When the President’s Best and Brightest Were Also the Richest

The Practice of Tapping the Moneyed Elite Began with WWI—and Was Surprisingly Scandal-Free

From our earliest days we Americans have embraced leaders from among the ranks of the nation’s moneyed elite. Voters set the tone when they chose George Washington, the wealthiest man on the continent at the time, as the first president.

But that choice was accompanied by a healthy skepticism of the role of money in the halls of government. As the years went by, recurrent scandals prompted rounds of reform, fostering an intricate system of rules to promote ethical conduct.

The result is a daunting interface between private and public life, …

The Loneliness of America’s Poor Kids

Political Scientist Robert D. Putnam Explains the Toll Inequality is Taking on Children with Less Educated, Less Connected, Less Wealthy Parents

Harvard political scientist Robert D. Putnam grew up in the 1950s in Port Clinton, Ohio, a small town on Lake Erie. Central to his new book, Our Kids: The American …

Is Rising Inequality Slowly Poisoning Our Democracy?

What the Growing Gap Between the Haves and Have-Nots Is Doing to American Morals, Myths, Social and Economic Policies, and Politics

Back in the 1980s, President Reagan famously took a jab at the policies of Lyndon Johnson with the remark, “In the ’60s we waged a war on poverty, and poverty …

Growing Up in ‘The Jungle,’ I Wanted to Head for the Hills

As a Kid in Baldwin Village, I Cranked Up the Radio to Drown Out the Gunfire and Dreamed of Duran Duran and Houses with Lawns

In 1977, my parents moved my two siblings and me into a second-story, three-bedroom apartment on Santo Tomas Drive in the Crenshaw area of Los Angeles.

It was one unit within …

How Occupy Lost Its Way In L.A.

I Was One of the Hopefuls At City Hall Park-But the Movement Degenerated Into a Moment

A year ago today, a thousand protesters made their way to the financial district of Manhattan and launched a movement that came to be known as Occupy Wall Street. Similar …