About Joe Mathews

Joe Mathews is an Irvine senior fellow at the New America Foundation, a freelance journalist, a Little League coach, and a contributing writer for the Los Angeles Times. A fourth-generation Californian who was raised in Pasadena, he also was a staff writer at the Baltimore Sun and Wall Street Journal. His work appears in the Washington Post, The New Republic, and other newspapers and magazines.

Kill the Fourth Grade Mission Report

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Joe Mathews: Instead of assigning each fourth grader a mission for his or her report, assign each a different public university campus. The university report would fill kids’ heads with history and facts worth remembering.

Why Does California Hate Marriage?

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Joe Mathews: In California, the trend runs even deeper: The state’s marriage rate has reached almost European lows. There are fewer than six marriages a year now for every 1,000 Californians, putting the state at or near the bottom of the nation.

Finally, a Scandal Worthy of This Great State

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Joe Mathews: Just when I’d given up all hope of seeing major league corruption in a California public official, along comes Leland Yee to save the day.

It’s Time to Start Thinking of Our Southern Neighbor as a Partner on the Rise

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Our Southern Neighbor : We’d be better off thinking about Mexico as California’s China—a vital economic partner that’s also a competitor..

Why Roy Choi Is California’s New Steve Jobs

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Joe Mathews: Choi probably comes closer than any living Californian to embodying the skills needed by our state today.

Chinatown Was a Movie: It’s Time to Stop Thinking of LA as Real-Life Film Noir

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Joe Mathews: Even if you think that Los Angeles’ treatment of the communities in the Owens Valley was extraordinarily sinful, it wasn’t our original sin.

Remembering JFK: Let Them Come to Whiskeytown

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Joe Mathews: As we approach the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas, our country is doomed to endure an orgy of hoary remembrances, conspiracy theories, and sleazy sex tales. But Californians have an alternative commemoration if they want it.

Los Angeles Without Angelenos

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Joe Mathews: Angelenos are, fundamentally and literally, a city of losers. We are people, or descendants of people, who lost at politics, commerce, love, family, or religion someplace else.

Scalia’s Gift to Jerry Brown

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Joe Mathews: If Brown is criticized over the prisons and the possible human consequences of releases, all he’ll have to do is quote Scalia.

Who Can Save San Diego?

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Joe Mathews: America’s Finest City, which has been facing off-and-on scandal, gridlock, and mismanagement for 20 years, remains desperately in need of better management.

Who Got Hurt by the NSA Spy Scandal? California

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Joe Mathews: We need laws, perhaps even a state constitutional amendment, to make plain that California considers the personal data and communications of all people, be they American or foreign, to be private and worthy of protection.

Why I Want the Koch Brothers to Buy the LA Times

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Joe Mathews: Most American newspapers today are owned by little-known rich people or faceless corporations, and it’s rare that papers do things that people love or hate. The LA Times suffers from this same malady: It’s unthreatening and predictable.

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