Here are today’s must read opinion and editorial columns.
OUR LEFTY MILITARY BY NICHOLAS KRISTOF
NEW YORK TIMES
As we as a country grope for new directions in a difficult economic environment, the tendency has been to move toward a corporatist model that sees investments in people as woolly-minded sentimentalism or as unaffordable luxuries. That’s not the only model out there. So as the United States armed forces try to pull Iraqi and Afghan societies into the 21st century, maybe they could do the same for America’s. Hoo-ah!
AFTER THE SCANDAL, MORE OF THE SAME AT THE I.M.F. BY KENNETH ROGOFF
NEW YORK TIMES
Why not see if one of the top emerging-market candidates can be a replacement? An effective No. 2 would also be well-positioned to take over when Ms. Lagarde herself steps down. (The last three I.M.F. managing directors have departed without completing their terms.) There is still time to set in place a merit-based selection process that could eventually form the basis for filling the top job. The I.M.F. may be a poorly understood institution, but it does not have to be a poorly governed one.
AFTER GOP DEBATE, FEELING NOSTALGIC FOR GEORGE W. BUSH BY E.J. DIONNE
In particular, the war in Iraq was undertaken before we had settled the war in Afghanistan. … We are living with the terrible aftermath of these choices, and Americans of all political stripes are understandably exhausted. That’s why Bush nostalgia takes you only so far. The 43rd president, who might have given life to a constructive sort of moderate conservatism, instead unleashed the Tea Party furies that now engulf the Republican Party and threaten to turn Michele Bachmann, of all people, into a political giant.
CUTTING INTO AGRIBUSINESS’S SUBSIDY PIE EDITORIAL
One obvious problem is that only about 8 million of America’s 250 million passenger vehicles can run on 85 percent ethanol, and raising that number significantly would cost the already troubled auto industry a fortune. Another is that so many in Washington are still shielding this long-favored industry from a desperately needed dose of market discipline.
USING GERMAN INGENUITY TO FIX OUR ECONOMY BY HAROLD MEYERSON
The German model of corporate decision-making is the most successful — and incomparably more successful than ours — at creating and sustaining a dynamic, competitive, high-wage manufacturing sector. Of course, this would require Immelt and his fellow CEOs to share their power with representatives of their employees, but who can doubt they’ll put their egos aside in the cause of a national economic renaissance?
RICK PERRY: READY FOR PRIME TIME? BY DANIEL HENNINGER
WALL STREET JOURNAL
Whether this Lone Star package would fly is anyone’s guess. A person who’s been governor of Texas awhile has baggage. … His Enterprise Fund ladles out millions in subsidies to lure corporations. He just pushed through a pre-abortion sonogram requirement. Texas, a large death-penalty state, does a lot of them. A Perry candidacy might not be a slam dunk with independents—unless 9% unemployment trumps everything this election. Say this—if the Texas governor gets in, you won’t see another debate like last Tuesday’s GOP flatliner in New Hampshire.