How Germany got it right on the economy
It may be turkey week in America, but it's goose month in Germany. In many restaurants, you can get goose in your salad and goose in your soup to go with your goose entree. Diners fairly honk their way through November.
But then, Germans have something to honk about. Germany's economy is the strongest in the world. Its trade balance - the value of its exports over its imports - is second only to China's, which is all the more remarkable since Germany is home to just 82 million people. Its 7.5 percent unemployment rate - two percentage points below ours - is lower than at any time since right after reunification. Growth is robust, and real wages are rising.
Community organizing survives, but it is a balkanized, weakened field.
Few organizations in American history have disappeared as quickly, and on the basis of such flimsy accusations, as ACORN. In 2007, ACORN had field offices in 100 cities and 260,000 members, drawn almost entirely from inner-city minority communities. It helped register more than 1.6 million voters nationally between 2004 and 2008. In New York, one ACORN spin-off, the Working Families Party, became the political home for savvy liberals. In 2004 in Florida, ACORN initiated and steered to success a ballot measure raising the state's minimum wage.
Nancy Pelosi's proven record as Democratic leader
A lot of Democrats deserve a share of the blame for the shellacking they took last week, beginning with a president who shied away from defending his achievements. Nancy Pelosi, however, should not be high on that list.
Consider, for starters, the No. 1 cause of the Democrats' defeat: the economy. The Democrats, one prominent critique holds, didn't do enough to reduce unemployment and, instead, spent eons working on bills - however commendable they may have been - that weren't directed at ending the recession.
Can the Workers of the World Unite?
The state of unionism in the era of globalization
It was labor, not capital, that first aspired to eradicate national borders. But the international unity of labor, which Marx and Engels posited as a goal in 1848, was, for the subsequent 150 years, a matter of ideology only. Or, more precisely, of ideologies: The socialists had their international and their unions, the communists had their own, and during the Cold War, George Meany's AFL-CIO hammered together alliances of anti-communist unions. Unions pledged their solidarity and, at times, their material support to other unions in other lands with which they had an ideological kinship. But the day-to-day work they carried out -- organizing workers, bargaining contracts, lobbying legislatures -- took place entirely within their own borders.
A post-election numbers game
Elections always yield a cascade of numbers that nerds such as I rummage among in search of meaning. Here are a few that I think help explain Tuesday's results:
Zero - The number of newly elected Republican senators in genuinely contested Senate races (excluding, therefore, those like North Dakota's) who carried voters ages 18 to 29. Republicans may have picked up seats in Pennsylvania, Illinois and Wisconsin, and held them in Missouri, New Hampshire and Ohio, but young voters in those states voted Democratic. Even in Ohio, where Republican Rob Portman beat Democrat Lee Fisher by 18 percentage points, Fisher won the youth vote 49 percent to 45 percent.
Trouble on the Border
Among the House districts Democrats are battling to hold are five along the border with Mexico.
Of all the gloomy outcomes that the Democrats have cause to fear in tomorrow's election, here's one that seems to have escaped wide notice: They're in trouble on the border -- the one with Mexico.