February 25th, 2013
12:30 PM ET

What we're reading

By Fareed Zakaria

Our book of the week will cost you $2, but it is worth much more. David Leonhardt’s e-book Here’s the Deal is the best guide to America’s budget problems you’re likely to find. It is brief, highly intelligent and genuinely fair and balanced.

The U.S. and others should be doing more than just helping the rebels prevail in Syria – they must ensure jihadists are not allowed to win hearts and minds, argues Leslie Gelb in the Daily Beast.

“A key dimension to an anti-jihadi strategy for the U.S. and its regional allies would be to help the secular rebels better compete for the hearts and minds of the Syrian people,” Gelb argues. “Right now, jihadis are gaining popularity, as they often have elsewhere, by providing goods and services to the needy and by shunning corruption, at least for the moment. We have to convince the secular rebels to do as much and, if they demonstrate that they can deliver, give them the economic wherewithal to compete.”

Do Ivy League universities have a quota system for Asian-Americans? Ron Unz, writing in National Review, give his take on what the numbers suggest.

“Over the last 20 years, America’s population of college-age Asian Americans has roughly doubled; but during this same period, the number admitted to Harvard and most other Ivy League schools has held steady or even declined, despite significant improvement in Asian academic performance,” Unz writes. “Furthermore, the Asian percentages at all Ivy League schools have recently converged to a very narrow range and remained static over time, which seems quite suspicious.”

We’ve achieved a world where “steady work is less necessary to human survival than ever before,” argues Ross Douthat in the New York Times. But that isn’t necessarily a good thing for American society.

“Even a grinding job tends to be an important source of social capital, providing everyday structure for people who live alone, a place to meet friends and kindle romances for people who lack other forms of community, a path away from crime and prison for young men, an example to children and a source of self-respect for parents.”


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soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. JAL

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    February 25, 2013 at 6:36 pm | Reply
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