Taking On the Scourge of Opioids

Sally Satel

Major swaths of our country are living through 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 that includes Percocet, Vicodin, OxyContin, and heroin. More than 33,000 died because of such abuse in 2015, and the rate is only rising, with annual fatalities having quadrupled since this century began. 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 at last, how can they best help to address it?

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Trump and Truth

Greg Weiner

Donald Trump is often said to have ushered in an era of post-truth politics. But he is the culmination, not the source, of this trend. The illiberal left has been redefining language as a weapon of power and replacing truth with will for decades. As that inclination becomes truly bipartisan, does the integrity of language still matter in politics? How serious has this problem become? And who now really has the standing to push back?

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.

Real Medicare Reform

Daniel P. Kessler

The debate over Medicare reform is often framed as a choice between centralized administration and the mechanisms of the market. But this dichotomy misses an important point: The administration of government programs can be influenced to greater or lesser degrees by politics, and much of what ails Medicare today results from the program's constant micromanagement by Congress and the executive branch. Any reform proposals should be evaluated based on how well they reduce opportunities for politics to distort how Medicare operates.

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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