New, Tea Party-backed school board members have thrown out the diversity policy that has allowed tolerance and hope to flourish in Wake County in a manner sadly lacking in other regions of the country.
The nation's children have a huge stake in the preservation of Social Security. Even more than their parents and grandparents, they stand to gain the most from the organized efforts of older Americans to strengthen the program, not cut it.
It is ironic -- and infuriating -- to have a debate in 2010 about Social Security when that program had nothing to do with the transformation of the nation's fiscal policy from surplus to deficit since 2000.
Deficit hawks plotting to cut Social Security to reduce the deficit are seriously misguided. The truth is that Social Security contributes not a single penny to the deficit. Indeed, it is the poster child for fiscal responsibility.
Exactly because the New Deal showed itself ever readier to junk the ancien régime and say goodbye to its erstwhile corporate friends, it was rewarded handsomely at the polls. None of that, apparently, will be repeated in 2010.
Imagine if workers in the US, like workers in Germany, were dealing with the recession by putting in four-day weeks (while getting paid for five) or getting an extra two weeks of paid vacation. This sure beats being unemployed.
While there is legitimate concern over the size of the federal deficit, the threat to the economy of continued high levels of unemployment is more urgent. Unemployment is now the leading reason families are losing their homes.
I'm tempted to say that the US is plainly unable to cope with the economic crisis in a serious way. So long as economic thinking is mired in a world that disappeared with the collapse of the Bretton Woods system, we're stuck.