New Clear Vision


constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted


Work-Life Balance

July 02, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Economy, Family, Jennifer Browdy

Not Just a Women’s Issue…

by Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez

I decided to bite my tongue and wait to see the reaction to the recent Atlantic Monthly cover story by Anne Marie Slaughter on women and the work-life balance — I knew as soon as I started reading it that it would set off a firestorm of commentary, and I have not been disappointed.

Slaughter, in case you have not been following this story, is a Princeton University professor and dean, who was drafted into the State Department by Hillary Clinton and worked there for two stressful years.  She wrote the article after returning to the snug harbor of Princeton, where, thanks to the flex time allowed by the higher ranks of academia, she is far better able to manage her professional and family commitments.

Slaughter’s main point in writing seems to be that our society needs to adapt itself better to the needs of working women. She calls for more women to get into leadership positions in business and government, and make workplace and policy changes that will make parenting and working outside the home more manageable. (more…)

Continuing the Conversation

June 26, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Ecology, Economy, Politics, Robert C. Koehler

On God, Money, and Planet Earth

by Robert C. Koehler

Earth hovers on the brink of ecological catastrophe — actually, 20 years closer to the brink than it was at the first global climate summit, in 1992.

“Deserts continue to expand. The loss of plant and animal species has accelerated…. And greenhouse gases have continued to build up in the atmosphere,” the Los Angeles Times explains. No matter that, 20 years ago, most nations of the world “signed off on a long list of goals and agreements” designed to ensure a different future. Nothing came of it.

And my sense is that no one expects the U.N. Conference on Sustainable Development, a.k.a.  Rio+20, which began last week, with representatives from 190 countries attending, to make any difference in our disastrous drift ever more deeply into unsustainability … because nothing can make a difference. We’re stuck, apparently, in a system that won’t be constrained by international goals and agreements, which are already compromises to that system. No matter that this is a life-devouring system that serves the interests of the very few — and at best serves them temporarily. No matter that more and more people see the insanity of this system. There seems to be no escape from it. (more…)

Follow the Money

January 19, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Economy, Jennifer Browdy, Politics

And Let the Revolution Begin!

by Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez

People in the know always advise us to “follow the money.”

Thanks to the Occupy movement, it’s become plain to a lot more of us that huge amounts of money are concentrated in a very few, very influential hands.  Big business interests control politics at every level, and the name of the game is profit for the top managers and owners, with the bare minimum allowed to “trickle down” through taxes and philanthropy.

Nothing new in that picture.  But there are some provocative new ideas arising about how to change a system that seems so entirely entrenched that most of us don’t even bother to think too hard about alternatives. (more…)

Everybody Get Together

November 30, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Ecology, Economy, Jan Lundberg

The Challenge of Unity Amidst Economic Crisis and the End of Growth

by Jan Lundberg

An error of the Occupy movement might come back to haunt us all after possible short-term victories. Identifying and vilifying the extremely wealthy class is not a solution in itself. While it is important to realize the truth of income disparity and address its causes, no one seems to have a realistic program to take back almost all the wealth of “the 1%” and reorganize society to share it.

In my previous essay I showed how today’s inflated, vast monetary wealth is false and will disappear, and that it cannot be redistributed under our form of economy when its entire foundation is sinking. A political solution for eradicating gross inequity is too late for successful reform, without overhauling the culture, when collapse is in charge and “nature bats last.” (more…)

Toward A ‘Leaderless Revolution’ in America

February 16, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Economy, Politics, Will Wilkinson

A Growing, Yet Largely Invisible, Movement Begins to Take Hold

by Will Wilkinson

At first glance, the “leaderless revolution” in Egypt has nothing in common with the recent closing of Allyson’s, a local deli here in our small Oregon town. Until you hear why the bank called the note: “the balance and payments are due.”

Quoting from a recent article by David Porter on Egypt, “It is the slowly-accumulating momentum of hundreds of thousands of confrontations with local officials and elites … that slowly develop the courage, confidence and essential horizontal networks bubbling below the surface.”

How many Allyson’s stories are accumulating throughout America? How many business owners and employees, home owners and credit card users have had their lives turned upside down by bankers’ decisions like this one, so utterly devoid of humanity? (more…)