Politics

Cronyism and its Scapegoats

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Cronyism destroys trust and assigns the blame to scapegoats of its own creation.

Only a fiercely committed left or right-winger would fail to recognize that there is today a social and political divide that does not easily fit within the traditional mold of left vs. right. If, loosely speaking, the left leans socialist and the right leans capitalist, there is a third branch, cronyism, that is characterized by the rising power and wealth of rent-seeking industries and individuals.  read more »

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Left and Lefter in California

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The California Democratic Party’s refusal to endorse the reelection of Senator Dianne Feinstein represents a breaking point both for the state’s progressives and, arguably, the future of the party nationwide. Feinstein symbolizes, if anyone does, the old Democratic establishment that, while far from conservative, nevertheless appealed to many mainstream businesses and affluent suburban voters.  read more »

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California in Danger: Why the Dream is Dying and How We Can Save It

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In the latest report from research and policy organization Environmental Progress, "California in Danger: Why the Dream is Dying and How We Can Save It," Michael Shellenberger highlights the most pressing issues facing California today and how we can solve them. Read an excerpt from the executive summary below.  read more »

Will Race Issues Destroy America?

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Immigration and diversity represent both America’s greatest weapon and, increasingly, a lethal challenge to our democracy. The debate over the “dreamers” — the roughly 700,000 young people brought to the country illegally — has already caused one government shutdown and can lead to others.  read more »

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Localism in America: Why We Should Tackle Our Big Challenges At The Local Level

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Localism in America, a compilation of essays from the American Enterprise Institute and the Center for Opportunity Urbanism, explores the merits of local governing and how reinvigorating local solution-making is best for American democracy as a whole. Read an excerpt from the introduction, authored by Joel Kotkin and Ryan Streeter, below.  read more »

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Getting On The Road To Republican Resurgence

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In his bitter attack on the new budget agreement, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, stumbled on the reality of his party’s grim identity crisis. Since the Reagan era, the GOP represented a convergence of corporate interests, social conservatives and free market libertarians.  read more »

Trump’s Infrastructure Plan Is A Rare, And Potentially Bipartisan, Feel Good Moment

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President Trump’s proposed trillion dollar plus infrastructure program represents a rare, and potentially united feel good moment. Yet before we jump into a massive re-do of our transportation, water and electrical systems, it’s critical to make sure we get some decent bang for the federal buck.  read more »

The Three Faces Of The Democratic Party Are Coming To A Head

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In the wake of President Trump’s first official State of the Union speech, and the positive momentum in the economy, the putative “party of the people” now faces a much under addressed internal crisis. United against Trump, the factions which dominate the party increasingly operate at cross purposes.  read more »

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A Year Into Trump's Peasant Rebellion

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A year into office, Donald Trump remains something of an unlikely figure: a self-promoting and well-heeled demagogue who leads a bedraggled coalition of piratical capitalists, southerners, and people from the has-been or never were towns of Middle America. His fiercest opponents largely come from the apex of our society: the tech oligarchy, a rabidly hostile press and the cultural and academic hegemons.  read more »

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U.S. Infrastructure: Not About To Collapse

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A recent report from the RAND Corporation looks at America’s infrastructure and concludes that “not everything is broken.” In fact, what is broken, more than the infrastructure itself, is “our approach to funding and financing public works.” This is largely because governments by-pass market signals and rely on “often complicated and multilayered governance arrangements and competing public goals and preferences” to make decisions about w  read more »