21 December 2015

America’s biggest housing program is run by the IRS, and it’s a huge giveaway to rich people

Dylan Matthews

One depressing quote perfectly sums up our relationship with gun violence

The regularity of mass killings breeds familiarity. The rhythms of grief and outrage that accompany them become — for those not directly affected by tragedy — ritualised and then blend into the background noise. That normalisation makes it ever less likely that America's political system will groan into action to take steps to reduce their frequency or deadliness.

Those who live in America, or visit it, might do best to regard them the way one regards air pollution in China: an endemic local health hazard which, for deep-rooted cultural, social, economic and political reasons, the country is incapable of addressing.

This may, however, be a bit unfair. China seems to be making progress on pollution.

The Economist, via Christopher Ingraham

08 December 2015

15 October 2015

And now let us remember the worst economic prediction ever

Matt O'Brien

Slavery Myths Debunked

The Irish were slaves too; slaves had it better than Northern factory workers; black people fought for the Confederacy; and other lies, half-truths, and irrelevancies.

Jamelle Bouie and Rebecca Onion

09 October 2015

A drug company raised a pill's price 5,500 percent because, in America, it can

When drug companies set their American prices, they don't focus on the price of making the pills. Instead, they look at what their competitors already charge for similar products — and try to land their price somewhere in that same range, regardless of production costs or how good the drug actually is. Since most drugs are already expensive, new drugs keep matching those prices.

Sarah Kliff

This is the best time to borrow money. In all of history.

Matt O'Brien

07 October 2015

Ben Carson’s anti-Muslim comments are at odds with traditional American principles

But if you're part of the group whose beliefs, traditions, and ideas were for so long taken as the default under which everyone had to live, that inclusiveness feels like a loss of privilege, which can easily be turned into the feeling that you're under attack.


Your devotion to ideas like liberty is tested when you have to apply them not just to yourself and people you think are like you, but to everyone — when you have to ask whether you believe in freedom of speech enough to allow books you disagree with, or whether you believe in freedom of religion enough to give all the same rights you have to people whose religious beliefs are different from yours. 

Can the “Scourge of Upward Redistribution” unite left and right against the rent-seekers?

Lee Drutman

30 July 2015

Unlike Jeb Bush, John Kasich is trying something different

The idea that Jeb Bush — grandson of a senator, son of a president, brother of a president, a man who has spent his entire life swaddled in the embrace of power and influence — is some kind of outsider who because he isn't tainted by Washington's ways can come in and clean up the system is inherently absurd.

Paul Waldman

Pushing back on “quarterly capitalism” and incentivizing more investment

Jared Bernstein

16 July 2015

This is a great point about Iran's official anti-Americanism

Steve Coll:
The United States faces, in the Middle East, many Sunni Arab countries with elites that are pro-American and populations that are deeply hostile, whereas in Iran it faces elites that are mostly hostile — or require hostility to maintain their power — and a population that is really ready for change.
In other words, America's Middle Eastern allies are mostly countries where authoritarian rulers impose deeply unpopular pro-American policies. Our greatest enemy is a country where authoritarian rulers impose unpopular anti-American policies. It doesn't sound like a situation that's particularly stable, either for us or for the Middle East itself, and indeed it's not.

Max Fisher

The End of the 2016 Election Is Closer Than You Think

Doug Sosnik