>

April 19th, 2014
thesmithian

To speak of diversity, in light of this country’s history of racial recidivism, is to focus on bringing ethnic variety to largely white institutions, rather than dismantling the structures that made them so white to begin with. And so, sixty years after Brown, it is clear that the notion of segregation as a discrete phenomenon, an evil that could be flipped, like a switch, from on to off, by judicial edict, was deeply naïve…For the tragedy of this moment is not that black students still go to overwhelmingly black schools, long after segregation was banished by law, but that they do so for so many of the same reasons as in the days before Brown.

more.

To speak of diversity, in light of this country’s history of racial recidivism, is to focus on bringing ethnic variety to largely white institutions, rather than dismantling the structures that made them so white to begin with. And so, sixty years after Brown, it is clear that the notion of segregation as a discrete phenomenon, an evil that could be flipped, like a switch, from on to off, by judicial edict, was deeply naïve…For the tragedy of this moment is not that black students still go to overwhelmingly black schools, long after segregation was banished by law, but that they do so for so many of the same reasons as in the days before Brown.

more.

April 1st, 2014
thesmithian
…the skills myth—like the myth of a looming debt crisis—is having dire effects on real-world policy. Instead of focusing on the way disastrously wrongheaded fiscal policy and inadequate action by the Federal Reserve have crippled the economy and demanding action, important people piously wring their hands about the failings of American workers. Moreover, by blaming workers for their own plight, the skills myth shifts attention away from the spectacle of soaring profits and bonuses even as employment and wages stagnate. Of course, that may be another reason corporate executives like the myth so much.
March 26th, 2014
thesmithian

'We've persuaded ourselves that residential isolation of low-income black children is only de facto—the accident of economic circumstance, personal preference, and private discrimination. Unless we relearn how residential segregation is de jure—racially motivated public policy—we can't remedy school segregation that flows from neighborhood isolation.'

more.

March 21st, 2014
thesmithian

'What this has meant in the U.S. and elsewhere…is that the “good guys” who want to implement policies to get the unemployed back to work are too often caving to the pressure of the “pain caucuses” pushing sky-is-falling predictions about “runaway inflation and soaring interest rates” as a justification to do nothing. It’s a battle of good versus evil…and the bad guys seem to be winning…'

more.

March 1st, 2014
thesmithian

'…if a restaurant decided they wanted to throw out a gay couple, that couple should…just go somewhere else. It isn't the government's role to protect the civil rights of people. If a business owner's God didn't like black people, for example, he could simply throw them out and put up a sign saying “no blacks allowed for religious reasons”…If a Muslim business owner didn't want to serve Jewish people, just go somewhere else, Jews. I presume [the writer] would appreciate some sort of app or website that kept a catalog of which businesses do business with which groups of people. That's the sort of society he wants to live in. Which was exactly how things were before the Civil Rights Act…'

Pretty shocking. But more importantly, why is it that [the writer] seems to think that it is the government’s role to protect the rights of business owners? The government shouldn’t protect a customer’s right to be treated fairly. Instead, that should left up to the market. But a business owner’s right to treat people unfairly, why that should be protected by government statute!

more.

February 9th, 2014
thesmithian
Maybe the truly savvy thing is to take policy seriously, not to pretend that it’s all a game, and that only you understand the rules?
January 29th, 2014
thesmithian

'For a bit of personal wealth, a politician sells out the people who elected him, the people who trusted him to serve their interests. Some of the nation’s millionaires and billionaires use politicians’ avarice to buy exclusive deals, policies and laws. This could be big tax breaks for the rich. This could be bailing out Wall Street. This could be refusing to regulate industrial chemicals that poison drinking water when leaked. These arrangements enrich some politicians and CEOs while impoverishing everyone else. The resulting rising income inequality is deliberate, not an accidental slip of some clumsy invisible hand of the market.'

more.

January 29th, 2014
thesmithian

'principal…news from [the] State of the Union speech…was Pres. Obama’s pledge to sign an exec order requiring federal contractors to pay a minimum wage of $10.10 an hour (for new or renegotiated contracts). The move is important politically—an indication that the Democrats are determined to make economic opportunity the issue in this year’s elections—as well as from a policy perspective…

 If 2014 is going to be a “year of action,” as Obama said in his address, this is the only way it’s going to happen—by Presidential fiat. “Wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for more American families, that’s what I’m going to do,” the President declared.

more.

January 23rd, 2014
thesmithian

newyorker:

The President talks about climate change, Iran, the atmosphere in Washington, and the future of American policy in these outtakes from a series of exclusive interviews with David Remnick: http://nyr.kr/LY18Sw

Photograph: Pete Souza

[meaningful glance]

Reblogged from The New Yorker
January 4th, 2014
thesmithian

The term “Rust Belt”…exaggerates the physical decay and isolates the identity of many cities in static matter. Advocates, journalists and scholars have popularized the term…while perpetuating the emphasis on what makes these places frontiers of decline. Narratives of the Rust Belt are still focused on loss, rife with a cynical nostalgia and a nagging refusal to cast in with wealthier and less damaged cities. The singularity of the conditions of places like St. Louis and Detroit remains mythic fodder for would-be heroes of public policy, architectural design and public art. There are many Daniel Boones of the legacy cities.

more.

November 19th, 2013
thesmithian

'…it may well be that Zimmerman is yet another victim of the nefarious forces of black privilege. That he is helpless against the hordes of hyper-violent blacks, crazed women and the machinations of Eric Holder. That George Zimmerman continuing to live armed is evidence of sane public policy and a polite society.'

more.

October 3rd, 2013
thesmithian

'Republicans have become “post-policy” in the sense that they have largely given up on attempting to construct real public policy solutions. That fits with, for example, the record of the GOP House in rarely actually passing bills.'

more.

September 25th, 2013
thesmithian

'the fact is that the United States maintains more that six hundred bases around the world, and it spends more on its military than almost all other countries combined. For the foreseeable future, there is no prospect of it reversing course, slashing the military budget, and returning to splendid isolation. Still, the larger point holds. Obama was reminding the world that for now, at least, the days of the United States engaging in foreign adventurism, and using the Pentagon to pursue political crusades, are over. In concert with others, America will do its bit for defending liberal values and preventing mass killings by repressive regimes, but its main focus will be on protecting its own economic and strategic interests. And if anybody wants to challenge that policy stance, they will have to talk to the U.S. public.'

more.

September 14th, 2013
thesmithian
…a lot of identity politics of 20 years ago, 30 years ago has now become the identity politics of policy…You can no longer take yesterday’s map for today’s politics.
Loading tweets...

@danamo

Likes

culture is politics. politics is culture.
[beta]

Networks

Following