Maybe America has had enough of freedom. By which I actually mean “freedom.”
After all, “freedom” has become an ill-fitting fig leaf for every conceivable Republican policy, even those that are quite transparently freedom-limiting.
Just ask House Speaker Paul Ryan, for whom “freedom” is now chiefly about repealing Obamacare.
WASHINGTON -- Almost exactly a year ago, I suggested a rule of thumb for evaluating candidates’ economic agendas: The more growth a politician promises, the worse his or her economic plan probably is.
Why? Because it suggests they had to make extra-rosy assumptions to get their math to work.
Supercharged growth implies higher tax revenue, as...Read more
WASHINGTON -- One of the world’s superpowers is in trouble -- economically, politically, socially. Its manufacturing industry is hurting. Businesses are reluctant to make investment decisions, thanks to arbitrary and capricious regulators. Corruption scandals abound. The country is drowning in debt. Social unrest is brewing, as is a pernicious...Read more
WASHINGTON -- The White House may be in chaos. But at least Congress is addressing the issue Americans care about most: making it easier for the finance industry to rip them off.
Last week, Jeb Hensarling of Texas, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, circulated an outline of his latest plan to repeal Dodd-Frank. This law, you ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- The United States isn’t the only country that’s a complete basket case right now. Basically the entire world has reached record levels of political chaos and uncertainty.
That’s according to the relatively little-publicized Global Economic Policy Uncertainty Index, which just hit a two-decade high.
The index was constructed...Read more
Much-dreaded “sharia law,” or something resembling it, may well be coming to the United States.
Just not in the form many Americans expected.
That is, the religiously motivated laws creeping into public policymaking aren’t based on the Koran, and they aren’t coming from mythical hard-line Islamists in, say, Dearborn, Mich. They’re ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Where, exactly, is the red line for Republicans in Congress right now?
We have a president with pronounced authoritarian tendencies, who believes he “alone can fix it”; who signs sweeping executive orders reportedly without even briefing relevant Cabinet members on the logistical, humanitarian and national security ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- If this is what “running government like a business” looks like, it’s no wonder President Trump’s companies kept going bankrupt.
One week into the presidency, we’ve gotten a taste of Trump’s management style. And so far it’s been plagued by many of the bad habits common to poorly run businesses.
Take, for example, ...Read more
Call Me Pomeroy [Kindle Edition]James Hanna
Pomeroy, a street musician on parole, joins the Occupy Movement in Oakland and its spinoffs in London and Paris. He does not join for political reasons but to get on television, land an agent, and score a million dollar recording contract. A zany collection of tales ...
WASHINGTON -- If blue states think they’re going to be shielded from the coming Trump tsunami, they’re sorely mistaken.
Much has been written about how the unified Republican front in Washington is going to betray the working-class whites of deep-red Trump country. The coming Obamacare repeal, fewer worker protections and additional fraying...Read more
WASHINGTON -- “In a democracy, sometimes you’re going to win on those issues and sometimes you’re going to lose,” Barack Obama said this week at his final presidential news conference, echoing words he used the day after the election.
This is a truism to most Americans. But it has been a shock for many millennials.
We millennials, for ...Read more
CHICAGO -- What are the nation’s leading economists freaking out about these days?
Not so much plunging into recession (due to a possible trade war) or, alternatively, an overheated economy (due to a possibly ill-timed fiscal stimulus).
Instead, they’re worried that we won’t actually know whether either scenario materializes because some...Read more
Believe it or not, Americans like Obamacare. They just don’t know they like Obamacare.
That is, the law known as “Obamacare” and “the Affordable Care Act” is relatively unpopular. But most of the things that this disreputable law does are incredibly popular.
Consider the prohibition on denying insurance coverage due to ...Read more
Donald Trump likes his technology like he likes his decor: stuck in the ‘80s.
For all the praise he receives for embracing 21st-century social media, the president-elect seems to understand little about modern technology. And he exhibits even less interest in learning about it.
“I think that computers have complicated lives very greatly,��...Read more
You can’t be sad or cynical watching “Singin’ in the Rain.” I dare you to even try.
Those rich Technicolor hues; those dashing jawlines and cherubic smiles; the wry choreography; those soigne dyed-fox gowns and drop-waist, fringed flapper skirts; the goofball slapstick; those infectious show tunes, sung with bouncing trills and bright ...Read more
Back in October, a Marketplace-Edison Research Poll found that two-thirds of Donald Trump voters didn’t trust government-reported economic data, thanks partly to their candidate’s insistence that the numbers are bogus.
Something tells me this attitude is about to change.
After all, Trump will soon take office with among the most favorable ...Read more
Why did all those “Economically Anxious” Trump voters reject policies that would have helped relieve their economic anxiety?
Maybe they believed any Big Government expansions would disproportionately go to the “wrong” kinds of people -- that is, people unlike themselves.
Hillary Clinton’s unexpected loss, particularly in ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- It’s not the sexiest White House job. But it might soon be among the most dangerous.
Over the weekend, President-elect Donald Trump tapped Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., to be his director of the Office of Management and Budget. This Cabinet-level post is responsible for producing the federal budget, overseeing and evaluating ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- The good news: Both the left and the right have reached consensus that free speech is important.
The bad news: “Free speech” has apparently been redefined to mean “speech with which I agree.”
Over the past few years, there have been many high-profile cases of left-wing college students or their cowed administrators ...Read more
NEW YORK -- Froufrou Fifth Avenue resembles a police state. Officers wielding gigantic guns guard Trump Tower, where President-elect Donald Trump conducts all transition business, and soon lots of presidential business, too. Shoppers patronizing the stores, cafes or public gardens inside must endure layers of security screening. Streets and ...Read more
Add them to the annals of No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: works of art calling attention to racism in America’s past -- and its persistence in America’s present -- targeted by educational censorship campaigns for being too racist.
Four such works were challenged in the past month, in fact.
This fall, Salem State University put out an open ...Read more