The Wednesday Curator – 12/17/14

December 16, 2014

Gosh golly, only two more Wednesday Curator posts in 2014, and they fall on Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

I re-read this article, Paul Ryan’s Obsolete Thinking About Poverty, a few days ago. David Frum wrote it for The Atlantic back in late July. It was worth reading then, and again after the November elections. For all of the problems Mr. Frum—a pretty conservative fellow—finds in a decent first draft of a poverty program written by a group of people who think family and charity are enough to help anyone, the rhetoric is much worse now. Doing away with the food stamps program comes to mind immediately, and we can expect that and worse when the new Congress convenes. There is, of course, a cure for all of this:  voting! Oh, there is also the veto pen, for at least two years!

I just saw The Cheapest Generation, written by Derek Thompson and Jordan Weissmann in August 2012 for The Atlantic. The story they tell—Millennials are not interested in cars or houses—resonates. As a young attorney the car came first, then the home, and we measured one another on this scale. Not anymore! If there’s a car it’s efficient and cheap, and for housing there’s rent. And I see no evidence that this trend is limited to any particular sector by gender, occupation, etc. Real change is upon us, and the two-plus years since the piece was written have only accentuated the trend.

Here’s another piece about social change, appropriately titled Big Ideas in Social Change, 2014. Tina Rosenberg wrote it last week for the Opinionator at the New York Times. Lots of “under the radar” stuff going on, and with this piece and The Cheapest Generation there’s plenty of reason to think there’s a values shift, occurring right before our eyes.

I know travel is on the horizon, and I may lose readers with this post, but here’s Frank Bruni from the New York Times with Just Plane Ugly, published on November 30. Mr. Bruni eviscerates a form of transportation in about 1100 words. Neatly!

The crew from offers Our Best Bites of 2014 here. If money mattered not at all and I was in New York City, my restaurant choices would be Sushi Nakzawa and Per Se, reviewed by NYT reviewers Pete Wells and Sam Sifton, respectively. And the cookbook I’d like to have is Plenty More, by Yotam Ottolenghi.

Finally, for everyone who celebrates Hanukkah, enjoy!


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