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Trump Is Right That the System Is "Rigged"—and He's Stacking It More

Average Americans Are Losing Power While Self-Serving Elites Lose Public Trust

By Janine R. Wedel

Pundits nearly always attribute Donald Trump’s success to right-wing “populism.” This conclusion is dangerously misleading. Trump’s rise is rooted firmly in his ability to make an old-fashioned word—“rigged”—work in surprisingly fresh ways. Trump correctly diagnosed a feeling among working people that the system was rigged against them, and then leveraged that against his seemingly more sophisticated and better-funded opponents in both parties. That he went into the election proclaiming that it was “rigged” against him was yet another ironic flourish.
    As a social anthropologist who studies both ...

Connecting California

Aggressive State Meddling Could Fix California's Housing Crisis

With Local Governments Crying "NIMBY," Sacramento Must Empower Developers and Home-Seekers

By Joe Mathews

All the debate about how to address California’s massive housing shortage is obscuring the big picture: a state takeover of local housing policy has begun.
    That’s the real import of the more than 100 bills that have been introduced in the legislature to change housing policy in various ways. None of the current proposals is up to the task of getting the state to build sufficient housing. But the varied legislative activity—proposals to cover production incentives for builders, rental assistance, streamlining regulations, new regional planning initiatives, ...

Connecting California/Joe Mathews

  • The Verdict Is in—California’s Dickensian Courts Are Failing Us

    Our Clogged Legal System Creates Overcrowded Prisons, Underfunded Schools, and Housing Shortages

    Dig deep enough into any of California’s biggest problems, and you’ll eventually hit upon a common villain: our court system.
        California’s housing shortage, its poverty, its poor business climate, and its ...

  • Go Ahead and Blame Berkeley. Everyone Else Does.

    A University and Its Environment Help California by Being Such a Great Scapegoat

    Thank you, Berkeley.
        Recent headlines should remind Californians of yet another way we are lucky. Our state has the world’s best scapegoat: you.
        You—our most distinguished public university and all the people, ...

  • California’s Idea of a Full School Day Doesn’t Make the Grade

    By Skimping on Class Time We’re Failing Our Kids

        On many mornings, I think my state senator has the best policy idea in California.
        The rest of the time, I think he’s missing the point.
        The idea involves the sleep of schoolkids, and the state senator is Anthony Portantino, who represents me and nearly one ...

Video Highlights

  • Populist anger is shaking the world, epitomized by the U.K.’s vote to “Brexit” the EU and even the election of Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines. In the U.S., Donald Trump’s election has transformed populist anger into political power. Is a worldwide populist wave inevitable? ...