Educating the Disadvantaged

Amy L. Wax

Inequality and immobility are prominent preoccupations on all sides of our politics, and everyone agrees that education must be at the center of any effort to alleviate them. But two approaches to improving opportunities through K-12 education that have gained attention in recent years—income integration and “no-excuses” education—highlight the challenges facing reformers. Both are at the forefront of efforts to help lower-income children get more out of school. But both, in different ways, force us to confront the controversial character of their clear but implicit common assumption: that to narrow achievement gaps, schools should instill middle-class values in poor students.

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Our Country Split Apart

Peter Augustine Lawler

Donald Trump's narrow but momentous election victory can easily be both over-read and under-read. It was not the mark of a social revolution or a total transformation of our politics. But it also was not a fluke, or the sum of a series of bizarre coincidences. It was a declaration of discontent, rooted in a set of challenges that our complacent elites, on the right and left alike, had better take very seriously.

the public interest

Science and ideology in economics

Robert M. Solow

The Public Interest was a quarterly public policy journal founded by Irving Kristol and Daniel Bell in 1965. Throughout its four decades of publication, ending in 2005, it offered incomparable insight and wisdom on a vast range of challenges at the intersection of public affairs, culture, and political economy—helping America better understand and govern itself in a tumultuous time. National Affairs now hosts its archives, free of charge.

Changing the FDA's Culture

Scott Gottlieb

The Food and Drug Administration's review process has become a series of hurdles that hinder medical innovation and keep life-saving drugs off the market. The reasons have to do with the culture of the agency, and especially its deep mistrust of American doctors. Some basic structural reforms could change this counterproductive culture — and improve the FDA's ability to keep the public both healthy and safe.

Lincoln at Gettysburg

Diana Schaub

Lincoln's Gettysburg Address surely stands with the Apology of Socrates and the Funeral Oration of Pericles among the great speeches offered at crucial civic moments in human history. Yet familiar and justly famous as it is — and indeed maybe precisely because we know it so well — it can be hard to appreciate the scope of its achievement. To truly understand how a statement so brief could run so deep and last so long, we must carefully consider its substance and structure, and its place in Lincoln's thought.

Putting Regulators on a Budget

Jeff Rosen

The spending undertaken by federal appropriators — just like private businesses and households — is restrained by a budget. But federal regulators face no such constraints. They can impose costs on the economy without limit, as long as they can somehow claim sufficient benefits connected to their rules. It is time for Congress to establish a regulatory budget to contain the cost of our administrative state.


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