Matteo Bellitto and Mario Coccia (CNR): Human Progress and the Inconsistency of the Equation “Economic Growth=Progress” in the Late Capitalism. Can Planet Earth feed 10 billion people? Humanity has 30 years to find out. With environmental disasters looming, many are choosing childless futures. Doomsday Clock: Why the world is closer to nuclear apocalypse than any time in human history. Is the clock ticking toward doomsday? The news hints that we are getting closer to Armageddon, but some say we are more peaceful now than in the past — how do we make sense of this contradiction? The world is actually becoming a much better place: Emma Seppala interviews Steven Pinker, author of Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism and Progress (and more and more and more and more).

Angus Eaton reviews It’s Better Than It Looks: Reasons for Optimism in an Age of Fear by Gregg Easterbrook. The infinite optimism of physicist David Deutsch: The quantum theorist thinks we’ll solve war, global warming and consciousness — and that will be just the beginning.

John Komlos (Munich): The Economic Roots of the Rise of Trumpism. The return of the “forgotten man”: Luke Philip Plotica on refurbishing symbols of the Gilded Age. The introduction to The Left Behind: Decline and Rage in Rural America by Robert Wuthnow. Whitewashing Trump country: Sarah Jones on how the media erases people of color from rural communities. When the “deep story” is a big lie: Frank Pasquale on how Arlie Russell Hochschild’s Strangers in Their Own Land and J. D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy unintentionally reveal the real foundations of America’s political divides. The reaching-out industry: Tim Donnelly on journeying into red states with bridge-building liberals. The math is clear: Democrats need to win more working-class white votes. There is no need to pander to Midwestern blue voters.

Utopia parkway: Martha Bayne on mining the Midwest for the perfect laissez-faire social order. On being Midwestern: Phil Christman on the burden of normality. The American Midwest is quickly becoming a blue-collar version of Silicon Valley. There’s something the matter with Ohio too: Like Kansas, the state seems to be making economic and cultural choices that are holding it back. A toxic tour through underground Ohio: A booming injection well industry is pumping toxic waste deep into the earth in Ohio’s rural towns. A road map for reviving the Midwest: Universities and immigration are vital — unfortunately, both are under attack.

America’s heartland has moved to the South and West: The nation’s population has shifted away from the traditional centers of power. Larry Summers on the Midwest and South: The case for a government bailout of the heartland.

Iskra Fileva (Colorado): Can Character Traits Be Based on Brute Psychological Facts? Andy Fitch interviews Danielle Allen, author of Cuz: The Life and Times of Michael A. Labor history in real time: Russell Mokhiber on lessons from the West Virginia teachers’ strike. Local news anchors are being forced to deliver pro-Trump propaganda. If you truly care about speech, you will invite me to your office to personally call you a dipshit. Charles Pierce on a requiem for the New York Times opinion page. States’ rights are what Jeff Sessions says they are. Emancipation from the burden of history: Bruce Robbins on Hayden White, 1928–2018. “We have no Cicero. We have only Cillizza”: When will the punditry realize that we’re in a struggle for our lives?

From Vox, “in a trade war, everybody loses and nobody wins”: Sean Illing interviews Emily Blanchard on why you should give a shit about Trump’s tariffs; and Matthew Yglesias on the real danger to the US economy in Trump’s trade policy. Trump brings back ancient GOP tradition of protectionism.

Donald Trump is a walking maelstrom. Trump is systematically backing off consumer protections, to the delight of corporations. Donald Trump drops $400 million on Forbes billionaires list. What happened in Moscow: David Corn and Michael Isikoff on the inside story of how Trump’s obsession with Putin began. Stormy Daniels is standing in for everyone Trump has conned: That list is long. If Trump isn’t hiding anything, why all the covering up? They’re not even trying to hide it anymore: Scott Pruitt’s EPA aide John Konkus has a side hustle in the private sector. If Donald Trump weren’t president, he wouldn’t have White House security clearance either.

Trump is delivering what he promised: A government with no experts. Gary Cohn served Donald Trump for 14 months, and made billions for his old bosses at Goldman Sachs. Trump charges his campaign top dollar to rent a basically empty Trump Tower office. “It’s probably going to get worse”: A former top intel official on Russia election meddling. ProPublica on what they found in Trump’s drained swamp: Hundreds of ex-lobbyists and D.C. insiders. Globalists, explained: Trump used a (possibly anti-Semitic) insult that illuminates a big fight unfolding in the Republican Party. Jennifer Rubin on why impeachment might not be the wisest course.

Andrea Kupfer Schneider (Marquette): Negotiating While Female. Why women choose differently at work: Brian Gallagher interviews Susan Pinker, author of The Sexual Paradox: Extreme Men, Gifted Women, and the Real Gender Gap. A stunning chart shows the true cause of the gender wage gap (and more). Serene J. Khader on some thoughts about women’s empowerment. Let women work: Rachel Vogelstein on the economic case for feminism. Women’s strikes are a reminder that women produce most of the wealth in society. This International Women’s Day, women “are fucking pissed off”. The feminist horizon: Maximillian Alvarez interviews Jodi Dean about the International Women’s Strike.