Drawn from "China's Rise, America's Fall," April 2012
So far at least, these extra-constitutional and often brutal methods have not been directed toward controlling America’s own political system; we remain a democracy rather than a dictatorship. But does our current system actually possess the central feature of a true democracy, namely a high degree of popular influence over major government policies? Here the ... Read More
In November, a turning point for U.S. education
Originally proposed by Economics Nobel Laureate Milton Friedman in 1955, educational vouchers and related types of school choice have increasingly become the main focus of conservative education- reformers, as attractive to parochial-school Christian conservatives as to free-market libertarians. In the past year, some prominent liberal journalists, such as Matt Miller writing in The Atlantic and ... Read More
The flow of money to candidates and causes calls the idea of the people's best interests into question
There are many areas of the world where ordinary citizens suspect that their elections are for sale. But California is one of the few places where these purchases are publicly disclosed. Consider last November's Proposition 9, an initiative sponsored by consumer activists that would have slashed utility rates in the state. The utility companies spent ... Read More
Her ill-conceived plan to boost business is grounded in politics and geared to 'correctness'
Sometimes a single phrase can summarize an entire political philosophy. Early in her campaign for governor, Kathleen Brown announced her support for re-imposing California's asset-forfeiture laws, which involve confiscating the property of individuals who have not been convicted of any crime. Her position paper defended such laws as a "badly needed source of revenue . ... Read More