"New Ideas"

More

A terrible Washington Post article criticizes John Edwards' anti-poverty agenda on the grounds that "Critics Say He Brings Few Fresh Ideas to Signature Issue." Well, um, okay. But as Jared Bernstein argues, the virtue of Edwards' plan isn't that it's fresh it's that it's a good plan. No, Edwards hasn't uncovered the Magical New Idea To End Poverty -- rather he's assembled some old-but-not-implemented good ideas, is pushing for increased efforts on some old-and-effective ideas, etc., all in recognition of the fact that despite some difficulties the country has consistently shown itself capable of significantly reducing poverty whenever we're really cared to try.

Recall Jon Chait's "case against new ideas" in this context. What liberals need to do on poverty is win an election in a manner that provides some kind of plausible mandate for implementing anti-poverty policies, and then implement some good policies -- not necessarily the freshest ones -- and Edwards represents the best shot at that we've seen in decades.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

What Is the Greatest Story Ever Told?

A panel of storytellers share their favorite tales, from the Bible to Charlotte's Web.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Death of Film

You'll never hear the whirring sound of a projector again.

Video

How to Hunt With Poison Darts

A Borneo hunter explains one of his tribe's oldest customs: the art of the blowpipe

Video

A Delightful, Pixar-Inspired Cartoon

An action figure and his reluctant sidekick trek across a kitchen in search of treasure.

Video

I Am an Undocumented Immigrant

"I look like a typical young American."

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Writers

Up
Down

More in Politics

Just In