November/December 2013

Our All-Purpose Fill-in-the-Blanks Senate Eulogy

In 1945, the average age in the Senate was fifty-nine. Today, it’s sixty-two. As our democracy becomes a gerontocracy, it raises all sorts of policy challenges. But for speechwriters, it raises a unique one. Over the course of the Senate’s history, 299 sitting senators have died in office—one death every nine months. That’s a lot… Read more »

Introduction: Where Is Opportunity in America?

Once upon a time, proponents of the idea of “American exceptionalism” used to point to Europe’s high youth unemployment rates as an object lesson. See what happens, they’d lecture, when countries have inflexible labor markets and cradle-to-grave social benefits? But an inconvenient truth has emerged. The youth unemployment rate in the United States is now… Read more »

Tilting at Windmills

Fair-weather Democrats You probably read about the two Democratic state senators who lost recall elections in Colorado because they voted to strengthen gun laws in the state. What struck me in the New York Times account that I read is that 21,000 fewer voters turned out than had in 2010. That was the midterm election,… Read more »

Stay Put, Young Man

Americans used to be exceptional for how often they moved. But that once-powerful source of both efficiency and upward mobility is now in steep decline.