It’s the heat of the strangest and most disturbing election of our lifetimes—a statement that is undeniably true whether you’re 12 or 102. We couldn’t let this election pass without comment. That said, we decided the world didn’t need another dissection of the Republican candidate. So we offer up a short symposium on some of the more hidden keys to this election. Is working-class feminism a potent electoral strategy? Will latent sexism in the electorate reveal itself in the vote? Will “household economics” be enough? How big a deal will the Supreme Court be? What is this “Latino community”? And where will the Sanders movement go, in November and beyond? Respectively, Thomas Sugrue, Ellen Fitzpatrick, Mark Schmitt, Brianne Gorod, Fernand Amandi, and Theda Skocpol provide answers.
Next, we look at the unconventional ways to unleash greater economic growth. In conjunction with the Kauffman Foundation, we asked leading experts in a range of areas, from health care to antitrust law to always overlooked areas like labor mobility: What kinds of laws, rules, and practices are holding back growth, and how can they be changed to unleash it? I can promise that you will learn something interesting in each of the pieces.
Elsewhere, Richard Vague offers a new answer to the question of what’s holding back the global economy: private debt. Mohja Kahf of the University of Arkansas responds to our lively “Islam and Liberalism” roundtable discussion from the last issue. Henry Aaron reviews Samuel Bowles’s The Moral Economy. Danny Postel considers the long-awaited new volume on Iran’s internal domestic politics by the journalist Laura Secor. And Joshua Holland digs into a new book urging us all to pray for the day when our economy more resembles that found in Star Trek.
That would be great. But first, let’s make it through this election; then we’ll worry about living long and prospering.
It was strange thing to do, just as the Internet age was roaring to life, to start a quarterly print journal. But that’s just what Kenneth Baer and Andrei Cherny decided the broad political left needed, as they explain in their essay in the closing pages of this, our Tenth Anniversary
issue. And here we are, a decade later, going, really, stronger than ever.
We run excerpts from nearly 40 of our pieces over the years, from the memorable ones like Elizabeth Warren’s article on the need for a consumer financial protection bureau (which of course now exists) to smaller gems like Martin Kettle’s sharp-eyed piece on Christopher Hitchens.
Elsewhere, we offer up a symposium on the accomplishments—and shortcomings—of the Obama Administration in the economic realm. Our friend and board member E.J. Dionne Jr. writes the introduction to that collection. Another friend and board member, Nick Hanauer, explains why the right needs people to believe that jobs go down as wages go up—it’s how they keep people from demanding their share. Suzanne Nossel, the executive director of PEN American Center, tackles the issue of the disturbing increase in autocrats cracking down on civil-society groups working in their countries and outlines a response. And we have what we think is a really interesting roundtable discussion featuring four progressive Muslim Americans—Representative Keith Ellison among them—offering their thoughts on the liberal roots of Islam and the situation the religion faces today in America.
Diane Coyle reviews Branko Milanovic’s new book on global inequality. Rob Stein, the founder of the Democracy Alliance, takes on Jane Mayer’s important new Koch brothers book. Brook Wilensky-Lanford consider the history of American utopian movements, and Richard Just responds to Joseph S. Nye’s essay from the last issue on America, the election, and the world.
The next President will face a wide array of challenges. Our symposium rounds up some of our finest foreign policy thinkers to offer their advice. There’s Joseph Nye Jr. on America’s place in the world; Ron Klain on stopping the next pandemic; Simon Johnson on the future of the global financial markets; Faysal Itani on defeating ISIS; and many others. It’s a top-notch collection that you won’t want to miss.
There’s more in the feature well: Heather Boushey on why families need to be the centerpiece of our economic policies. Lydia Bean and Steven Teles on the failed coalition politics in the fight against climate change. Bernard Weisberger and Marshall Steinbaum on the radical roots of the American Economic Association.
In the books section, Marvin Kalb shares his thoughts on Russia and Putin; Sam Rosenfeld ponders the New Deal and our current political moment; Ethan Porter shines a light on global tax havens. Finally, Alyssa Katz pens a response to Ryan Grim’s review of her book on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
We are proud to present “16 for ’16,” the centerpiece package from our Winter 2016 issue. The coming year is sure to be a momentous one (not least because it’ll be Democracy’s tenth year!), and we thought there would be no better way to kick off 2016 than with this symposium.
The 16 ideas we present here aim to tackle a range of real-world problems, from mass incarceration to our disorganized security bureaucracy to the looming budget crisis for veterans’ care to climate change. Anne-Marie Slaughter, Austan Goolsbee & Newton Minow, Linda J. Bilmes, Aneesh Chopra, and Juliette Kayyem are just some of the writers we feature in our stellar lineup.
But there’s more: Theda Skocpol and Alexander Hertel-Fernandez take a look why it is that the right has been so successful in dominating statehouses. Joshua Kurlantzick assesses the Obama Administration’s Asia pivot—and finds much to criticize. Bob Kocher & Pat Basu introduce us to the world of telemedicine and explain what policies we need to make it work for everyone.
In the books section, Jedediah Purdy reflects on the libertarian critique of eminent domain; James Ledbetter reviews a new book on FDR, Keynes, and the makings of modern monetary policy; Helaine Olen shines a light on the problems of the unbanked; and Ryan Grim tackles the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Finally, David Madland responds to Bruce Bartlett’s review of his book on the middle class.