Five Best Thursday Columns

George F. Will on grown-up voters, Susan J. Lambert on labor laws, Ed Whitacre on GM, Nicole Gelinas on cronyism, and Linda Greenhouse on Constitution Day and Medicaid. 

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George F. Will in The Washington Post on treating voters like grown-ups "Childlike credulity about presidents’ abilities to subdue turbulent portions of the world by projecting 'strength,' or to 'manage' the domestic economy, encourages political infantilism," Will writes. "This manifests itself in people seeking in public figures attributes pertinent only to private life." If only Romney could tell the truth: He's trying to make things less destructive, less dangerous, not be everyone's friend.

Susan J. Lambert in The New York Times on changing labor laws Women at the top of the pay scale are overemployed while women at the bottom are underemployed, causing problems for both when it comes to work-life balance. Employers have incentives to maximize salaried employee time while minimizing hourly employee hours. Lambert calls to reform the Fair Labor Standards Act: Add minimum hours and require overtime. "It’s what women want and what our economy needs."

Ed Whitacre in Wall Street Journal wants the government to sell GM shares The former General Motors CEO wants the government to sell its remaining shares of the company. While the bailout was necessary, the lingering presence of TARP money means constantly checking in with the government. "It's time for Treasury to step out of the way so that GM can fully focus on what it does best: designing, building and selling the world's best vehicles."

Nicole Gelinas in National Review on why Romney should talk cronyism In the Mother Jones 47 percent video, someone asked Romney to fix regulatory agencies. Romney brushed him off, saying voters only cared about themselves. "But Romney needs to understand that voters are not just mercenary beasts looking for whichever candidate will help get them a better pay packet. Voters care about the world around them; they care about what corporate-bailout culture — a culture that predates Obama — has done to their country."

Linda Greenhouse in The New York Times on what Constitution Day means for Medicaid Schools that receive federal funding are required to teach the constitution on Constitution Day, Sept. 17, or risk having funding pulled. It's similar to the part of the Affordable Care Act where states risk losing funding if they do not expand Medicaid coverage. Would the government actually take funding away for a failed Constitution Day? Probably not, and probably not for Medicaid, either. "If the penalty provision was 'a gun to the head,' it’s not at all certain that anyone would actually have pulled the trigger."

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