We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
"Why did CBS release a clip that appeared to back up Obama's claim in the second debate on Oct. 19, a few days before the foreign policy debate, and not release the rest of that interview at the beginning?
"Why on the Sunday before the election, almost six weeks after the attack, at 6 p.m. does an obscure online timeline posted on CBS.com contain the additional "60 Minutes" interview material from Sept. 12?
"Why wasn't it news after the president said what he said in the second debate, knowing what they had in that "60 Minutes" tape -- why didn't they use it then? And why is it taking Fox News to spur other media organizations to take the Benghazi story seriously?"
Remembering 1980: Are the Polls Missing Something?: "On the one hand, Romney backers point to Gallup’s projections for a shrinking electorate to claim the polls have way overstated Obama’s advantage....On the other hand, Obama aides David Plouffe and Jim Messina have been saying for months that their single-minded goal is an expansion of the pro-Obama electorate and that their very well-organized ground game will deliver it on Tuesday." -- On the other hand, and another hand, and another, only the Hindu Goddess knowing, there are and will be other explanations come Wednesday morning.
The issue is that when you look at the world from these sorts of institutional lenses, identifying problems becomes relatively easy. Solving them becomes very hard. It's no mystery how you get economic growth. You need to provide opportunities and incentives. But how do you make that political equilibrium? How do you make it so that everybody in society actually agrees and abides by a system that provides those incentives and opportunities even if it's not in their short-term interests? Those are the real challenges and that's exactly the sorts of issues we're seeing in Europe, it's the sorts of issues we're seeing in the United States, it's the sorts of issues we're seeing in Turkey. The problems are reasonably easy to identify. Developing solutions to them is hard because you cannot develop the solutions from the outside. It's not an engineering problem. At the end of the day you really need the grassroots solution to it. You really need people themselves to start taking part in the political process because any solution you impose from above is not going to stick unless it has the support of the people, unless the people themselves are the ones who push for it, who demand it, and who implement that solution. DARON ACEMOGLU is the Killian Professor of Economics at MIT. In 2005 he received the John Bates Clark Medal awarded to economists under forty judged to have made the most significant contribution to economic thought and knowledge. He is the author of Why Nations Fail.