Politics

Australia's China Syndrome

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Australia continues to benefit from China’s rise, though few countries are more threatened by its expanding power. Once closely tied to the British Commonwealth, and later to the United States, the Australian subcontinent, with only 24 million people, now relies on China for one-third of its trade—more than with Japan and the U.S. combined. Australia’s major economic sectors rely on Chinese support; investors poured in $17.4 billion in 2017.   read more »

The Prisoner of Intersectionality

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When she first announced her run for the White House, Elizabeth Warren seemed a breath of fresh air — a brainy and relentless campaigner for the middle class, willing to take on tech and other oligarchs. As an old colleague who met with her told me, she seemed very much “an old-fashioned New Deal Democrat” focused primarily on addressing the massive inequalities that hurt our society and families.  read more »

Mayors Won't Rule the World

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Earlier in this decade, cities—the bigger and denser the better—appeared as the planet’s geographic stars.  read more »

CalEPA Studying Ways to Sunset the California Economy

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California is about to take one giant step toward following Germany’s failed climate goals, which should be a wake-up call for governments everywhere. Yes, you guessed it, our legislatures have authorized CalEPA in the 2019 - 2020 California State budget and Assembly Bill AB 74 to conduct studies and identify strategies to manage the decline of in-state crude oil production and decrease demand and supply of fossil fuel.  read more »

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 »