The Price of Democracy

We pay a lot of money for health care in the United States, more per capita than anywhere else in the industrialized world. If you point out this inescapable fact to opponents of socialized medicine, they invariably respond that we get high-quality care in return. Exasperated, you might go further and say that spending nearly $8,000 a year per capita still leaves us with the 8th-lowest average...
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Scram!

Get out of town. Go on, scram! That’s what a graduation ceremony is all about: the big boot. Thanks for those thousands of dollars, here’s a receipt in the form of a diploma, and now hurry up and make room for the next class. Oh, and don’t forget to write: checks that is, once you’ve somehow paid off your mountainous student debt. I wasn’t invited to give a commencement address this...
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America the Serial Killer

Everybody loves Dexter. He’s handsome. He’s helpful. He works at the Miami Metro Police Department, and he’s very good at his job as a blood-splatter analyst. Oh, did I mention that he moonlights as a serial killer? Don’t worry: he only kills bad guys. That’s part of the code that Dexter’s adoptive father, himself a police officer, passed down to his son. As a child who had watched...
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NATO’s Twin Crises

It’s not an easy time for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The ongoing economic crisis is putting pressure on military budgets on both sides of the Atlantic. Meanwhile, the Libya conflict revealed the stark limitations of the United States’ military partners in Europe, virtually all the allies are heading for the exit in Afghanistan, and no country is eager to intervene...
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Waiting for Copernicus

It’s happening in Buenos Aires. It’s happening in Paris and in Athens. It’s even happening at the World Bank headquarters. The global economy is finally shifting away from the model that prevailed for the last three decades. Europeans are rejecting austerity. Latin Americans are nationalizing enterprises. The next head of the World Bank has actually done effective development work. Maybe...
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