Review of “The New Populism” by Fred Harris

The New Republic, September 8, 1973

BOOKS BY POLITICIANS tend to be boring, staff-produced efforts designed to dis­play The Boss as a thoughtful public servant.  What sets Fred Harris’ apart is his unique angle of vision.  He is the only major politician who says publicly and indeed vo­ciferously that American capitalism is a shuck.

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Buying Back the Land: A Proposal for California

Working Papers For A New Society, Summer 1973

IT IS JUST within the realm of possibility that low-income groups, by joining with environmental­ists, labor and other progressive forces, could bring about a favorable distribution of land ownership in California.  The mechanism for doing this could be a state government trust fund which might be called the California Land Conserva­tion Fund.

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Elites and Alternatives

The New Republic, March 31, 1973

Our economy is controlled by an extremely small, largely unaccountable set of elites operating on behalf of a wealth-owning minority.  To alter this pattern of own­er­ship and control is politically unfeasible at the moment, but so are many things until enough people decide they want them.

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Mining The Prairies

The New Republic, March 24, 1973

UNDER the rolling plains of eastern Montana, Wyoming and the Dakotas is one of the world’s last great energy reserves — nearly a trillion tons of lignite and sub-bitu­minous coal, about 35 billion of which are readily strippable.  A good many ranchers, young people and others, however, don’t want to mine it.

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The Berkeley Co-op: Democratic, Up to a Point

The New Republic, December 1, 1972

THE FIRST thing that strikes a shopper entering a Co‑op supermarket is a feeling that the store is on his side.  But cooperatives, like small farms and many other forms of independent busi­ness, have fallen vic­tim to the mid-century dictum of expand or die.

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Fair Shares

The New Republic, October 21, 1972

WHILE a small minority of Americans siphons off more money than it knows what to do with, a fifth of our population remains perennially poor, and millions more teeter on the edge of poverty.  Ever-increasing production won’t, by it­self, correct this.  We also need to share better.


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How Wealth Is Distributed

The New Republic, September 30, 1972

WHAT IS WEALTH, who gets it, and why?  More to the point, why — despite wars on poverty, pro­gressive taxation, relatively high em­ployment and widespread educational opportunity — does our economy so stubbornly perpetuate inequality?

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Tax Farmers

The New Republic, September 2, 1972

THERE must be a broad commitment by the federal government to assist agricultural workers, rather than tax-evading doctors, to become farm owners.

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A Populist Manifesto

The New Republic, April 29, 1972

The book’s thesis is that a political majority can be built by rallying workers, minorities and young people around a banner that reads: “Some institutions and people have too much money and power, most people have too little, and the first priority of politics must be to redress that imbalance.”

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