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Walter Russell Mead analyzes the revolutionary changes upending American life in the hope of rekindling the American dream for Gen Z and beyond

Number of the Week: 1,098%

That’s how high residents in a zip code in Lousiana’s Plaquemines Parish will see their flood-insurance rate rise after FEMA rolls out Risk Rating 2.0, the agency’s new system for evaluating flood risk. Plaquemines Parish residents have the unfortunate distinction of becoming the community with the nation’s highest flood-insurance premiums, though others in flood-prone Louisiana will see big bumps as well, with the state’s average premium going up 134%.

Read more about it in The Scroll, Tablet’s daily newsletter.

From The Scroll

Google says it’s seeing a record number of searches from internet users looking for friends. “How to make friends,” “where to make friends,” and “where to meet people” have all popped to the top of the Google Trend charts, just as U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, the U.S. Surgeon General, released a new report titled “Our Epidemic of Loneliness and Isolation.”

Even before the social isolation and lockdowns administered by American officials during the COVID-19 pandemic, half of U.S. adults were reportedly enduring measurable levels of loneliness, according to the report, a problem that has only worsened since.

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Financial News from The Scroll

Dominoes are falling in the banking sector: JPMorgan Chase now owns First Republic, previously the nation’s 14th largest bank and the second-largest bank ever to fail, behind Washington Mutual, which Chase also acquired when it failed in 2008. This came after a $100 billion dollar run on deposits, which proved too much for the San Francisco-based bank to handle, even after receiving a $30 billion stopgap from Chase and other large financial institutions.

Read more in The Scroll, Tablet’s daily news roundup.

Crime Watch from The Scroll

While violent crime has been on a downtrend in New York City, petty crime is up, a lot: 53% over the past three years. The NYPD is now saying a review of last year’s arrests shows that one-third of all shoplifting arrests made in NYC in 2022 are attributable to just 327 people who were arrested and rearrested more than 6,000 times. The National Retail Foundation reports that 37% of all inventory shrinkage in 2021 was due to theft, and the NYC-based retail coalition Collective Action to Protect Our Stores estimates that its 5,000 small businesses from around NYC and New York State have lost a combined $300 million in revenue due to the increase in crime. If recidivism is a huge driver here, it doesn’t appear that bail laws will be changed anytime soon, as state Democrats rejected Gov. Kathy Hochul’s March proposal to re-introduce bail for smaller crimes.

Read all about it in The Scroll, Tablet’s daily newsletter.

Also by Michael Lind

  • Why I Am Against Saving the Planet

    (and why you should be, too)

  • Cold War II

    The U.S. is losing its economic advantage in a new era of global conflict

  • The Power-Mad Utopians

    America needs a broad popular front to stop the revolution from above that is transforming the country

  • The New Gatekeepers

    How the major institutions of American society all came to sing in the woke chorus, and what can be done about it

  • Neoliberal Twee

    Cass Sunstein’s latest TED Talk of a book offers the kind of technocratic whimsy that left and right can agree to hate

  • Labor’s Lost

    In America today, we have informal labor cartels for the college-educated elite, while private sector unions for the working class are all but annihilated


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Washington Dispatch from The Scroll

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. filed paperwork on April 5 to run for president as a Democrat, challenging incumbent Joseph Biden for the party’s nomination for president. The Kennedy scion—son of Robert F. Kennedy, who was himself in the running to be the Democratic party’s nominee for the presidency, before he was assassinated—is an environmental lawyer and vaccine-safety advocate whose views about the potentially harmful side effects of vaccines have attracted considerable controversy. Kennedy Jr. is a political progressive, arguably to the left of Biden on many issues, including U.S. intervention abroad. In a recent tweet, Kennedy wrote, “The Neocon projects in Iraq and Ukraine have cost $8.1 trillion, hollowed out our middle class, made a laughingstock of U.S. military power and moral authority, pushed China and Russia into an invincible alliance, destroyed the dollar as the global currency, cost millions of lives and done nothing to advance democracy or win friendships or influence.” Kennedy Jr. has also criticized the government’s stated intention to introduce central bank digital currency, calling it a “slippery slope to financial slavery and political tyranny.”

Read all about it in The Scroll, Tablet’s afternoon news digest.


Discriminated against while being held up as models of success, these two groups have long followed a common road. Now their prosperity leads to cries of ‘unearned privilege.’ What does this mean for America and its minorities?

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