I came across a 2013 article from the New York Times old Public Editor, Margaret Sullivan, about the paper's use of the word "entitlements" to describe Social Security, Medicare, and other federal "outlays," to use the more technical language that once drove coverage of tax policy. Sullivan agreed with a reader that "entitlements" is a partisan, sneering term … Continue reading Entitlements
Keywords for the Age of Austerity will be published in good old fashioned book form sometime (hopefully) next year! I'm very excited that it will be published by Haymarket Books, one of my favorite publishers and the perfect place for it. In order to create an artificial scarcity of essays on the culture of austerity, … Continue reading Exciting announcement!
The New York Times has a fun little "national health care systems" bracket tournament in its print edition today, so you can compare how successfully or not various countries on the planet monetize their citizens' sickness and mortality. Or to put it another way, "which of these nations has the best health system?" (The winner, … Continue reading Defining “innovation”: sometimes it’s easy
TEAM, n.: A group of waged workers whose contractual obligation to their boss is dishonestly conflated with a moral duty to one another & themselves. From a Florida Pizza Hut during Hurricane Irma.
I finally saw Detroit, Kathryn Bigelow's film on the Algiers Motel killings, and I have to say I came out of the theater quite shaken by it--it's visually exhausting, thanks to the frenetic, riotous movement of Bigelow's camera throughout. And a viewer familiar with the Algiers Motel killings can only watch the unfolding drama with … Continue reading On Kathryn Bigelow’s Detroit
The organized anti-academic right has claimed its first major legislative victory, with North Carolina's bill, HB 527, naturally called the ACT TO RESTORE AND PRESERVE FREE SPEECH ON THE CAMPUSES OF THE CONSTITUENT INSTITUTIONS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA. The bill is based on the Goldwater Institute's model bill, versions of which have been … Continue reading The scandal of “campus free speech” bills
Anthony Scaramucci's Twitter bio once read, with heroic simplicity, "American entrepreneur." His title is now the rather pedestrian "Assistant to the President, Director of Communications." On the one hand, this is a step up--in the aftermath of his famous New Yorker meltdown, he is reaching for a bit of gravitas, emphasizing his importance in the … Continue reading A moment of silence for Scaramucci’s Twitter bio
Today marks the 50th anniversary of the murders of Carl Cooper, Fred Temple, and Auburey Pollard at the Algiers Motel in Detroit. I wrote an essay for Guernica on the legacy of John Hersey's book The Algiers Motel Incident, the experience of teaching it in the aftermath of the Freddie Gray and Tamir Rice verdicts, and the … Continue reading Not Tragedy, but Atrocity: Grappling with the legacy of the Algiers Hotel murders, half a century later
In his recent New Republic piece David Sessions reads the category of the "thought leader" as the organic intellectual of the one percent: a figure who gives an emerging class its sense of its purpose in society. This purpose, Sessions argues convincingly, is to mirror, systematize, and popularize the delusions of the superrich: that they … Continue reading Keywords for the Age of Austerity 30: Thought Leader
For a concept that describes a business practice, innovation’s vernacular can be often remarkably detached from the market—that is, from the buying and selling of things and services, and the employment (or rather exploitation) of people. Brooklyn’s Industry City redevelopment is a case in point. The site in Sunset Park was largely abandoned by its … Continue reading Innovation in Action 3: Industry City, Brooklyn