Summer 1998

Summer 1998

The MiddleClass Mindset

One Nation, After All: What Middle-Class Americans Really Think About: God, Country, Family, Racism, Welfare, Immigration, Homosexuality, Work, the Right, the Left, and Each Other By Alan Wolfe Viking, New York, 1998, 359 pages Good news rarely makes headlines. Vance Packard, David Riesman, Christopher Lasch, and many other social critics have delivered the bad news(...)

Read More »

Building Schools in Hopkinton

HOPKINTON–In towns and suburbs across the state, hard-fought battles over building new schools have become as common as crabgrass. But few towns have witnessed a debate quite like the one here this spring. A long line wended its way outside Hopkinton’s uncharmingly named Middle/High School at 8 p.m. on the first night of the annual(...)

Read More »

Voter Turnout

Judging from election statistics in 1986, 1990, and 1994, the Bay State is only fair-to-middling in getting voters to the polls in non-presidential years. The true paragons of civic virtue are Minnesota and South Dakota, which along with Montana, Oregon, Alaska, Maine, and Vermont, rank ahead of Massachusetts in all three tables below. (Yet to(...)

Read More »

The Lost Language of Drive-ins

Ariving home from my family’s vacation week in Truro, I sensed something was wrong. Not that anyone was complaining. My children were snug in the backseat, the elder cocooned between the earphones of her Walkman, the younger lost in the pages of Something Queer in the Cafeteria. They did not seem to mind that a(...)

Read More »

Considering The Peoples Voice

Judy Roberts thought it was about time someone asked for her opinion. At 36, the Quincy insurance agent had long ago grown tired of politicians who ignore what matters to ordinary people and journalists who let them get away with it. So when The Boston Globe invited her to be part of a citizen panel(...)

Read More »

A Modest Book Proposal

Editor’s note: The following book proposal was found by one of our correspondents on his way to work one morning crossing Boston Common. He found it on a park bench, where it was presumably left by one of our leading public figures. We print it here as a public service. To: Weld’s publisher From: Paul(...)

Read More »

A Few Quibbles About Clean Elections

Of course it’s true that the system of getting elected to public office in this country, if you step back and think about it, is insane. For a candidate to spend 50 percent–or is it 90 percent?–of available hours raising money from the tiny element of society that is wealthy enough to donate to politicians(...)

Read More »

Counterpoint

Most campaign finance reforms, including the euphemistically named “Clean Elections” proposal, revolve around some aspect of government funding. Some people are irresistibly drawn to government as the solution to any and all problems–this despite the fact that government almost never does anything well and almost always makes anything it touches worse–the election system included. In(...)

Read More »

Weld’s Altered Ego

Mackerel by Moonlight By William F. Weld Simon & Schuster, New York, 1998, 238 pages William Floyd Weld, as we all know, has led a charmed upper-crust life. He likes to joke that his ancestors came over on the Mayflower with nothing but the shirts on their backs and a few thousand pounds of gold.(...)

Read More »

Argument

Massachusetts has an historic opportunity to lead the country in enacting far-reaching campaign finance reform that addresses what ails the body politic: big money in politics, and voter apathy. On the ballot in November, the citizen-initiated Clean Elections proposal will level the playing field and reduce the role of special interest money in state politics.(...)

Read More »