Winter 2002

Winter 2002

Life After Lucent

Life After Lucent

The tale has all the hallmarks of a modern-day mill closing. A large manufacturing company tries to cut costs by selling off one of its biggest plants. Longtime employees–some of them children or grandchildren of workers at the same factory–suffer the loss of high-wage jobs and wait, almost certainly in vain, to be asked back.(...)

Read More »

Massachusetts exceptionalism

We in Massachusetts like to think of ourselves as something special. We see ourselves setting a civic example for the nation, if not the world; how else could we justify quoting John Winthrop’s “city upon a hill” line ad nauseum? We certainly take our politics seriously. Massachusetts serves the nation as a training ground for(...)

Read More »

The political gender gap

The political gender gap

The Private Roots of Public Action: Gender, Equality, and Political ParticipationBy Nancy Burns, Kay Lehman Schlozman, and Sidney VerbaHarvard University Press, Cambridge, 453 pages What does political science have to do with politics? This is not just a rhetorical question. American Political Science Review is full of articles containing not only charts and graphs, but(...)

Read More »

Father and son in Revere

Father and son in Revere

Revere Beach Elegy: A Memoir of Home and BeyondBy Roland MerulloBeacon Press, Boston, 216 pages We seem to be obsessed with the idea of generations, now as much as ever. Newscaster Tom Brokaw’s tribute to World War II vets, The Greatest Generation, hit the top of the best-seller lists in 1998. Lately, we’ve been using(...)

Read More »

Whats missing from the bioterror plan

Whats missing from the bioterror plan

By late December it was still hauntingly unclear who had dropped several anthrax letters into the US mail shortly after September 11. Terrorist followers of Osama bin Laden were, of course, prime suspects. And yet federal investigators seemed to believe that the finely milled anthrax required a technical sophistication not available to the Al Qaeda(...)

Read More »

Gee monikers

Lots of people wish they could have filled out their own birth certificates, but no one is saddled with a name their parents picked in 1740. That burden falls upon the city of Leominster, named after a town in England and plagued by constant mispronunciation (the “o” is silent) ever since. As soon as it(...)

Read More »

Weathering the perfect fiscal storm

One year ago, the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation warned of an impending “perfect storm” in the state’s finances that would spell the end of the generous spending growth of recent years. Although the Commonwealth generated revenue surpluses totaling almost $3 billion in the previous three years–while increasing expenditures by almost 20 percent and cutting taxes by(...)

Read More »

New Economy Potential

The good news is that Massachusetts has retained its number-one ranking in the California-based Milken Institute’s annual New Economy Index, which measures states by their potential for high-tech growth. The Bay State finished in the top 10 in all but two of the index’s 12 criteria, benefiting from a highly educated population; venture capital investment(...)

Read More »

Schools need more funds

Providing adequate resources for public education is not just a public policy goal, it is also the law. The Education Reform Act of 1993 made an unambiguous promise to public school students in the Commonwealth: that it would provide “a consistent commitment of resources sufficient to provide a high quality public education to every child.”(...)

Read More »