To understand how American democracy has worked, and why its future may be limited, it’s critical to look at the issue of property. From early on, the country’s republican institutions have rested on the notion of dispersed ownership of land — a striking departure from the realities of feudal Europe, east Asia or the Middle East. Read more
In our system of government, the public sector is, well, supposed to serve the public. But increasingly the bureaucracies at the state and local level increasingly seek to tell the public how to live, even if the result is to make life worse.
Despite the media’s obsession on gender, race and sexual orientation, the real and determining divide in America and other advanced countries lies in the growing conflict between the ascendant upper class and the vast, and increasingly embattled, middle and working classes.
The reinforced specter of imminent destruction increasingly drives the demand for ever more extreme policy choices.
Whether it’s fires in California or Brazil, hurricanes like Dorian or your summer hot spell, it’s not just weather anymore but a sign of the impending apocalypse.
For the past 125 years, Labor Day has been a time to celebrate the relevance, and political power, of the American working class. As recently as the 1990s, organized labor’s big day was an important milestone on the political calendar, particularly for Democrats.
But in recent decades, America’s working class has had precious little celebrate. In contrast to the conditions that prevailed in the aftermath of the Second World War, when the incomes of lower quintiles surged by roughly 40%, five times faster than the top echelon during the past four decades, those in the bottom 80% have enjoyed no consistent gains. Meanwhile union membership — the key to working class political power — has plunged from 28% in 1954 to 11% today. Read more
California likes to think of itself as the brain center of the universe, but increasingly much of that intellectual content comes from somewhere else. Once a leader in educational innovation and performance, California is now toward the bottom of the pack.
Left to its own devices, California’s Republican Party would be ready to be embalmed for display at the Museum of Natural History. But there’s one last hope for the state GOP: the growing lunacy among Democrats.
Many positions now taken for granted by Democrats should threaten their hold on the bulk of California’s middle- and working-class voters.
This week, the troubled state of American democracy was on display in the reactions to the mass shootings in Texas and Ohio. To the establishment Left, led by the New York Times, the El Paso shooter operated as if he were a white nationalist acting on orders from Donald Trump. Some on the right, meantime, linked the Dayton shooter’s actions to Antifa. In a healthy political environment, Americans, regardless of political views, would consider these tragedies the heinous actions of disturbed people, motivated mostly by a dangerous combination of madness and ideology. But in our warped political climate, everyone assumes that their enemies want to kill them.
If there’s anything productive to come from his recent Twitter storm, President Trump’s recent crude attacks on Baltimore Congressman Elijah Cummings have succeeded in bring necessary attention to the increasingly tragic state of our cities. Baltimore’s continued woes, after numerous attempts to position itself as a “comeback city,” illustrates all too poignantly the deep-seated decay in many of our great urban areas.
Baltimore represents an extreme case, but sadly it is not alone. Last year our three largest urban centers — New York, Los Angeles and Chicago — lost people while millennial migration accelerated both to the suburbs and smaller, generally less dense cities. These demographic trends, as well as growing blight, poor schools, decaying infrastructure and, worst of all, expanding homelessness are not merely the result of “racism” or Donald Trump, but have all been exacerbated by policy agendas that are turning many great cities into loony towns. Read more
The United States is a great country dominated by small minds. The two dominant political forces of our time — the progressive left and the Trumpian right — have a stake in pushing a declinist narrative, one to change the country in a more statist direction, the other to stir up resentment and nostalgia among the middle-class masses.
Both political forces overemphasize the country’s problems, obscuring the underlying reality. Read more