Author Archives: Editor

Americans Are Pretty Skeptical That Hard Work Will Pay Off


Hard work is often touted as the key American virtue that leads to success and opportunity. And there’s lots of evidence to suggest that workers buy into the belief: For example, a recent study found that Americans work 25 percent more hours than Europeans, and that U.S. workers tend to take fewer vacation days and retire later in life. But for many, simply working hard doesn’t actually lead to a better life.

In the past, economists have acknowledged that citing hard work as the path to prosperity is overly simplistic and optimistic . Ultimately, whether hard work alone can lift […]

Restoring America’s Economic Mobility

Frank Buckley
Author, The Way Back: Restoring the Promise of America Frank Buckley is a Foundation Professor at Scalia Law School at George Mason University, where he has taught since 1989. Previously he was a visiting Olin Fellow at the University of Chicago Law School, and he has also taught at McGill Law School, the Sorbonne, and Sciences Po in Paris. He received his B.A. from McGill University and his LL.M. from Harvard University. He is a senior editor of The American Spectator and the author of several books, including The Once and Future King: The Rise of […]

Thatcher’s long shadow: has the “miserablist” left exaggerated her legacy?

Margaret Thatcher

Margaret Thatcher In the archives of Newsweek magazine is a 2,000-word article credited to Margaret Thatcher, published in April 1992, and headlined “Don’t undo my work”. It is an amazing thing: a vulgar rendering of the basic argument of Francis Fukuyama’s The End of History and the Last Man , mixed with the pain of a once-powerful politician who now had precious little to do with her time, and outrage at the European Union’s Treaty of Maastricht. “I set out to destroy socialism because I felt it was at odds with the character of the people,” she wrote. “We […]

Digging into the data: How attainable is the California Dream today?

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Digging into the data: How attainable is the California Dream today? FIRST IN AN OCCASIONAL SERIES

Editor’s note: Is the California Dream still valid? Compared to the rest of the nation, we are expensive – and making ends meet gets tougher for many of us each year. We have the nation’s highest rates for poverty and income inequality and we face a deepening housing-affordability crisis. Our state has an unfunded debt approaching $400 billion for public-employee retirement and billions more for outstanding bonds. Add to that a massive infrastructure backlog. And yet, many argue, Californians are more diverse, […]

Digging into the data: How attainable is the ‘California Dream’ today?

Digging into the data: How attainable is the ‘California Dream’ today?

No one has the exact same definition of the California dream. Ask the 39 million current Californians about what the dream should be, and aside from most of us agreeing that the daily temperature should dip no colder than the mid-‘50s, you’ll likely get 39 million very different answers.

But the so-called “Golden Era” of California—that faded Technicolor image of a magical time in the 1960s when as soon as you crossed the stateline Ronald Reagan would hand deliver you a two-story house and 2.5 children and tiki-themed patio furniture—still seeps into our expectations of life here. This story is […]

Digging into the data: How attainable is the California Dream today?


John Osborn D’Agostino, CALmatters No one has the exact same definition of the California dream. Ask the 39 million current Californians about what the dream should be, and aside from most of us agreeing that the daily temperature should dip no colder than the mid-‘50s, you’ll likely get 39 million very different answers.

But the so-called “Golden Era” of California—that faded Technicolor image of a magical time in the 1960s when as soon as you crossed the stateline Ronald Reagan would hand deliver you a two-story house and 2.5 children and tiki-themed patio furniture—still seeps into our expectations of life […]

Why Is It So Hard for Democracy to Deal With Inequality?


A fundraiser for Hillary Clinton in New York in Sept. 2016. In theory, in a democracy, the majority should influence — some would even say determine — the distribution of income. In practice, this is not the case.

Over the past few decades, political scientists have advanced a broad range of arguments to explain why democracy has failed to stem the growth of inequality.

Most recently, Thomas Piketty , a French economist who is the author of “ Capital in the Twenty-First Century ,” has come up with a straightforward answer: Traditional parties of the left no longer represent the working […]

UK economy ‘must get more efficient’, says IMF


Britain faces years of sub-par productivity growth if it does not reform housing, education, pensions and infrastructure, according to the IMF, headed by Christine Lagarde Credit: CHRISTOPHER PIKE/REUTERS Britain must make sweeping reforms to pensions, the planning system, infrastructure, education and training, and research and development if it wants to boost economic growth in the years to come, the International Monetary Fund has warned.

Productivity and GDP growth have been relatively weak since the financial crisis, compared to historical levels and relative to other rich economies.

They will stay that way unless serious action is taken.The IMF predicts annual GDP growth […]

Opinion: Challenging India’s increasing inequality – Comment,Politics & Economics,South Asia


India is a country I visit frequently; I long ago fell for its charm, its rich culture and the warmth of its people. Now, there is a vibrancy to its economy to match its undeniable spirit. It is one of the fastest growing in the world with a GDP growth of 7.8 percent (The Economist, 2018) that, in spite of some slowing down, is projected to overtake both the UK and French economies in 2018 and become the fifth largest economy in the world. Latest estimates from the World Economic Forum in Davos indicate that India’s contribution to global […]

NOAH SMITH: Zero-sum thinking is just another way that war is waged

Image: 123RF/ nito500

Image: 123RF/ nito500 Remember “war”? That thing where countries (or kings, or religions) would gather up a bunch of people, give them weapons, and have them slaughter each other and pillage the countryside? For most of the past 3,000 years, war was a more-or-less constant feature of human life. Psychologist Steven Pinker, in his book “The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined,” chronicles the transition from a world where violence was the norm to one where it’s a startling, even shocking rarity.

That doesn’t mean war is over, as gruesome examples such as Syria attest. And a […]