Halfway There

Why the Left Wins on Culture and Loses on Economics

Michael Kazin
A woman carries a sign along West 72nd Street during the People's Climate March in New York, September 21, 2014.
A woman carries a sign along West 72nd Street during the People's Climate March in New York, September 21, 2014. (Mike Segar / Courtesy Reuters)
Why are gay rights advancing while organized labor retreats? Because of a long-term trend in which the American left has largely succeeded in pushing its social agenda but not its economic one.

Born Free

Sarah E. Mendelson
With the MDGs coming to an end in 2015, the international community is now close to agreeing to what comes next. And here, there is some good news for those working to end human trafficking. In several places, the draft goals explicitly and implicitly address combating human trafficking and ending modern slavery.

ISIS Goes to Asia

Joseph Chinyong Liow
In assembling an international coalition to combat ISIS, the United States has looked mostly to the Middle East and Europe, regions that it said face a direct threat from the militant Islamist group. But other parts of the world are just as anxious about ISIS -- above all, Southeast Asia.
Capsule Review

Today's Book: Out of Poverty

Richard N. Cooper
Powell argues persuasively that sweatshops, where the conditions are admittedly appalling by Western standards, represent an improvement -- often a significant improvement -- over the alternatives available to their workers.
A polling station during general elections in Stockholm, September 19, 2010.
Bo Rothstein

The days of Swedish exceptionalism are over. The country no longer has an exceptionally strong social democracy. Its level of inequality is no longer exceptionally low, and its level of public spending will no longer be exceptionally high. From now on, it will be closer to average.

Scottish Saltire flags fly from fence posts near Portree on the Isle of Skye September 17, 2014.
Charles King

The United Kingdom has been saved -- for now. But last week's referendum marks the beginning, not the end, of a debate on the United Kingdom's constitutional order, its party system, its territorial configuration, and its relationship with Europe.

Yascha Mounk

Europe’s political climate is more hostile to Jews now than at any time in recent memory. Rising anti-Semitism among Europe’s Muslims, especially in the wake of the war in Gaza, is one reason for this change. But to claim that the rise of Muslim anti-Semitism is the main culprit -- as the German journalist Jochen Bittner did this week in The New York Times -- is to overlook the role played by the European majority.

Businessmen in Tokyo
Matt Mossman

In recent years, Occupy Wall Street hasn’t been the only group worried about how the spoils of economic growth have been distributed. Governments worldwide increasingly share the sentiment: like the pinched middle classes, they feel that corporations are taking too much of the profits for themselves. Here's the OECD and G-20's plan to get them to pay more.

Yes campaign placards are displayed on a fence on the Isle of Lewis in Outer Hebrides, September 12, 2014.
Fiona Hill and Jeremy Shapiro

Whether or not the Scottish independence movement succeeds, Scotland will not be Europe's last region to seek a similar deal. The protective embrace of the EU has made secession an attractive option for any place with a regional identity, ambitious politicians, and a loathing of its capital city.

An Emirates Airbus A380 at Dubai International Airport, July 2008.
Jim Krane

The Persian Gulf's state-owned airlines are already major global brands associated with hospitality, convenience, and safety. And even as conflicts rage nearby, they're still ascending. Their arrival has been to the airline business -- and could be to regional politics -- what the dreadnought battleship was to naval supremacy: a game changer.