Category Archives: revitalizing the left

the Democrats’ problem is social capital

Notwithstanding the fiasco that is the GOP presidential primary so far, Matthew Yglesias warns, “The Democratic Party is in much greater peril than its leaders or supporters recognize, and it has no plan to save itself. … The vast majority — 70 percent … Continue reading

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Bernie Sanders runs on the 1948 Democratic Party Platform

One gap between liberals and conservatives is their sense of the direction the country has recently taken. Each side perceives a nation that has abandoned valuable principles that were prevalent in the past. Sometimes, both sides’ perceptions are exaggerated. For instance, gross government spending … Continue reading

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#Blacklivesmatter and Sen. Sanders: social democracy and identity politics

(Winston-Salem) Last weekend, #BlackLivesMatter activists disrupted a forum with Democratic presidential candidates Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders at Netroots Nation. An objection to Gov. O’Malley was that he oversaw the State of Maryland while it incarcerated many thousands of young … Continue reading

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how our two-party system frustrates political innovation

I was in Spain this past week for a pair of political science conferences. My visit came soon after an election in which two new parties emerged: Podemos (leftist and innovative in how it engages voters) and Ciudadanos (center-right and also … Continue reading

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pay-for-success in government

Let’s say you represent a program that would really save the government money as well as serving a social need. For instance, your program can cut the number of felonies, thereby saving $31,000 per person/per year in incarceration costs while … Continue reading

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Foucault and neoliberalism

If you’re intellectually and ideologically eclectic, then you will find important ideas all over the map. It will not surprise you to learn that a person generally associated with the left has benefited from F.O. von Hayek or Gary Becker: leading libertarians. … Continue reading

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disadvantaged youth most likely to credit the rich for their own success

My friend Connie Flanagan reports on her study of 600 US adolescents: It was adolescents in the least privileged circumstances (whose parents had lower levels of education, whose schools were located in low-income communities, and whose classmates reported few discussions … Continue reading

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Jonathan Gruber and progressive arrogance

(Westfield, MA) Progressives must denounce this statement by Jonathan Gruber in no uncertain terms: This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure the CBO [Congressional Budget Office] did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO scored … Continue reading

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what do the Democrats offer the working class?

You’d swear that progressives have a quota for the phrase “white male.” It’s like their Benghazi. — Conor Friedersdorf (@conor64) November 6, 2014 According to the Exit Polls, 64% of white people without college educations, and also 64% of white … Continue reading

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the left has become Burkean

David Brooks makes a point today that is one of my hobby-horses: [Edmund] Burke is known as the founder of conservatism, but his thought sits oddly these days with the Republican Party and those who call themselves conservative. The party has become … Continue reading

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