We open this issue with more entries in the “what Democrats need to do” series. First, we welcome our publisher Bernard Schwartz to our pages, who writes a sharp essay with former Foreign Policy magazine editor David Rothkopf on the needed Democratic priorities heading into this fall’s midterms and especially to 2020. We follow that with an important piece from Jake Sullivan, who was Hillary Clinton’s top policy adviser, discussing lessons from the campaign about what issues and areas the Democrats need to emphasize next time around.
Longtime readers will know that defending the positive contributions of gov- ernment has been a cause of this journal’s for some time. In this vein, we are delighted to publish an adaptation from The Value of Everything, due out this fall from University College of London economist Mariana Mazzucato. She shows how, for centuries, economics has totally failed to measure the true value of wealth created by or with the help of the public sector. Her work should spark a wholesale reassessment in how we measure public value, which in turn would change the way we think about public investment.
Rounding out the feature well are two provocative essays. The first, by James Traub, details the assault—in North Carolina and other states, not to mention Hungary and Poland—by right-wing regimes on the independent judiciary. The second, by Stephen J. Rose and Ruy Teixeira, argues against the standard liberal-left notion that automation is going to take away millions of jobs and posits instead that the real problem of the future will be our failure to prepare enough people to succeed in the high-end economy, which is easily picking up the slack.
The issue features four excellent book reviews. Writer Sarah Jones, whom we welcome to our pages for the first time, digs into the topic of the opioid crisis through a book that describes the bleak situation in her native southwest Virginia. The veteran journalist Joe Klein assays the strange (and often strained) relationship between Franklin Roosevelt and Al Smith. Princeton political theoretician Jan-Werner Müller reviews William Galston’s take on the future of the West. And political scientist Norman Ornstein discusses a lively and original history of polarization by the young historian Samuel Rosenfeld.