diversity in all things — except opinion

A Bit Political is a non-partisan website, which seeks to invite people of all political persuasions to participate in the political system. Accordingly, I rarely criticize people or organizations. While I have definite political opinions, I prefer to maintain the neutrality of A Bit Political by expressing them outside this forum. However, I am disturbed by the course “political...

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