Commentary | By Craig Gurian | Alternative models, Globalization
The current system clearly hasn't been so good for those to whom the benefits were supposed to trickle down. But the U.S. remains a mighty economic force, one that could push back effectively if it wished to, and cross-national cooperation could yield a mutual defense pact to protect countries from having to compete in a race to the bottom. More
Commentary | By Craig Gurian | Budget deficit, Corporate influence, Economy
Having become disoriented in the fog of Corporate Uncertainty, I was trying to find my way when, suddenly, over the Fiscal Cliff I went. I plunged straight down — deeper and deeper into the abyss. I thought all was lost. But then I saw the Grand Bargain waiting for me, beckoning to me. For a moment, I rejoiced. The Grand Bargain hovered below me, ready to break my fall. More
Commentary | By Craig Gurian | Federalism, Law
The Medicaid expansion portion of the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Affordable Care Act was most fundamentally a decision to reorder the relationship between the federal government and the states, a decision to subordinate the idea of nationhood to judge-made deference-to-states theory. If the court had not interfered, state officials were free to have rejected Medicaid expansion and to have accepted the consequences of a full cut off of existing Medicaid funding, and voters everywhere could have, as usual, decided how to apportion credit and blame between those state officials and their federal counterparts. More
Commentary | By Craig Gurian | Budget deficit, Economy, Role of government, Taxes
A recent report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) on the long-term budget outlook for the U.S. from now to 2037 has reheated deficit hysteria in Washington. But the points of fiscal stress that the CBO highlighted were misleading, its alternative budget scenarios remarkably lacking in either range or nuance, and its focus on reining in "excess" growth in health care expenditures failed to emphasize appropriately the human cost that would be involved. More
Commentary | By Craig Gurian | Aging, Population
Of all the fantasies indulged in by a society speeding toward self-destruction, none is as consequential as the idea that continuing growth — both in population and size of our economy — has a happy-ever-after ending. Yet, when overpopulation is discussed at all, it is discussed as a problem limited to the developing world. Indeed, a growing chorus of “pro-natalist” or population growth ideologues insists that, in the U.S. and other parts of the developed world, population stability or decline represents a demographic crisis that needs to be reversed. More
Commentary | By Craig Gurian | Politics, Redistricting
The Governor has a 69 percent approval rating, totes around an adoring press corps, and has been described as the tamer of New York's dysfunctional legislature. But preventing a repeat of the state's usual gerrymandering process in this redistricting cycle was just not important enough to Cuomo. So he has broken his promise to veto cynical plans to reproduce the status quo. More
Commentary | By Craig Gurian | Civil rights, Education, Law, Race
As the Supreme Court looks ready to restrict or eliminate race-based affirmative action in its 2012-13 session, supporters of such preferences have a tool they have (puzzlingly) not yet deployed: race-based affirmative action as a means to compensate for the disproportionately negative impact of current-day "legacy admissions" policies on minority applicants. More
Commentary | By Craig Gurian | Cultural values
Do all cultures celebrate cheating as much as we do? Has "getting away with it" always thrilled us to the extent it does now? I’ll concede in advance the danger of falling into the this-is-the-worst-it-has-ever-been trap, and even acknowledge, on a moment’s reflection, that our time and place has no patent on pretense, disingenuousness, and deceit. But we are still in staggeringly bad shape. More