What you need to know to navigate today's most critical debates.
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The Tinder-Box Society (Robert Reich)
Reich argues that as the global anger of the 99% rises, it's likely to lead to one of two outcomes: genuine economic reform defusing the rage or demagogues redirecting it toward whichever group they've decided we should hate. Watch yourself, Canadians.
The Opportunity Society (TAP)
Paul Waldman looks at the new definition of equal opportunity, in which all Americans can start a $244 million private equity firm with nothing but their vast web of inherited political and business connections to fall back on. And they're all named things like Tagg.
Rise of Generation Occupy (Salon)
Jeffrey Sachs writes that with protests springing up from New York to Cairo and young people relying less and less on traditional channels of communication, this may be one reform movement that can't simply be crushed under a big pile of money.
Free college? We can afford it. (WaPo)
Katrina vanden Heuvel argues that holding down student loan interest rates and maintaining the status quo isn't enough. The richest country in the world should guarantee that pursuing higher education doesn't mean swallowing a financial suicide pill.
Big Idea: Universal Pre-K to Teach Children and Create Jobs (GOOD)
Before kids get to the age where they can enjoy the dubious pleasures of free calculus class, Dana Goldstein makes the case for universal early education to improve their future potential and mobility, take pressure off mothers, and boost the economy.
Has Team Romney forgotten that the Bush years were terrible? (WaPo)
Ezra Klein notes that with the Romney campaign putting the band back together for the third Bush term no one demanded and President Obama deploying Bill Clinton as a surrogate, this election could be about whether you preferred the '90s or the aughts.
Taxes and Employment (NYT)
Bruce Bartlett points out there are two slight flaws in the Republican argument that high tax rates and tax increases are what's hurting employment: tax rates are not high and have not been increased under Obama. Aside from that, their case is airtight.
The Administration Is Scared of Its Own Regulatory Shadow (The Nation)
George Zornick notes how the White House caved to conservative pressure to get rid of an EPA administrator who dared suggest that companies should be held accountable for breaking the law, but probably not by literally nailing them to a plank of wood.
Paul Ryan's Aquinian Epiphany (Talk to Action)
Frank Cocozzelli reviews Paul Ryan's attempt to claim that he is not really an Ayn Rand devotee because while he does consider the poor to be pathetic losers who need to stop looking for handouts, he also believes that God exists and He totally agrees.
Democrats Have Moved to the Right, Not the Left (MoJo)
Kevin Drum argues that it's not true that both parties have become more radical and polarized lately. Rather, Republicans have been charging headfirst into far right territory and Democrats have decided to follow along at a more casual pace.
With additional reseach by Elena Callahan.