Give the New York Times's Ezra Klein credit for identifying a problem with big government institutions. "Our mechanisms of governance have become so risk averse that they are now running tremendous risks because of the problems they cannot, or will not, solve," he tweeted. The subject was San Francisco's attempt to make permanent the parklets, ...Read more
This month, I've come across two outstanding articles by writers I had not previously known on important trends on the political right and political left.
One is "What Comes After the Religious Right?," a guest essay in the New York Times written by Nate Hochman, an Intercollegiate Studies Institute fellow at National Review. He argues that "...Read more
Whether you're contemplating San Francisco voters' recall of left-wing District Attorney Chesa Boudin or the plight of Democrats nationally as they face voters' dismay at out-of-control inflation, immigration and crime, the question is liable to come to mind: What were they thinking?
Actually, there are some initially plausible answers. We've ...Read more
Politics has increasingly become, for many Americans, the leisure of the theory class. That's a phrase from the early 20th century sociologist Thorstein Veblen, which I turned on its head in a recent column. He was condemning the showy consumerism of the contemporary rich for having no economically practical purpose. I, on the other hand, was ...Read more
Complete and utter repudiation. That's what a record number of Republican primary voters in Georgia administered to former President Donald Trump this Tuesday. The man he blamed for not contesting his narrow 2020 loss in the state, Gov. Brian Kemp, won renomination with 74% of the vote.
The man he persuaded to get into the race, on the single ...Read more
Is it Donald Trump's Republican Party? You can make the case it is, as partisan Democrats do, from the victories of various candidates endorsed by the former president in Republican primaries. But it's not an airtight case, and Trump's batting average is inflated by the dozens of endorsements he has made of incumbents with no significant primary...Read more
They may or may not have been playing the song "The World Turned Upside Down" when Lord Charles Cornwallis's troops surrendered to Gen. George Washington at Yorktown in 1781, but there's good reason to sing it now.
Progressives tell us that it is a violation of "democracy" to allow state legislators and governors elected by voters to decide how...Read more
The congressional redistricting wars are mostly over. Much of the hoopla surrounding it is proving overheated.
Before looking at this cycle's results, a primer on the subject is in order.
The first and most important point is that the requirement that districts have equal populations seriously limits the effects of partisan redistricting. That...Read more
In recent weeks, I've noted how, as COVID-19 mask mandates fall by the wayside, the nation has been moving away from what now seems excessive risk aversion. And I've described the National Bureau of Economic Research paper assessing how the costs of the lockdowns have exceeded the benefits.
As one might expect, the damage has not been ...Read more
People talk about culture war politics as if it were a recent development -- a novelty, an exception to a historic rule that American politics is mostly about economics (who gets how much) and only occasionally gets sidetracked into culture (what people should or shouldn't be allowed to do).
In my view, that gets things backwards. Culture war ...Read more
What were the benefits and costs of the COVID-19 restrictions implemented over the last two years? It's a good time to ask that question, especially now that the masks are coming off and the lockdowns are canceled.
One useful scorecard comes from the prestigious National Bureau of Economic Research, in the form of a paper by three market-...Read more
It feels like we're turning a corner.
Since the beginning of the calendar year, a lot of things have changed. More importantly, a lot of minds have changed as well. The world and the nation don't look like they used to, and don't seem likely to again any time soon.
Consider the masks. On New Year's Day, 30% of people in 11 states and the ...Read more