Donald Trump and Jeff Bezos inhabit very different worlds. The president is a staunch bricks-and-mortar man who made his fortune building towers and dealing with blue-collar workers. The founder of the world’s largest store, by contrast, is a space enthusiast who experiments with robots and operates much of the cloud where the new economy’s data lives. Trump’s decision in recent days to zero in on Bezos and Amazon.com as his latest Twitter targets has highlighted a severe fracture in American society, a divide between concrete and steel and zeros and ones, a split that is as much philosophical as it is economic, as much about the fraying of communities as it is about the shape of commerce.Four times over the past week, the president has criticized Bezos for running a company that he says fails to pay its share of taxes, for taking undue advantage of the struggling U.S. Postal Service, and for using the news organization he owns – this one – to advance his … [Read more...] about Why Trump went after Bezos: Two billionaires across a cultural divide
Arne Duncan, a managing partner at the nonprofit Emerson Collective, was U.S. education secretary from 2009 to 2015. Lately, a lot of people in Washington are saying that education reform hasn’t worked very well. Don’t believe it. Since 1971, fourth-grade reading and math scores are up 13 points and 25 points, respectively. Eighth-grade reading and math scores are up eight points and 19 points, respectively. Every 10 points equates to about a year of learning, and much of the gains have been driven by students of color. It should be noted that the student population is relatively poorer and considerably more diverse than in 1971. So, while today’s kids bring more learning challenges, they perform as much as 2½ grades higher than their counterparts from half a century ago.Twelfth-grade scores, on the other hand, are relatively flat. One explanation may be that higher graduation rates retain weaker students who pull down test scores. If this is true, then holding … [Read more...] about People are saying education reform hasn’t worked. Don’t believe them.
Democracy Dies in Darkness Sections Home Subscribe Username Sign In Account Profile Newsletters & Alerts Gift Subscriptions Contact Us Help Desk Subscribe Account Profile Newsletters & Alerts Gift Subscriptions Contact Us Help Desk Accessibility for screenreader Post Partisan Opinion Opinion Interpretation of the news based on evidence, including data, as well as anticipating how events might unfold based on past events by Ed Rogers by Ed Rogers Email the author March 28 at 12:25 PM Email the author The Treasury Department building in Washington. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP) At the risk of being a terrible bore, today I return to the topic of the United States’ out-of-control spending and threatening debt. No less than five of the country’s most distinguished economic leaders sounded the alarm in The Post on Tuesday. Michael J. Boskin, John H. Cochrane, John F. Cogan, … [Read more...] about While everyone watches Stormy Daniels, a real crisis looms
History means remembering, but it also involves forgetting. The hurly-burly of daily life is gradually shaped into a tidy tale of causes and effects, heroes and villains — much as a jagged stone is smoothed under rushing water. I think about that whenever I see a book or film about the struggle to end racial discrimination in the United States. Though it is a story as old as the nation itself, we have a tendency to start it with Rosa Parks on a city bus in Montgomery, Ala. And though it is a story involving all of us, we have a tendency to tell it as if everything revolved around a brilliant young pastor, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. As a storyteller myself, I understand the importance of a strong protagonist and a vivid setting in building a compelling narrative. We want history to grab and hold the attention of current and future citizens. But something important is lost in the erosive impulse to streamline this story. The fight for civil rights is too often framed in … [Read more...] about Racial segregation doesn’t just belong to the South. It belongs to all of us.
The writers are senior fellows and economists at the Hoover Institution. We live in a time of extraordinary promise. Breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, 3D manufacturing, medical science and other areas have the potential to dramatically raise living standards in coming decades. But a major obstacle stands squarely in the way of this promise: high and sharply rising government debt. President Trump’s recently released budget is a wake-up call. It projects that this year, a year of relatively strong economic growth, low unemployment and continued historically low interest rates, the deficit will reach $870 billion, 30 percent greater than last year. For years, economists have warned of major increases in future public debt burdens. That future is on our doorstep. From this point forward, even if economic growth continues uninterrupted, current tax and spending patterns imply that annual deficits will steadily increase, approaching the $1 trillion mark in two years … [Read more...] about The debt crisis is on our doorstep