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The National Standards Fixation

Some policy controversies are wearying. Not because they have worn their importance down over decades spent in the argumentative rock tumbler, of course. High-stakes issues tend actually to get more portentous, over time, as we sink greater and greater emotional and intellectual investments into . . . . Continue Reading »

Do Tea Partiers Dream Of The General Will?

David Brooks thinks so. But to link the tea parties to the ’60s left by way of Rousseau, he has to draw our attention away from the nationally disaggregate and locally-rooted character of lots and lots of the tea partiers. The recent tea party convention does underscore how the tea parties . . . . Continue Reading »

Tea & Tom

The best way to counter the Tea Party movement, which is all about stopping things, is with an Innovation Movement, which is all about starting things. [ . . . ] Obama should bring together the country’s leading innovators and ask them: “What legislation, what tax incentives, do we need . . . . Continue Reading »

Fatal Distraction

My take on race, Reid, and the politics of meaning is up now at the Guardian . Snip: In a panic over the chance to unseat Senator Reid, the GOP is in danger of making permanent our misbegotten descent into the crackpot belief that racial symbolism is more real than our actual race relations. . . . . Continue Reading »

On Bankruptcy

I think America’s system of easy bankruptcy is one of the jewels of our economic and political institutions, because it allows people who genuinely cannot repay their bills to get a fresh start as quickly as possible. I think non-recourse mortgages are an excellent idea, which I would like to . . . . Continue Reading »

On Corruption

I don’t usually say this — in fact, I’ve never said it — but go read Frank Rich: specifically, his long column on the Decade of Bamboozlement . Beneath the flash of the cons that characterized the past ten years, however, is a quieter and truer truth: corruption. It is, as . . . . Continue Reading »

On the Limits of Professional Expertise

Matt Feeney has a great, tart post on Tiger Woods, which I nonetheless want to take in another direction. For Matt, the prevailing sentiment unleashed over the last few weeks is not, in the most immediate sense, some reflex of racial loathing that we white people have been holding in store in . . . . Continue Reading »

Murder, He Lied

Ross is right to come down on Ezra for reckless and irresponsible hyperventilating on health care. But let me dot the i here. Ezra Klein kicked up a hornet’s nest of controversy by accusing Lieberman of being “willing to cause the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in order to . . . . Continue Reading »

Which is more annoying?

Which is more annoying: Leftists who in the wake of Climategate have suddenly discovered a love for public choice theory or libertarians who in the wake of Climategate have studiously ignored public choice theory? Whatever your answer to that question, I hope it suggests that public choice theory . . . . Continue Reading »

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