Our friend Nick Hanauer, the Seattle venture capitalist, has established himself in recent years as probably the leading voice among the zillionaire class for a sensible progressive economic policy built not around more tax cuts for him but around more investments in the middle class. In numerous venues, he’s made a strong case against supply-side economics and the view of human nature (that we’re all just greedy self-maximizers) that underpins it.
In this issue, Hanauer argues that to revive labor, the largest employers must be made to lead the way to pay better wages and benefits—and should be penalized when they fail to. It’s exactly the kind of reform package we need to be talking about: big and bold, but also achievable. Democratic presidential wannabes, take note.
We are—we hope—halfway through the Trump era, which inspired our symposium “Halfway Home,” in which we invite a number of contributors, some old friends of the journal and some first-timers, to share their thoughts about where they think things stand, and what our side needs to be doing as we hurtle toward 2020. Things got better on November 6, but there’s still a lot of building to do, and this symposium helps show the way.
We also publish in this issue two important foreign-policy essays. Daniel Shapiro, the former U.S. ambassador to Israel under President Obama, assays President Trump’s attacks on NATO, and insists that it must be defended against Trump’s assaults. And Ganesh Sitaraman argues that it’s not right-wing populism that is the real threat to liberal democracy—it’s nationalist oligarchy. Both are bracing and provocative essays. Also, Didi Kuo issues a bracing call for corporate civic responsibility, and Ian Millhiser lays out the controversial case for changing the Supreme Court.
Few conservative writers have made as interesting and thorough a journey in the Trump age as Max Boot. Suzanne Nossel reviews Boot’s new book and comes away only somewhat convinced. Brentin Mock reaches similar conclusions about DeRay Mckesson, one of the founders of Black Lives Matter. And Jon Shelton reviews a new book about why Wisconsin, with its strong progressive history, moved to the right in recent years—a movement that, happily, was arrested in November.