As a parent and a citizen, I'll take a Bill Gates (or Warren Buffett) over Steve Jobs every time. If we must have billionaires, better they should ignore Jobs's example and instead embrace the morality and wisdom of the great industrialist-philanthropist Andrew Carnegie.
Americans continue to suffer from a notoriously short attention span. They get mad as hell with reasonable frequency, but quickly return to their families and sitcoms. Meanwhile, the corporate lobbies stay right where they are, outlasting all the populist hysteria.
Ever since Richard Nixon walloped George McGovern in the presidential election of 1972, political pundits have treated as a truism the proposition that liberals are out of step with the rest of the nation, and therefore all but unelectable outside the precincts of the Northeast -- give or take a college town here or a ski resort there. During the course of every presidential election for the past forty years now, Republicans have sought to wield the word liberal as if it were a six-gauge shotgun.
There are more people at Obama's table offering ideas than there were five years ago, but when it came to facing up to the Republicans' threat to force a double-dip recession if they didn't get their millionaires' tax cut, they still amounted to nothing. And therein lies our fundamental problem.
Three centuries after the appearance of Franklin's 'Courant,' it no longer requires a dystopic imagination to wonder who will have the dubious distinction of publishing America's last genuine newspaper. Few believe that newspapers in their current printed form will survive.