David Brooks’ column today is one of his better ones—noting that the U.S. is plagued by two kinds of inequality, that which divides the top one percent from everyone else, which is prevalent in our major cities, and that in smaller cities and rural areas, where college grads are doing OK but where the bottom has fallen out for those Americans who don’t complete college or, worse, high school. The gap between the lives of college grads and others has widened not just in terms of income but health, diet, marriage stability, and the percentage of children born and raised out of wedlock.
Do you remember the big Wal-Mart class-action case alleging that the behemoth retailer systematically discriminated against women, which the Supreme Court tossed out? (Technically, the SC said the case was too big and the plaintiffs too disparate to be bundled together and tried in a single lawsuit because they all had different situations and complaints).
Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs hit the bookstores on Monday (or, worse, the websites that have replaced bookstores as the place where people go to buy books), and the more piquant details have already started popping up in the press. Among those details—actually, it’s a good deal more than details—is Jobs’s Manichean view of humankind (at least, those elements of humankind with whom he came into contact). As Michael Rosenwald summarizes it in Monday’s Washington Post:
Manufacturing, says Andrew N. Liveris, thrives in countries that have plenty of customers and a government that significantly supports industry. Right now, he continues, the United States is down the list on both counts.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott's ever present, camera-ready grin masks the strain of an embattled politician. His approval ratings rank at the bottom among the nation's governors, and Democrats are poised to use him as the bogeyman of the 2012 election in a key battleground state. He can't match the always-sunny-in-Florida cheer of his predecessor, Charlie Crist, but Scott rivals any Wall Street CEO's unyielding optimism amid dismal earnings.
"Hey, how's it going? You doing all right?" he says as he smiles and grips a woman's hand.