Redistribution Isn’t Enough

Arguing over economic inequality is necessary but insufficient. In this digital age, we have to invest in institutions that bind us together – things like families, local communities, shared experiences, shared culture, and shared sources of Truth. We need to set aside the liberal fiction that we’re autonomous agents who exist only to pursue our narrow self-interest, and return to a more holistic understanding that we’re individuals enmeshed in webs of relationships; that in addition to rights, we have responsibilities to one another; and that it’s only when communities thrive that individuals can flourish.

Hunting for a sense of community in Hunters Point

Sitting outside of Cantina, a Mexican restaurant in the Hunters Point area of Long Island City, yesterday, I stared at the glass towers and wide side walks around me. I took in the street-level retail -- a handful of restaurants and a coffee shop -- and noted the playing fields in the middle of it all. I watched as masked couples pushed strollers by... The neighborhood felt soulless and I was struggling to put my finger on why.

Towards social policy rooted in social networks (the IRL kind)

It's 2059. The results of a study on the ability of genetic engineering to help poor kids escape poverty are out and they're not pretty. It turns out that even a high IQ can't overcome structural inequality. Or, at least that's the scenario presented as part of a new oped series from the Times, which … Continue reading Towards social policy rooted in social networks (the IRL kind)

Journal News ( What We Can Learn From Peekskill’s Revival

Originally Published in The Journal News (, Friday, May 24, 2019. Let me start with a confession: I haven’t lived in the lower Hudson Valley for the past 10 years. But my parents still do. And every time I’m back to visit, I can’t get over the transformation in the river towns, particularly Peekskill, near … Continue reading Journal News ( What We Can Learn From Peekskill’s Revival