David Skeel Articles


Their Daily Bread

The millennial challenge to organized religion.
Jul 14, 2014

The life of a young college graduate isn’t what it used to be, as viewers of Girls and other recent hits well know. In 1970, the median age of marriage was 21 for women and 23 for men, not much different than in 1950. By 2000, the averages were 25 and 27, and they have continued to climb. Gone are the old dreams of quickly settling into marriage, children, and a comfortable job. Here, instead, is a period of uncertainty, self-absorption, and serial relationships and jobs that psychologist Jeffrey Arnett calls “emerging adulthood.”

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The Art of the Deal

Detroit’s restructuring proposal.
Apr 21, 2014

From the moment Detroit filed for bankruptcy last summer, comparisons to the 2009 Chrysler and General Motors bailouts have abounded. Most highlight the differences, noting that the federal government is unlikely to pump billions of dollars into Detroit. But although the differences are real, the restructuring plan that Detroit has recently proposed suggests that the city’s bankruptcy may have more in common with the car bailouts than anyone imagined. Unfortunately, it’s the abuses of the latter that could be replicated—and even extended—if Detroit’s plan is upheld in its current form.

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More Bankruptcies, Please

Detroit shows the way.
Aug 05, 2013

Although Detroit’s bankruptcy is only a few days old, it already has become clear that it could bring answers to two very important questions: whether municipal bankruptcy law is a plausible alternative to either bailouts or decades of fiscal malaise for large cities that are sagging under unsustainable debt, and whether it is time for Congress to enact a bankruptcy law for states too. So far, the answer to both questions looks like yes.

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