Arlie Hochschild, a retired sociology professor at U.C. Berkeley, has spent five years interviewing and becoming friends with Tea Party supporters in Louisiana. As she puts it, she has been trying to climb over the “empathy wall,” to “turn off the alarm bells”, in order to understand how her friends view the world. Her new book, Strangers in Their Own Land, should be essential reading for Democratic politicians from Hillary on down. . . . → Read More: Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right
First it was the Dominican limo driver, who disappeared while driving a client upstate. When my husband extracted him from Utica jail a month later, it turned out he’d been arrested on bogus drug charges, and his limo confiscated. Then it was a friend, set up for a drug bust by his ex-wife, to gain . . . → Read More: What Drives the War on Drugs?
Economic historians often refer to the period from World War II to the mid 1970’s as the “Great Compression.” During that period, US inequality plunged to its lowest level ever, before reversing. In an earlier Econamici, “The Wedge,” I attributed this plunge to an unprecedented set of redistributive policies: In 1935, Social Security began providing . . . → Read More: When Affirmative Action was White, by Ira Katznelson
Katrina revealed a black population marooned in third-world poverty, lacking work, education and health care. My niece volunteers in a clinic in New Orleans Algiers district, which didn’t flood. She cares for adults, chronically ill with diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, or emphysema-who have never previously seen a doctor. (See www.commongroundrelief.org.)
Last week the . . . → Read More: Is Racism Increasing?