Jonathan V. Last

Jonathan V. Last is a senior writer at The Weekly Standard andeditor of the three humorous books on virtues:  The Seven Deadly Virtues: 18 conservative writers on why the virtuous life is funny as hell; The Dadly Virtues: Adventures from the worst job you'll ever love; and  The Christmas Virtues: A Treasury of Conservative Tales for the Holidays.

In 2013 he published What to Expect When No One’s Expecting: America’s coming demographic disaster, which might be the funniest book ever written about demographics. He lives in Virginia with his wife and three children.

Stories by Jonathan V. Last

Bitcoin Is Dead

11:35 AM, Mar 05, 2014
"Bitcoin" is the most widespread, cryptographically-secure Internet currency. It was created in 2009 by someone (or someones) who referred to themselves as "Satoshi Nakamoto." Once it was released into the wild, the bitcoin currency ecosystem operated on a public, inalterable schedule. We know... Read more

Harold Ramis, 1944-2014

02:31 PM, Feb 26, 2014
Harold Ramis died on Monday morning. Having written, directed (or written and directed) five of the funniest movies of the last 40 years, I think it's safe to put him on the short list for Funniest Guy of His Generation. You probably have your favorite Ramis movie. My own preference is for... Read more

'How Single Motherhood Hurts Kids'

04:12 PM, Feb 19, 2014
A couple weeks ago the great Kay Hymowitz gave New York Times readers the vapors by writing a data-driven account of how single motherhood creates sub-optimal outcomes for both the mothers and their children. The piece was titled, "How Single Motherhood Hurts Kids." (Sample reader... Read more

Is There a Third Way?

12:00 AM, Jan 20, 2014
One of the government’s slyest powers is the right to grant licenses. As a piece of law, the license is rooted in the idea of communal interest: In areas of life where the general public can easily be harmed by bad actors, the government seeks to mitigate harm by credentialing certain actions.... Read more

The Big, Fat Chris Christie FAQ

01:22 PM, Jan 15, 2014
1.) So just how bad is this George Washington Bridge traffic incident? It's bad. Pretty bad. Super bad, even. Chief executives just don't use the power of government to exact revenge on ordinary citizens for what they take to be political insubordination. To put this in context,... Read more

2014: The Year of Obama's Reckoning

11:50 AM, Jan 02, 2014
Two days after Christmas I found myself in a doctor's office in New Jersey at eight o'clock in the morning. As I sat in the waiting room, a middle-aged woman came in and began a discussion with the receptionist. It seemed that her daughter, who would turn 26 on December 31, was trying to figure... Read more

Be Thankful for . . . Obamacare!

08:15 AM, Nov 28, 2013
On the one hand, this is a pretty dour Thanksgiving. Iran has just won an enormous diplomatic victory, which not only sets them on the road to nuclear weapons but makes the  fecklessness of the Western powers clear to the world . Harry Reid's decision to destroy the filibuster signals an... Read more

Penalty for Marriage in Obamacare

08:18 AM, Nov 16, 2013
Every time you think that we've finally touched bottom on Obamacare, some new problem emerges. So what began merely as a dysfunctional website became a broken and mis-designed system. When it turned out that lots of people were paying more for their plans, it then turned out that others were... Read more

The Park Police, Part Deux: Hot Cops

11:23 AM, Oct 10, 2013
Since first writing about the conduct of the National Park Service yesterday, events have accelerated somewhat. The Eagle-Tribune in New Hampshire reported on a local resident who went through something of an ordeal while visiting Yellowstone National park. I’ll let them tell it,... Read more

Last Podcast: Obama's Shutdown Strategy Is Straight From Chicago

05:30 PM, Oct 09, 2013
THE WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with senior writer Jonathan V. Last on his recent editorial, The Park Police . This podcast can be downloaded here . Subscribe to THE WEEKLY STANDARD's iTunes podcast feed here . ADVERTISEMENT: [img nocaption float="left" width="640" height="251"... Read more

Not All Marriages Are Created Equal

01:06 PM, Oct 09, 2013
While everyone else has spent the last few days obsessing about Gravity, the government shutdown, and the real possibility that the NFC East division champ will have six wins, it’s quietly been an interesting week for sociology nerds who think about marriage. The first came in a post from... Read more

Abortion Nation

10:58 AM, Sep 20, 2013
It’s easy to become inured to the state of abortion in the United States, but every so often someone sends a shock to the system. In a new book about the history of Roe , Abuse of Discretion , lawyer Clarke Forsythe combs through the historical record of the Supreme Court’s decision, from... Read more

The Day That Made Obama

10:58 AM, Sep 19, 2013
Sunday was September 15. It's an important anniversary, because it's the day that gave us President Barack Obama. In the airbrushed history of the 2008 presidential campaign, a young, attractive Barack Obama triumphed over an old and disorganized John McCain in a rout. The senator from... Read more

Ze Germans Aren’t Coming

10:44 AM, Aug 20, 2013
Last week, the New York Times ran a piece on the dire demographic problems facing Germany. The short version: Germans aren’t having enough kids, and as a result the economy is in trouble and there are all sorts of logistical problems—vacant buildings that need to be razed; houses that will... Read more

Shocked—Shocked!—to Find Gayness in Wrestling

01:02 PM, Aug 16, 2013
Big deal on Drudge yesterday about WWE wrestler Darren Young possibly breaking kayfabe and coming out to TMZ. (Although the timing of this suggests at least the possibility that this is a work and not a shoot .) Whatever. It’s been months since Jason Collins and the media is thrilled.... Read more

Time Magazine, 'The Childfree Life,' and Me

08:29 AM, Aug 09, 2013
This week’s issue of Time magazine features a cover story by Lauren Sandler about “The Childfree Life.” In the second paragraph, Sandler mentions my book about demographics, What to Expect When No One’s Expecting. (Now available as an audiobook !) Here’s what she says: If... Read more

What Pope Francis Said, and What He Didn't

12:01 PM, Aug 07, 2013
You may have heard that last week Pope Francis said that  gay Catholic priests were a-okay . He  didn't  say that, of course. What he said was this: A gay person who is seeking God, who is of good will—well, who am I to judge him? The Catechism of the Catholic Church... Read more

How to Make Nerds Rejoice

06:05 AM, Jul 24, 2013
Last weekend was a big one for nerds. First, Joss Whedon announced that his Avengers sequel will be titled Avengers: Age of Ultron. Which is more promising than the Thanos storyline which had been widely expected. However, this news was quickly trumped when Zack Snyder explained that... Read more

George Zimmerman and the Nature of Criminal Justice

10:33 AM, Jul 17, 2013
We're way past overload on Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman commentary, but there is a tiny tributary of the story that has been largely overlooked. And it's worth a moment because it points to a larger problem regarding both the state and the public. The first is the modus operandi of the... Read more

Are Immigrants Really More ‘Fertile’?

07:01 AM, Jun 20, 2013
The Internet had a conniption last week when Jeb Bush spoke at the Faith and Freedom Coalition Conference and made the following remark : Immigrants create far more businesses than native-born Americans. Immigrants are more fertile, and they love families, and they have more intact... Read more

Yahoo's Insane Purchase of Tumblr

03:27 PM, May 22, 2013
This week we have entry #5,740,412 in the ledger documenting "Why Not Every Market-Based Outcome Is Optimal." And that’s the Yahoo purchase of Tumblr. You may have heard of Tumblr: It's a quasi-social publishing platform that's sort of a mix between the old Blogger and Twitter. It's quite... Read more

Obama and Government at Its Worst

03:25 PM, May 15, 2013
It's a truism that no president makes it through a second term without some scandal. President Obama is no exception. Here we are just four months into his second administration, and we've got not just one scandal but two. Thanks to reporting over the last two weeks by our own Steve... Read more

What to Expect Goes to Court

03:01 PM, Apr 12, 2013
Our own Jonathan Last recently released a top-notch book, What to Expect When No One's Expecting , about America's coming demographic disaster. The book has been well received by readers, among them the justices on the Texas supreme court. On the sixth page of the court's recent decision for... Read more

On the Soda Ban and Demographics

03:30 PM, Apr 10, 2013
Over at Real Clear Politics, Jean Yarbrough has a response to a  New York Times  op-ed defending Michael Bloomberg's soda ban . The Times piece was written by Sarah Conly, a Bowdoin College professor who seems to specialize in coercive paternalism. I don't mean to cast... Read more

High Noon for Marriage

06:32 AM, Mar 27, 2013
Yesterday the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on California’s Proposition 8, which defines marriage as being between couples of the opposite sex. Today they’re hearing them on the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as a union of one man and one woman at the federal level. Like... Read more

What to Expect, the Lecture

05:09 PM, Feb 12, 2013
On Monday, Jonathan Last delivered a Bradley Lecture at the American Enterprise Institute. Last spoke about America's coming demographic disaster, the subject of his new book, What to Expect When No One's Expecting . Watch the entire lecture below: Buy your copy... Read more

Beware the Baby Bust

10:59 AM, Feb 11, 2013
Senior writer Jonathan Last appeared with Pat Robertson on the 700 Club  to talk about his new book, What to Expect When No One's Expecting . From : Last warns that unless we change our views about the value of raising children, America faces a bleak future.   "A... Read more

America's Coming Demographic Disaster

12:35 PM, Feb 05, 2013
Jonathan Last spoke with Norah O'Donnell and Gayle King on CBS This Morning about his new book, What to Expect When No One's Expecting . Watch the video below: Jonathan also appeared on C-SPAN's Book TV last weekend. Watch the segment here. What to Expect  is available now... Read more

Where Have All the Babies Gone?

12:26 PM, Feb 04, 2013
Our own Jonathan V. Last , writing in this weekend's Wall Street Journal , on America's baby bust : For more than three decades, Chinese women have been subjected to their country's brutal one-child policy. Those who try to have more children have been subjected to fines and forced... Read more

Things Are Tough All Over

11:55 AM, Jan 05, 2013
Just before Christmas there was a lot of public concern about America’s declining birthrate, which closed out 2012 at its lowest point since 1920. But in trying to understand why American fertility is on the wane, it’s important to understand that fertility decline is a global phenomenon.... Read more