hard heads soft hearts

a scratch pad for half-formed thoughts by a liberal political junkie who's nobody special. ''Hard Heads, Soft Hearts'' is the title of a book by Princeton economist Alan Blinder, and tends to be a favorite motto of neoliberals, especially liberal economists.

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Friday, June 14, 2002
was, along with many readers, an admirer of your
"Let's see how you balance the budget" issue of US
News. Though, in hindsight, perhaps you could have
done a better job in stressing how short-term budget
projections are are very sensitive to variations in
economic growth and unemployment.

Obviously, You don't have the resources of a weekly
anymore, but I'm emailing you because I think some
version of the same thing is sorely needed now,
especially to make people aware of the coming deluge
of retiring baby boomers. And in general, to see how
their particular cause might fit into the whole.

For example, liberals generally support new programs,
but don't know *how* big, or how progressive they
would ideally want it. And conservatives want
"smaller" government, but don't think about *how*
small do they want it. (I don't mean to be
disingenously even-handed. I'm an unabashed liberal)

It seems to me American politics could really use the
notion of trade-off right now.

Perhaps you and the Atlantic could do something about