From PUP, the introduction to Implausible Dream: The World-Class University and Repurposing Higher Education by James H. Mittelman; and the introduction to The Struggle to Reform Our Colleges by Derek Bok. There are no quick fixes for the failing American university: Support from the federal government has covered up the long-term trend — until now. A Brown v. Board for higher ed: When higher education is a prerequisite for getting a job that pays better than minimum wage, we cannot stop until it is free and accessible to all — the good news is we have done this once before. After decades of pushing bachelor’s degrees, U.S. needs more tradespeople (and more). The world might be better off without college for everyone: Students don’t seem to be getting much out of higher education. It’s time to marginalize the university and revive the cafe.


The introduction to Remaking Black Power: How Black Women Transformed an Era by Ashley D. Farmer. Evette Dionne on the best black women’s history books of 2017. Monique Judge on letting black women tell their own stories. Meet the scholars building a network around black girlhood. Report: Black women face inequality in every part of society. Claire Landsbaum on 4 of the most important findings from a new report on black women in America. Rachelle Hampton on how disdain for black women doesn’t stop at Donald Trump. When black women organize: Liberals owe Doug Jones’s win to a rich history of black women’s organizing in the South. Don’t just thank black women — follow us. Will America ever really trust black women? The complicated truth about our relationship with 2017’s most celebrated voters.

How sexual harassment silences black women in the workplace. Sherrilyn Ifill: “For those ‘learning’ and finally ‘seeing’ the reality of sexual harassment suffered by women in the workplace, ask yourself: what have you ignored abt racism in the workplace? How many stories did you dismiss as ‘hypersensitivity’ or ‘political correctness’?”


From the Washington Monthly, Gilad Edelman on Trump’s plan to make government slower, costlier, and more dysfunctional: Slashing federal employees doesn’t save money — it just makes the government more dependent on private contractors and more prone to colossal screw-ups. How the Trump era is changing the federal bureaucracy. How Trump is dismantling a pillar of the American state: Donald Trump is presiding over the most withering, devastating, and trenchant attack on the American administrative state this nation has ever known. Trump could dramatically reshape the civil service, if he wanted to. Benjamin Wittes on why Trump’s war on the deep state is failing — so far.

Bureaucrats to the rescue: Following Trump’s election, bureaucracy has gone from being a thorn in the side of democracy to being its saving grace — but bureaucrats are also frontline workers who grapple independently with complex questions of democracy. The year of the civil servant: Never before have the roles of government workers taken on such significance — but there could be consequences to using their power to undermine the administration. Washington, D.C., is not a cynical swamp — it’s America’s most hopeful place. Every month, the Trump administration proves that public-sector experience is necessary for a functioning government — private-sector experience is a poor substitute.


Jeff D. Rotman and Mansur Khamitov (Western Ontario) and Scott Connors (Washington State): Lie, Cheat, and Steal: How Harmful Brands Motivate Consumers to Act Unethically. The battle for Iran: Change will not come easily, peacefully, or soon. Powerful Hollywood women unveil anti-harassment action plan. Donald Trump doesn’t understand what’s happening in Iran: The president’s tweets about the recent protests are misleading and dangerous to protesters. The world in 2018 — what could possibly go wrong? We escaped 2017 without a major global incident, but the other shoe may be about to drop. The U.S. funeral industry is the most expensive and corporate in the world — can Americans find a better way to grieve?

TPM is pleased to announce the winners of the 11th Annual Golden Duke Awards recognizing the year’s best purveyors of public corruption, outlandish behavior, The Crazy, and general nonsense in this fine nation’s political arena.


From Fardels Bear, John Jackson on libertarians in the civil rights era; and on the strange parallels between noted libertarian Baldy Harper’s writings and those of the antisemitic Right. Libertarians should celebrate Emancipation as much as they do the end of Prohibition. Will Wilkinson on how libertarian democracy skepticism infected the American Right. What are the costs of libertarianism? Claire Potter on Nancy MacLean’s Democracy in Chains, revisited (and more). The master class on the make: Andrew Hartman on how the white backlash found its academic bona fides. Brad DeLong on six faces of right-wing chain-forging economist James Buchanan.

Libertarianism and the alt-Right: Hans-Hermann Hoppe is in search of a libertarian strategy for social change. Jerry Taylor: “The libertarian-to-Nazi feeder system for the alt-right is becoming an all-too-common tale. Libertarians should think very hard about why that is”. The intellectual wasteland of libertarianism continues to provide a safe space for fascists: It simply has philosophical room for them, and no particular injunctions to turn them away. Libertarianism isn’t a “gateway drug” to the alt-Right: Those who migrate from libertarianism to the alt-Right have rejected the essence of the freedom movement and its philosophy (and more). Libertarianism has nothing to offer populist authoritarians. Libertarians are still looking for the next thing.


Claire Wright (Thomas Jefferson): Blueprint for Survival: A New Paradigm for International Environmental Emergencies. The success of paying people to not cut down trees. This isn’t “the new normal” for climate change — that will be worse. Terrifying parallels between twin threats of climate change and nuclear ruin: Curt Stager reviews The Climate Swerve: Reflections on Mind, Hope, and Survival by Robert Jay Lifton. Can we “see” climate change? A closer look at how rich countries “outsource” their CO2 emissions to poorer ones. What’s the ideal number of humans on Earth? Willi Semmler unpacks the economics of climate change.

Don Fullerton (Illinois) and Erich Muehlegger (UC-Davis): Who Bears the Economic Costs of Environmental Regulations? What they don’t tell you about climate change: Stopping the flow of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere is not enough — it has to be sucked out, too. Can carbon-dioxide removal save the world? CO2 could soon reach levels that, it’s widely agreed, will lead to catastrophe. Maddie Stone on how climate change is erasing human history. A dark picture of humanity’s future: Sean Illing interviews Harald Welzer, author of Climate Wars: Why People Will Be Killed in the 21st Century. All the risks of climate change, in a single graph: There are a lot of them.

Daniel P Aldrich (Northeastern): The Right Way to Build Resilience to Climate Change. Corporations make big climate promises only to retreat after a few years, study finds. Climate change can set the stage for violence. Martha Pskowski reviews Storming the Wall: Climate Change, Migration, and Homeland Security by Todd Miller. The most accurate climate change models predict the most alarming consequences, study finds. Are the floating houses of the Netherlands a solution against the rising seas? The Dutch have solutions to rising seas — the world is watching. Forget the Paris agreement: The real solution to climate change is in the U.S. tax code.

Abby Rabinowitz and Amanda Simson on the dirty secret of the global plan to avert climate disaster. The McKibben effect: A case study in how radical environmentalism can work. We aren’t destroying the Earth: David Biello reviews Inheritors of the Earth: How Nature Is Thriving in an Age of Extinction by Chris D. Thomas. Megadisasters devastated America this year — they’re going to get worse. Men are destroying our planet because they don’t want to seem girly.


Rebuilding democracy in 2018: Claire Potter on learning #purple politics from the history of American conservatism. Scott Lemieux on how America’s unfair democracy will hurt Democrats in 2018. The Left has no answer to wingnut welfare. New York’s Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is in battle with Trump. “We have tapped into something”: Impeachment drive builds digital army to take on Trump. Resistance works: Trump is getting the minimum done, and Republicans are paying the price for backing him. How to maintain your sense of proportion in the Trump era. Tom Steyer has too much money. Republicans control Washington — progressives are trying to reclaim the rest of America. Just when you thought Democrats couldn’t get any more oblivious. Remember, much of what Trump does can be undone.

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