Here Are Two Sentences to Ponder Over Instead of Fretting About Ukraine

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I happen to have read two things that struck me in the past hour. The first is from a back-cover blurb for a book that arrived in the mail:

Mettler powerfully and convincingly demonstrates how partisan polarization and plutocratic biases have shaped _________ policy in recent years and why reform is so urgent.

I’m convinced already. Does it even matter what this book is about? You could write this sentence about practically anything these days. For the record, though, the book is Degrees of Inequality. The author is Suzanne Mettler and the blank space is “higher education.” Then there’s this:

There is one great advantage to being an academic economist in France: here, economists are not highly respected in the academic and intellectual world or by political and financial elites. Hence they must set aside their contempt for other disciplines and their absurd claim to great scientific legitimacy, despite the fact that they know almost nothing about anything.

Bracing! This is from the introduction to Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century. Only 544 pages to go.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

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It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

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We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

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Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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