Bannon was in Rome to learn from and provide support to the unusual coalition of populists and nationalists who together won half the vote in Italy’s recent elections and have formed a government. Bannon sees that sort of coalition — mixing left and right, old and young — as his goal for the United States. “Europe is about a year ahead of the United States. . . . You see populist-nationalist movements with reform [here]. . . . You could begin to see the elements of Bernie Sanders coupled with the Trump movement that really becomes a dominant political force in American politics.”
.. The Republican Party’s strategy, for now, appears to be to make the midterm elections a series of local contests focusing on the tax cut and the healthy economy. Bannon views this as fundamentally misguided. “You have to nationalize the election,” he said. Bannon understands that voters are moved from the gut more than through a wonky analysis of taxes. “This is going to be an emotional [election] — you’re either with [House Minority Leader] Nancy Pelosi or you’re with Donald Trump.
.. Bannon is most focused on the issue of immigration because it hits both the heart and the head. “Immigration is about not just sovereignty, it’s about jobs.”
.. He believes that the Trump coalition can attract up to a third of Sanders supporters who see trade and immigration as having created unfair competition for jobs, particularly for working-class blacks and Hispanics.
.. “You’re not going to be able to take the Hispanic and black community from the STEM system in grammar school to our best engineering schools . . . to the great jobs in Silicon Valley, unless you start to limit these H-1B visas and this unfair competition . . . from East Asia and South Asia.”.. The most likely result of limiting these visas is that talented immigrants will simply go elsewhere — Canada, Britain, Australia — and start successful companies there... The Democratic Party is too far to the left on many of these issues, embracing concepts such as sanctuary cities, which only reinforces its image as a party that is more concerned with race, identity and multiculturalism than the rule of law.
.. I wrote last month that Trump would try to fight the midterm elections on immigration and added, “Do not be surprised if Trump also picks a few fights with black athletes.”
.. He predicted the next major battle would be over the proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. “The wall is not just totemic. The wall is absolutely central to his program. . . . As we come up on Sept. 30, if [Congress’s] appropriations bill does not include spending to fully build his wall . . . I believe he will shut down the government.”
.. Bannon doesn’t think the fighting and the rancor in the United States are going away any time soon. The “battle between nationalists and globalists is at the fundamental roots of what America is, what America will be,”
The ability to draw from other disciplines produces better scientists.
if American STEM grads are going lead the world in innovation, then their science education cannot be divorced from the liberal arts.
.. Scientists are often unable to communicate effectively because, as Cornell University president David J. Skorton points out, “many of us never received the education in the humanities or social sciences that would allow us to explain to nonscientists what we do and why it is important.”
.. “It doesn’t make you a better doctor to know how fast a mass falls from a tree,” Gail Morris, head of the school’s admissions, told Newsweek. “We need whole people.”
Forcing college kids to ignore the liberal arts won’t help them in a competitive economy.
.. I found it shocking that some of the brightest students in Virginia had been misled — by parents, the media, politicians and, alas, each other — into thinking that choosing English or history as a major would doom them to lives as impecunious schoolteachers.
.. there is now a considerable — and disturbing — amount of parental pressure against the liberal arts,”
.. One reason for the “explosion” of double majors — as high as 40 percent of students at some elite schools — is that students want one major to satisfy Mom and Dad and another to satisfy their own interests, she says.
.. Parents are becoming more deeply engaged in nearly every aspect of their children’s lives, and it’s carrying over even to their choice of major.
.. “A lot of our students feel parental pressure to go into business, economics, medicine,”
.. But more recently, in the wake of the Great Recession, the number of degrees in the core humanities disciplines — English, history, philosophy — has fallen sharply . In the mid-1960s, they represented as much as 17 percent of degrees conferred; now that figure is just over 6 percent.
.. One study by economists at Yale found that half of the premium earned by STEM majors can be explained not by what they learned in college but by the greater intelligence, diligence and other characteristics that they brought to those majors in the first place. Or to put it another way, they would have earned more no matter what they majored in.
.. at American universities, the original rationale for majors was not to train students for careers. Rather, the idea was that after a period of broad intellectual exploration, a major was supposed to give students the experience of mastering one subject, in the process developing skills such as discipline, persistence, and how to research, analyze, communicate clearly and think logically.
.. As it happens, those are precisely the skills business executives still say they want from college graduates
.. In today’s fast-changing global economy, the most successful enterprises aren’t looking for workers who know a lot about only one thing. They are seeking employees who are nimble, curious and innovative. The work done by lower-level accountants, computer programmers, engineers, lawyers and financial analysts is already being outsourced to India and the Philippines; soon it will be done by computers. The good jobs of the future will go to those who can collaborate widely, think broadly and challenge conventional wisdom — precisely the capacities that a liberal arts education is meant to develop.
.. There are some, such as Georgetown’s Anthony Carnevale, who worry that the liberal arts model of “intellectual exploration” has become an unaffordable anachronism
It is true that high-skilled professional occupations almost always experience unemployment rates far lower than those for the rest of the U.S. workforce, but unemployment among scientists and engineers ishigher than in other professions such as physicians, dentists, lawyers, and registered nurses, and surprisingly high unemployment rates prevail for recent graduates even in fields with alleged serious “shortages” such as engineering (7.0 percent), computer science (7.8 percent) and information systems (11.7 percent).
.. Surprisingly, some of the largest and most heavily financed scientific fields, such as biomedical research, are among those with the least attractive career prospects, as a recent blue-ribbon advisory committee reported to the Director of the National Institutes of Health. Biomedical Ph.D.s are unusually lengthy and often require additional years of postdoctoral training, yet after completion those with such degrees experience labor market demand and remuneration that are relatively low.
.. Claims of workforce shortages in science and engineering are hardly new. Indeed there have been no fewer than five “rounds” of “alarm/boom/bust” cycles since World War II. Each lasted about 10 to 15 years, and was initiated by alarms of “shortages,” followed by policies to increase the supply of scientists and engineers. Unfortunately most were followed by painful busts—mass layoffs, hiring freezes, and funding cuts ..
.. the numbers of science and engineering graduates is at least double those being hired into such occupations each year