|Dear Reader,Today marks the one year anniversary of the Russia-Ukraine war. We have analysis up on the site today marking the dismal occasion, which I encourage you to go read (if you haven’t read Ted Carpenter’s cover essay from the latest issue, do so). We also published pieces on the war earlier this week. Among those was Mark Episkopos’s big picture assessment of where things stand, out on Monday. Episkopos targets the ill-defined and moving victory conditions the Biden administration has set throughout the conflict. Our leaders have talked bigger and bigger talk, even as Ukraine’s chances as a smaller power with limited personnel and materiel capacity compared to its adversary have grown slimmer. Total victory calls for total war, and that remains, at least for now, what everyone says they hope to avoid.
In his column this week, assistant editor John Hirschauer took a look at “equity” policies in the federal government, especially in the USDA. Equity, as our vice president has explained, is the principle that everyone should “end up at the same place.” This, as Hirschauer points out, is distinct from equality, the equal treatment of American citizens under the law. President Joe Biden’s latest equity executive order requires federal agencies and departments to set up teams to compile demographic data that can demonstrate equity progress or lack of it, which will excuse further racial intervention in American public life. Hirschauer writes: “Where colorblindness is rooted in the principle of equality, equity is color-conscious, seeking not to avoid discrimination but rather to actively discriminate in favor of minority groups.”
And continuing our partnership with the American System project on political economy, yesterday saw publication of a history and assessment of the U.S. health care industry from Robert Orr of the Niskanen Center. Orr looks at America’s relationship to medicine through the lens of our Hamiltonian and Jeffersonian governing impulses. We have had Hamiltonian moments, but, Orr writes, “the paradox of the American health care system is that its Jeffersonian heritage, with its mistrust of unchecked power, has led to a system that is so complex that accountability is impossible.” A better balance between the two must be found.
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