Harvard Talks Politics: March 26, 2011

Harvard Talks Politics is your guide to the best online political content Harvard has to offer. Don’t have time to pick up a copy of The Independent? Don’t know which opinion pieces to read in The Crimson? Want to know what The Perspective and The Salient have to say on the big issues? The Harvard Political Review has you covered. Here’s your weekly guide on what to read prepared by our writers so you don’t have to waste any more of your precious time. You can find it at harvardtalkspolitics.com
Tarina Quraishi on Rep. Peter King as the New McCarthy
Representative Peter King’s new Congressional hearings on the radicalization of American Muslims have inspired numerous comparisons to McCarthyism. King’s spotlight on Muslims may unintentionally cause a new surge of support for the community, writes Tarin Quaraishi in The Crimson. While a majority of Americans currently support King’s actions, “[a]s the hearings proceed and presumably continue to generate civil liberty concerns and parallels to McCarthyism, approval may very well decline.”

Read the full article at The Crimson.

Ian Kumekawa on Europe Giving Up on Multi-Culturalism
British Prime Minister David Cameron, like other European leaders, recently voiced concern about immigration and multiculturalism. Ian Kumekawa writes for the Perspective, Cameron’s comments show a leader, “seeking to channel the social anxieties of a troubled populace into fear and hostility towards an even more vulnerable social group.” As Kumekawa explains, “[b]y singling out a group already hit hard by the economic recession and by generations of structural inequity, Cameron and his rhetoric have served a divisive rather than cohesive purpose.”

Read the full article at The Perspective.

Max Novendstern on the Problems with Political Rallies
In a recent blog post for the Harvard Political Review, Max Novendstern writes that the popular choice to rally for political change isn’t really changing anything at all. Often it is merely self-serving, and “our obsession with rallying as a community is indicative of our larger failure to imagine viable alternatives.”

Read the full article at The Harvard Political Review.

Peter M. Bozzo on Why School Choice Alone Is Not Enough
The popular idea of creating a free market for school selection ignores the underlying problems of the current public education system, writes Peter M. Bozzo in the The Crimson.  While the inequities between school districts is a major concern, and school choice does have the “ability to ensure racial and socioeconomic diversity while reducing egregious disparities between schools separated by only a few miles,” it is not “the solution to underperforming schools—especially because choices would, in effect, have to be limited.” Bozzo also questions lotteries and interdistricting plans.

Read the full article at The Crimson.

Beatrice Walton on Health and Food Availability
With few healthy options for reasonable prices, it is no wonder that those with low incomes find it difficult to avoid sugary foods and the risks associated, explains Beatrice Walton for the Harvard Political Review. The main issue is availability, a particular problem in Boston, which “ranks third from the bottom nationally in terms of having enough supermarkets with adequate fresh, nutritious food.” Walton asserts that creating more local grocery stores is “the best first step we have towards preventing Type II diabetes amongst low-income populations.”

Read the full article at The Harvard Political Review.
Mark Warren Supports Unions and their Rights
In a recent post for the Perspective, Mark Warren writes in support of the unions in Wisconsin. The proposed budget cuts are simply “a case of states trying to balance their budgets by throwing their own employees under the bus, and not by negotiating economic concessions in good faith by collective bargaining, but by restricting unions’ rights.”

Read the full article at The Perspective.
Dylan R. Matthews on Our New Robot Overlords
Instead of fearing the economic implications of technological progress, Dylan R. Matthews suggests in The Crimson that new technology should be embraced for its potential to create a society less devoted to work. In the exploring the economics of the issue, Matthews asserts that “technological progress requires humans to do less work, but it does not require fewer human workers. The same number of workers could just do less work per person. Robots could increase leisure, not unemployment.”

Read the full article at The Crimson.

Humza Bokhari on What if the Next President Doesn’t Know History?
Major GOP candidates such as Mike Huckabee seem to be a bit fuzzy on details of American history. Humza Bokhari writes in a post for the Havard Political Review, “that this is cause for concern. He asserts that “if you’re the President of the United States, who needs to know how to avoid fighting the wrong wars, how to revitalize the economy, how to improve education and infrastructure, and how to get our nation on the right track, you need to understand America’s past.”

Read the full article at The Harvard Political Review.
Susan Zhu on the Importance of AmeriCorps
In a passionate response to AmeriCorps rally in early March, Susan Zhu writes for the Harvard Independent that she wonders whether Congress “knows the definition of ‘wasteful.’” The budget cuts would hurt programs that are “send[ing] corps members to the most at-risk regions of America, educating children, cleaning up the environment, providing basic health care access, and serving returning veterans of war.” Zhu outlines the course of the rally and the reasons to support Americorps.

Read the full article at The Harvard Independent.

Christopher Oppermann on Japan and Broken Windows
In a blog post for the Harvard Political Review, Christopher Oppermann writes that the positive outlook on Japan’s economic situation after the recent disaster is naïve. The idea that the disaster could lead to economic growth does not take into account the fact that the money spent on relief does not create real growth, but “simply serves to restore former levels of wealth and prosperity.”
Read the full article at The Harvard Political Review.

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