Summary of “Why Do Americans Stay When Their Town Has No Future?”

Once back in Ohio, he settled in Adams County with his future wife, Crystal, and started taking classes in criminal justice at the University of Cincinnati, figuring he’d follow the well-worn path from the military to law enforcement.
The plants were by far the largest employer and taxpayer in Adams County, population 28,000, which by one measure of median family income is the poorest county in Ohio.
The plants dominate the landscape-not just the towering stacks along the river but also the moonscapes that have been carved out of the nearby land to hold waste from the plants in so-called ash ponds.
In late 2016, as plant workers were getting word of the closures, the county found out its own way: The state alerted it that the valuation of the plants had dropped by $56 million because of the planned closure.
Over the years, the plants had brought a new cohort of families to the county, led by the sort of skilled workers who were able to get good-paying jobs at the plant.
County officials were getting no answers from the company or state officials about the plans for the plants and ash ponds after the closure.
By early March, the union and county still hadn’t even gotten a firm closure date from AES. “We have no dialogue between the company and the county at all,” said Pell, the county commissioner.
Rumors started swirling that a potential buyer has belatedly emerged for Killen Station, the smaller and younger plant: an IT staffing and consulting company in Atlanta called American CyberSystems Inc. In theory, Arnett could use his seniority to get one of the 100-odd jobs that would remain at Killen if it stays open, but taking a job as a lineman in Dayton seemed safer than banking on a new owner with zero experience in running a coal-fired plant.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why some countries come together, while others fall apart”

Why do some countries fall apart, often along their ethnic fault lines, while others have held together over decades and centuries, despite governing a diverse population as well? Why is it, in other words, that nation-building succeeded in some places while it failed in others? The current tragedy in Syria illustrates the possibly murderous consequences of failed nation-building.
Some old countries haven’t come together as a nation, while other more recently founded states have done so.
Looking further back into history, one might wonder why some countries developed a uniform language or script while others didn’t, and why some governments were able to provide public goods across the territory while others didn’t.
Finally, we might take a more sober perspective and consider that nation-building succeeds where countries have fought many wars with other countries, binding their populations together through shared sacrifice.
The global mean for the 155 countries is 65 per cent literates among the adult population; if 80 per cent of the population in a country can read and write, then the share of the population excluded from national government will be roughly 30 per cent lower than in a country in which only half the population is literate.
According to further statistical analysis, countries are not more likely to fail at nation-building if they were subjected to colonial rule for a very long time or if that rule had assumed a specific form.
The second data, collected by economists, covers 141 countries and measures how far an indigenous state controlled the territory of a current country during the second half of the 19th century.
Around the world, countries have come a long way in schooling their populations and teaching them to speak a common language.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Activists fight for single-payer health care in U.S.”

S the poor rankings of American health care compared to those of the rest of the developed world.
The event is a town hall sponsored by the Cleveland chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America to explain Medicare f.or All, the proposed expansion to the rest of the population of the half-century-old system that pays for health care for people over 65.
Faust is one of the most prominent of a band of activists who have rallied to the cause of expanding health care, which for him means going beyond Obamacare to the kind of single-payer system – the single payer being the federal government – proposed by Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Vermont independent, in a bill he introduced last year.
Made him one of the left’s favorite health care activists.
Faust views single-payer care as the first step toward his desired goal of health justice.
Eighteen states are currently dealing with a “Medicaid gap,” in which their Republican state governments chose not to use the ACA’s Medicaid expansion provision, which provides federal funds to help low-income Americans get health care.
More.The campaign began last summer, when Emily Strizich, her husband, Garrett, and their friend Luke Mayville traveled the state in an old green RV – which they affectionately dubbed the Medicaid Mobile – talking to people about potential health care options.
The organization found success in Maine last fall, when 59 percent voted yes on a Medicaid expansion that would provide health care to an estimated 70,000 low-income residents.

The orginal article.

Summary of “A Letter to My Daughter About the Black Magic of Banking”

As you grow up and experience more of the ups and downs of the economy, you will notice a piece of mindbending hypocrisy: during the good times, bankers, entrepreneurs-rich people in general-tend to be against government.
Entrepreneurs need bankers to lend to them, who need entrepreneurs to pay interest.
Bankers need governments to protect them, who need bankers to fuel the economy.
Who has provided the government with the requisite loans? The bankers, of course! And where have the bankers found the money? I hardly need tell you that they have conjured it from thin air.
Why? Because a market society’s bankers need public debt as surely as fish need water to swim in.
When the government borrows, say, $100 million from a banker for, say, a ten-year period, in return it provides the banker with a piece of paper, an IOU, by which it legally guarantees to repay the money in ten years’ time as well as pay an additional yearly amount to the banker in interest-say, $5 million a year.
Bonds are, in bankers’ parlance, “The most liquid of assets.” As such, they lubricate the banking system to keep its cogs and wheels turning.
In bad times, when bankers pick up the phone to the government and demand that the state’s central bank bail them out, it does so not just by creating new money, as we have already seen, but also by issuing even more bonds and using them to borrow more money from other bankers, often foreign ones, to pass on to the local bankers.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Quiet Americans Behind the U.S.-Russia Imbroglio”

“If you were an ambitious young Foreign Service officer after 9/11, you wanted to get sent to some reconstruction team in Afghanistan or Iraq,” says Andrew Weiss, who worked on Russia at the National Security Council during the Clinton administration and now runs the Russia program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
The longtime Russia hand Stephen Sestanovich, a veteran of the Reagan and Clinton administrations, says there are two kinds of Russia hands – those who came to Russia through political science and those who came to it through literature.
Fried, who served in every administration from Carter to Obama, also thinks there are two kinds of Russia hands, though he draws a different dividing line: There are those, like himself, who “Put Russia in context, held up against the light of outside standards and consequences.” These people tend to be tough on Russia.
There are two kinds of Russia hands, or maybe there are six kinds of Russia hands, or maybe there is an infinite variety of Russia hands.
The decision on NATO was essentially made by early 1994, but it would take some years before the first countries joined the alliance, and in the meantime, relations between Russia and the United States steadily declined: Russia was angered by the NATO bombing of Bosnian Serb positions in 1995, by the American insistence that the Russians stop the sale of nuclear technology to Iran and especially by the 1999 NATO bombing – just a few weeks after the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland finally joined the alliance – of Belgrade.
The main Russia hand in the Bush White House was Thomas Graham, a quiet, intense, scholarly former State Department official who was described by a colleague as “the smartest Russia hand ever produced by the Foreign Service.
If you come to energy, Russia is obviously an important player in global energy markets, but Russia is not the most important player in global energy markets.
The absence of nuance on the Russia question – the embrace of Russia as America’s new-old supervillain – is probably best understood as a symptom of that sickness.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Fight Grows Over Who Owns Real Estate Drowned by Climate Change”

Carpenter sued the sheriff, as well as Castex Energy Inc., which owns the property around the pond, for interfering with his business.
Carpenter’s suit reflects a legal and political dilemma that’s beginning to reverberate around the country: As seas rise and coasts wash away, who owns the land that goes underwater? Versions of that debate are taking place in courtrooms, legislatures, and government offices, raising the question of whether and when climate change justifies seizing private property.
Because it’s Mother Nature taking the land, not the government, there’s no legal requirement for the government to compensate property owners.
In Louisiana, the combination of rising seas, subsiding land around the Mississippi Delta, and the reduced deposit of sediment-thanks to man-made flood controls-has put the state at the forefront of the battle over erosion and property rights.
In Florida, rising seas and erosion have sparked a different debate: As beaches recede, should private property owners near the coast be forced to let the public use their share of what remains? In Walton County, part of Florida’s Panhandle that includes Miramar Beach, the line between public and private land has always been tenuous.
The state owns everything below the high-tide line, but the dry beach is a mix of public and private property.
In other parts of the country, the fight over submerged land has taken a surreal twist: Who owns land that the government saves from oblivion? Since 1984, Maria Levenson has owned a beachfront lot on the southern shore of Dauphin Island, Ala., a slender strip of land at the mouth of Mobile Bay.
Patti Powell, director of the State Lands Division of Alabama’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, which is studying whether to rebuild the shore, says there’s no policy determining whether Levenson and other property owners would still hold the land if it gets reclaimed.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Could Paulette Jordan Be The First Native American Governor?”

While the bulk of the Idaho Democratic establishment has endorsed Jordan’s opponent, Boise school board member A.J. Balukoff, Jordan has earned the support of the progressive PAC Democracy for America, Planned Parenthood, Our Revolution, and was among the first five candidates endorsed on the national level by Indivisible.
When Mic ran a brief piece about Jordan in January, it stamped a picture of Jordan with “Young, Progressive, and Running.” At least 250,000 people shared or liked the piece on Facebook – several thousand more than live in all of North Idaho.
Jordan has caught the national eye as a Native woman, and a progressive at that, who is vying to make history in a conservative state.
Winning in November might ultimately matter less than what a Jordan candidacy would symbolize to many in Idaho, long accustomed to a certain type of representation.
At the Women’s March earlier this year, Jordan attracted attention when she introduced Scott – the far-right “Liberty legislator” known for her defense of the Confederate Flag – as her “Friend.” But working with people like Scott is the only way for Jordan to get elected in Idaho, whether to the state legislature or, today, in her run for the governor’s office.
As much as her name, and her campaign, is preceded by “First Native American woman,” Jordan doesn’t see herself uniquely in those terms.
She told me about a young Native girl from Oklahoma who’d posted to Facebook that, when she grew up, she wanted to be like Paulette Jordan.
“But are you Paulette Jordan?” Jordan nodded.

The orginal article.

Summary of “SB-827 failed in California, but there’s still no good alternative to building more housing”

While of course more density would mean change, and people for understandable reasons tend to be mildly averse to seeing communities they have roots in changing, there’s good reason to believe looking at the simple wage comparisons undercounts the benefits of more density.
For most people, it means direct access to other people, who serve as customers and co-workers and suppliers.
Lionel Fontagné and Gianluca Santoni find that heavily populated areas offer higher labor productivity and higher pay because “Denser commuting zones seem to offer a better match between employers and employees.” The more people there are around, the more kinds of businesses you can have and the more finely specialized they can be, making it more likely that any given person would be well-suited to work at someplace or other in town.
In other words, while you might fear that an influx of new people would drive down wages and undo the benefits of cheaper housing, the academic literature suggests the reverse.
The modern economy is made of people, and places with more people feature deeper and more competitive markets with more productivity, higher wages, and more options for both workers and consumers.
To get a country like that, there’s simply no good substitute for building more places for people to live in areas that are expensive.
The deeper labor markets provided by density allow people to find jobs they are better at and that make them happier, while people being in proximity to one another allows them to be more innovative and productive.
If we don’t do it, people will still find a place to live, but their life prospects will be permanently the worse for it.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Inside Rex Tillerson’s Ouster”

The name helped: Rex Wayne Tillerson, after Rex Allen and John Wayne, the actors behind some of Hollywood’s most indelible swaggering cowboys.
One source close to the White House struggled to reconcile Tillerson’s peerless track record of private-sector management with his approach at the State Department.
“That’s what the President wanted to do.” As Tillerson recalled, Kushner would “Come over” periodically to update him, “So at least we had full connectivity between that and all the other issues that we’re managing with the same countries and same leaders. We would give them input and suggestions: ‘Probably want to think about this.’ ‘That’s going to be a non-starter.'” To the bitter end, Tillerson seemed passionate about fighting stories of his ouster.
“I’ve been in similar situations, where I suddenly discovered we’ve created military commissions: ‘Wait a minute-that’s a legal matter and a legal matter the State Department has primacy on.'” But Powell was one of several former Secretaries to express bafflement at Tillerson’s approach to his shrinking mandate.
Several former Secretaries of State expressed astonishment at Tillerson’s approach to budget advocacy.
“Tillerson didn’t want the money,” Madeleine Albright, who served as the Secretary of State under President Bill Clinton, recalled.
While some former Secretaries of State agreed with the premise of expansive cuts, virtually all, spanning generations, took issue with the extent and execution of the ones championed by Tillerson.
“He will do a fantastic job! Thank you to Rex Tillerson for his service!” As was increasingly the norm, the State Department was the last to know.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why marriage is both anachronistic and discriminatory”

First, state-recognised marriage means that the state defines marriage and controls access to it.
In a marriage regime, the state may also place religious or racial restrictions on marriage.
Access controls reflect sexist, heterosexist, racist and generally inegalitarian interpretations of the meaning of marriage, with the result that the honorific aspect of marriage is also applied unequally.
Child marriage of this sort happens not only in parts of the world where arranged marriage is common, such as India, Africa and the Middle East, but also in countries where the dominant form of marriage is romantic.
Sociological research shows continuing associations between marriage and gender inequality: married women do more housework than both married men and unmarried women; married women are unhappier than married men; marriage renders women more vulnerable to some sorts of domestic violence.
In progressive circles, marriage has become fashionable again as the movement to recognise same-sex marriage has gained popular and legal support in a great many countries including the UK, the US, the Netherlands, Belgium, the Nordic countries, Spain, France, Ireland, Canada and Australia.
So same-sex marriage repeats the question of whether marriage can be equal, and how.
Rectifying the heterosexism of traditional marriage via the recognition of same-sex marriage has been a vital political advance.

The orginal article.