California agriculture

America’s Agricultural Angst

Appearing in: In this high-tech information age few look to the most basic industries as sources of national economic power. Yet no sector in America is better positioned for the future than agriculture–if we allow it to reach its potential. Like manufacturers and homebuilders before them, farmers have found themselves in the crosshairs of […]

Stop Coddling Wall Street!

Appearing in: By all historical logic and tradition, Wall Street’s outrageous bonuses—almost $20 billion to Goldman Sachs alone—should be setting a populist wildfire across the precincts of the Democratic Party. Yet right now, the Democrats in both the White House and Congress seem content to confront such outrageous fortune with little more than hearings […]

Move the United Nations to Dubai

Appearing in: The opening last week of the world’s tallest building, the half-mile-high Burj Dubai, has largely been greeted with guffaws and groans. The Daily Telegraph labeled it “the new pinnacle of vanity”–“a purposeless monument to the subprime era.” The Wall Street Journal compared it to the Tower of Babel. (When the Empire State […]

The Limits Of Politics

Appearing in: Reversing the general course of history, economics or demography is never easy, despite even the most dogged efforts of the best-connected political operatives working today. Since the 2006 elections–and even more so after 2008–blue-state politicians have enjoyed a monopoly of power unprecedented in recent history. Hardcore blue staters control virtually every major […]

Why New York City Needs a New Economic Strategy

Appearing in: Newsweek When Michael Bloomberg stood on the steps of City Hall last week to be sworn in for a third term as New York City’s mayor, he spoke in upbeat terms about the challenges ahead. The situation, however, is far more difficult than he portrays it. American financial power has shifted from New […]

Obama’s Elite Power Base

Appearing in: Looking back at President Obama’s first year in office, this much is clear: Obama first enraged the right wing by seeming to veer far left, then turned off the left by seeming to abandon them. Even as Fox News fundamentalists rail against “socialism,” self-styled progressives like Naomi Klein scream about a “blown” […]

Don’t Give Up On The U.S.

Appearing in: If the U.S. were a stock, it would be trading at historic lows. The budget deficit is out of control, the economy is anemic and the political system is controlled by academic ideologues and Chicago hacks. Opposing them is a force largely comprised of know-nothings–to call them Neanderthals would be too complimentary. […]

The Green Movement’s People Problem

Appearing in: The once unstoppable green machine lost its mojo at the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. After all its laboring and cajoling, the movement at the end resembled not a powerful juggernaut but a forlorn lover wondering why his date never showed up. One problem is that the people of earth and their […]

Nurturing Employment Recovery

Appearing in: President Obama’s quick exit from Oslo and late arrival in Copenhagen suggest he’s finally ready to shift focus from Nordic adulation and fighting climate change and diplomacy to fixing the American economy. About time. As former Clinton adviser Bill Galston observed recently, the president needs “to pivot and make 2010 the year […]

Is Obama Separating from His Scandinavian Muse?

Appearing in: Barack Obama may be our first African-American president, but he’s first got to stop finding his muse in Scandinavia. With his speech for the Nobel, perhaps he’s showing some sign of losing his northern obsession. On the campaign trail, Obama showed a poet’s sensitivity about both America’s exceptionalism and our desire to […]