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Analysis

Equally free to sleep under the bridge

According to N. Gregory Mankiw, writing in The New York Times, economists need to honor the principle “first, do no harm” when offering policy prescriptions. That principle, to Mankiw, translates into the following: “when people have voluntarily agreed upon an economic arrangement to their mutual benefit, that arrangement should be respected.”... Read more»

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Day of reckoning for parched Southwest

When it comes to water in America, this truth is self-evident: We are guzzlers from sea to shining sea. Nowhere, though, are the effects of our thirst as visible and self-destructive as they are in the Southwest, the fastest-growing and driest region of the country, where just one long and lonely river, the Colorado, must slake the needs of seven states.... Read more»

Commentary

Immigration reform: Disaster for agriculture or proof of brutality of current system?

A study released earlier this week by the American Farm Bureau Federation on the impact of various types of immigration reform on the agricultural sector wants the reader to conclude that an enforcement-only approach to immigration would mean economic disaster. But the agricultural industry only survives in its current form thanks to massive (albeit invisible) subsidy from a work force that cannot be described as free,... Read more»

Why no literacy programs for 30 million in U.S.?

There are currently more than 30 million adults in the United States whose ability to read, write, and do basic math is at or below the level of the average third grader.... Read more»

Comic:

Taste test: 'Just right' government for GOPilocks

Many Republicans insist that the country has gone terribly off track. When, Matt Davies wonders, do they think the derailing occurred? And what would be more to their liking?... Read more»

Comic:

The new economy: Running in place

Americans may be poorly educated relative to some international comparators, but a “skills gap” doesn’t explain the predicament of the barista in this week’s editorial cartoon from Matt Davies.... Read more»

Comic:

Coming up empty

Cartoonist Matt Davies turns his attention to the narrow way in which national security is evaluated and marvels at how much is looked at without being seen.... Read more»

Commentary

Let’s not have a conversation about race

In the Barack Obama and Bill Clinton version of the Democratic Party, the goals is to have “conversations about race.” Once upon a time, those in favor of civil rights (as Obama and Clinton surely are) were more direct: they demanded action, not talk. Action is what we need now.... Read more»

Comic:

Fear, the magic dragon

According to Matt Davies, people don’t sufficiently appreciate the GOP’s artistic side. It’s frequently deployed when boring old facts don’t support the party’s position.... Read more»

Comic:

The real border war

What’s more important to Republicans: cutting the deficit or boosting military spending?... Read more»

Analysis

Citizens without obligations?

If American corporations are, as the Supreme Court ruled in 2010, citizens entitled to free speech and other rights from the nation, what corresponding obligations to the nation do these corporations have?... Read more»1

Comic:

How thoughtful

When it comes to debt, count on politicians to “think of the children.”... Read more»

Nuclear power plant flood risk: Sandy was just a warm-up

For all the damage it caused, Sandy was only a Category 1 hurricane — Hurricane Katrina, by comparison, was a Category 3.  Given the challenges even Sandy brought to the Northeast’s nuclear power plants, which of these facilities are prepared to deal with the flood risks widely expected to increase as a result of global warming?... Read more»

Comic:

Throwaway culture

From diapers to temporary workers, society is chock-full of conveniently disposable items.... Read more»

Congress ties Postal Service into knots

In looking at the decisions the Postal Service has been forced to make since the early 2000s, it is almost as though the Bush Administration and successive Congresses had decided that the task was to make the Postal Service a failed business and a failed public service.... Read more»1

Analysis

Environmental groups whistling past the graveyard?

Environmental groups have long warned that America’s ravenous consumption of fossil fuels is not sustainable as a matter of public health or economic health . But on the heels of a boom in domestic natural gas production — most of it the result of the adoption of fracking — their opponents are in the ascendency.... Read more»

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