Thought-provoking as always, Pat Buchanan's article about Trump at the U.N. conveys what I regard as two divergent ideas. First, he applauds Trump for his "clarion call to reject transnationalism and to re-embrace a world of sovereign nation-states." Second, he warns that if we don't cure our "interventionist addiction," it will lead to our republic's downfall. It seems to me that Buchanan understates the muscle-flexing belligerence of our president, his blundering interventionist spirit, and the dangers posed by his impulsive, loose-cannon personality. The present confrontation with North Korea is a reminder of the concern we all must have about the man who controls the nuke release code.
Delray Beach, Florida
What Caused Evergreen State's Blues?
I teach at Evergreen and want to correct one statement of "fact": Evergreen's enrollment issues have nothing to do with its balance between STEM and the humanities. The college has extensive and spectacularly successful undergraduate instruction in the natural sciences. Evergreen's recruitment problems are about other matters, like the difficulty faced by students trying to move sequentially through its curriculum (currently being addressed) and the effects the less academically oriented portions of its curriculum have had on its general reputation. Chronic enrollment shortfalls have put the college in a difficult financial situation, and one of the tragedies of the "equity" meltdown is that the serious reforms needed to reverse this trend will be that much more difficult to achieve.
Big Bank Hegemony
This is a very insightful article and I'm particularly pleased to see the credit given to Brooksley Born. She was indeed shafted by a bipartisan hit squad of libertarian GOPers like Phil Gramm and Alan Greenspan, as well as Democratic "modernists" like Lawrence Summers and Robert Rubin. I was a financial analyst with the Treasury during the 1990s, and I can say that Born had more support among the "troops" than she had among the political bigwigs. All of which leads to one lesson about financial supervision. You can have the finest group of examiners on the planet, but if the political supervisors are determined not to believe findings that are contrary to their ideological beliefs, no supervisory structure will succeed.
Big Bank Hegemony
Common knowledge, politicians rank just ahead of used-car salesmen on a scale of 1 to 10: pols, 9; used-car salesmen, 10. Bankers clearly understand that to operate a monopoly they need to be in bed with the pols. There is scant hope here, as we now have the economy managed by the Fed, which in turn sleeps with the bankers.
Thoughts on Today's New Elite
Good article but it doesn't mention that in addition to assortative mating, capital concentration, etc., this elite has done a fine job of good old-fashioned rigging the system in its own favor (e.g., public bailouts for banks, endless DoD bucks for Silicon Valley). Will today's truck drivers ever be reimbursed for the massive subsidy they pay valley types to engineer their jobs out of existence? Probably not. The best they can hope for is condescending handouts.