New Clear Vision


constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted


Government for Whom?

December 20, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Economy, Politics, Robert Reich

Taking Money Out of Politics and Restoring the ‘Public Option’ of Democracy

by Robert Reich

The defining political issue of 2012 won’t be the government’s size. It will be who government is for.

Americans have never much liked government. After all, the nation was conceived in a revolution against government.

But the surge of cynicism now engulfing America isn’t about government’s size. The cynicism comes from a growing perception that government isn’t working for average people. It’s for big business, Wall Street, and the very rich instead.

In a recent Pew Foundation poll, 77 percent of respondents said too much power is in the hands of a few rich people and corporations. (more…)

Food Fights

October 12, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Devon G. Pena, Ecology, Politics

Hunger Politics and the Struggle for Autonomy and Resistance

by Devon G. Peña

The political project to homogenize and control the global food system dominated by a handful of multinational corporations and powerful nation states is capitalist at its core and manifest source. This reflects the culmination of five decades of American policies that made food into political weaponry, as Harry Cleaver presciently observed way back in 1977. Food as political weaponry became official US policy during the Nixon Administration when Secretary of Agriculture, Earl Butz, declared that food was indeed part of the toolkit of American “diplomacy.”  Butz announced this policy in 1974 with the simple statement: “Food is a weapon.” (more…)

The Browning of the American Farm

April 27, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Culture, Devon G. Pena, Ecology

Back to the Future of Agriculture in the Year 2000

by Devon G. Peña

(Originally posted in July 2000):  WHILE THE ANGLO FAMILY FARMER continues to disappear at an alarming rate, the number of Latino farmers has rapidly increased — from 17,476 in 1987 to close to 30,000 in 1997, according to agricultural census data. This number is expected to increase to 40,000 by 2007, and doesn’t include the thousands of uncounted Latino farmers who do not fit the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s conventional definition of commercial farms.

The trend is not limited to the American Southwest, although the states of Texas, California, New Mexico, and Colorado contain more than 80% of Latino-owned and -operated farms. In Washington, which has the sixth-fastest-growing Latino population in the country, the number of Latino farms and orchards increased by a staggering 343% between 1992 and 1997. (more…)