Questions for Dylan and Sam on the Admissions Lottery

It was interesting to see this argument for an admissions lottery advanced earnestly; I think I’ve seen a similar example somewhere advanced by critics of luck egalitarianism as a kind of reductio ad absurdum. (“Imagine what the admissions letter would say: Congratulations, you’ve won the lottery…?”) But that makes this project all the more useful … Read more

Updating Guinea and Why it Matters

Earlier this month I wrote a blog documenting three elections in Africa, and I wrote it with the idea that I would continue to update the struggles for democracy in Tanzania, Guinea, and Cote d’Ivoire. While it’s cool to actually follow through on my idea and follow the political climates in these three nations, recent … Read more

A Threat Worse Than Deflation

This month, the Fed began their second round of quantitative easing, a $600 billion that seeks to pump liquidity into the economy. While the policy has its critics, its defenders drew justification from a compelling source – the story of Japan’s ruined economy – where fiscal inaction had plunged the country deeper into a deflationary … Read more

An Admissions Lottery?

In today’s Crimson, Dylan Matthews has a provocative column arguing that Harvard ought to randomize its admissions process. Dylan claims that Harvard’s current admissions system entrenches existing inequalities—including inequalities of talent. Talent, Dylan thinks, is pretty much beyond our control. Channeling John Rawls, Dylan assumes that success in life shouldn’t be “contingent” on “arbitrary factors” … Read more

Dealing With Chinaphobia

Among my American friends, I’ve not met a single person who hasn’t had some kind of reaction after watching this. Of the recent spate of anti-Chinese ads that’s been done (such as here and here), this one stands out as it points towards an uncomfortable truth: as the U.S. government continues to spend its way … Read more

In the Shadow of Kelo: Asking Hard Questions about Eminent Domain

In 2003, Columbia University, a private university in New York City, announced plans to build a new 17-acre campus in Manhattanville, West Harlem. This, it explained, was necessary to maintain its role as a leading educational and research hub. Moreover, the university emphasized the economic benefits that expansion would bring to the community. But, this … Read more