The Role Of Government

Michael Lind joins us on the great tug of war in American economic history over when government should lead.

Cincinnati mural for the Works Progress Administration. (Elmer Brown)

Cincinnati mural for the Works Progress Administration. (Elmer Brown)


Michael Lind, policy director of the economic growth program at the New America Foundation and author of the new book Land of Promise:  An Economic History of the United States.

From Tom’s Reading List

The New York Times “Whatever their political party, American leaders have generally subscribed to one of two competing economic philosophies. One is a small-government Jeffersonian perspective that abhors bigness and holds that prosperity flows from competition among independent businessmen, farmers and other producers.”

Salon “The need for public investment in American infrastructure should not be a partisan issue.  But the capture of the Republican Party by free market fundamentalists and neo-Confederate localists has led to the identification of the infrastructure issue with the Democrats. ”

Video: Michael Lind

Excerpt: Land of Promise

Use the navigation bar at the bottom of this frame to reformat the excerpt to best suit your reading experience.


C-Segment: Fareed Zakaria at Harvard University

Check out CNN host and TIME Magazine editor-at-large Fareed Zakaria addressing the new graduates at Harvard University. And the transcript here.

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Nov 26, 2015
This photo taken July 31, 2012 shows a "tiny" house April Anson built in Portland, Ore. For the past couple of months, 33-year-old Anson and her friends have been planning, measuring, sawing and hammering their way toward completion of what might look like a child’s playhouse. (AP)

Tiny houses, micro-apartments. They’re hot. Americans are downsizing.

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Singer-songwriter Jewel asked “who will save your soul”? Now she’s talking about saving her own. We’ll talk to Jewel.

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Three of baker Renee McLeoud's delicious pies, on display in the WBUR studios. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

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President Barack Obama, accompanied by Pulitzer Prize winning Iowa writer Marilynne Robinson, arrives to the State Library of Iowa in the Ola Babcock Miller Building, Monday, Sept. 14, 2015, in Des Moines. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

On the day before Thanksgiving, we talk with Marilynne Robinson – one of America’s greatest authors, thinkers, moralists — about fear and hope in a hard, frightening time.

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