“The new Republican tax code rigs the economy.”. A millionaire investor

“The new Republican tax code deliberately rigs the economy in favor of the political donor class – the CEOs, corporations, and millionaires who fund campaign – and virtually guarantees that a tiny number of the richest people in the country will get significantly richer while working families and the middle class get screwed. “Among other …

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How the Democrats can win the midterms

In the aftermath of Kavanaugh’s confirmation as a Supreme Court justice, Democrats are feeling dejected. It seems the country is institutionally biased in favour of wealthy, well-connected men. The pleas of a woman who is “100% certain” she was assaulted carry little weight. It is tempting to give up the fight and go home. But …

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Why are students and millennials increasingly left-wing?

The popular conception of millennials in the conservative imagination is that they are a bunch of over-sensitive, politically correct crybabies. Young people are often referred to as ‘snowflakes’, that is, people who think they’re so special and unique, rather than simply being just like everyone else. Universities are seen as places where freedom of expression …

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Taking away the rights of British citizens

“I’m one of the 1.8 million British citizens living in mainland Europe; no deal will have a devastating impact on us. And it is our government, not our EU hosts, that will be stripping us of our right to continue living and working here. “Much as we’d love to hide on 30 March 2019, hoping …

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Are American men in crisis?

According to some commentators, American men are in crisis. For Democrats declining workforce participation rates, rising suicide rates and increasing drug use are symptomatic of an economy that is too weak and rigid to offer men the opportunity they need to thrive. Republicans prefer to focus on social causes of men’s woes: the rise of …

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“Taking back control” in Britain

The endless battles over Brexit mean that few politicians are “seriously engaged” in thinking about “how the world might look after our departure”. It’s time they started. “Simmering resentment with the power of Whitehall” could well ensure that it becomes the next target of “a growing urge to take back control”. In terms of taxes, …

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A calamity in the making, part 2

Hyman Minski, an economist, created the “financial instability hypothesis”. Financial systems – and the free market economies that rest on them – are by nature unstable, tending towards what he called “Ponzi finance”. In good times companies take on too much debt, and that gets them into trouble when profits fall. They then sell assets …

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What Britain’s pro-Europeans are getting wrong

Brexit seems to be going from bad to worse. The governing Conservative Party can’t agree on a plan for leaving the European Union- the Prime Minister Theresa May’s proposed plan is opposed by a significant chunk of Conservative MPs and the vast majority of Conservative members. Negotiations have been slow and fraught, with each side …

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The benefits of gentle police work

Inequality, poverty, corruption – Nicaragua has many of the characteristic problems that afflict Central American nations. Yet there is one way in which it stands out from its neighbours: its relative lack of violence. Its homicide rate, according to the latest regional report from InSight Crime, is a mere seven per 100,000. This compares with …

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The biggest threat to democracy that no one is talking about

That threat is a constitutional convention called by the states. The last time such a thing happened was in 1787. So messy was that affair that it hasn’t been carried out since. But a renewed effort is underway. Conservatives are pushing for an Article V convention to add a balanced-budget amendment and other ideas, to …

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A nation based on fear cannot be “great”.

It has not been a good year for gun makers. Remington filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after its sales fell 27.5% in the first nine months of Donald Trump’s presidency. (Its officials had expected a 2016 Hillary Clinton victory and a burst of gun purchases). Sales have been ragged across the industry. Gun company stocks …

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Letter to the Washington Post, 30 August 2018

“The answer for me to E. J. Dionne’s rhetorical question about why people stay Catholic is simple: I attend Mass to deepen my relationship with the Lord. It matters not who wears the miter and carries the crosier. I don’t care if my priest is gay. The hierarchy and politics of the church offends me …

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The sorry state of British education, part 2, A-levels

The second in a three-part series on the sorry state of British education. You can read the first part on GCSEs here. A-levels are the exams British students take at 18 years old to assess whether they can go to university, and how prestigious a university they can go to. They are also important when applying …

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A maximum wage?

Could capping top incomes tackle our rising inequality more effectively than conventional approaches to narrowing ghe vast economic divide? The Program on Inequality at the Institute for Policy Studies hss published “The Case for A Maximum Wage”, by Sam Pizzigati, an IPS associate fellow and the co-editor of Inequality.org.   Pizzigati docusses how egalitarians worldwide are …

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The sorry state of British education, part 1, GCSEs

The first in a three-part series on the sorry state of British education. Hope you enjoy these multi-part blogs.  I started secondary school in 2008. Then, British secondary education was in a terrible mess; the Labour Education Secretary Ed Balls was presiding over a period of serious grade inflation. GCSEs, the qualification achieved by British …

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Bereft of effective leadership!

“I am opposed to the UK government’s key policy (Brexit), but then so, until recently, was she (Theresa May). There’s a job that doesn’t need doing and, increasingly, it feels like she is just the person not to do it.” (David Mitchell, Guardian Weekly, April 13) Meanwhile, a friend pointed out that the ineffectiveness of …

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Immigration again: victims of domestic and gang violence

In recent months, there has been a surge in the number of immigrants trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border. Immigrant rights advocates say that is because they’re fleeing extreme violence in their home countries — violence that shows no signs of abating. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has broad powers over the nation’s immigration courts, …

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Are you being a “fascist” if you want to curb immigration?

“Here’s some advice to my fellow liberals: If you want to defend liberal democracy in this age of “noisy populist movements”, stop condemning people who disagree with you about immigration. In both America and Europe, liberal commentators tend to treat every call for immigration curbs as a xenophobic assault on democracy. “Yet the conflation of …

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