Walter Russell Mead // jobs jobs jobs

As always lots of great thought at The American Interest read more at: http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2013/05/22/jobs-jobs-jobs-2/

First, make hiring easy and cheap.
Second, put the service economy and especially small business and entrepreneurship front and center.
Third, we need to feed the state to the people even as we individualize its services.

That third one had me puzzled till I read the explanation, which is a good description of what the statesmen of the past have done.

A characteristic of American political economy going back to colonial times has been the use of the resources of the state to promote the welfare of what today we would call the middle class. For much of our history we “fed the state to the people” by turning over publicly owned lands at low and ultimately zero cost. The public lands, which once included virtually all of the continental United States, were a possession of almost infinite value, but it seemed wiser (and more politically sustainable) to the leaders of the day to make them cheaply available to the people rather than to hoard them or try to retain a larger share of their value for the public purse.

Blue Model and it’s replacement…better not less

Walter Russell Mead at his usual level of clear thinking:

As good quality education and health care become more expensive, it becomes harder for society to provide these goods to those who cannot provide them out of their own earnings. The development of a good $10,000 bachelor program would do more for low and lower middle income families than doubling the size of all student loan programs. Generally speaking, anything that makes education cheaper and easier — shifting from a “time served” model to a skills learned model for awarding qualifications and degrees, breaking the guild monopolies through accreditation and other systems so that more institutions can compete in the market — will make society less blue, but make the poor better off.

The Parties are dead, What next?

Another great commentary by Walter Russel Mead at ViaMeadia. Parties are becoming more like handles, like conservative, progressive, rather than controlling organizations. A big downside is the rise of populism/direct democracy which i believe to be seriously flawed, we need political damping rods and consensus builders and laws that form a coherent (and simple) system not an ad hoc set of isolated statements of one time (often getting badly aged after a very short time) principle.