Stephen Moore on Bringing Industry Back Stephen Moore argues that the shift from manufacturing-dominated to government-dominated workforces explains why so many states are suffering financially right now. The Wall Street Journal economics writer notes that "Every state in America today except for two--Indiana and Wisconsin--has more government workers on the payroll than people manufacturing industrial goods," including those states known for farming. But while today's farmers and manufacturers are more productive than ever, government productivity is negative. Allowing tenure and lifetime employmet for state workers "breeds mediocrity," he writes. To combat this, he argues, we must "grow the economy that makes things, not the sector that takes things."
Ali Suleiman Aujali on How to Help Libya Ali Sulieman Aujali, the U.S. representative of the Transitional National Council of the Libyan Republic and former Libyan ambassador to the U.S., lays out in The Washington Post exactly how the U.S. and allied countries can help Libya achieve its goal of real freedom. Aujali argues that the no-fly zone must be upheld and that the Libyan people need military assistance as well as humanitarian aid. He also argues that Gaddafi's $50 billion dollars worth of frozen assets should be returned to the Libyan people from whom they were stolen and, finally, the international community should "recognize the transitional council" of which he is a part. "Before we can turn in earnest to the important work of peace, we need to finish the ugly business of war," he writes. "We are literally fighting for our lives. All of our aspirations will mean little unless we get the help we need now."
Mustafa Nour on Real Syrian Life In today's New York Times, Syrian human rights activist Mustafa Nour debunks "the myth of Syrian security," clarifying that "Syria has been ruled by emergency law since 1963," and most Syrians are willing to forgo their political and personal freedoms in exchange for the relative security that this brings. Syrians' complacency reassured the leadership that Arab uprisings would not spread there, and when citizens gathered in support of their neighbors' fight, the police started to crack down. Though peaceful protests are supposedly allowed in the country, "protestors calling for freedom and reform" have been attacked and killed. "Syria has degenerated into chaos and bloodshed so quickly in these past few weeks that I keep thinking: was our stability, our distinguishing characteristic, ever even true?" Nour writes that when President Assad spoke this week, he expected a concession of freedoms rather than the "show of power" that took place. "Because of his speech, many of those Syrians who called for reform will now begin calling for regime change," he predicts.
Rose McDermott on the Dangers of Polygamy Polygamy isn't just harmless entertainment on HBO, Rose McDermott argues, pointing to a case in Canada claiming an anti-polygamy statute "violates the country's commitment to religious freedom." Polygamy is actually "increasingly common, particularly in Muslim enclaves--including in Paris, London and New York," she says. But the argument about religious freedom is invalid, she suggests: polygamy must be curbed for the sake of human rights. "Women in polygynous communities [where one man has multiple wives] get married younger, have more children, have higher rates of HIV infection than men, sustain more domestic violence, succumb to more female genital mutilation and sex trafficking, and are more likely to die in childbirth," McDermott, a Brown political science professor, has discovered over 10 years of research. These factors, along with shorter life expectancy and less educated children, are the result of having "to create and sustain an underclass of unmarried and undereducated men [who] are likely to be willing to take greater risks and engage in more violence, possibly including terrorism, in order to increase their own wealth and status in hopes of gaining access to women." McDermott argues in The Wall Street Journal that the Western nations that have allowed such marriages to exist, whether they are among immigrants or Mormons, should consider these facts.
Michael Walker on the Fight for Paid Talent At The Los Angeles Times today, Michael Walker compares the plight of unpaid writers to that of unpaid comedians in the 1970s. Like Comedy Story owner Mitzi Shore before her, Arianna Huffington argues that exposure is as much payment as Huffington Post writers deserve. Strikes eventually persuaded Shore to pay those who performed at her club, such as Robin Williams and Jay Leno, and Walker wonders if HuffPo writers can achieve the same, as many of them are not professionals and have no contact with one another. "The Comedy Store strike proved that talent could set a price for its worth--so long as the idea of working without pay wasn't accepted by both sides as a plausible business model." It's now up to Huffington Post writers now to convince the other side of this as well.