Is School Choice Enough?

Michael J. Petrilli

From trade and immigration to Russia and taxes, the Trump presidency has exposed divisions within the American right. Much the same is true when it comes to education policy. While expanding parental choice is a paramount objective of conservative reformers, a key question remains: Is choice alone enough, or is results-based accountability necessary for choice to succeed? Disputes over this question have become more explicit in the last few years. And how it is resolved will have wide-ranging consequences — for education reform in general and for the design of school-choice initiatives and the direction of state-level education policy in particular.

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Taking On the Scourge of Opioids

Sally Satel

Major swaths of our country are experiencing an unprecedented epidemic of deadly drug abuse. An estimated 2.1 million Americans abuse or are addicted to opioids — a class of highly addictive drugs. More than 33,000 died because of such abuse in 2015, and the rate is only rising. But because this epidemic has not hit the major cities where our politics and culture are centered, the public and political response has been shockingly slow and halting. Now that our leaders increasingly do see this massive crisis, how can they best help to address it?

the public interest

Science and ideology in economics

Robert M. Solow


The Public Interest was a quarterly public policy journal founded by Irving Kristol and Daniel Bell in 1965. Throughout its four decades of publication, ending in 2005, it offered incomparable insight and wisdom on a vast range of challenges at the intersection of public affairs, culture, and political economy—helping America better understand and govern itself in a tumultuous time. National Affairs now hosts its archives, free of charge.

Medicare's Single-Payer Experience

Chris Pope

Advocates of single-payer health care often argue as though there has never been an experiment with a single-payer system in America. But the Medicare system, which provides health coverage to Americans over the age of 65, has been just such an experiment for decades. And the results make for a powerful case against a single-payer system or "Medicare for all" and for consumer choice and competition as the path to better coverage and care.

Lincoln at Gettysburg

Diana Schaub

Lincoln's Gettysburg Address surely stands with the Apology of Socrates and the Funeral Oration of Pericles among the great speeches offered at crucial civic moments in human history. Yet familiar and justly famous as it is — and indeed maybe precisely because we know it so well — it can be hard to appreciate the scope of its achievement. To truly understand how a statement so brief could run so deep and last so long, we must carefully consider its substance and structure, and its place in Lincoln's thought.

Putting Regulators on a Budget

Jeff Rosen

The spending undertaken by federal appropriators — just like private businesses and households — is restrained by a budget. But federal regulators face no such constraints. They can impose costs on the economy without limit, as long as they can somehow claim sufficient benefits connected to their rules. It is time for Congress to establish a regulatory budget to contain the cost of our administrative state.

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