Magazine | September 22, 2014, Issue


Immigrant Entrepreneurs

I read with interest the article by Jay Nordlinger, “The State of Maine,” in the August 11 issue. He discusses, among other things, the recent influx of Somali immigrants. I have something to say about it, too. In the face of an aging population and an ongoing exodus of young people, the addition of Somalis could be seen as a benefit. This youthful community has opened businesses selling ethnic products, especially in towns like Lewiston, which have been hurt by decades of deindustrialization. In fact, Charles Colgan of the University of Southern Maine estimates that nearly half of all small retail stores opened recently in Portland are immigrant-owned. With proper support from state and local officials, these unlikely pockets of entrepreneurialism could help ease an overstressed welfare system and contribute to a much-needed economic revival in the Pine Tree State.

Brodie Miller

Via e-mail

The Higher Cost of Higher Ed

Richard Vedder’s “Subsidized Decline” (August 25) certainly hit home. As the parent of six children, all of whom attended private colleges, I have lived out the dilemma of which he wrote. For many years, I watched the dollar amount of Stafford loans regularly increase. Invariably, regardless of the institution, that increase, designed to make college more “affordable,” was followed by a letter from the college explaining the need for a tuition increase far in excess of the Stafford increase. Despite Senator Warren’s protestations, my children have not missed a payment! Why not stop the meddling and let the free market work its magic?

Arthur Brunwell

Shrewsbury, Mass.


In “The Week” (September 8), Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson was incorrectly identified as “Darrell Wilson.”

Ramesh Ponnuru — Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

In This Issue


Politics & Policy

The Unrealist

Even before his presidency began, Barack Obama articulated a foreign-policy course markedly different from that of his immediate predecessors. Not only did he present himself as the anti-Bush, but he ...


Books, Arts & Manners

City Desk

Look in the Mirror

All these columns are about some place! But this column is about the Twitterverse! Twitterverse is no place! Its strings of words and spaces <140 characters! You see your margin shrink ...
Politics & Policy

Looking for Tom

I do not know much about gods; but     I think that the river Is a strong brown god — sullen,     untamed and intractable.            — T. S. Eliot, “The Dry Salvages” London was ...


Politics & Policy


Immigrant Entrepreneurs I read with interest the article by Jay Nordlinger, “The State of Maine,” in the August 11 issue. He discusses, among other things, the recent influx of Somali immigrants. ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ President Obama says the United States will not tolerate Russia’s “brazen assault” on Ukraine. A discrete, tactful assault, on the other hand . . . ‐ That was quick. In ...

Golden Oligarchy

The world is a curious place where coincidences abound, but there’s something suspicious about the timing here: As relations between the West and Russia curdle and rot, McDonald’s restaurants are ...
Politics & Policy


BLUE MOUNTAINS Modest as mountains go, they have a charm in that close-to-home majesty, surmounted by a spine of falling away bald rock, dangerous as any siren song of explorer’s imagining, with plenty of room for ...
Politics & Policy

And Now You May Laugh

I presume there is a healthy overlap between Emmy viewers and NR readers, so apologies for covering well-worn territory. However, those of you who missed last month’s awards show failed ...

Most Popular


Stick a Fork in O’Rourke

If, as I wrote last week here, Joe Biden may save the Democratic party from a horrible debacle at the polls next year, Beto O’Rourke may be doing the whole process a good turn now. Biden, despite his efforts to masquerade as the vanguard of what is now called progressivism, is politically sane and, if ... Read More

Ivy-League Schools Wither

A  number of liberal bastions are daily being hammered — especially the elite university and Silicon Valley. A Yale and a Stanford, or Facebook and Google, assume — for the most part rightly — that each is so loudly progressive that the public, federal and state regulators, and politicians would of ... Read More

In Defense of the Electoral College

Senator Elizabeth Warren has joined a growing chorus within the Democratic party in calling for the abolition of the Electoral College. Speaking at a forum in Mississippi on Monday night, Warren said that she hoped to ensure that “every vote matters” and proposed that “the way we can make that happen is ... Read More