Winter 2009

Winter 2009

Ending the one-party state

As a pistol-packing, SUV-driving conservative in liberal St. Paul, Minnesota, David Carlson knew he was fighting an uphill battle. Still, on the day before the 2008 election, the 27-year-old candidate for the state House of Representatives drove through his district of tidy, split-level homes for a final campaign push. He checked the placement of his(...)

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Utahs financial literacy requirement

Utahs financial literacy requirement

INTRO TEXT States want to be trendsetters, but not all trends are worth bragging about. That was Utah’s predicament from 2002 through 2004, when the Beehive State ranked No. 1 in the country in personal bankruptcy filings (adjusted for population). However, the story behind the numbers was even more disturbing. “We saw a younger demographic(...)

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Second life

Second life

The Christian Science Monitor reinvents itself for the digital age

Sometime this April, one of New England’s most venerable daily newspapers will cease to be a daily newspaper. The Christian Science Monitor, which marked its 100th anniversary this past November, is beginning its second century as a multi-platform, multimedia news organization. Central to this new identity will be its free website, CSMonitor.com, begun a dozen(...)

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Safety blanket

Safety blanket

“I would love to do what you’re doing,” a 20-something friend said. “But I need benefits.” She went on to tell me about her dream of starting an interior design company, a dream she’s put on hold until — well, until someday. I heard comments like hers often in the year I spent as a(...)

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Emptied nests

Emptied nests

Failed mortgages are almost always more common in lower-income areas, but in the current housing crisis, all of the Bay State’s foreclosure hotspots are in communities with relatively low home values (see “Broken Homes”). During the last housing crash, in 1992 and 1993, there were predictably high foreclosure rates in cities like Brockton and Lowell,(...)

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The two-party solution

Two-party government is critical to the future of Massachusetts, but if it’s to become a reality, Republicans must do a better job of attracting more voters and viable candidates to our ranks. During my time in the State House, a Democratic leader once confided that having a Republican governor was very valuable: It gave him(...)

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A dysfunctional democracy

The election of Barack Obama was a historic moment for America. Faced with a choice between two very different candidates at a perilous time in the nation’s history, voters turned out in record numbers across the country and in Massachusetts to elect an African-American as president of the United States. It was a shining example(...)

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Pilot program

Pilot program

On a hazy August day in 1983, with about seven miles of visibility, I took my first solo flight in a Piper Cherokee single engine aircraft. I was 20 years old, and it was a moment I will never forget. I had less than 20 hours of flight instruction under my belt. I had just(...)

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Back in the game

Back in the game

Primary care doctors are like speed daters. They rush from one patient to another, trying to glean a person’s health status from a brief physical exam and a short chat. The job isn’t easy and, as many primary care doctors will tell you, not very satisfying. These doctors are compensated in large part based on(...)

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