Featured, Poetry »

This could be us but we’ve confined ourselves #poem

By | April 28, 2017

              for Fay
                        Johnson, VT, March, 2017

I watch two girls outside my window
gliding on the frozen banks
of the Gihon River, their laughter
carried by the crisp air
of late winter. It’s Spring technically
but it’s hard to tell with the piles of snow
barely melting from rooftops. I …

Headline, What It Means to Be American »

The Immigrant Activist Who Loved America’s Ideals, If Not Its Actions

By | April 28, 2017

On May 22, 1869, at age 59, the famous activist and orator Ernestine Rose became an American citizen in her own right.
Her decision to do so, at such a late stage of her life, was paradoxical. Rose had long admired the United States, working ardently to make it a better place whenever it fell short of its promise. Legally, she had been a citizen …

Featured, Nexus »

How the Internet and E-Commerce Are Hacking Protectionism

By | April 27, 2017

Consider two distinct worlds only a few miles from each other. One world is that of Jennifer and Nicole, recently featured in The New York Times, who have worked all their lives at the Carrier air conditioner factory in Indianapolis and eagerly expect President Trump to impose tariffs on air conditioners to prevent their factory from moving to Mexico. The other world is that of Travis, who …

Featured, Nexus »

Are Trade Shocks to Blame for Our Extremist Politics?

Does economic competition from low-wage manufacturing countries like China make politics in Western countries more polarized?
The short answer is yes. The harder, unanswered question is: How, exactly?
A body of research including our own papers shows overwhelming evidence that, over the last 20 years or so, trade integration with low-wage manufacturing countries like China has had dramatic effects on the manufacturing landscape in rich countries like …

Headline, Nexus »

From the Wreckage of the ’92 Riots, a More Diverse, Civic-Minded Los Angeles Rises

By | April 27, 2017

Luxury condominiums compete with foreign banks on the new skyline of Koreatown. On a Saturday night, 20-somethings crowd the sidewalks, huddling around food trucks, circling in and out of karaoke bars, biryani places, barbecue joints, and a high-rise driving range. This same neighborhood, and other swathes of Los Angeles, seemed doomed 25 years ago when more than 2,000 Korean business were damaged or destroyed during the …

Featured, The Takeaway »

Trump Isn’t the First to Grab More Presidential Power

By | April 26, 2017

King George III imposed taxation on the American colonies without representation. Franklin D. Roosevelt unilaterally exiled Japanese Americans to internment camps. Barack Obama declared his intent to bypass a perpetually gridlocked Congress by exercising executive power: “I have a phone and I have a pen.”
Since the earliest days of the United States, America’s commanders-in-chief have sought to increase their power to act as they pleased—despite …

Featured, Nexus »

In the New Global Trade Map, China Commands the Center

By | April 26, 2017

Most maps you see in this country put the Atlantic Ocean at their center, with North America and Europe just off center stage. Asia is on a periphery.
My favorite map looks different. It puts China, not the Atlantic, at the center of the world.
That reflects reality. In 2014, China became the largest economy on the planet, if you calculate Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in …

Headline, Inquiry »

Does Global Trade Have to Be a Zero-Sum Game?

By | April 26, 2017

This Inquiry, Does Global Trade Have to Be a Zero-Sum Game?, was produced by the UCLA Anderson School of Management and Zócalo Public Square.

Headline, Nexus »

Why the Census Must Frame the Right Questions on Race and National Origin

By | April 25, 2017

Like most Americans, I spent most of my life not appreciating the herculean effort the U.S. Census Bureau undertakes every 10 years.
Since its inception in 1790, the U.S. Census has aimed to count every living person in the country, and the stakes are high. The results of the census determine the allocation of hundreds of billions of federal dollars, which affect every slice …

Connecting California, Featured, Joe Mathews »

California’s Idea of a Full School Day Doesn’t Make the Grade

By | April 24, 2017

On many mornings, I think my state senator has the best policy idea in California.
The rest of the time, I think he’s missing the point.
The idea involves the sleep of schoolkids, and the state senator is Anthony Portantino, who represents me and nearly one million other residents of one of California’s nerdiest regions, the San Gabriel Valley.
Portantino has won plaudits for a bill that …