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Columns

A homeless man pushes a shopping cart full of his belongings across an intersection in the Skid Row area of Los Angeles, Friday, March 29, 2013. The area, originally agricultural until the 1870s when railroads first entered Los Angeles, has maintained a transient nature through the years from the influxes of short-term workers, migrants fleeing economic hardship during the Great Depression, military personnel during World War II and the Vietnam conflict, and low-skilled workers with limited transportation options who need to remain close to the city's core, according to the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Column: Rising Tide of Income Inequality Is Politically Unsustainable

Sunday, April 20, 2014

New York Inequality has come out of the fiscal shadows. U.S. President Barack Obama, a scrupulous consensus-builder who long avoided all zero-sum formulations, is now rallying citizens to stand with him against “the relentless, decades-long trend” of income inequality. Bill de Blasio became New York’s mayor by campaigning on the issue. And earlier this month, Christine Lagarde — the executive …

Column: When Full Disclosure Promotes Mischief

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Washington The debate over campaign contributions is never-ending for a simple reason: Both sides of the argument have merit. On the one hand, of course money is speech. For most citizens, contributing to politicians or causes is the most effective way to augment and amplify speech with which they agree. The most disdainful …

Column: Kansas, the KKK and the Pernicious Undercurrent of Hate

Saturday, April 19, 2014

The news that a former grand dragon of the Ku Klux Klan is suspected of shooting and killing three people near Jewish community centers in Kansas seems at first glance like a disparaged past flaring briefly into the present. Americans like to imagine that the KKK belongs to a long-gone South and anti-Semitism to a distant 20th century. Sadly, this better reflects a …

Column: The Wealth of Nations Rests in Creativity

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Free-market capitalism is a success because it does the most efficient possible job of allocating a society’s resources, or so goes the prevailing logic. But what if capitalism’s true value lies elsewhere? What if its most important attribute …

Column: Colleges Must Stop Exploiting Athletes

Friday, April 4, 2014

Recently, Bill Maher tweeted that “March Madness really is a stirring reminder of what America was founded on — making tons of money off the labor of unpaid black people.” College athletes do receive scholarships and are not forced to play, so a more accurate comparison might be …

Column: Small Towns and Inner Cities Should Bank on the Post Office

Friday, April 4, 2014

Drive through the dilapidated main strip in Terry, Miss., and it’s easy to see that the town of 1,063 is a hardscrabble place. And last month, life there got harder when the last bank branch in town closed, leaving in the lurch residents who have long depended on …

Column: Sexual Assault: Judges Are Far Too Lenient

Friday, April 4, 2014

New Haven, Conn. What is wrong with Delaware Judge Jan Jurden, who last week gave a DuPont heir, Robert H. Richards IV, probation for raping his 3-year-old daughter? In her mind-boggling order suspending Richards’ eight-year prison sentence, Jurden …

Column: Christie, GM Cover Themselves in Whitewash

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Washington Lawyering-up used to be a sign of guilt. Hiring lawyers to try to pre-empt a raft of independent investigations is a sign of futility. Last Thursday, we got the results of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s inquiry …

Column: Fast-Food Chains Steal Wages From Workers

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Last month, McDonald’s was hit with multiple class-action lawsuits alleging that the company routinely violated minimum wage, overtime and other workplace laws through a variety of illegal schemes that had one goal in common: drive down labor costs by stealing from workers. On Tuesday we learned that law-breaking …

Column: The Planet’s Largest Habitat Remains Unexplored Territory

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Jet aircraft are large, but not compared with the ocean. The weeks-long search for some physical sign of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 is not something we should wonder at, considering the frontier nature of our blue planet. The 29 percent of our planet that is land is inhabited …

Column: In the Good Old Days, I Was in the Driver’s Seat

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Montpelier I’m sitting here in front of a computer that’s made a tremendous difference in my life. It keeps my checkbook, monitors my bank accounts and credit card charges, composes stories and columns (with a little help from …

Column: GOP Pivots From Party of Entrepreneurs to Party of Work

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Washington Finding a way out of our current political impasse requires some agreement on what problems we need to solve. If anything should unite left, center and right, it is the value of work and the idea, in Bill Clinton’s signature phrase, that those who “work hard and …

Column: When Walking Was the National Pastime

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Opening Day reminds us that baseball is America’s national pastime. It’s hard to imagine a time when baseball wasn’t considered the national game, but long ago another sport was far more popular: competitive walking. In the 1870s and 1880s, the country’s largest arenas were packed to the rafters …