Ethnicity Now

– "Ethnicity Now," The Washington Post, September 16, 2001.

Building Wealth For Everyone

– "Building Wealth For Everyone," The New York Times, May 30, 2000.
Excerpt: Social insurance began in Europe, principally in Germany in the Bismarck era. In 1911, Winston Churchill carried unemployment insurance in the House of Commons, representing the Liberal government. The Tories opposite said the workers would spend the… More

Data and Dogma in Public Policy

– "Data and Dogma in Public Policy," Journal of the American Statistical Association, 1999.
Abstract: Statistics play an important role in the affairs of state. The development over the last 70 years of national economic and product accounts, the creation in 1946 of a Council of Economic Advisers, and advancements in the collection and analysis of… More

The culture of secrecy

– "The culture of secrecy," The Public Interest, Summer 1997.
Excerpt: IT is a half century since the foreign intelligence system of the United States was established by the National Security Act of 1947. It is 80 years since the Espionage Act of 1917 established the present legal regime dealing with subversive… More

Social Security As We Knew It

– "Social Security As We Knew It," The New York Times, January 5, 1997.
Excerpt: Tomorrow, one year late, the Advisory Council on Social Security is scheduled to report on the finances of our national retirement system. More to the point, there will likely be three reports, with the 13 members divided every which way, and no… More

The Professionalization of Reform II

– "The Professionalization of Reform II," The Public Interest, Fall 1995.
THIRTY years ago, in the first article of the first issue of The Public Interest, I published some observations on “The Professionalization of Reform,” which 30 years later can be read, selectively, without overmuch embarrassment. The essay began with a… More

The Devolution Revolution

– "The Devolution Revolution," The New York Times, August 6, 1995.
Excerpt: A considerable debate has commenced in the Senate, but it is not, as commonly portrayed, about welfare. The subject, rather, is the devolution — “causing to descend” — of social welfare programs from the Federal Government to… More

Free Trade with an Unfree Society: A Commitment and its Consequences

– "Free Trade with an Unfree Society: A Commitment and its Consequences," The National Interest, Summer 1995.
In late January fo this year I went to the Senate floor to speak of U.S. relations with Mexico, in the context of the new North American Free Trade Agreement. My theme was one I had touched upon repeatedly since NAFTA was first proposed during the… More

Defining Deviancy Down

– "Defining Deviancy Down," The American Scholar, Winter 1993.
Excerpt: In one of the founding texts of sociology, The Rules of Sociological Method (1895), Emile Durkheim set it down that “crime is normal.” “It is,” he wrote, “completely impossible for any society entirely free of it to… More

Toward a new intolerance

– "Toward a new intolerance," The Public Interest, Summer 1993.
IT WILL BE fifty years ago this June that I graduated from Benjamin Franklin High School in East Harlem, in the company of State Senator Joe Galiber, and any number of prominent New Yorkers. I find myself at this half-century mark thinking: “How much… More

Iatrogenic Government: Social Policy and Drug Research

– "Iatrogenic Government: Social Policy and Drug Research," The American Scholar, Summer 1993.
Writing in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1983, Armand M. Nicholi of the department of psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital and the Harvard Medical School commented: When future historians study American culture, they may be most perplexed by… More

How the Great Society “destroyed the American family”

– "How the Great Society 'destroyed the American family'," The Public Interest, Summer 1992.
Excerpt: THIS ELECTION YEAR will be the first in American history in which the issue of welfare dependency has been raised to the level of presidential politics. Not, that is, the issue of persons who are out of work, but rather of persons who, typically, are… More

North Dakota, Math Country

– "North Dakota, Math Country," The New York Times, February 3, 1992.
Excerpt: In his State of the Union Message, the President reaffirmed his commitment to making our country “the world leader in education,” adding that to do so, “We must revolutionize America’s schools.”

Educational goals and political plans

– "Educational goals and political plans," The Public Interest, Winter 1991.
Excerpt: AMERICAN POLITICS has been notable for its lack of ideological structure. We have had our share and more of ideological movements, but these have typically begun outside the system of political parties, thereafter seeking to influence and on occasion… More

Do We Still Need the C.I.A.?; The State Dept. Can Do the Job

– "Do We Still Need the C.I.A.?; The State Dept. Can Do the Job," The New York Times, May 19, 1991.
Excerpt: The nomination of Robert M. Gates a career officer and sometime head of the Directorate of Intelligence of the C.I.A. — to be head of the agency comes at a moment when it is possible, for the first time since the onset of the cold war, to ask… More

Another War—the One on Poverty—Is Over, Too

– "Another War—the One on Poverty—Is Over, Too," The New York Times, July 16, 1990.
Excerpt: On June 6, another headline announced an end of sorts of another war: ”White House Spurns Expansion of Nation’s Anti-Poverty Efforts.”.

The Soviet Economy: Boy, Were We Wrong!

– "The Soviet Economy: Boy, Were We Wrong!" The Washington Post, July 11, 1990.
Excerpt: On July 1, East Germans lined up at some 15,000 special distribution centers around the country to exchange their old currency for brand new West German D-marks. There was much celebrating and much to celebrate. Not least, if we are to believe the… More

Toward a post-industrial social policy

– "Toward a post-industrial social policy," The Public Interest, Summer 1989.
A QUARTER of a century has elapsed since I sat alongside Sargent Shriver in the hearing room of the House Committee on Education and Labor as he presented the opening testimony on what was to become the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, which launched the War… More

Half the Nation’s Children: Born Without a Fair Chance

– "Half the Nation's Children: Born Without a Fair Chance," The New York Times, September 25, 1988.
Excerpt: To talk about the condition of children is by definition to talk about the families in which they live. That is why we are going to have to learn to talk about two kinds of children, because – of a sudden, in a flash – we have become a… More

The Modern Role of Congress in Foreign Affairs

– "The Modern Role of Congress in Foreign Affairs," Cardozo L. Rev. 9:1489, 1987-1988.
A century ago, in a letter to the committee responsible for the centennial celebration, the then British Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone called the U.S. Constitution “the most remarkable work known o me in the modern times to have been produced… More

The “New Science of Politics” and the Old Art of Government

– "'The New Science of Politics' and the Old Art of Government," The Public Interest, Winter 1987.
Excerpt: AS WE APPROACH the bicentennial of the Constitution, leafing through The Federalist, pondering the unexampled endurance of the arrangements the Founders put in place in those years, we are reminded of the role the “new science of… More

The paranoid style in American politics revisited

– "The paranoid style in American politics revisited," The Public Interest, Fall 1985.
Excerpt: Of continuity and change. It happens I wrote the opening article in the first issue of The Public Interest, and there I am to be found, then as ever since, quoting Nathan Glazer. Congress, Glazer reported, had in 1965 “been painfully and hesitantly… More

Of ‘Sons’ and Their ‘Grandsons’

– "Of 'Sons' and Their 'Grandsons'," The New York Times, July 7, 1980.
Excerpt: WASHINGTON–Once upon a time, before the Coming of the New Deal, there was a group of Republican Senators who were not sound men on subjects such as the High Tariff. Their names were well-enough known– Johnson of California, Norris of… More

Social science and the courts

– "Social science and the courts," The Public Interest, Winter 1979.
Excerpt: FROM the time, at the beginning of the century, that American legal scholars and jurists began to speak of the “science of law” it was rather to be assumed that the courts would in time find themselves involved with the social sciences. This was… More

What do you do when the Supreme Court is wrong?

– "What do you do when the Supreme Court is wrong?" The Public Interest, Fall 1979.
Excerpt: In its Spring Term of 1979, the Supreme Court ruled in the case of Gannett v. DePasquale that the public does not have an independent constitutional right of access to a pretrial judicial proceeding. The ease had been brought by the Gannett… More

On the Electoral College

– "Statement on the Electoral College," June 27, 1979.
Excerpt: Mr. President, I rise to speak briefly and for the first time in what I believe will be an extended debate on the matter before us, Senate Joint Resolution 28. I wish to address this subject in the context, as I see it, of the historical experience… More

Why Private Schools Merit Public Aid

– "Why Private Schools Merit Public Aid," The Washington Post, March 5, 1978.
Excerpt: In his message to Congress on elementary and secondary education in late February, President Carter observed that “private schools-particularly parochial schools — are an important part of our diverse educational system.” He thereupon… More

Imperial Government

– "Imperial Government," Commentary, June 1978.
Excerpt: The question of size and of effectiveness in American government is beginning to take on aspects of constitutional as against merely political debate. For the better part of a century now, those who have objected to the size of government, especially… More

Government and the ruin of private education

Summary: Tuition tax credits are contended in this essay to be a way to sustain nongovernment schools. The discussion covers the origins of public education, clarification of the First Amendment, Supreme Court rulings, and politics and pluralism.

Commencement Address

– "Commencement Address," The Ohio State University, June 11, 1976.
Mine was the curious experience that having grown up wholly as a child of Manhattan I came of age knowing nothing of the fabled institutions of learning in the East, whilst feeling deeply involved in the life of two great middle western universities, Notre… More

The United States in Opposition

– "The United States in Opposition," Commentary, March 1975.
Excerpt: “We are far from living in a single world community,” writes Edward Shils, “but the rudiments of a world society do exist.” Among those rudiments, perhaps the most conspicuous, if least remarked, are the emerging views as to what kind of… More

On U.N. Resolution 3379, Equating Zionism with Racism

– "On U.N. Resolution 3379, Equating Zionism with Racism," Speech to the United States General Assembly, November 10, 1975.
Excerpt: There appears to have developed in the United Nations the practice for a number of countries to combine for the purpose of doing something outrageous, and thereafter, the outrageous thing having been done, to profess themselves outraged by those who… More

Was Woodrow Wilson Right?

– "Was Woodrow Wilson Right?" Commentary, May 1974.
Excerpt: It is fifty years, since Woodrow Wilson died, but it does not seem fifty years: more like two-hundred-fifty. We are uncomfortable with Wilson in the 20th century, he seems more the kind of man who came early rather than late in our national life when… More

“Peace”— some thoughts on the 1960’s and 1970’s

– "'Peace'— some thoughts on the 1960’s and 1970’s," The Public Interest, Summer 1973.
Excerpt: A DECADE ago most of the social scientists with whom I work, and whom I have been associated with, were profoundly distressed about the directions which American society seemed to be taking. A pervasive, ominous sense of trouble shaping up could be… More

Equalizing education: in whose benefit?

– "Equalizing education: in whose benefit?," The Public Interest, Fall 1972.
Excerpt: A series of recent state and federal court decisions, just now reaching the Supreme Court on appeal, have held that expenditure per pupil in public schools must be equal for all students in any given state, or nearly equal, or in any event not… More

Text of a Pre‐Inauguration Memo From Moynihan on Problems Nixon Would Face

– "Text of a Pre‐Inauguration Memo From Moynihan on Problems Nixon Would Face," The New York Times, March 11, 1970.
Excerpt: Before the storm breaks, as it were, on the 20th, would like to send in a few extended comments on some of the longer range issues that face you, but will tend, I should imagine, to get lost in the daily succession of crises. I would like to speak… More

Toward a National Urban Policy

– "Toward a National Urban Policy," The Public Interest, Fall 1969.
Excerpt: In the spring of 1969, President Nixon met in the Cabinet room with ten mayors of American cities. They were nothing if not a variegated lot, mixing party, religion, race, region in the fine confusion of American politics. They had been chosen to be… More

The Professors and the Poor

– "The Professors and the Poor," Commentary, August 1968.
Excerpt: Not long ago, a Negro poverty worker from the Roxbury section of Boston came to see me at the Joint Center for Urban Studies, directed there by a liberal business executive who had thought I might be of help in her effort to raise a large sum of… More

The Crises in Welfare

– "The Crises in Welfare," The Public Interest, Winter 1968.
Excerpt: In the course of the Second Session of the Ninetieth Congress, the House of Representatives by near-unanimous action approved what must surely be the first purposively punitive welfare legislation in the history of the American national government.… More

The President & The Negro: The Moment Lost

– "The President & The Negro: The Moment Lost," Commentary, February 1967.
Excerpt: For anyone with even a moderate concern for the sources of stability in American government, the results of the 1966 elections will appear on balance a good thing. The Republican party reemerged as a strong and competent force in national life.… More

A Crisis of Confidence?

– "A Crisis of Confidence?" The Public Interest, Spring 1967.
Excerpt: The similarities between the War in Viet Nam and the War on Cities are instructive. We are now in the thirteenth or whatever year of the foreign involvement, and the third or perhaps thirtieth of the domestic crisis. Each entanglement somehow crept… More

The Professionalization of Reform

– "The Professionalization of Reform," The Public Interest, Fall 1965.
Excerpt:  The passage above, as succinct a case for social planning as could be made, is not a product of either the thought or the institutions of the liberal-left. It is, rather, a statement by the late mathematical economist Wesley C. Mitchell. And it has… More

The Negro Family: The Case for National Action

– "The Negro Family: The Case for National Action," Department of Labor, March 1965.
Excerpt: The United States is approaching a new crisis in race relations. In the decade that began with the school desegregation decision of the Supreme Court, and ended with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the demand of Negro Americans for full… More

Poverty and Progress

– "Poverty and Progress," The American Scholar, Autumn 1964.
If there are no other victories whatever-and there will be-the war on poverty at least began with a notable advance for semantics. A nation that does dearly love nice things and soft words, that calls graveyards cemeteries and is now turning to “gardens… More

The Irish of New York

– "A Commentary Report: The Irish of New York," Commentary, August 1963.
Excerpt: It is now well over a century since any of the various groups living in New York has been able to claim so much as a bare majority of the populace; only the Jews today can claim even a quarter. There have been times, however, when one group after… More

Guiding Principles for Federal Architecture

– "Guiding Principles for Federal Architecture," Government Services Administration, 1962.
Excerpt: In the course of its consideration of the general subject of Federal office space, the committee has given some thought to the need for a set of principles which will guide the Government in the choice of design for Federal buildings. The committee… More