- Rick Wartzman on LeBron as the Epitome of the Millennial Generation The Los Angeles Times op-ed contributor compares the star's desertion of his hometown to the rest of his generation's declining loyalty to their employers. "If younger workers have displayed anything as employees, it's that they prize mobility more than they do fidelity to their employers," he points out. Much of this employee movement is due to the rapidly shifting hiring policies of the largest employers, which favor more temporary positions that offer less long-term benefits. Still, "erosion in loyalty is not merely a function of corporations being greedy or girding for the rough-and-tumble of today's marketplace. On the flip side, numerous studies have concluded that younger people, in particular, don't have as much allegiance to their employers as do baby boomers or even Gen Xers."
- Richard Cohen on Michael Steele's Truth The Washington Post columnist declares that Michael Steele was speaking the "absolute truth", if only for a "brief and shining moment." Liberals have barraged the embattled RNC chairman with facts, statistics and ever-present reminders that it was the "illustrious" George W. Bush who began the war in Afghanistan. But despite the "pesky details" of Bush's subsequent "distraction" in Iraq, American's shouldn't shy away from the fact that, "Obama found this war on his doorstep, took it in, nursed and even escalated it, and swaddled it in his own clothes: more troops, and still more on the way."
- David Brooks on Princes and Grinds According to the New York Times columnist, there are two basic personality types in America: the prince and the grind. The princes are generally more pleasant to be around. "They've read interesting books. They've got well-rehearsed takes on the global situation." The grinds are weird and kind of awful, the Bad News Bears-as-Masters of the Universe. "Grinds, on the other hand, tend to have started their own company or their own hedge fund...over lunch, they can be socially inert." But wait—it turns out the grinds are the people you should be trusting in this recession. Appearances can be deceiving. Explains Brooks: "The well-connected bankers knew they'd get bailed out if anything went wrong. The solitary hedge fund guys knew they were on their own and regarded their trades with paranoid anxiety." And that's why they were so mean at lunch.
- Anne Applebaum on Sarkozy's Latest Scandal French President Nicolas Sarkozy is in the middle of another European scandal, this one involving envelopes, bribes, and butlers. It's not so much the specifics of "l'affaire Bettencourt" that threaten to engulf Sarkozy, writes Washington Post columnist Anne Applebaum, but what the scandal represents. "There is even something creepily retro about this scandal, which feels as if it should have happened in the France of the 1930s," argues Applebaum. "And this is what hurts Sarkozy, who was elected in 2007 precisely because the French were sick of the Chiracs and the Mitterrands, with their mistresses in government apartments, their double bookkeeping and their shady business acquaintances."
- Bret Stephens on Cuban Health Care The Wall Street Journal columnist uses the Donald Berwick appointment and public reemergence of Castro to lay down some truth on Cuba's health care system. It seems not even "progressives of Dr. Berwick's stripe" (pinkos) are enamored with CastroCare these days. Why? Because "the system is in an advanced state of collapse. It is bankrupting the state and driving doctors out of the medical field and the country." Stephens continues: "Its ostensibly egalitarian nature disguises a radically inegalitarian reality, with a tiny number of well-appointed clinics catering to paying medical tourists and senior Party apparatchiks while most Cubans take their chances in filthy, under-resourced hospitals." Stephens has set the table for a Ghost of Christmas future look at our own health care system, but stops short of a full comparison, admitting: "ObamaCare, with its million flaws, is not CastroCare." The ultimate warning is that "command-and-control technocracy work as well in the health-care market as they do in every other. Which is to say, not at all."
Want to add to this story? Let us know in comments
or send an email to the authors at
ehayden at nationaljournal dot com or rgustini at theatlantic dot com.
You can share ideas for stories on the Open Wire.