News

The Pension Crisis in Cities

The Pew Center on the States issued a study this week that sheds further light on our municipal pension problems, a political crisis with strong Arendtian overones. Where most studies have focused on the enormous problems faced by states, this one focuses on cities: Cities employing nearly half of U.S. municipal workers saw their pension…Read more The Pension Crisis in Cities Posted on 17 January 2013 | 2:21 pm

Ryan Lizza Asks: Does the President Matter?

Ryan Lizza has a must-read essay in The New Yorker on the challenges of presidential leadership. The first thing to note is that when Lizza began asking President Obama’s team about their vision for what they want to accomplish in a second term, they hesitated to answer. “Many White House officials were reluctant to discuss…Read more Ryan Lizza Asks: Does the President Matter? Posted on 13 June 2012 | 10:29 am

The Pension Crisis Blame Game

Two articles in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times this weekend show the grave threats to two great institutions, both of which I care deeply about. The Times has a story on the threatened cuts looming over the University of California and the State University of California system. Class sizes have increased,…Read more The Pension Crisis Blame Game Posted on 4 June 2012 | 11:19 am

Moral Leadership and the New Era of Responsibility

I had the pleasure of discussing and debating at a Hannah Arendt Center event last night with John Cassidy, staff writer of The New Yorker and author of How markets failĀ : the logic of economic calamities as well as Dot.conĀ : the greatest story ever sold. The topic was the presidential election. I asked Cassidy about…Read more Moral Leadership and the New Era of Responsibility Posted on 11 May 2012 | 2:07 pm

Pensions: The Unraveling Fiction

How big is the pension crisis in the United States? As I wrote last week, The Pew Charitable Trust has issued a report that there is a whopping $1 trillion dollar gap between the pensions promised to state public employees and the money that has been set aside to pay those pensions. But I also…Read more Pensions: The Unraveling Fiction Posted on 28 March 2012 | 10:13 am

Pension Ponzis: Questions About the Public Interest

The public pension crisis is eroding the American social contract. While many are up in arms against Governor Scott Walker’s heavy-handed attack on public unions, the fact is that Democratic governors in NY and California are also struggling with the inevitable need to reduce public pensions. Governor Jerry Brown in California admitted recently that public…Read more Pension Ponzis: Questions About the Public Interest Posted on 20 March 2012 | 11:29 am