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All Together Now by Jared Bernstein

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INTRODUCTIONReady or Not, You’re on Your Own

I ONCE HEARD an allegory about mealtime in heaven and hell. It turns out that in both places, meals are served at a huge round table with lots of delicious food in the center. The food is out of reach, but everyone’s got really long forks.

In hell, everyone starves because, while people can reach the food with their forks, the forks are much longer than their arms, so nobody can turn a fork around and eat what’s on the end of it.

In heaven, faced with the same problem, people eat well. How?

By feeding each other.

Protecting the rights of individuals has always been a core American value. Yet in recent years the emphasis on individualism has been pushed to the point where, like the diners in hell, ...

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