Our collective delusion about success has harmful consequences

Razvan Chisu / Unsplash

Lately, I have been reflecting on my place in America’s socioeconomic landscape. Specifically, I am pondering why it is that a college-educated tutor like me can earn more money than the average American worker while laboring fewer hours.

The undercurrent of human nature desires to believe that one’s success comes from one’s talent, perseverance, intelligence, and overall “merit”. We consistently have a bias to overestimate the value of our own contributions. …


It goes beyond the filibuster

Cameron Smith / Unsplash

As President Biden’s agenda moves pitifully slowly through Congress, the flaws of the U.S. Senate are dominating the political discussion. Why do we afford California (population 40 million) and Wyoming (population 500 thousand) the same number of senators? Why do we currently allow the minority party to wield the filibuster for endless obstruction?

It is right to raise these long-overdue questions. Too often, citizens have remained unaware of structural electoral issues while the discussion stays confined to us political nerds. …


Socialism vs Capitalism / Getty

If you watch any debate about economics on cable news or social media, you will likely hear references to “socialism” or “collectivism” in loud and furious contrast to “capitalism” and “the free market”.

Such simplistic, zero-sum framing is harmful to any left-of-center arguments. We should fear words like “socialism”, the argument goes, because they are antithetical to the free-enterprise roots that built our power and prosperity.

A simple version of history is told: capitalism triumphed over collectivism in the Cold War, and a new global consensus reigned. …


Adam Schultz, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Democratic voters don’t agree on everything.

Many of us support Medicare for All; the party leadership does not. Some of us want to eliminate student debt; others think this creates a risky precedent.

The one thing that unifies the Democratic Party is the fear of an increasingly cultish and conspiratorial GOP returning to power. The continued lies about election fraud have created a visceral sense that the Republican Party is a threat to democracy.

I predict that the narrative surrounding the 2024 Democratic nomination will be reminiscent of 2020.

Last election cycle, the top issue for Democrats was defeating Donald…


The former president’s memoir is a mixed bag of inspiration and revisionism

The White House from Washington, DC, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

When Barack Obama was elected president, I was still in elementary school.

I had no knowledge of the contemporary political debates of Washington, nor the magnitude of the global crises unfolding. All I knew was that a historic candidate had won the heart of America.

Driven by a desire to scrutinize this segment of recent American history, I read Obama’s memoir with great interest. Admittedly, I finished it late (nearly five months after the book’s release), but the topics are so wide-ranging that I found it easier to metabolize the book in pieces.

The early chapters are full of detail-ridden…


The inhumane and counterproductive War on Drugs must end

On March 13th, 2020, Breonna Taylor was killed while the police were raiding her home under the pretense that her boyfriend possessed illicit drugs.

The officers — who had a “no-knock” search warrant — forced entry into the home, leading to the shootout that took Taylor’s life. The Supreme Court has established that police raids without announcement are constitutional, claiming that suspects might flee or destroy evidence because of “today’s drug culture”.

Even though no drugs were found in Taylor’s apartment, the drug policy of the United States is largely to blame for her death.

Protest in downtown Los Angeles / California Breaking News

Like many aspects of American…


The Dr. Seuss outrage is the newest story, but it’s the oldest trick in the book

Max Sulik / Unsplash

This month, an intense national debate ensued over a rather trivial event: the decision by Dr. Seuss Enterprises to suspend six children’s books that “portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong”.

Stories like this one highlight the evolution of America’s cultural norms, creating a discourse on where we draw the boundary lines in polite society. How do we respond when we view past words that are clearly insensitive but were once publicly tolerated (like Dr. Seuss describing Asian characters as “helpers who all wear their eyes at a slant”)?

It is a conversation in which reasonable people can…


To gain power, the Squad may need to borrow a few tactics from the Freedom Caucus

On Election Day 2010, the Republicans wiped out the Democrats in a historic fashion. The shift of 63 House seats was the largest in any election since 1948. President Obama stood in the East Room of the White House the next morning and called the midterm result a “shellacking”.

How did the GOP do it? A new wave of unapologetic right-wing ideologues traversed the country in firm opposition to all new taxation, gun control, healthcare reform, immigration, and cultural change. No doubt they channeled a degree of racial backlash to the first African-American president.

The class of GOP representatives elected in 2010 (Photo by Mark Wilson / Getty)

As freshmen in Congress, these new…


This is important legislation and needs to be discussed more often in the political press. Thank you for covering this issue!


Credit: MIT Sloan School of Management

When over two dozen Democratic presidential candidates launched their campaigns in early 2019, young entrepreneur Andrew Yang (who was polling below 1%) proposed a $1,000/month dividend to all American adults. At the time, the idea seemed about as likely to happen as the U.S. declaring war on Canada.

Fast forward to 2020: The pandemic and economic recession prompted widespread direct payments from the government for the first time in U.S. history. They were wildly popular and passed with bipartisan support.

Although the checks have been relatively small ($1200 last March, $600 last December, $1400 coming up), they represent the crossing…

Dean

Georgetown grad, avid educator. Writing clear, well-sourced political takes from a liberal perspective.

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