Links for 07/05/16

In the New York Times, David Brooks correctly makes the case that Trump is shaking the foundation of our party politics by running against free trade, and more broadly against an open society. And, I suspect Brooks is right that Trump can't pull it off but someone more polished might be able to and that, in any event, this is the stuff of political and ideological realignment. Where Brooks is wrong is in claiming that "the proponents of openness are massively right." This is true, but I am not sure why Brooks - and the entire establishment - think so-called "free trade" belongs alongside other aspects of an open society when the ur texts of free trade, NAFTA, CAFTA, TPP, are all monuments to corporate protectionism. More on this later this month. 

At Politico, a look at how Speaker Ryan led the successful effort to pass legislation to help Puerto Rico. Unmentioned in this account, but critical to passage of the bill, was the leadership of JubileeUSA and the religious leaders on the island. This is an issue I have written about extensively and will return to soon, once we have a better idea of the composition of the fiscal control board the legislation establishes. But, I do not want to take anything away from Ryan here: He does not have a lot of Puerto Ricans in his district, and the members of the GOP caucus similarly did not see this as an electoral plus, except that with Donald Trump antagonizing Latinos every way he can, here is something the GOP can point to that helps those Latino citizens who live on the island. Still, from all I have heard about the negotiations, this bipartisan effort was undertaken because it was the right thing to do. Not very often these days in Washington you get to write that sentence. 

This story, about the top ten cities in America where the rising costs of rentals are driving millennials into the real estate market, alongside the Brooks' article above. Social and economic changes happen for a variety of reasons, and those who look to simplistic solutions and analysis usually do so with a pre-ordained agenda and talking points suited to yesterday. Interesting to see that Kansas City made the list. Can't say I am dying to live in any of these cities, but the resurgence of cities is a development that will greatly strengthen society.  


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