American Girls, as spunky and courageous as they might have been in the plots of their books, were hardly radical. Their characters often came from privilege and learned about the "other" -- Native American friend, child laborer -- through some sort of friendly contact.
Susan Patton set up a class war with her piece: Princeton graduates vs. the rest of the world. In truth, the class war in divorce and marriage isn't in the university you attend. It's in the company you keep and where you want to go in your life.
The Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race has been fiercely contested on the River Thames since 1829. Both crews have sunk on the course and in 2003, Oxford won by one foot. The crews rowed to a dead heat in 1877. This year, Oxford won by a length and a half.
I do think Obama was responding to Reagan's vision, but not to tell Reagan that he was wrong, but to tell some of his Republican disciples of today who use Reagan's words and legacy that this version of America has become outdated.
One size doesn't fit all. There are many paths to individual economic success. Not all include a college education. A rush for credentials of any kind can concentrate the social, economic and political power of our nation into the hands of a very few.
"Can do" pragmatism was the fuel of America prosperity. But that pragmatism was reinforced with an abiding respect for knowledge and critical thinking. It's hard to do anything in a place devoid of new ideas, a place where dreamers are discouraged from dreaming.
Conservatives want government out of their lives but they want it to say who should marry whom, what you can or cannot do with your body, when life begins and whether or not you should have health care. This reveals a national trait: Americans have a love-hate relationship with consistency.
This being Murray, cultural gaps loom large as well. His hypothesis is that elites and others are growing ever farther apart along cultural dimensions, and the book even has a test so you can see how out of touch you are. Here it is with my answers.
Who are these religious elitists with the audacity to question the faith of others, based on their indoctrinated theology? These supposed leaders are waging battles outside the church they've not yet won inside the church.
I'm definitely not naive enough to discount the role of profit, self-interest, etc., in others' motivations, but I believe that most people want what's best for others, even if we disagree on what it takes for that to happen.
If you accept the research that higher socioeconomic status is the single greatest factor in academic performance, then Rivera is outlining a process that not only bakes in inequality, but deepens it over time.
Should the U.S. not increase its debt ceiling, the country will likely face higher interest rates, another spike in joblessness, inability to pay basic expenses, and, almost inevitably, higher taxes in the not too distant future.