Politics

Gen Z is Up For Grabs

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The political allegiances of America’s youngest generation, Gen Z, are up for grabs these days. Younger Americans are politically disengaged, rejecting ideological extremism, and want to move beyond commonplace political platitudes.

I learned this important lesson this fall, while teaching at a college and regularly visiting dozens of other colleges and universities around the country.  read more »

Bloomberg and the Plight of the Oligarchs

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If the tentative entrance of former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg into the Presidential race materializes, he may discover difficulty of being an oligarch in an increasingly socialist-minded party. Bloomberg, whose fortune is estimated at $50 billion, many times Trump’s estimated $3 billion, much less Tom Steyer’s comparatively meager $1.6 billion, epitomizes the very capitalist class so detested by party activists.  read more »

A Clash of Values

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Most American concerns with China revolve around economic issues, and, for some, the threat posed by that country’s expanding military. But China’s real existential challenge is not over market shares or submarines, but in a battle of values. Right now, it does not seem we are certain to win.

China presents the most profound challenge to liberal values since the end of the Cold War, a development that has caught our consistently lame political establishment by surprise. The leaders of both parties, and much of the corporate America, never saw it coming.  read more »

Unsustainable California

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The recent rash of fires, like the drought that preceded it, has sparked a new wave of pessimism about the state’s future. But the natural disasters have also obscured the fact the greatest challenge facing the state comes not from burning forests or lack of precipitation but from an increasingly dysfunctional society divided between a small but influential wealthy class and an ever-expanding poverty population.  read more »

Jews Could Swing the 2020 Election — and Why That's Not a Good Thing

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In our selfie-defined culture, it’s usually considered a good thing to get attention, the more the better. But it may not be the case for Jews, or for Israel, to be  caught in the firestorm that is burning through American politics in ways not seen since the Second World War. “That Israel is becoming a wedge issue in American politics,” notes author Daniel Gordis, “ bodes very badly for Israel’s future security.”  read more »

Scapegoating Ride Hailing

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Transit ridership in Chicago is declining. The city wants to tax ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft and give some of the money to the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA).  read more »

Why America’s Free Market Economy Works Better in Some Places than Others

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Is America’s free market system working as advertised? Mostly yes, but it depends to a surprising degree on where you live.

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Gov. Newsom Throws California's Interior Under the Bus

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Gov. Gavin Newsom has committed himself to look for ways of “unlocking the enormous potential” of the Central Valley, but in reality he seems more interested in slamming the door to its prosperity behind him.

In two critical moves the former San Francisco mayor has shown his incomprehension of how to address the needs of the vast California interior, particularly the over 6.5 million people in the 17 counties of the Central Valley.  read more »

Democracy is For the Dogs

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With a new round of state and local elections just around the corner, I am regularly asked about what brings Americans out to the polls and helps them politically engage them with their communities.  read more »

California Wildfires Ignite New Funding Battles with DC Lawmakers

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As California continues to throw good money after bad and baste in the fires of its own Gehenna, the White House has threatened to cut off emergency aid (FEMA) to residents displaced by the recent forest fires.

The state’s mismanagement of past funds has put it in the situation it is in today. Rather than patch the hole in the sinking ship the state would rather bring in a larger sump pump to evacuate the water. The water in this case is actually its fire maintenance budget and the sump pump represents more FEMA funding.  read more »