It's great that the White House and congressional Democrats are out there now calling for $12 an hour. But national Democrats failed to get out in front of the issue of a living wage when they had the chance. They missed a perfect opportunity to show Americans which party not only fights for them, but delivers for them.
If we are going to discuss the effectiveness of federal policies in our cities -- and we should -- it is time to discuss as well why some states continue to benefit systemically to the disadvantage of others, with little or no benefit to show for it in terms of relative progress as measured by socio-economic indicators.
LBJ, who himself had struggled to afford school to become a teacher, had a finely tuned sense of human potential, of justice, and of what was possible with hard work and a good education. In a speech at the University of Michigan, he asked America to see the powerful connection between educational opportunity and the nation's economic and moral health.
Civilization is a joint project that requires as much heavy lifting on the part of government as it does leadership of the market. Its greatness is neither going to be defined by the size and power of its corporate entities and how well governments balance ledgers nor by the hoarding of wealth by a few.