Misunderstanding the Social Contract

The Times-Dispatch this morning printed another letter on tax fairness this morning, this time from the far right. The letter writer, Horace McCowan of Richmond, does not get into the specifics of how much the rich actually pay in taxes. Instead, he attacks the conventional metric of whether a tax structure is progressive.

The conventional definition of a progressive tax structure is one in which individuals get taxed at steeper rates as their incomes increase. McCowan posits that the proper standard for judging a system’s progressivity should be the total amount of money paid by each taxpayer. On this definition, if Dale Earnhardt Jr. earns $5 million in a year and pays $25,000 in taxes, whereas the fellow who pumps his gas earns $25,000 a year and pays $2,500 in taxes, it’s still proper to call the system “progressive.”

Why? Because Earnhardt is paying ten times as much money into the coffers as the gas attendant.

The implication of McCowan’s letter is that the rich are being taxed at a vastly unfair rate even now, because our tax system requires them to pay more money into the system than the poor. Moreover, McCowan writes, if you look at who benefits from government services, it’s the poor, not the rich.  If we extend McCowan’s logic a bit further, we reach the surprising conclusion that the United States already is a socialist society, with its vast system of redistributive taxation.

Needless to say, this an extreme right-wing view, but there is a surface logic to the argument which merits a reply. Where does McCowan go wrong? In failing to consider who actually benefits most from the institution of government.

What does government actually do? Fundamentally, it protects and preserves property, and punishes those who don’t respect property (or life and limb). Why is it that day after day, the super-rich can enjoy their quiet days at the country club, undisturbed by anything other than the group ahead of them that is playing too slow or the latest slice into the woods?

It’s because they can be quite confident that the have-nots are not going to attempt to sieze their land or homes while they’re out on the golf course–and that if such attempt does take place, the legal system will respond and attempt to restore their property.

The police power of government provides for the basic social stabiilty that allows the rich (and all of us) to enjoy our property and material goods in a climate of reasonable security, in the knowledge that if our claims are violated, society will try to punish the offenders and restore our loss to the degree possible. Who benefits the most from this stability and security? Those who have more.

That point was made most poetically by Jean-Jacques Rousseau in his Discourse on the Origins of Inequality, but it also fully consistent with the account of government offered by John Locke, the favorite contract theorist of the American framers.

As society has gotten more complex, government has evolved beyond the exercise of police power to include other functions aimed at promoting the common good, from the provision of basic social insurance to management of macroeconomic policy. While some (though by no means all) of those policies benefit the poor in the most immediate sense, the overall impact is to maintain the basic social cohesion and stabiilty of the society. Who benefits the most from the fact that most people obey the law, that the United States is not racked by frequent violent strikes, that riots in the streets are rare, and that we don’t (a la contemporary Iraq) have marauding gangs everywhere taking whatever they want by force?

The rich. (Indeed, to the extent the United States is plagued by crime, it is the poor who are most vulnerable.)

It’s these considerations which underlie the conventional view that the rich are indeed obliged to pay more in taxes (both in absolute terms and as a percentage) than the poor and middle classes. Simply put, they benefit from the institution of government and the preservation of the social order more than the rest of us.

On another note, McCowan also writes that the 5th and 14th Amendments of the Constitution do not “authorize” progressive taxation or redistribution. Presumably he is referring to the due process clauses in each amendment. Again, this is a fundamental misunderstanding. The purpose of those amendments is not to prevent government from passing legitimate laws which regulate property, but to protect individuals against arbitrary incursions on private property undertaken by the government with no concern for the common good.

McCowan may believe those amendments provide grounds for rejecting the constitutionality of progressive taxation, but he’s going to have to overturn a long history of judicial interpretation on that one. Good luck. There’s also the small matter of the 16th Amendment to the Constitution, which specifically authorizes the federal government to “lay and collect taxes on income.”

Published in: on December 19, 2006 at 3:06 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Rumsfeld Memo

It’ll be interesting to see how the hard-core apologists for the Iraq war at the RTD and elsewhere try to process/rationalize outgoing Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s memorandum, published today by The New York Times, on future policy options in Iraq. The memo is the clearest evidence yet that the people who have been in charge of this war have absolutely no idea what they are doing.

As Boston University’s Andrew Bacevich points out in a Washington Post article about the memo, the brief is simply a “laundry list” of future possible actions, with no serious analysis of the pros and cons of each or how the various strategies might work together. As Bacevich puts it, “The memo is a tacit admission of desperation and of impending failure.”

Bacevich, a retired Army colonel and author of the superb The New American Militarism, will be in the Richmond area at the end of January to give a talk on democracy and the military at UR.

For what it’s worth, perhaps the most intriguing suggestion in Rumsfeld’s memo is that of a massive program to combat unemployment among Iraqi youth, overseen by the U.S. military. Don’t expect President Bush to rush to embrace that suggestion, however much pragmatic sense it might make. The idea of a massive government program to actually provide jobs in a direct way flies in the face of free market ideology, and if the initiative worked people might begin to ask questions about why we can’t do the same thing at home.

Published in: on December 3, 2006 at 7:47 pm  Comments (1)  

Taxation and Fairness

Now on to Barton Hinkle’s second big point in his effort to dissuade readers that economic inequality is a serious issue: the question of taxes, and who pays them.

Hinkle cites data indicating that the top 1% pay over 30% of all income taxes (the exact percentage in 2003 was 34%)  as evidence of the progressive nature of our tax system. 

That is a valid statistic, but looking at it out of context paints a seriously misleading picture. Five crucial points in particular need to be stressed.

First, the top 1% of the income distribution garner (as of 2003) over 17% of all income reported to the IRS. As the overall distribution of income becomes more unequal, the proportion paid by the top 1% should increase as a matter of simple math. Put another way, statistics about the proportion of taxes paid by the richest say as much about the highly unequal overall distribution of income as they do about the tax code.

Second, following from this observation, the best way to get a good picture of how progressive the tax code is to look at the actual rates. Doing so reveals that income tax policy has been getting steadily less progressive over the past 40 years; rates on the richest have fallen from 77% as late as the 1960s to just 35% today. (Bush I and Clinton succeeded in raising the top rate from its Reagan-era low of 28% to first 31% and then 39.6%.)

Third, income taxes account for just under half of all federal revenue, and looking at them alone provides a distorted picture of the actual tax burden. Most significantly, social insurance taxes, which account for some 37% of all tax receipts, are essentially regressive: a fixed rate is paid on all income up to a ceiling ($87,000 in 2003); income above that line is exempt. Looking at this bigger picture, the Congressional Budget Office reports that the top 1% paid just 20.1% of all federal taxes in 2004–a percentage only slightly higher than their share of overall income.

Fourth, the effective tax rate on corporations has been falling for decades, with corporate income taxes now accounting for just over 10% of federal revenue, down from as high as 32% in the 1950s.

Fifth, and most pertinent for the question at hand (does the U.S. have an inequality problem?),  after-tax income inequality has grown steadily in the past generation. In 1980, real after-tax income for the poorest quintile of Americans averaged (in 2003 dollars) $13,000, compared to $305,800 for the richest 1%. By 1990, the figures were $13,100 and $520,000, respectively; in 2003, the figures were $14,100 and $701,500.

Here, then, is the bigger picture: however progressive the income tax system may be, it hasn’t come close to offset the effects of the massive increase in overall economic inequality over the past generation. Moreover, looking at the income tax in isolation from the rest of the federal tax structure leads to a dramatic over-estimate of the system’s overall progressivity.

What is a fair tax rate for the rich to pay? The answer to that question depends on the answer to a prior, more fundamental question: Is the distribution of (after-tax) income generated by our economic system consistent with maintaining a society based on equal citizenship and the provision of substantive equality of opportunity to each of its citizens?

If the answer to that question is “no,” that higher effective taxes on the rich have to be considered seriously as one important strategy for correcting that imbalance and leveling the playing field. 

The place to start is not even with the top 1%, but with the richest of the rich, the top 0.1% of all taxpayers. As David Cay Johnston of The New York Times has documented, the effective tax rate paid by those select households actually declined from 1992 to 2000. Persons at this level of income hire tax evasion specialists who help them arrange their assets in ways that the federal government can’t get at them very easily, and they can claim all manner of perks and tax breaks unavailable to the working stiff.

By far the best source on the topic of how the super-rich evade income taxes is Johnston’s 2003 book Perfectly Legal; for a detailed look at the related issue of tax evasion by the rich and well-connected, see this book edited by economist Max Sawicky.

The overall picture that emerges from Johnston’s work is that the political capacity of the super-rich to manipulate the tax system in their favor has increased in lockstep with the overall increase in economic inequality, with each trend reinforcing the other. I hope Jim Webb has read Johnston’s book; calling a few hearings in 2007 on some of the most remarkable abuses of the tax system by America’s most wealthy would be a good move by the senator-elect and a necessary first step towards reform.

Next time: Why should we care about inequality at all?

Published in: on November 26, 2006 at 4:46 pm  Comments (6)  

The Conceits of Centrism

Centrism is back! That’s the overwhelming interpretation of Tuesday’s elections by Sunday-section commentators in the RTD as well as The Washington Post and The New York Times; see Larry Sabato’s election post-mortem as well as David Brooks’s most recent column for good examples of the genre.

These pundits argue that voters want an end to “ideological” mudslinging and a new era of cooperative, bipartisan policymaking that transcends partisan differences for the sake of effectively advancing the common good. Many of the new Democratic senators and representatives describe themselves in just these terms.

The “forgotten moderate” is always a popular figure among American punditry, and political scientists delight in celebrating the virtues of checks and balances and the dangers of unrestricted partisan rule.

And indeed, perhaps there are some issues on which leadership from the “vital center” in the next couple of years could be most welcome and possibly even effective. If centrists in Congress can help broker with the White House a sensible exit strategy from Iraq over the next year, that would be a major accomplishment.

But there are limits to “centrism” and bipartisan hopefulness that need to be recognized as well. Consider four key points:

First, before we deride all “ideology” as dangerous, we need to parse exactly what we mean by the word. If by “ideology,” we mean values, principles, and moral convictions, then “ideology” should be the last thing we want our politics to be drained of. Politicians should stand for something, and they should not be shy in conveying to the public what they stand for and why.

But if by “ideology,” we mean an a priori commitment to some particular policy instrument for advancing such ends–such as the a priori commitment of many Republicans to to tax cuts as the solution to, well, everything–then “ideology” becomes a more dangerous affair. Inflexible commitment to some preordained solution that is impervious to the accumulation of evidence and experience is a recipe for bad policymaking. It’s in that specific sense that “ideology” should be regarded as troubling.

But leaders who can combine commitment to strong moral principles with a sense of flexibility, pragmatism, and creativity in advancing those principles and values should be welcomed, not derided as ideologues.

Second, it’s simply not going to be possible to tackle any number of issues–most notably the health care crisis–without provoking a fair amount of ideological and partisan conflict. Any Democrat who advances a serious solution on health care is going to be bitterly attacked by conservatives and those who benefit from the health care status quo. Does this mean that they should not try, for fear of provoking partisan conflict? Of course not.

To avoid tackling serious issues–or to settle only for non-controversial, band-aid steps that don’t touch the deeper problem–in order to avoid partisan conflict would be to embrace a cure that’s worse than the disease.

Third, no one should fool themselves into thinking that the right wing of the Republican party has gone away. “Movement conservatives”are still with us, and they are not going to stop being “ideological” or partisan. Rather, they’re going to be looking for every opportunity to gather ammunition for the next round of electoral battle. Rove et al are not interested in bipartisan, balance; they want to achieve long-term political supremacy, and ultimately to dismantle the last vestiges of the New Deal.

To counter that possibility, Democrats must articulate their own vision of the role of government in promoting fairness and social justice. If the Democrats cannot explain–either to voters or themselves–what government should do (in broad terms) and why, or what obligations citizens have towards one another, then in the long run, American politics will keep shifting further and further to the right.

This observation leads us the fourth and final point: the political center should not be confused with the moral center. The political center consists of what is politically possible, here and now, given the current state of political opinion. The moral center consists of what the right thing to do is, regardless of current public opinion.

Obviously, different people define the “moral center” in different ways. Anti-abortion activists define it differently than radical feminists, to take an obvious example. A general progressive definition of the “moral center” would be a society that treats everyone fairly, gives everyone substantive equality of opportunity, empowers and protects workers, and ensures that no one falls through the cracks and that no one’s life is devalued.

Over the long haul, the political challenge is to move the political center in the direction of whichever definition of the “moral center” one favors. Readers will not be shocked, I trust, to learn that this blog is partial to the progressive definition of the moral center given above.

To move the political center closer to the moral center is no easy thing, but it has happened repeatedly throughout American history, the debate over slavery in the 19th century being the most pointed example. From a progressive point of view, making it happen in the 21st century will require three steps:

1. Bringing in new people to the political process who don’t vote now and feel disconnected and distrustful of politics, but might support progressive goals.

2. Better, more effective, and above all more organizing, at all levels; and, establishing relationships and relationships of accountability between progressive organizations and political leaders.

3. Winning in the ongoing battle of ideas. But to win that battle, you have to have ideas to fight with.

One way to engage that battle is to look at the long-term possibilities of using the enormous wealth of this country in ways which dramatically improve everyone’s quality of life, as articulated in a piece this writer co-authored last year.

A second, more modest but equally essential way is to express just what Democrats stand for and why, as well as some thoughts on how those values might be advanced in both the short term and long term.

That’s an essential task, and it’s inescapably a partisan task and an ideological task. Yet even smart moderates should recognize that if American politics is not, in the long run, to be overtaken by the organized movement conservatives, there needs to be a strongly expressed countervailing philosophy of government expressed by the Democratic Party and its leadership.

Published in: on November 12, 2006 at 5:39 pm  Comments (1)  

Food Stamp Follow-Up

The Times-Dispatch has two excellent letters to the editor on Thursday calling the RTD to account for its misleading and mean-spirited editorial on food stamps and immigrants that was critiqued in this space a couple of weeks ago.

One is from Richmond resident Jill A. Hanken; the other is from Nancy Montanex Johner, Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Hanken calls the RTD’s attack on a Spanish-language outreach program in California “absurd and insulting to all legal immigrants who happen to speak Spanish.” Johner informs the editors that “legal immigrants in the United States may be eligible to receive benefits if they meet residency, income, and asset requirements” and that the “USDA is proud of our efforts to ensure that all eligible families, and in particular underserved populations including the elderly, working poor, and legal immigrants, have access to this critical nutrition program.”

Unlike whoever wrote the “Four-Hour Obscenity” editorial, both these letter-writers know what they’re talking about.

Published in: on November 9, 2006 at 3:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

“Congratulations”

Right about now, with the Democrats poised to take control of both houses of Congress, it sure would be nice to own stock in a paper shredder manufacturer.

Sadly, that’s not the case, but there are other satisfactions at hand.

In Thursday’s paper, the Richmond Times-Dispatch calls on George Allen not to pursue a recount barring any major changes in results from the post-election canvas; with 95% of that canvas done at this point, Webb is indeed on pace to win by about 8,000 votes.

Apparently suspecting as much, the RTD spends the rest of its editorial treating Senator-Elect Webb as a fait accomplit. Much of the editorial consists of a scathing critique of some of Allen’s tactics, along with the claim that the vote was not about “issues” but about a gut reaction to Iraq. (Along the way the editorial board can’t resist taking a shot at “sleep-inducing lectures that try to pass off partisan boilerplate as scholarship,” not to be confused, of course, with partisan boilerplate that tries to pass itself of as insightful editorial writing.)

But the editorial almost approaches graciousness in noting that Webb is an independent spirit in the Jacksonian tradition. Fair enough. It’s also fair to say that the median Virginia voter doesn’t want, just as the RTD says, a clone of a Howard Dean or John Kerry–and that Webb is no such clone.

But if Webb really is not a Dean or Kerry, why did the paper spill so much ink before Election Day trying to draw just that equation?

Pre-election day RTD: Don’t vote for Webb, he’s like Dean and Kerry and Hillary, and he’s against the President. (Here’s Ross Mackzenie’s column saying pretty much exactly that, in case you’ve forgotten.)

Post-election day RTD: Well, Webb won, but at least he’s not like Dean or Kerry.

Pre-election day RTD: “Allen’s opponent in this race, echoing Democrats everywhere, has cast Allen’s (and Warner’s) backing of the president as sufficient reason for Allen’s defeat.” (October 22) Translation: Party identification tells us pretty much all we need to know about a candidate, and Webb should be shunned because he’s like Democrats everywhere.

Post-election day RTD: “Candidates run as Republicans and Democrats; citizens elect individuals to govern.” Translation: our party lost, but voters vote for the man, not the party.

The RTD’s post-facto analysis of Webb is in much the same spirit as David Brooks’s recent column on the Senator-elect. But there’s a key difference between Brooks’s analysis and that of the RTD editorialists: Brooks published his piece before the election (on Sunday in The New York Times).

The RTD, in contrast, never made an effort in its editorials to inform readers that Webb is an independent-minded Democrat with an interesting worldview that is populist but not necessarily liberal.

Describing Webb that way might have made the Senator-elect sound more appealing to some of the RTD’s readers, and possibly even cost the RTD’s endorsee Allen a few votes.

It also would have leant the newspaper’s editorial page a measure of credibility and intellectual integrity that proved sorely lacking this election season.

Published in: on November 9, 2006 at 5:42 am  Leave a Comment  

Control of the Senate on a Razor’s Edge

Not that you couldn’t find this out in a couple of thousand other blogs and web site, but as of 7 a.m. Wednesday morning here’s the situation:

In Virginia, Webb now leads by 8,359 votes with just 6 precincts statewide not reporting to the SBE. Those precincts include one in Isle of Wight County, one in Loudon County, one in Fairfax City, two in James City County, and one in Halifax County. Four of those precincts then are in localities that voted for Allen overall, but it seems impossible that there are enough votes there for Allen to make much headway into cutting into Webb’s first count lead.

A final lead of say, 7500 votes is a much better cushion for Webb to rest on than a 2000 vote margin heading into a recount. What will be critical now obviously is the quality of the legal representation Webb can muster heading into the recount process. (One piece of advice: don’t hire Warren Christopher.)

Amazingly, things are even tighter in Montana, where Democratic challenger Jon Tester’s overnight lead over Conrad Burns has been chipped down to fewer than 2,000 votes with 91% of precincts reporting, according to CNN. A quick scan of CNN’s results show that 3 of the 4 counties with outstanding precincts are split pretty much 50-50 in their vote totals to date, but does anybody know anything about Meagher County? That county has zero percent of precincts reporting.

Time for the country to learn much more about the intracacies of Montana geography and politics!  The Democrats need to hold on to victory in both Montana and Virginia to acquire control of the Senate.

Move over Florida! It’s our turn.

Update at 8:45.

In Virginia, the official results now show Webb’s lead at 6,931, with six precincts still out. (Webb somehow lost 1400 off his margin in the last update.)

Re Montana and Meagher County: Official Montana election results in 2004 show that in Meagher County, a total of 977 votes were cast; the Bush-Cheney ticket got 698 of those votes. If similar results obtained this year, than Burns probably has about 300-400 net votes in that county coming to him. Total population in Meagher County according to the 2000 U.S. Census was 1,932.

So Burns will pick up ground in Meagher, but not enough to overtake Tester. As of of 9 a.m., Meagher is the only county with uncounted votes in Montana, and Tester’s lead is over 1,500. Throw in the Meagher results and Tester should still be ahead by well over 1,000 votes, going into what presumably will be a recount.

Published in: on November 8, 2006 at 12:23 pm  Comments (4)  

It’s Official: Virginia is a Purple State!

As the midnight bell tolled away on another long Election Day night, Jim Webb appeared to have completed a stunning comeback to pull ahead in the initial vote tally in the Virginia Senate race. At 12:30 a.m., the State Board of Elections showed Webb ahead by about 1,800 votes, with 18 precincts uncounted. Four of those precincts are in Richmond, including the city’s two absentee precincts. (By 12:45, the city website had posted results for foot-dragging Precincts 212 and 413; Webb picked up a net total of 249 votes at those locations.)

How will this end up? Who knows.

But this much is clear: Virginia is back in play for the Democratic Party, and will be one of the states that count in 2008.

That’s good news obviously for progressives in Virginia, but also good news for all Virginians: Barring a large national landslide, presidential candidates in 2008 are going to have to pay serious attention to Virginia and its voters, rather than write it in–or write it off–as a solid red state.

Published in: on November 8, 2006 at 5:15 am  Leave a Comment  

Shameless

One of the distinctive features of the Richmond Times-Dispatch’s editorial page is its willingness to comment upon and criticize laws and policies enacted in other localities across the United States. Since, lo and behold, many other states and localities have implemented interesting policies which have not yet found their way to Richmond, there is much to keep the RTD staff busy.

Tuesday’s target is a proposal in New York City to severely limit artificial trans-fats in restuarant foods. While there is a strong public health rationale for the proposed regulation, reasonable people can oppose it, and make reasonable arguments against it.

What the RTD does is link the NYC’s consideration of the law to the Central Park jogger case of the 1980s, concluding “Rough luck for her that she was being assaulted instead of eating a burger and an extra-large order of fries.” The conclusion we are supposed to draw is that New Yorkers are willing to meddle with each other’s personal habits, but indifferent to violent crime.

So much for post 9/11 solidarity with the city of New York and respect for the many heroic responses from firefighters, policemen, and ordinary citizens that day.

I’m quite sure that the RTD would not want New York editorial writers doing a little investigation about Richmond’s own past, and writing barbed editorials that judge an entire city on the basis of its worst moments. The results would not be pretty.

Published in: on November 7, 2006 at 3:25 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Contradictions of the RTD

Deputy editorial page editor Todd Culbertson penned a column for Sunday describing the Times-Dispatch’s candidate endorsement process. The column describes the hours of face-to-face meetings the newspaper’s editorial board conducted with candidates, and the great effort the board spent in careful deliberation about its choices.

Culbertson explains that the editorial side of the newspaper does not affect the news coverage; editorial board members are blocked from campaigning for or donating to candidates; the editorial staff collects information from “trusted sources,” looking and listening, and reading; and above all from careful evaluation of how candidates present themselves in one-on-one individuals.

It’s almost as if we were supposed to believe that winning an RTD endorsement is equivalent to gaining favor from a Nobel Prize committee or some other high-minded set of dignitaries.

The reality is that the Times-Dispatch editorial page, on balance, is a blatantly partisan advocate of conservatism and the Republican Party. (Can one imagine any circumstances, short of being charged with a felony, in which George Allen would have failed to win the newspaper’s endorsement?)

Culbertson presents some fairly direct evidence of this in his own column, in stating the “principles embraced by Media General, our corporate parent.” These include “individual freedom and responsibility; self-determination; free enterprise; fiscal conservatism; a strong national defense; integrity, innovation and high quality; and a commitment to community.”

Notably missing from that list are other values, such as social equality, democratic participation, reducing poverty and needless human suffering. Any reasonably experienced observer of American politics would read the RTD’s list and come to the straightforward conclusion that the RTD is a conservative newspaper, and that the supposedly “neutral’ application of those stated principles to evaluating candidates will produce endorsements for Republican candidates.

In that sense, all of Culbertson’s insistence on the integrity of the RTD’s internal endorsement process utterly misses the point: by virtue of the values the RTD says it stands for, the final endorsements in any given campaign are (barring quite unusual circumstances) predictable and essentially preordained. Essentially, Culbertson’s column is trying to claim for the newspaper the credibility that comes with being a truly dispassionate observer, when in fact the newspaper (by its own stated principles) is far from neutral.

But it’s worse than that. When Culbertson notes that the editorial staff members are not permitted to be part of campaigns, the implication is that the RTD’s staffers are not mere partisans who condescend to actively campaign for candidates.

But how does that claim square with the publication of columns like Ross Mackenzie’s on Sunday? The column, once again, offers no substantive evaluation of a particular issue and reflects no original research or thinking. The sum total of his argument as to why Allen wins “on the issues and the company he keeps” is that Jim Webb is a Democrat, that other prominent Democrats endorse him, and that Webb takes Democratic positions. No substantial argument is offered as to why the Democratic positions are wrong; it’s just assumed or asserted. As we have said before here, this is tautological reasoning at its finest.

It’s also ad hominem, mean-spirited, and partisan (in the worst sense) to the core. Is there any real difference between Mackenzie’s column and that of a paid GOP pamphlet, other than the occasional presence of some high-falutin’ vocabularly? And can anyone imagine that the RTD would publish a single column, let alone a regular column, which (with little or nothing in the way of substantiaton) referred to Republicans as “arrogant,” ‘incoherent,” and full of “nonsense”?

The contradiction between what the RTD says it is or wants to be and what it actually is will remain clear for all to see so long as the newspaper sees fit to print Mackenzie’s column (and those unsigned editorials which bear his unmistakeable influence).

Published in: on November 5, 2006 at 4:04 pm  Comments (4)