The Easy Days Are Over – By William Saletan NOV. 14 2015 8:06 PM

After Paris, this period of relative peace and easy libertarianism is coming to an end.

If you’re an 18-year-old American, you were 3 or 4 when al-Qaida hit the United States on Sept. 11, 2001. You haven’t seen a major terrorist strike in your country since then. Maybe you heard about the attacks in Madrid in 2004, London in 2005, or Mumbai in 2008. But aside from the occasional lone-wolf incident—Fort Hood, Texas, in 2009, or the Boston Marathon bombing of 2013—you’ve been lucky.

You’ve grown up in an era of peace at home: no world wars, no cold war, and little fear of being blown up or gunned down by militants. It’s an era of libertarianism: We’re less afraid of bad guys coming to kill us, so we don’t see why Uncle Sam should track our phone calls. It’s also an era of isolationism, because our troops have fought two wars overseas, in Afghanistan and Iraq, and they haven’t turned out well. We’re sick of those wars, and we feel pretty safe at home. So we don’t want to go fight again.

The libertarianism and isolationism of our time crosses party lines. It affects President Obama, who came into office promising to bring our troops home. But it also affects Republicans. Sen. Lindsey Graham, the Republican presidential candidate who has campaigned on a platform of sending troops to fight ISIS, couldn’t even garner enough support in the polls to get into his party’s undercard debate last week. And if you study surveys on national security and domestic surveillance, you’ll find that Republicans are, by some measures, more hostile to surveillance than Democrats are.

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Rage Against the Machine – By Jamelle Bouie AUG. 2015

Voters are fed up with American politics. But are they willing to do anything about it?

Riding the wave of anger: Donald Trump addresses supporters during a political rally at the Phoenix Convention Center on July 11, 2015, in Phoenix. Photo by Charlie Leight/Getty Images

Riding the wave of anger: Donald Trump addresses supporters during a political rally at the Phoenix Convention Center on July 11, 2015, in Phoenix.
Photo by Charlie Leight/Getty Images

Millennials have taken over the American workforce by Chris Matthews  MAY 11, 2015, 3:39 PM EDT

Photograph by Robin Skjoldborg — Getty Images

More than one-third of the U.S. workforce is aged 18 to 34.

If you’re one of those who considers the millennial generation a bunch of entitled, narcissistic, know-it-alls, I have bad news for you: there’s more of them than there are of you.

That’s right, according to Pew, for the first time, the millennial generation, those aged 18 to 34, are now the largest segment of the workforce:

Screen Shot 2015-05-11 at 2.42.44 PM

As of the first quarter of this year, according to the Pew analysis, more than one-third of the American labor force is now between the ages of 18 and 34, roughly the same share as Generation Xers, with Baby Boomers making up 29% of the workforce. Of course, this was bound to happen sometime. Millennials are generally the children of baby boomers, what some demographers call the “echo-boom.” Though baby boomers didn’t have nearly the same number of children their parents did, the sheer number of baby boomers means that their children’s generation was destined to be the biggest at some point.

Experts are divided about what this means for the workplace. Some have argued that the millennial generation is fundamentally different than those that came before them, that they are more apt to change jobs and demand that their work provide them with more than just good pay and security. Others argue that the generation is much more like their predecessors than the media portrays them to be.

But one thing is for certain: this demographic wave will have important business implications beyond just the workplace. The housing and real estate industry, for instance, should be excited about the coming of age of the millennial generation, as the largest group of Americans are aged 20 to 24. These folks are quickly reaching a point in life where they will be moving out on their own, either to rent or own their own their own homes — which will require a lot of building in the years to come.

The fact that millennials now rule the roost is good for the U.S. government’s pocket book as well. With more and more baby boomers retiring, the U.S. will need workers to keep the economy going and maintain the solvency of programs like Medicare and Social Security. The United States is in a much better position than other wealthy countries in this regard. According to the OECD, the ratio of working age people to retired people is 10% higher in the U.S. than other OECD countries.

Arizona€’s graying frontier offers glimpse of US challenges ahead – by Tim Gaynor December 2, 2014 5:00AM ET

La Paz County, where more than a third of residents are seniors, offers test case as more baby boomers nationwide retire

Retiree Ron Moss plays a twilight round of “tough golf” in Quartzsite, Arizona. People 65 or older make up over a third of the population of La Paz County, which includes Quartzsite.Tim Gaynor

PARKER, Ariz. — Retiree Joyce Baker has always been fiercely independent, living on a five-acre spread in the Sonoran Desert where she wielded a chainsaw to manage the woodland, clambered up a ladder to inspect the roof of her home each year and dispatched rattlesnakes with a volley of shots from her .38 pistol.

But three years ago her now 85-year-old husband, Paul Baker, was diagnosed with dementia. He was subsequently hospitalized after a fall that shattered ribs, and by the time he returned to their remote home, Joyce Baker, 75, found that she could no longer cope.

“I thought, ‘I’ll keep the goals real simple. All I really have to do is keep Paul and me — and our two cats, who are also old — fed, clean and safe’ … But within just a few days, I discovered that those goals are not simple,” said Joyce Baker, who finally reached out for help. “I was literally at my wits’ end, going in circles … You get where you can’t organize your own thoughts, let alone help somebody with Alzheimer’s get organized.”

Baker and her husband are among the fortunate seniors receiving vital home care in sparsely populated La Paz County in far western Arizona, which has one of the highest proportions of residents 65 or older anywhere in the United States.

As of October this year, there has been an eightfold increase in the number of people on the waiting list for adult day health care and respite services like home-delivered meals and help with bathing and laundry — totaling 2,345 for Arizona and 425 in the tri-county area bordering California that includes La Paz County. The elder care crisis in far western Arizona is significant, professionals believe, since it may hold some clues to the demographic challenges faced by the United States as a whole in coming years as millions of members of the baby boom generation reach 65 at a rate of about 10,000 a day.

In response to their needs, the Bakers got help from social services to put handrails in the bathroom to safeguard against further falls and also received freezer-ready home meals delivered to their home, at the end of a dirt road, once a week from the Community Senior Center in Parker, the La Paz County seat, 35 miles away.

“It makes life livable. There’s absolutely no way that I could shop for the food, prepare the food and clean up three times a day,” Joyce Baker said of the help that allows her to remain at home with her husband of 58 years. “If I didn’t have this help, I would be here alone because Paul would be in a facility.”

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American history in black and white: Ferguson and our nation’s cognitive divide – ANDREW O’HEHIR SATURDAY, NOV 29, 2014 5:00 PM UTC

If the Ferguson tragedy offers a vivid reminder of our bitter divisions, it also offers moments of revelation

American history in black and white: Ferguson and our nation's cognitive divide

It’s a painful truism to say that white Americans and black Americans do not live in the same country, or at least do not perceive their country in the same way. What’s even more painful is that this truism remains largely true, even in an age when the cultural and historical narrative of the United States has altered course and become much more complicated. We were reminded of that with renewed force this week, just in time to infuse the Thanksgiving holiday with a mood of gloomy, tense reflection. (If you take the longer historical view, that may be entirely appropriate to the season.) We have multiple overlapping stories in 21st century America, and at least some of them offer us reasons to be thankful. We have the story of the conflict between immigration and nativism — which goes back nearly 200 years, but gets renewed every few years with every group of newcomers – and the newer story of a multicultural, multiracial and multilingual society in which one person in four is neither “white” nor “black,” in the conventional usage of those words.

Latinos and Asian-Americans and the growing number of people of mixed race would seem to have no clear position in the old, traumatic story of America as a binary society of black and white. Sometimes we try to convince ourselves we have shaken free of that old dichotomy and have moved into a different era, or are about to do so. (It is mostly white people who try to convince ourselves of this, in fairness.) Yet it remains a central driving force of our nation’s internal anguish, even 150 years after the end of slavery and 50 years after the end of legal segregation, and even when most of us are bored by the fact that the current president sinking into the conventional mire of second-term unpopularity is a biracial man with an African name. The historical change that represents is real, but it has not been enough to unwind the fundamental contradiction between the way whites and blacks understand the nature of American society.

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