Here Are Two Sentences to Ponder Over Instead of Fretting About Ukraine

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I happen to have read two things that struck me in the past hour. The first is from a back-cover blurb for a book that arrived in the mail:

Mettler powerfully and convincingly demonstrates how partisan polarization and plutocratic biases have shaped _________ policy in recent years and why reform is so urgent.

I’m convinced already. Does it even matter what this book is about? You could write this sentence about practically anything these days. For the record, though, the book is Degrees of Inequality. The author is Suzanne Mettler and the blank space is “higher education.” Then there’s this:

There is one great advantage to being an academic economist in France: here, economists are not highly respected in the academic and intellectual world or by political and financial elites. Hence they must set aside their contempt for other disciplines and their absurd claim to great scientific legitimacy, despite the fact that they know almost nothing about anything.

Bracing! This is from the introduction to Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century. Only 544 pages to go.

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In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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