Editor's Note

Editor’s Note

Michael Tomasky introduces Issue #39

By Michael Tomasky

Eventually, the presidential campaign will be about issues again. We assembled this edition’s “16 for ’16” package in anticipation of that great day. We asked contributors for one idea—not a huge, world-peace kind of idea, but a specific proposal that would solve a discrete problem.

Here are Austan Goolsbee and Newton Minow making the case for a new Morrill Act (allowing the government to sell off public lands) to finance workforce retraining. Juliette Kayyem argues for rewriting our disaster-management laws to allow for a more forward-looking approach. Anne-Marie Slaughter suggests a simple bureaucratic directive that would enable the government to get faster results on foreign-policy initiatives. The ideas cover virtually every aspect of public life—the economy, education, the courts, criminal justice, intelligence, and more.

Also in the feature well, Theda Skocpol and Alexander Hertel-Fernandez take a hard look at why conservative activists have been cleaning progressives’ clocks in state capitals. Joshua Kurlantzick examines where the Asia pivot went wrong. And in the latest installment in the “Our Digital Future” series, Bob Kocher and Pat Basu explain the growing field of telemedicine and describe the kinds of policy changes that will be needed for this intriguing industry to take flight.

The review section features Ryan Grim on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; James Ledbetter on FDR, Keynes, and the gold standard; Helaine Olen on the problem of fringe banking; and Jedediah Purdy on the thorny and sometimes confusing issues raised by eminent domain. We also publish a response by David Madland to Bruce Barlett’s review of his book in the previous issue.

We’re pleased to announce that we are adding Ezekiel Emanuel, the noted health-policy expert, to our board. We’re happy to have him aboard.

Michael Tomasky

Michael Tomasky is the editor of Democracy: A Journal of Ideas.

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