Could today’s version of America have been able to win World War II? It hardly seems possible.
That victory required national cohesion, voluntary sacrifice for the common good and trust in institutions and each other. America’s response to Covid-19 suggests that we no longer have sufficient quantities of any of those things.
Those of us who had hoped America would calm down when we no longer had Donald Trump spewing poison from the Oval Office have been sadly disabused. There are increasing signs that the Trumpian base is radicalizing. My Republican friends report vicious divisions in their churches and families. Republican politicians who don’t toe the Trump line are speaking of Read originalRead More
Morrie Schwartz was a Brandeis sociology professor who died of A.L.S. in 1995. While he was dying, he had a couple of conversations with Ted Koppel on “Nightline” and a bunch with his former student Mitch Albom, who wrote a book, “Tuesdays With Morrie,” which sold over 15 million copies. For a few years, Schwartz was the national epitome of the wise person, the gentle mentor we all long for.
If, as expected, Biden’s American Family Plan includes universal pre-K education and free community college, that would mean four more years of free schooling for millions of young Americans. As Rahm Emanuel said to me, when was the last time we achieved something as big as that?
It’s also a unifying agenda. For the past several decades the economy has funneled money to highly educated people who live in large metro areas. That has created a ruinous class rift that divides the country and fuels polarization.Read More
It’s hosting a dinner party and noticing that somebody’s glass is nearly empty. It’s having a stranger on a plane confide something in you and you being a momentary presence in her life. I used to have my meetings at the same coffee shop in D.C. and all around me I’d overhear conversations between friends offering each other counsel and care.
Those little acts, giving fruit to each other, turn out to be tremendously fortifying.Read More
On March 12, President Biden signed a $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief act into law. Just 10 days later my Times colleague Jim Tankersley reported on a $3 trillion package of jobs, clean energy and infrastructure proposals. The Biden administration is throwing up epic spending plans at a bold, dazzling pace.
Like a lot of people, I’ve tried to envision a way to promote social change that doesn’t involve destroying people’s careers over a bad tweet, that doesn’t reduce people to simplistic labels, that is more about a positive agenda to redistribute power to the marginalized than it is about simply blotting out the unworthy.
It was assumed, even only a decade ago, that the Fed could not just print money with abandon. It was assumed that the government could not rack up huge debt without spurring inflation and crippling debt payment costs. Both of these concerns have been thrown out the window by large numbers of thinkers. We’ve seen years of high debt and loose monetary policy, but inflation has not come.
So the restraints have been cast aside.Read More
Like you, I’m sure, I love America, but the love has changed. I started out with the child version: America is the greatest and most powerful country on earth.
That emotion doesn’t generally survive into adulthood, especially in times like these. That kind of patriotism tends to play down shameful truths. It tends to bloat into touchy and overweening pride.
I know money can’t buy you love, but wouldn’t it be nice to have enough money to buy whatever else you want?
I’m here to help you to help you!
The most likely way to become rich is to try to get into a line of work that’s hard to get into, particularly if the people in that profession are the ones setting the rules for entry.