To the liberal class, every big economic problem is really an education problem, a failure by the losers to learn the right skills and get the credentials everyone knows you’ll need in the society of the future.
Thanks to a deal finalized in 2008, Chicago's parking meters will be operated for the next 75 years by a group of investors put together by Morgan Stanley, including the sovereign wealth fund of Abu Dhabi.
As you watch the world crumble, try taking your Armageddon with this sprinkling of irony: Over the last three decades, business has got virtually everything it wanted, and its doomsday scenario from the 1970s has come true because of it.
During the financial crisis and bailouts of 2008, it probably occurred to very few average people that we were entering a period of hardship for billionaires.
In small towns, bored teenagers turn their eyes longingly to the exciting doings in the big cities, pining for urban amenities like hipster bars and farmers' markets and indie-rock festivals. Like everyone else, they want the vibrant and they will not be denied.
Above all else stands the burning question of bipartisanship. Whatever else the politicians might say they're about, our news analysts know that this is the true object of the nation's desire, the topic to which those slippery presidential spokesmen need always to be dragged back.
I was never a fan of Barack Obama's bipartisanship routine.
In the last James Bond movie, the villain was a culture captain, a tycoon of culture, a Murdoch figure. It's not as if people don't know what is going on.
Conservatives may believe that impoverished borrowers destroyed Wall Street. But we liberals will not fool ourselves that stupid bankers sank conservatism for good.
Americans have known about mounting inequality and king-sized Wall Street bonuses for years. But we also had an entire genre of journalism dedicated to brushing the problem off.
Our laws governing lobbying and campaign contributions have struck the right balance between the wishes of the people and those of private industry, so why are we so quick to doubt that the same great results can be achieved by putting the government's justice-dealing branch on the same market-based course?
There are few things in politics more annoying than the Right's utter conviction that it owns the patent on the word 'freedom' that when its leaders stand up for the rights of banks to be unregulated or capital gains to be untaxed, that it is actually and obviously standing up for human liberty, the noblest cause of them all.
The great fear that hung over the business community in the 1970s was death by regulation, and the great goal of the conservative movement, as it rose to triumph in the 1980s, was to remove that threat - to keep OSHA, the EPA, and the FTC from choking off entrepreneurship with their infernal meddling in the marketplace.
As it happens, Chicago is the nation's leader in municipal privatization efforts. That's right: The city that conservatives portray as the citadel of the power-grabbing, government-growing left has been selling itself off in pieces for years. It signed a 99-year lease for the Chicago Skyway, a toll road in the city's South Side, back in 2005.
Under the administration of George W. Bush, you will recall, federal spending grew pretty significantly. At the same time, the number of people directly employed by the federal government shrank. One of the factors that explained the difference was contracting.
Financial regulation is the next item on the political horizon, and it doesn't have to be the deathly dull wonk-battle that it sounds like. In fact, if the Democrats do their job, it can just as easily become a platform for addressing the greatest issues of them all.
Maybe that first, gigantic deficit the Reaganites piled up was an accident, just a combination of deluded 'supply side' tax cuts and a huge bag of good stuff for the Pentagon. But pretty quickly conservatives discovered that deficits, when done correctly, did something really cool: deficits defunded the Left.
Money never seems to be interested in strengthening regulatory agencies, for example, but always in subverting them, in making them miss the danger signs in coal mines and in derivatives trading and in deep-sea oil wells.
Government is, by its very nature, a destroyer of liberties; the Obama administration, specifically, is promising to interfere with the economy and the health care system so profoundly that Washington will soon have us all in chains.
The pursuit of the vibrant seems to be the universal job description of the nation's city planners nowadays. It is also part of the Obama administration's economic recovery strategy for the nation.