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Issue No. 39 | Fall 2020

Failure Is an Option

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Failure Is an Option

Haunted by the specter of democracy, the Constitution’s framers blundered into a historic miscalculation. We’re still living with the consequences.

Don’t Blame Polarization

A discussion on American partisanship, political dysfunction, and why it’s not our passions that are the problem — it’s the Constitution itself.

The General Who Brought Down the American Empire

In 2002, the Pentagon staged a $250 million war game known as the “Millennium Challenge.” It was supposed to be a fixed fight  — until a retired Marine lieutenant general, playing the role of a Middle Eastern country, brought the US military to its knees.

America the Laggard

By virtually any measure, people in the United States are worse off than those in other rich countries. There’s no disputing the impact of our weak entitlements and paltry labor protections.

The Great Divergence

It used to be better to be a low-wage worker in the United States than in France. That hasn’t been the case for a long while.

Mapping the Decline

How the neoliberal project’s very own fifty-state strategy left poverty and low wages in its wake.

America’s Railroad to Nowhere

We know the US rail network is no match for trains in France or Japan. But Barack Obama’s plan for high-speed rail couldn’t even match that of Morocco or Uzbekistan.

Where’s Our Gorbachev?

The United States today isn’t on the verge of a Soviet-style disintegration — but neither is there any force at the top willing and able to reform our political system.

Message in a Bottle

In the United States of 2020, millions are desperate for help, and they’re forced to compete for scraps from Twitter philanthropists.

On Being a Mother in America

Within ten days of giving birth, a quarter of us are forced to return to work. If liberals truly want to support parents’ choices, they need to back the subsidies and employment legislation that are vital to child-rearing.

Stories for the End of the World

From the mutant animals of Chernobyl and Marie Antoinette’s perverted orgies, to QAnon and Russiagate, conspiracy theories flourish in times of crisis and collapse of political legitimacy.

Blue Order

In an increasingly unstable country, what if a “deep police state” threatens to undermine our electoral gains?