Matt Miller in The Washington Post on extending the moral instinct of Sandy "Why is our moral instinct so different when it comes to natural disasters like Sandy as opposed to slow-motion man-made disasters, such as the fate of millions of poor children languishing in failing schools?" Miller asks. "I’ve always felt that a deeper appreciation of the role that luck plays in life could form the basis of a consensus for bolder measures to get serious about equal opportunity, economic security and a minimally decent life in America."
Susan Antilla in Bloomberg View on the broken brokerage system Mark C. Hotton tricked producers of musical Rebecca that he had $4.5 million in funding. Backers fell for it; Hotton got finder's fees. He was convicted of fraud for this, but his records show "a stolen-property charge, 16 customer disputes, a firing, a lien and a bankruptcy." Really, he should have been stopped earlier. "His story is but the latest example of the joke that securities regulation has become."
E.J. Dionne Jr. in The Washington Post on compromise "We are so polarized that even compromise has become a partisan issue." While 69 percent of Democrats are okay with their side making compromises, 50 percent of Republicans would rather their side stick to principles. Contests across the country show this, with Republicans voting in conservatives and Democrats voting in moderates. Compromise is "on the ballot next week. But only one side seems genuinely interested in reaching it."
Xiao Guozhen in The New York Times on legal problems with advocacy in China Guozhen, a lawyer in China, writes of humanitarian Song Ze, a 26-year-old who brought food to clothes and food to petitioners in the winter. In May, his acts of justice were deemed "disturbing public order." He was arrested; there's been no word from him since. "Like countless other righteous people, armed with nothing more than morality, a sense of justice, dreams and physical strength, Song Ze defied a law that was unlawful. And now he is paying the price."
Donald Cohen in the Los Angeles Times on why the economy needs a minimum wage raise "Unemployment is still too high, but a focus on the number of jobs obscures a serious long-term crisis of declining wages and a shrinking middle class that is having a harder and harder time making ends meet." What the economy needs is a higher minimum wage to meet rising costs. Look at cities like San Jose and Albuquerque: They raised the wage, and it did not kill jobs like people said. Instead, unemployment went down.