Search Results For atlantic redesign

Jordan Weissmann responds to McArdle’s criticisms of his criticisms of Paul Ryan’s anti-poverty plan:

If your overriding policy goal is to shrink federal spending over time, then yes, drastically redesigning an enormous chunk of the safety net in order to (maybe) move a relatively small group of people who seem to be stuck in intractable poverty toward work might make sense. But if your policy goal is, instead, simply to design a safety net that works for most Americans who come into contact with it, and cost isn’t your No. 1 worry, then burning down and replacing the one we have is just rash. …

To completely redesign programs that already work well (such as food stamps), while forcing every single person who needs a hand through a rough patch to submit to a new and intrusive bureaucratic regime, is simply overkill. Doing so might not even move many people out of poverty and could have any number of unintended consequences. (Would anybody be shocked if having to sign a life contract scared off some poor parents from trying to get benefits that they really needed?) Looking for specific places where the safety net is weak, and then fixing it in a targeted way, is the more responsible choice.

Ross, on the other hand, defends the plan from critics who call it paternalistic:

For conservatives who support the “conditional reciprocity” embodied in tying welfare benefits to work or job seeking or life planning or anything else, there are two responses to this critique. The first is that certain prominent middle-class entitlements do, in fact, impose stringent conditions on their beneficiaries. Specifically, what you get from them depends on whether you’ve worked and paid taxes across your adult life: Seniors aren’t required to attend “water aerobics” to get Medicare or Social Security, but by the time they receive benefits from those programs they have usually paid out a lifetime’s worth of payroll and Medicare taxes. …

Meanwhile, there are, yes, lots of other programs and credits and subsidies in our system that aren’t built on conditional reciprocity, except in a sense so loose as to be meaningless. But here’s the thing: Conservatives often and increasingly favor capping, cutting or doing away with those giveaways entirely! Lowrey and Bruenig write as if it’s a hypothetical or a reductio ad absurdum to imagine the government demanding “action plans” from corporate welfare beneficiaries or trying to wean rich households off the mortgage-interest deduction. But the assumption behind every recent draft of tax reform on the right, from Mitt Romney’s 2012 plan to Mike Lee’s family-friendly proposal to Dave Camp’s blueprint (in ascending order of fiscal precision), is that a range of “welfare state for the rich” provisions in the tax code should be straightforwardly eliminated.

Nonetheless, in Frum’s view, Ryan’s plan reflects “a way of thinking about poverty that made excellent sense a decade ago – but that is not equal to the more difficult circumstances of today”:

In the late 1990s, a booming U.S. economy created jobs at a rate not seen since the 1960s. Wages even for less-skilled workers rose handsomely. Pretty much anybody who wanted to work could do so, and full-time work offered a path out of poverty. An enhanced Earned-Income Tax Credit topped up wages; a new federal health benefit for children extended health care to families who earned just slightly too much to qualify for Medicaid.

It made sense in those days to think of poverty not as a social or economic problem but as an expression of some more personal affliction or burden: mental illness, adult illiteracy, addiction, family breakdown. That was very much the assumption behind the “compassionate conservatism” advocated by George W. Bush when he sought the presidency at the end of the 1990s. Poor people needed more than a check! … But does it remain true in the context of 2014 that poverty is grounded in behaviors, as seemed to be the case in 1999-2000? The 45 million Americans who rely on food stamps: Do they really need caseworkers to set goals for them? Or have those goals been moved out of reach by economic circumstances?

Meanwhile, Elizabeth Nolan Brown is disheartened that the plan’s proposals for criminal justice reform are getting so little attention, particularly from liberals who ought to be cheering them:

To me, these are by far the most exciting parts of Ryan’s agenda. When is the last time an American politician brought up criminal justice reform in the context of poverty policy proposals? And yet a huge part of what keeps people poor is our draconian criminal justice system. As of 2008, one in every 100 people in America was in prison. We throw people in jail for the most insane reasons—possessing pot, having sex, street vending without proper paperwork—thereby already putting them (and their families) in economic jeopardy. And then we release them into a system where over-eager cops, parole officers, and bureaucrats are on the ready to issue fines or haul them back into prison should they fail to meet any number of labyrinthian requirements.

The Dish’s complete coverage of Ryan’s plan here.

Why Do We Buy TV In Bulk?

Andrew Sullivan —  Jul 18 2013 @ 3:58pm

Derek Thompson argues that, for the TV industry, “live sports is the keystone keeping the roof from collapsing”:

Networks have recognized that sports has unique social currency in live viewing, and they’ve stormed the marketplace in the last few years, throwing egregious sums of money in exchange for exclusive deals. Those costs are trickling up. As Patrick Hruby explained, “big time sports are taking a minimum of $84.90” out of each family’s budget even if they don’t care about sports. This amounts to a “sport tax” on families forced to pay for something they don’t watch. Cable companies sensing this backlash are starting to resist new sports networks. There is even chatter about what would happen if sports existed on a separate “tier” that untied the Gordian Knot of TV.

In a follow-up, he finds that TV a la carte is likely to be more expensive than the bundle. Relatedly, Meghan Neal believes that Google could threaten the cable companies:

Google’s certainly been lining up the resources to offer an All Access television experience. It has original programming on YouTube, TV shows and movies on Google Play, and the Google TV software (albeit in need of a redesign) to aggregate and manage the content while also looping in online streaming sites like Netflix and Hulu.

That’s a decent hand, but Google Fiber is the ace up the sleeve. The high-speed broadband and digital cable service is available in select cities, already offers a robust lineup of channels, including, for an extra fee, HBO. As of now most people still have to pay Comcast or Time Warner for broadband internet, which incentivizes their cable packages. If the fiber-optic network spreads nationwide, it’ll be the biggest threat to the cable giants in decades.

Kirsten Salyer adds:

Just don’t cancel your cable subscription yet. Google had discussions with media companies about a similar service about two years ago, without luck, and it’s not clear how far along plans are today, or when it would launch. There’s no guarantee Google could get the licensing deals it would need to put together a service that could compete with cable and satellite providers. Media companies might be reluctant to upset existing contracts in favor of a new online service and are generally more likely to give the best prices to providers with large numbers of subscribers.

Ask Hanna Anything

Andrew Sullivan —  Aug 27 2012 @ 11:02am

Ask Hanna Anything

[Re-posted from Friday with many questions added by readers]

Hanna Rosin has a new book out, The End Of Men:

At this unprecedented moment, women are no longer merely gaining on men; they have pulled decisively ahead by almost every measure. Already "the end of men"—the phrase Rosin coined—has entered the lexicon as indelibly as Betty Friedan’s "feminine mystique," Simone de Beauvoir’s "second sex," Susan Faludi’s "backlash," and Naomi Wolf’s "beauty myth" have. … Rosin reveals how the new world order came to be, and how it is dramatically shifting dynamics in every arena and at every level of society, with profound implications for marriage, sex, children, work, and more.

An excerpt from the book here. She also has a new Atlantic essay, "Boys On The Side." A snippet: 

[Single young women] are more likely to have a college degree and, in aggregate, they make more money [than men]. What makes this remarkable development possible is not just the pill or legal abortion but the whole new landscape of sexual freedom—the ability to delay marriage and have temporary relationships that don’t derail education or career. To put it crudely, feminist progress right now largely depends on the existence of the hookup culture. And to a surprising degree, it is women—not men—who are perpetuating the culture…

To submit a question for Hanna, simply enter it into the field at the top of the Urtak poll (ignore the "YES or NO question" aspect and simply enter any open-ended question). We primed the poll with questions you can vote on right away – click "Yes" if you have a strong interest in seeing Hanna answer the question or "No" if you don't particularly care. Urtak just went through a redesign, so don't get thrown off by the new look. Many thanks to everyone for submitting and answering questions, it helps a lot.

Its Own Grave

Andrew Sullivan —  Jul 13 2012 @ 6:41pm

Digg, the social news site, was just sold for a fraction of its former worth. Alexis Madrigal's take:

There is one clear lesson from Digg's sale: the technology that powered a once-massive social network is worth about $500,000. All the rest of the value derives from the people that use it. Though scaling is tough, any developer in the world can build some profiles and let people connect up. It's an act of genius — or an act of God, by which I mean luck — to design a site constitution that makes people want to build their online lives at your URL (or in your app). Social networking companies are not technology companies as much as they are community companies.

Adam Clark Estes says Digg was sold for more than most reports would have you believe:

[T]he sneers about Digg’s low selling prices were a little bit gratuitous. In fact, the price tag for Digg amounted to much more than half a million dollars. As TechCrunch’s Alexia Tsotsis pointed out in a Thursday night blog post, the social news site was sold off in parts over the course of the past few months. Earlier this year, Digg sold 15 patents to LinkedIn for between $3.75 and $4 million, and the Washington Post paid $12 million for about half of the company’s engineers. So in a sense, what was left to sell to Betaworks was just a fraction of the company.

The conventional wisdom holds that Digg did itself in through a disastrous redesign.

News Feeding

Andrew Sullivan —  Feb 7 2011 @ 2:38pm

by Zoe Pollock

John Hudson interviewed Gawker Media owner Nick Denton on his news habits:

I consume most of my news in email and (more recently) Facebook. I think Zuckerberg has created the personalized news engine we always dreamed of. …

To follow the daily or hourly news cycle is the media equivalent of day-trading: it’s frenzied, pointless and usually unprofitable. I’d much rather read an item which just showed me the photos or documents. And if you’re going to write some text, take a position or explain something to me. Give me opinion or reference; just don’t pretend you’re providing news. That’s not news.

Felix Salmon agrees on the latter part:

This is one of the reasons why personal blogs still feel so fresh and useful in the face of professional operations which update dozens of times per day. And I suspect it’s also one of the factors behind the Gawker redesign — Denton knows full well that much of what appears in the Gawker Media network falls broadly under his category of “fake news”, which is why he spends his morning firing off “irritable emails about headlines, photos, lame press releases masquerading as stories”. He doesn’t want that stuff to be the first material that a visitor to one of his websites sees, and so he’s redesigned things to be able to always feature a genuinely strong story rather than what happens to be the most recent thing posted.

Both posts explore getting news via Facebook (Denton) or Twitter (Salmon) and are definitely worth a read. I think I fall in line with Salmon on this one; my Facebook feed consists of mostly pictures and personal conversations, less often of the news-news sort. I think it's interesting neither of them mention RSS feeds, something I definitely rely on.

AIPAC For Kids! Ctd

Andrew Sullivan —  Jan 7 2011 @ 12:05pm

Yaniv Reich comments on the "brilliant, must-see video" we posted yesterday:

What is most remarkable about this short satirical piece is how realistic it is. It can be considered satire, but it unfortunately reflects far too common thoughts that have infected Israeli critical thinking capacities. Like conservatives who can’t tell that Stephen Colbert is mocking them, I suspect a number of right-wing Israeli hacks will self-identify with this video. Maybe they’ll even try to redesign early childhood education around these innovative ideas.

How many times have we heard these same arguments, not only from Im Tirzu (the right-wing Israeli NGO), FM Evet Lieberman and his proto-fascist allies, PM Netanyahu, but from “left-wing” Labor leaders like Barak, “centrist” leaders like Tzipi Livni, my beloved family members, “liberal” and otherwise?

By the way, the Israeli comedy show that made the skit, Eretz Nehederet, also created the genius Angry Birds peace process video we posted earlier this week.


We've never done this before in our decade of existence, although we've been asked many times by readers. But on our tenth anniversary, we decided we'd try and put together some t-shirts for Dish readers to wear with pride. The reason we kept putting this off is because we didn't want the usual CafePress-style (no offense) online merch. We wanted something that would be a much higher quality, would last much longer, and would be subtle and cool. We wanted something, in other words, worthy of our readers – not crude personal advertizing, but subtle, beautiful and fun to wear for anyone, Dish-addict or non-Dish-addict. So we asked the fashion company, Rogues Gallery, to come up with some designs. And they did.

We think they're awesome. Check them out for yourself.

RG t-shirts are vintage shirts, hand-printed, repurposed and redesigned. They last for ever, are extremely comfortable and easy to wear, and look, well, they even make me look well turned out. The main reason I love them so much – they don't shrink. That Atlantic t-shirt I was wearing for Big Think? RG classic. I've bought many over the years and it's a thrill to have three custom-designed for us. They're more expensive than most t-shirts, but once you wear one, you realize why. Always comfortable, always cool, wearable anywhere, hand-printed in Rogues' Gallery's Portland, Maine, workshop, they're classics.


To see them up close, go here. They're a limited edition, sales were brisk today and we have no idea what the demand will be, so don't delay if you want the first ever Dish merchandise in time for the holidays.

The designs themselves are really subtle and retro and stylish. Two will only resonate with other Dish readers (a kind of beagle whistle to one another if you see them in public) – but if you share the basic philosophy of being "of no party or clique," they work as as a general t-shirt design anyway. I'm particularly fond of the middle one with the howling hound. Beagles are our patron canine, after all.

Wear them with pride as Dish readers; or if one of your friends or family-members is a Dish fanatic, buy them one as a gift for the holidays. Better still, buy all your Dish friends a t-shirt.

And a Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Blessed Kwanzaa, and Super Holidays from all of us here.

[Re-posted from earlier today.]

The Heresy Of Mitch Daniels

Andrew Sullivan —  Oct 17 2010 @ 8:22pm


As Dish readers know, Indiana governor, Mitch Daniels, seems to me the kind of man the GOP desperately needs: a real fiscal conservative, socially inclusive, open to serious tax reform and politically adult conversation to regain the center ground. Here's why the Dish loves him so:

Let’s raise the retirement age, he says. Let’s reduce Social Security for the rich. And let’s reconsider our military commitments, too. When I ask about taxes—in 2005 Daniels proposed a hike on the $100,000-plus crowd, which his own party promptly torpedoed—he refuses to revert to Republican talking points. “At some stage there could well be a tax increase,” he says with a sigh. “They say we can’t have grown-up conversations anymore. I think we can.”

David Brooks has hailed him as the "spiritual leader" of the new pragmatists in the GOP and the likeliest GOP nomineet in 2012. Ross Douthat likes him too, as Patrick noted here. Last Thursday he gave a speech that exemplified why he gives so many on the thinking right hope:

Daniels, once the Hudson Institute’s chief executive, described himself as an acolyte of [Herman] Kahn’s and marveled at the creative thinking evident in his 1982 book, “The Coming Boom.” Daniels recited from Kahn’s book: “It would be most useful to redesign the tax system to discourage consumption and encourage savings and investment. One obvious possibility is a value added tax and flat income tax, with the only exception being a lower standard deduction.”

But I'm not in denial about what the GOP now is – which is why I didn't buy David Brooks' prediction. Well, sadly, it appears I was right:

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels has now managed to alienate prominent social and fiscal conservatives. The potential presidential candidate’s already rocky path to the Republican nomination became more treacherous this weekend after the country’s most powerful anti-tax activist and one of the House’s most respected fiscal conservatives disparaged Daniels’ openness to considering a controversial value added tax as part of a larger tax system overhaul.

Sane fiscal conservatives know that some kind of VAT may well be essential if we are to get some kind of balanced budget in the future without jacking up income tax rates to the heavens. And taxing consumption is better in my view than taxing income. Still, the real point is that all this should be debatable, if conservatism is going to regenerate as a serious governing philosophy, rather than as a formula for media success. But here is Grover Norquist's head exploding in response:

“This is outside the bounds of acceptable modern Republican thought, and it is only the zone of extremely left-wing Democrats who publicly talk about those things because all Democrats pretending to be moderates wouldn’t touch it with a 10-foot poll. Absent some explanation, such as large quantities of crystal meth, this is disqualifying. This is beyond the pale.”

Notice the formulation: that there are "boundaries of acceptable modern Republican thought." Yes, this is a church or a party? And Norquist may not be the Pope (that would be Limbaugh) but he is in the college of cardinals). And notice the extreme rhetoric accusing Daniels of being on "crystal meth". Daniels also spoke last week of a possible gas tax:

“One fully justifiable tax would be on imported oil.”

Daniels, in other words, represents both the hope of the GOP and the most damning evidence that right now, it's hopeless.

(Photo: Shawn Thew/Getty.)

Giving Hackers A Way In

Andrew Sullivan —  Sep 30 2010 @ 6:12pm

Bruce Schneier fears attempts to make all internet communication wiretap-ready:

These laws are dangerous, both for citizens of countries like China and citizens of Western democracies. Forcing companies to redesign their communications products and services to facilitate government eavesdropping reduces privacy and liberty; that's obvious. But the laws also make us less safe. Communications systems that have no inherent eavesdropping capabilities are more secure than systems with those capabilities built in.

Any surveillance system invites both criminal appropriation and government abuse. Function creep is the most obvious abuse: New police powers, enacted to fight terrorism, are already used in situations of conventional nonterrorist crime. Internet surveillance and control will be no different.

The Daily Wrap

Andrew Sullivan —  Mar 4 2010 @ 11:56pm

Today on the Dish, Alex Massie sized up the possibility of a hung Parliament, scrutinized the format of scheduled debates, noted the endorsement of Cameron by Mugabe, snickered at the cover of Tony Blair's new book, and guffawed at the victory of a kooky congressional candidate.

Jonathan Bernstein took a long look back at the healthcare reform process, countered Massie over the proper role of debates, mentioned the latest uproar from the fringe right, and discussed budget gimmicks. Graeme Wood pointed out "the perfect tree."

Elsewhere on the Dish, Lieberman put forth a bill to end DADT, Palin came out with a new book and docudrama, Ted Olson displayed integrity in the face of Cheneyism, Mike Potemra defended the inquiries into the detainee attorneys, Douthat defended Mitch Daniels, Noah Pollak knocked Obama's ability to influence Iran, George Friedman argued for a fundamentally different approach to the country, Frum attended a debate between Leverett and Ledeen, Tyler Cowen reviewed Diane Ravitch's new take on education reform, and a bunch of bloggers wondered if we vote too much. A satirical blogger passed away and the Dish received a powerful email from Chile. Christianist watch here and Von Hoffman nominee here. Cool ads here and here. Quintessential MHB here.

Andrew popped in to give props to the Atlantic web team for a rapid response. (He should be back on the grid by tomorrow night.)

— C.B.