Government policy | Harper's Magazine - Part 4

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Government policy

Beyond a Boundary

From a distance, as it hugs the hilly terrain, the fence looks almost decorative — a rambling, rust-colored abstraction. A thin ribbon of road runs alongside, its sandy surface kept…

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The Quinoa Quarrel

Who owns the world’s greatest superfood?

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Blue Sky Days

Two years ago, in February 2012, President Barack Obama signed into law the FAA Modernization and Reform Act, which called on the Federal Aviation Administration to “provide for the safe…

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The Real Lost Generation

In late August, I traveled with colleagues from the Roosevelt Institute in New York to New Orleans, where we had invited a panel of community organizers to join us in…

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The Future Progressive

In his classic book On Liberty, the nineteenth-century British philosopher John Stuart Mill urged that man strive to become “a progressive being.” Mill defined progressivism as the cultivation of individuality;…

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Problem Number One

This spring, Newark mayor Cory Booker, then considering a run for U.S. Senate, came to my office along with members of his staff to discuss national economic issues. We spent…

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If Memory Swerves

September 15 will mark five years since the beginning of the economic slump that defines the world we live in. Disaster was in the air already by that day in…

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The Scarlet Debtor

Debt forgiveness is one of the most important innovations of modern capitalism, but it is a fairly recent one. Though the Constitution gives Congress explicit authority to enact “uniform Laws…

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Long Division

A blueprint for the failure of low-income housing

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