The Economist has an article about the history of paranoia and conspiracy theorists in American politics. It is a long, rich and tragic history.
Richard Cohen writes in the Washington Post today about the similarities between Sarah Palin and Joe McCarthy. Cohen touches on the frequent and casual lying, the demagoguery and the constant demeaning of knowledge. It’s a comparison that occurred to me while reading Robert Caro’s excellent third volume on LBJ, which has a couple of chapters on Joe McCarthy.
Paul Krugman writes in today’s NY Times about the administration’s proposed health-care reform and how the insurance proposals mimic the Swiss system much more closely than they do the French or British.
The WSJ has an article by Thomas Sugrue about America’s long fascination with home-ownership. It’s an illuminating piece and a good overview of the history of government supported home-ownership programs in the 20th century in the US, including some commentary on how certain populations were discriminated against. One aspect the article does not explore is how home-ownership reduces labor mobility and tends to increase commuting times, the Economist wrote on this subject not too long ago.
The NY Times Prescriptions blog writes on the brouhaha created when Investor’s Business Daily claimed Stephen Hawking (the disabled physicist) would have been uncared for under the British health-care system. Of course, Stephen Hawking is British and he had something to say about the NHS.