Wall Street Journal
In China, a Show Trial Without the Show
August 09, 2012
BEIJING—Back when disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai still ruled Chongqing, he took a special interest in the optics of trials. Before his sudden fall from grace this spring, he was, after all, famous for his dramatic flair—and his most artful turn as politician-cum-showman was the aggressively publicized way in which he cracked down on organized crime, and potential threats to his personal authority.
The Inscrutable Andy Stern, In His Own Defense
August 06, 2012
At a time when unions hold an ever-diminishing role in American life, Andy Stern commanded a remarkably high profile. To his supporters, the longtime head of the Service Employees International Union was the savior of organized labor, who had found a way to expand the ranks of his union when almost every other one in the private sector was shrinking.
Paul Krugman, Ted Cruz, and the Rage of the Golfing Class
August 01, 2012
Paul Krugman has posted a blog item observing, with some amusement, that Ted Cruz, Texas’s Tea Party-favored GOP Senate nominee, is a man who believes that there is a global plot, led by George Soros, to eliminate golf courses. It’s true! (Not that Soros wants to eliminate golf courses, but that Cruz has said he does.) What Krugman may not know, and what I learned from hard experience, is that golf is the very hottest of hot buttons to America’s business class. Regulate my company; tax my seven-figure income if you must.
Rage Of The Golfing Class
August 01, 2012
Paul Krugman has posted a blog item observing, with some amusement, that Ted Cruz, Texas's Tea Party-favored GOP Senate nominee, is a man who believes that there is a global plot, led by George Soros, to eliminate golf courses. It's true! (Not that Soros wants to eliminate golf courses, but that Cruz has said he does.) What Krugman may not know, and what I learned from hard experience, is that golf is the very hottest of hot buttons to America's business class. Regulate my company; tax my seven-figure income if you must.
Those Guys? Never Seen ’Em Before.
July 30, 2012
As Republicans have ramped up on their attack on Barack Obama as a wannabe socialist who doesn’t believe that successful businessmen are responsible for their own fortunes, I’ve been struck by an odd and little-noticed countervailing push: the desire by some conservative writers to disassociate their side from triumphant capitalists. I spotted it a few weeks ago in Nick Lemann’s New Yorker review of several books on inequality, including my colleague Tim Noah’s The Great Divergence and Spoiled Rotten: How the Politics of Patronage Corrupted the Once Noble Democratic Party and Now Threatens t
Campaign Advice That Mitt Won't Take
July 19, 2012
Take a moment to read this: Romney must know better than anyone that the folks running our big banks ... are hardly paragons of risk assessment. After all, Bain Capital, where Romney made his fortune, existed in part because worthy businesses often could not borrow on attractive terms from traditional banks. He must know two other things about these banks: They are too big to fail, and too complicated to regulate.
Following a week of mixed messaging out of the Romney camp, the Wall Street Journal sounded the alarms with an editorial declaring that the Romney campaign’s failure to call the individual mandate a tax might be the turning point of the entire campaign. But the Wall Street Journal would be wise to take a deep breath: The penalty/tax dustup doesn't much matter, and it shouldn't obscure their more credible criticism—Romney’s failure to respond more aggressively to attacks on Bain Capital. Romney hardly squandered an opportunity on the mandate/tax question.
The WSJ Editorial Page Has, Er, A Point
July 03, 2012
My first reaction to the conservative fulminating against John Roberts was that the right doesn’t realize how good they have it. The chief justice finds a way to limit future government activism while preserving (actually resurrecting) the nonpartisan standing of the Supreme Court, and all for the low-cost of a affirming domestic program that, while no doubt detested, was democratically enacted, and conservatives can’t find something nice to say about him?
The Political Upshot of the Roberts Vote
June 28, 2012
A number of commentators have noted that one upshot of the Supreme Court largely affirming the Affordable Care Act is that it will help shape public opinion on the law, which is still a bit amorphous. I agree, and think the effect could be even larger than they realize. If you look at recent polling, you find that around 35 percent of Americans support the law, around 40 to 45 percent oppose it, and the rest don’t really have an opinion.
The Solution For Europe? Scott Walker.
June 15, 2012
It’s small consolation for the pain and havoc being experienced across much of Europe, and for the economic fallout that is hitting us over on this side of the Atlantic, but there is a bit of amusement to be had these days in the confusion that the European crisis is causing on the American right.