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The Big Idea

The Big Idea

Outside contributors' opinions and analysis of the most important issues in politics, science, and culture.

How low can unemployment go? Economists keep getting the answer wrong.

The racial demons that help explain evangelical support for Trump

The CDC just announced one in 59 children are autistic. Here’s why that’s not evidence of an epidemic.

Cosby’s guilty verdict was made possible by decades of activism by black women

“Hawks as far as the eye can see”: America’s alarming consensus on foreign intervention

Debunking the myth that “identity politics” is bad for the Democratic Party

How to prevent casual pot smokers from slipping into abuse and dependence

Trump is right to want to help workers hurt by trade. But he’s doing it wrong.

Your Facebook friends could be leaving you vulnerable to major privacy invasions

NFL cheerleaders have to follow bizarre, sexist rules. But are they illegal?

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Mark Zuckerberg runs a nation-state, and he’s the king

More and more companies have monopoly power over workers’ wages. That’s killing the economy.

Why it’s perfectly fine to ask about citizenship status on the census

The media should stop making school shooters famous

A gun debate compromise: let cities and rural areas pass different laws

Why so many American men want to be the “good guy with a gun”

The real reason the NRA’s money matters in elections

People are dying because we misunderstand how those with addiction think

A lifesaving drug for overdoses doesn’t reduce opioid deaths? Be skeptical.

I’m a scholar of the “prosperity gospel.” It took cancer to show me I was in its grip.

Trump’s biggest mistake on immigration: his belief that something so complex can be “fixed”

Idaho is ignoring Obamacare rules. That could set off a catastrophic chain reaction.

The immigration debate is about whether Latinos are “real Americans”

Trump wants to pit black Americans against Latino immigrants. Don’t fall for it.

Trump was right to lift a rule preventing some people with disabilities from buying guns

What the Olympics can teach us about a better kind of nationalism

Here’s how DACA changed the lives of young immigrants, according to research

Why American doctors keep doing expensive procedures that don’t work

Trump wants a military parade “just like France’s.” It’s likely to look more like China’s.

The left shouldn’t fear nationalism. It should embrace it.

What Democrats can learn from the Democratic Socialists about rebuilding the left

A radical idea to improve family life in America: babysit your neighbor’s kids

Millions of Americans as destitute as the world’s poorest? Don’t believe it.

#MeToo must avoid “carceral feminism”

Under Trump, the United States has joined the sad roster of backsliding democracies

The math is clear: Democrats need to win more working-class white votes

The moment the judge in the Larry Nassar case crossed a line

If Aziz Ansari were a college student, he would likely be expelled. That should alarm us.

Some libertarians cheer when the government shuts down. Here’s why they shouldn’t.

It’s a golden age for animated film. A new Oscar rule could end it.

Understanding is critical

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