Stories by Noah Kristula-Green

Noah Kristula-Green is the Managing Editor and a Contributor to FrumForum. He was formerly a Web Intern at The New Republic. He lives in Washington DC, grew up in Tokyo, and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in political science from The University of Chicago. His email is noahkgreen [at] & you can follow him on Twitter: @noahkgreen

Pew Shows the AFQT Matters

September 16th, 2011 at 3:05 pm 19 Comments

One of the notable findings from Pew’s new survey on economic mobility was that there is one test which does a very good of job of predicting economic mobility. That test is the military’s AFQT (Armed Forces Qualification Test).


The Ugly Truth About the American Dream

September 16th, 2011 at 1:14 pm 50 Comments

The promise of upward economic mobility is central to the American Dream. Marco Rubio invoked it at CPAC in 2010 with stirring language:

[America is] the only place in the world where it doesn’t matter who your parents were or where you came from. You can be anything you are willing to work hard to be. The result is the only economy in the world where poor people with a better idea and a strong work ethic can compete and succeed against rich people in the marketplace and competition. And the result is the most reliable defender of freedom in the history of the world.

This is critical to the conservative narrative about America and it justifies many of the policies which call for a less active government. Unfortunately, the truth is does not match the rhetoric. It turns that the American Dream of upward mobility is not equally within reach of everyone.


Who is Getting Into These Debates?

September 14th, 2011 at 1:03 am 142 Comments

One unexpected story that has emerged from the two most recent GOP debates has been the behavior of the audience. They cheered when Rick Perry’s record on executions was announced and Ron Paul got shouts of support when he was asked if a person who couldn’t afford healthcare should be left to die.


Why Americans Don’t Trust Anything

September 13th, 2011 at 3:50 pm 46 Comments

Jim Geraghty writes about how Americans have lost faith in their institutions over a 15 year period:

Think back to about fourteen or fifteen years ago, and everything you thought you knew at that moment.

You knew no president would be so reckless that he would get caught having sex with an intern in the Oval Office.

You may have worried about your kid’s safety at school, but you knew two alienated teenagers couldn’t turn their rage into a massacre.

You “knew” that the winner of the presidential election was the candidate who got the most votes.

You knew absentee ballots get counted, whether or not the race was close or not. You knew a vote was a vote, and “dimpled chad” was the kid in your child’s kindergarten class photo.

When you looked out at the New York City skyline, you knew it would look the same the next day.


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Free Minds, Free Markets, Free Booze?

September 12th, 2011 at 5:44 pm 12 Comments

A colleague sends over this video of a man in Montana being stopped for a DUI. He responds by proclaiming his fealty to the Constitution and Ron Paul:

The video is amusing, and to be sure, one intoxicated man doesn’t necessarily represent an entire movement. However, there still some truth about Ron Paul’s fans we can gleam from this.


Hey Conservatives, Chile Has a Mandate!

September 12th, 2011 at 12:05 am 100 Comments

Conservatives don’t usually call for the US to emulate other countries when it comes to public policy, but one exception to that rule is Chile. The story of how Milton Friedman’s “Chicago Boys” turned Augusto Pinochet’s military dictatorship into a laboratory for successful free market policies which in turn lead to democracy is a milestone in the history of conservatism. At the September 7th GOP debate, presidential candidate Herman Cain specifically cited the “Chilean Model” of privatizing social security as a policy worth implementing.

So how many conservatives know that Chile’s privatized social security system makes use of a mandate to purchase private insurance in a regulated market, much like the tyrannical Romneycare and Obamacare?


Perry Trusts Scientists, if They Help Him Win

September 9th, 2011 at 1:00 pm 20 Comments

Rick Perry may think his opinions on climate change makes him a modern day Galileo, but there is one field where he is willing to concede ground to the experts: the political science of how to run a campaign.

Political scientists who study elections are interested to measuring the effectiveness of campaign tactics and strategies quantitatively. They ask questions like: “does it make a difference how a candidate spends his money?” or “how many votes did a candidate gain by using this campaign method?”


The Shameless Profiting from the MLK Memorial

September 8th, 2011 at 12:13 pm 61 Comments

If you don’t agree that the new Martin Luther King Jr. memorial has problems because the statue looks like a monument to Kim il-Sung, then maybe you will find this argument from The Root more convincing.

It turns out that MLK’s family has a history of extracting large royalties from any attempt to use MLK’s image. It also seems that the family’s request for payment for a memorial on the National Mall is unprecedented. According to the article, “[T]he National Park Service said that, to its knowledge, no one had ever before charged such a fee.”

The builders of the new Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial at the National Mall had to pay $761,160 for the right to use King’s words and images, according to financial documents obtained by the Associated Press. The money went to Intellectual Properties Management Inc. — a foundation controlled by King’s youngest son, Dexter. Another $71,000 was paid out in a “management fee” to the family estate back in 2003.


Perry Comes Unprepared to the GOP Debate

September 7th, 2011 at 6:37 pm 58 Comments


What if it’s Perry?

September 6th, 2011 at 12:15 am 192 Comments

On Election Night 2012, I expect that Republican Presidential nominee Rick Perry will turn into President-Elect Rick Perry. My inbox will fill up with emails from both enemies and frenemies declaring: “FrumForum Lost! Your cause is doomed and you have failed!”