Five Best Monday Columns

Linda Hirshman on DOMA and Prop 8, Gordon G. Chang on China's deindustrialization, Carl F. Nathan on drug-resistant bugs, Michael Jacobs on the Doha climate deal, and Albert R. Hunt on campaign finance.

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Linda Hirshman in The New Republic on DOMA's trip to the Supreme Court Late last week, the Supreme Court agreed to take up two gay marriage-related cases. But don't start calling this marriage equality's Brown v. Board yet, argues Linda Hirshman, who floats the possibility that the Roberts court could decide against gay marriage. "Once before the gay movement overplayed its hand ever so slightly with the Court and got a terrible decision upholding the criminal sodomy laws," Hirshman recalls. "Gays almost won the first sodomy case; the decision in Bowers v. Hardwick was only 5-4, so it was hardly a foolhardy risk. And yet, it does make you shiver."

Gordon G. Chang in Forbes on China's industry bust Could China—for a long time, the country where many American industrial jobs migrated to—soon have its own postindustrial Rust Belt? Gordon G. Chang is already seeing that happen in cities like Shenyang and Anshan, where environmental battles, intellectual property concerns, and shortage of labor have started to erode the manufacturing sector. Where will all the jobs go, if they're leaving China? "American manufacturers," Chang notes surprisingly, "are gaining on the Chinese.  Boston Consulting Group has predicted that around 2015 it will become more economical to manufacture in the U.S. than China in seven industrial sectors. American workers are more productive and less likely to strike."

Carl F. Nathan in The New York Times on drug-resistant diseases Every year, over 60,000 American families lose a loved one to drug-resistant diseases. The antibiotics that used to make diseases like tuberculosis highly treatable aren't working against certain strains of bacteria. Carl F. Nathan of Weill Cornell Medical College has a few ideas about how we can slow the spread of such diseases. First, he writes, drug companies will need to collaborate out in the open: "Relaxing the traditional insistence on secrecy allows collaboration, and with it, innovation." And more investment will have to go towards developing new drugs: "The lower the cost of a lifesaving drug, the greater the number of people who could use it; the more lives protected, then, the greater the monetary reward."

Michael Jacobs in The Guardian on the Doha climate talks The talks dragged on well past their original deadline, but countries convening in Doha for the U.N.'s climate talks finally came to a flimsy agreement on how to address global warming. "By securing the continuation of the Kyoto protocol for a further eight years, it preserves the vital framework of international law, and retains hard-won rules on accounting for emissions and trading between countries," writes Michael Jacobs, who nevertheless finds that they've put off tough decisions for another three years. "To achieve a global agreement strong enough to stay below 2C of warming will require governments to show vision and leadership. And they will need to feel the heat of a worldwide people's movement breathing on their necks. But there's no other way. The countdown to 2015 has begun."

Albert R. Hunt in Bloomberg View on big money's impact on the 2012 elections With Barack Obama's reelection, it would seem that uber-wealthy financiers weren't able to buy the White House. "True," writes Albert R. Hunt. "It also misses the point. About $6 billion was spent on the campaign, and outside groups poured $1.3 billion into political races, according to data from the Federal Election Commission and the Center for Responsive Politics." Obama and Romney both spent a troubling amount of time scrounging for funding, Hunt argues, writing, "The bankruptcy of the money-driven system was evident in the amount of time the presidential candidates spent fundraising."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.