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Must-Read Op-Eds for Monday, April 30, 2012

HERE'S WHAT WASHINGTON REALLY DOES
BY ROBERT J. SAMUELSON
WASHINGTON POST

The real Washington has government paid for by the rich and well-to-do. Benefits go mainly to the poor and middle class, while politicians of both parties live in fear that they might offend the “will of the people” — voters. Political leaders don’t lead. They take the path of least resistance, which has been to do little except to find scapegoats — “the rich,” “special interests,” “liberals,” “conservatives” — that arouse their supporters’ angriest antagonisms. It helps explain polarization.

THE IMPERILED PROMISE OF COLLEGE
BY FRANK BRUNI
NEW YORK TIMES

For a long time and for a lot of us, “college” was more or less a synonym for success. We had only to go. We had only to graduate. And if we did, according to parents and high-school guidance counselors and everything we heard and everything we read, we could pretty much count on a career... and more or less expect security. A diploma wasn’t a piece of paper. It was an amulet. ... College was seen as a glittering centerpiece of the American dream, a reliable engine of social mobility. I’m not sure things were ever that simple, but they’re definitely more complicated now. ... No good can come from letting college — as a goal, as an option — slip away. But as a guarantor of a certain quality of life, it already has. And we need to look at a whole lot more than loan rates to fix the problem.

WASTING OUR  MINDS





SAVING CHEN GUANGCHENG





INDISPENSABLE BUT INVISIBLE IN THE SYRIAN CRISIS





THE GROWTH DEFICIT





HOW BIG BANKS THREATEN OUR ECONOMY





AL QAEDA IS FAR FROM DEAD