(Read it here.)
National Affairs Magazine, successor to the 1960’s-era The Public Interest, launches today. What sets National Affairs apart is that it addresses weighty economic and policy issues–California’s fiscal crisis, financial crisis cronyism, compassionate conservatism–is a rational way. (If you follow the media closely, you will know why I italicized that word.)
The New York Times has more on this unique magazine:
The magazine…occupies…the bloody crossroads where social science and public policy meet matters of morality, culture and virtue.
(In one article), Luigi Zingales points out that the legitimacy of American capitalism has rested on the fact that many people, like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, got rich on the basis of what they did, not on the basis of government connections. But over the years, business and government have become more intertwined. The results have been bad for both capitalism and government. The banks’ growing political clout led to the rule changes that helped create the financial crisis.
If we can’t trust the people and we can’t trust the elites, who can we trust? How can change be effectuated? This is one of the problems National Affairs is going to have to think through in the years ahead.
Another is: Can the state do anything to effectively promote virtuous behavior? Because when you get into the core problems, whether in Washington, California or on Wall Street, you keep seeing the same moral deficiencies: self-indulgence, irresponsibility and imprudence.
National Affairs has potential to strengthen the national dialogue around the issues facing this country. Mainstream media and politics sell vitriol to earn themselves money and votes, but intelligent argument suffers as a result. National Affairs comes at a sorely needed time.