And That’s My Opinion!

Before I head to a new assignment, here are some final words on a few topics.

Comments: 139

  1. Sorry that you're changing your seat,<br/>Your ideas,often, can't be beat,<br/>Your trenchant reports<br/>Will benefit Sports,<br/>And probably be a real treat!

  2. It is unfortunate that such a keen observer of American culture, society , business, and politics will now move to covering sports. Most Americans neeed more emphasis on what's important to the welfare of the country, and its citizens, as opposed to what's happening in American sports.

  3. I'll miss Joe Nocera on Op-Ed, where his eminently rational opinions, informed by common sense and flair and a great sense of humor, made me nod my head in agreement more than once. Sadly, most of his ideas fall on the deaf ears of the so-called "vested interests" who are much more concerned with those interests than what works for the common good. Glad to hear he's going to Sports.

  4. You've been an important voice on many topics that otherwise would have remained uncovered.

    I've seen you as carrying on the tradition of the great--and still missed--Bob Herbert.

    Good luck with the new assignment. You will be sorely missed on the op ed pages.

  5. Oh yes. I still miss Bob Herbert terribly. He was like a clear clean voice of reason in an insane world.

  6. @Siobhan....I too miss Bob Herbert. But could you explain how exactly Nocera carries on the tradition of Herbert? I really don't see the connection.

  7. Based on your numerous wrongheaded columns about fracking, I will feel a lot better knowing you're safe on the sports page.

  8. Good idea for Bloomberg, Joe - while he's at it, maybe he could also line up some lobbyists to make it legal to establish a voters' lottery in this country, so that a completed ballot was a voter's lottery ticket for 50 $20 million cash prizes to be won each presidential election year ?

    Have fun over in sports !

  9. Excellent suggestions that should be pursued. I will miss your voice on these pages.

  10. Every one of Mr. Nocera's suggestions is worth considering, at least from the standpoint of starting a lively discussion. I do have reservations about some of his proposals. Suggesting that Michael Bloomberg ought to consider purchasing a firearms company in order to exert leadership away from the devil-may-care attitude of the arms industry may backfire, if Mr. Bloomberg finds out that gun manufacturing is really, really profitable, and also an awful lot of fun. Most of the TV shows that I see on firearms and military hardware seemed to be populated by men whose emotional and social maturity seem to of peaked out just about the time they entered puberty. Maybe not such a good idea after all.

    Putting term limits on Supreme Court judges, even the really good ones, might be worthwhile; but one could make the same argument in favor of term limits for congressman and senators as well. We're not about to see that happen anytime soon. As for the courts of appeal and district courts, one can make an arguable case in favor of term limits by showing that the 'wisdom of the crowd' derived from a large and constantly evolving population of skilled jurists is statistically more likely to arrive at better decisions over time. Even good minds go stale.

    Changing election days is already being done. I get my ballot by mail several weeks before election day as do most of us here in California. Making early voting opportunities mandatory would seem to be an idea worth pursuing.

  11. Term limits for Congress are not the same, since they're voted in and can be voted out. The problem isn't the lack of term limits, it's the lack of voters. Better to solve that problem. We need a mix of new people & ideas and at least a few long-termers in the House and Senate to keep institutional memory alive, and the thought of having nearly everyone in Congress on a steep learning curve at the same time . . . oy. That cure would be worse than the illness.

    Let's limit terms not by fiat, but by getting voters to the polls.

  12. Thanks, Joe. I have enjoyed your columns and look forward to your continuing and more comprehensive insights into the sports world. I should add, though, that a column like this reminds me how much of a gap your move will create. I hope the Times fills it wisely.

  13. oh! So sorry to see you go. I always looked forward to your column. You made me aware of things I didn't know about. You actually made me care about football helmets. Your gun violence tally broke my heart with the utter ordinariness of the victims.
    Have fun on the sports page, but if you have an opinion you need to vent...then please do vent. Start a blog...I'm sure quite a few of us will 'follow' and 'like' you!
    Thank you and good luck!

  14. Joe your insights and investigation of the financial malfiance on Wall Street will be sorely missed. I would hope you will take the time or be given the staff to continue to shine a light on the scurrying rats you have shown us!

  15. I LOVE how you threaded the needle on gun rights and Bloomberg ... and I'm a second amendment absolutist! The only thing I'd change is having him buy out both of the biggies mentioned.

    (Sorry, I couldn't make it all rhyme like Eisenberg did (first comment)

  16. Joe, I have differed sharply with you, especially about fracking, but now you undercut my position as a critic of more than one of your columns.

    You present Room for Debate topics that should be debated here in mainline columns rather in RFD that for unknown reasons seems not to be read by Verifieds such as the other Larry, Eisenberg.

    I will give you one more debate topic that not one NYT writer or RFD will touch.

    For debate: The archaic USCB system for assigning people to "races" is a plague on America since it facilitates the endless division of an extraordinary diverse people into mostly two groups called "white" and "black" even though the skin colors of these people show continuous variation in many directions.

    Well Joe, I hope you enjoy writing about sports. I won't be following you there.

    One of the other Larrys.
    Dual citizen-USA-SE

  17. Not only should we vote on the weekend, Election Day should be at least two weeks earlier before the weather gets bad, especially up north. While we are at it let's move Thanksgiving forward two weeks. It is the most travelled holiday and the weather is often terrible by then.

  18. Great thoughtful columns on important issues, thanks and good luck at the new gig.

  19. Sorry to see you go.

  20. Maybe, just maybe, I'll become a more regular reader of the sports pages now. Enjoy the new outlet.

  21. Agree with Larry Eisenberg. You've been a great columnist. I didn't like your take on the pipeline, did on the NCAA, but always found your columns provokative.

  22. Good luck with your new assignment, I always looked for your name as a guarantee of sensible and reasoned comment.

  23. Mr. Nocera, let me extend a heartfelt thanks to you for your column that did indeed express your opinions, but backed up by cogent reasoning and useful facts and anecdotes to support your ideas.

    Especially let me thank you for two of your 'causes' that you devoted many columns to: the utter hypocrisy of the NCAA in pretending to 'run' college athletics for the 'student athletes' while in reality operating a money cow for those at the top of the college sports extravaganza. And all at the expense of those young men(reality check: that's where the money is) who continue to be exploited.

    And a more serious cause you wrote about here time and again and referred to in today's column, gun control. In the months after Newtown especially, on a regular basis you detailed the incredibly horrible toll that gun violence took, and of course still takes, in the United States of America. In presenting the evidence like a small town police blotter you demonstrated again and again how many human lives in our country are lost and ruined by the rampant excesses of gun violence seemingly everywhere. And of course the sad reality needs to be noted; nothing in this regard has really changed despite your valiant efforts. As President Obama noted, it seems the only 'change' is that we are getting 'used to it'. But thank you for leaving this reader at least with indelible memories of our society's demented love of guns.

    Whatever your next assignment, keep your keen eye and moral values.

  24. Joe,
    I've followed your writing for 38 years, since I was editing at the Morning Call in Allentown and you were in the Capitol Hill News Service in D.C., sending us locally pegged national news stories. It has been a treat, an informing treat, to read your words and mull your thoughts. Why, indeed, doesn't the Met stage Porgy? Etc. While it is as an opinion writer that most know you now, opinion needs to be rooted in fact. And you have always been an extremely good reporter, digging out the facts, building on those that matter and discarding those that don't. You helped readers in Allentown understand what was being done in Washington that affected them (steel mills, textile mills, highway and rail routes, etc.) and you have brought to readers everywhere ideas, such as those of your future daughter-in-law and of Norman Ornstein today, that we might not otherwise have encountered. I look forward to reading your work from the sports desk. Sports does not build character, it reveals character. What a rich field to plow. A modest suggestion: Your first sports column could be about those amazing Kansas City Royals, a team whose first game I attended in April 1969, while my wife was working upstairs in the team offices. Talk about character.
    Continued success, Joe.

  25. Thank you, Mr. Nocera, for your attempts to educate us. I particularly liked your attempt to tally the true cost of gun violence, although that sadly dropped from the radar.

    Perhaps we SHOULD be discussing gun violence on the sports page after all. Hunting humans does seem to be our sport du jour.

  26. Saving your NCAA juice for the next gig? Can't wait. Thanks.

  27. Thank you, Joe. One of your best columns. All great ideas. Leaving Op-Ed at the top of your game!

    Good luck in the Sports section. Will happily follow you there.

  28. You will be missed. Consistently strong columns and not always from a predictable viewpoint. You've changed my mind on a few issues-most importantly e-cigarettes. As a former smoker I was biased against them, but I now believe they can save lives and I hope your writing will persuade more people, especially the medical community to embrace this lesser evil and give more time to thousands of people and their families. Thanks and good luck in the new role.

  29. Sports page eh? It doesn't sound like anyone will be letting the NCAA off the hook anytime soon.

  30. Yes, it's crazy that Clarence Thomas has already been on the Court for decades and will be there for decades to come.

    Hmm... wasn't there a Senator from Vermont who suggested making election day a national holiday?

  31. Saturday voting might not be a bad idea, but Sunday voting could be disastrous. Do you really want the last campaign speech voters hear before heading to the polls to be delivered from the pulpit?

  32. I have enjoyed reading your thoughtful columns in the Times. Best wishes to you as you undertake your new assignment. By the way, I love your proposal that Michael Bloomberg buy a gun company.

  33. I'll miss you, Joe. Good luck with wherever you're going next.

  34. I've greatly enjoyed your perspective, wry humor and dedication to a well-turned phrase. But, in leaving the Opinion pages, please know you've made at least one person look at many things in ways I never considered. I'd call that a success for any Opinion writer. Thank you.

  35. Dear Mr. Nocera,
    Say it ain't so Joe! The "Sports Pages"? Really?
    I'll miss you here in the opinion arena but good luck in your new venue!
    You're idea of Mr. Bloomberg's buying a gun company sounds like an idea I had for transforming the NRA, from the inside. I suggest to any of my liberal friends that we all "join" the NRA then start rattling them up by participating in their voting and recruiting. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em, then mess with 'em.
    Education won't be fixed with "new schools" because we will still have the "old poverty" which nobody in either party really wants to tackle as a problem. New 'Long Range Strike Bombers' at zillions apiece are more important than having the people necessary to maintain them.
    And how about "term limits" for everybody in DC?
    As for making voting easier, good luck. One of the major parties, the GOP/TP/KOCH AFFILIATE, is acting to restrict voting to only wealthy white folks or guys wearing tri-corn hats. And in the last presidential election garnered 48% of the popular vote! for smoking, at age 22 I went from 3 packs a day to zero and haven't looked back. Why can't people just look at the facts

  36. Sorry to see you leave this page. But that's a great idea about Bloomberg buying and running a gun company---I hope you've already emailed him to set up a lunch to discuss. Change the gun culture from within, with smarter, better guns. It could make a real difference.
    ps I'm 100% in agreement on e-cigs. In the UK the National Health Service puts smokers onto them, free, to try to cut smoking cigs. Difference between the two are enormous and Britain's tests are already in; we're still arguing over whether it looks bad.
    Bye Joe! Hope sports keeps you intellectually challenged---otherwise please come back.

  37. Joe Nocera, your suggestion to stagger 18-year terms for Supreme Court justices makes a lot of sense. Now, let's see if such a change can be implemented.

  38. Yo! It is Norman Ornstein's suggestion, not Nocera's.

  39. You have been mostly fair and square, thank you!

  40. I'm sure Gelb would do Porgy and Bess if the Gershwin family would drop it's insistence that it performed with an all black cast--that way Gelb could cast Placido Domingo and Anna Netrebko in the title roles.

  41. I wish you had written about your future son-in-law's ideas earlier and hammered them home to your readers. But here's a fiscal reality about new schools: they cost a lot of money! Mark Zuckerberg's celebrated gift of $100,000,000 would have built MAYBE two state of the art high schools in the metropolitan NYC area and MAYBE five such schools in rural areas where they are needed just as much. As one who attended public schools in the late 1950s and early 1960s and later spent nearly 30 years as a public school superintendent I can attest to the fact that new schools send a VERY positive message to children… and shabby schools send an equally depressing message. I can also attest to the fact that the test-driven "reforms" philanthropists are funding are sucking the life out of schools and driving the best and brightest to look elsewhere for work. It's a shame the philanthropists didn't talk to educators before they invested their billions.

  42. It was Joe's future daughter in law, not son in law. Cheers.

  43. Joe
    So many of us will miss your reasoned, well written opinions on a range of subjects that touch at the heart of our human and American experience. Safe travels!!

  44. Don't go. You (and Paul Krugman) are the smartest guys on the page, and you know how to write. Well, good luck. Sportswriting seems like a small arena for your talent, but if you do half as well as Red Smith in his heyday, you'll have great following. I'll be in that bunch.

  45. What a loss! Who cares about sports! More reasons not to care everyday. Have fun covering the next knuckledragger who hauls his girlfriend around by the hair.

  46. Joe Nocera..what a great column! Why must you go? I know I've needled you a bit, but I was just getting to really know you. I too, used to think natural gas would be a good thing..boy did I learn otherwise!! I hope you love the sports..seems like it is where your heart is, having read much of your work. Were you veering too far off to the left? It seems talking about building new schools and wanting to have Porgy and Bess is a tantalizing and perhaps the leading edge of a shift in your views we have not seen as much of. Yes we need infrastructure. We need some investments in our public commons BADLY. Wish you'd stick around and write more about it.

  47. Mr. Nocera, you will be sadly missed. If I could just add my opinion I love your idea on guns and would add we should simply also require insurance for all of them. That might make people think twice about being responsible. insurance companies and their attorneys are more frightening than any mafia.
    As far as voting it should 100% be on the weekend. We should also bring back the draft with absolutely no deferments for anything, college, connections, being filthy rich. I hate these wars but it would make everyone, parents, grandparents, young adults start paying a lot more attention to what is going on not just abroad but here as well. When your butt or your kid's is possibly on the line, you wouldn't put up with any candidate dodging questions. Not only would we see high voter turnout, we'd have a more informed electorate and I'm pretty sure a demand to not only have weekend voting but also more polling stations.

  48. In India the retirement age of Supreme Court judge is 65 years. In U S the clause suggested by author ,i.e., a term of 18 years or ,say, age of 75 years whichever is earlier for supreme court judges retirement be implemented. It will ensure infusion of fresh blood in judiciary at regular intervals. There is no point in keeping life term appointments particularly when life span is continuously increasing. If steps are not taken it will mean several generations will indirectly miss serving judiciary.

  49. While I support the 18 year concept, I disagree with you on the age limitation for Justices.

    It would eliminate Justices like Ginsberg - a potential major loss.

    Also, many of our greatest Supreme Court Justices served well beyond their 75th birthday. I mention only Oliver Wendell Holmes, who while a vibrant Justice in his 90's, made a famous remark to another 90+ Justice (when women were finally allowed to work in the Court) "Ah, to be 70 again!"

  50. A point should be made by analogy to your "E-cigarettes may not be completely safe, but there is no doubt they could save lives if adult smokers could be encouraged to make the switch" that involves natural gas and coal/oil. As with tarred v non-tarred(E-) cigarettes, natural gas may not be a truly clean energy source, but there is no doubt it would reduce GHG pollution if power producers could be encouraged to make the switch.

  51. I love the idea that affluent gun control advocates buy gun companies and have the companies develop the technologies and produce the smart guns that are safer. While they're at it, how about producing non-lethal, but still effective and efficient methods of self defense? This will allow people who are really interested in guns for self defense to separate themselves from the "fear of government take over" people. The beauty of such a company is that it might be quite profitable.

  52. Congrats on the public school columns. It is not only the wealthy pushing charter schools, but Republicans across the country. Rather than fix the public school system, they want to have separate but equal charter schools.

  53. Some brilliant but very simple recommendations - starting with Bloomberg's acquisition of Smith and Wesson. The staggered Supreme Court terms would probably be the most difficult goal to attain, but wouldn't that be interesting?

  54. Willgal

    Your recommendation that Bloomberg acquire Smith & Wesson was interesting. Did you know that about fifteen years ago Smith &Wesson made the mistake of signing on to the Clinton gun control initiative and the result was almost immediate bankruptcy? I doubt that the outcome would be different if Bloomberg got it now. The reason is simple a gun business needs to sell guns and “smart gun” technology is not now or will it be in the near/distant future a positive for gun buyers. The fascination of the “smart gun” exists only in the minds of those who would never own a gun --- hence not many will be bought.

  55. Joe
    You will be missed on the op-ed page of this great newspaper. One of the best points you make is the importance of education and the buildings in which the students learn. I have seen the damage first-hand that a poor school environment can make and it is tragic.

    Secondly, I believe that not only should elections be held on the weekend but voting should be mandatory. How's that for a socialist idea? 30 percent or so of eligible voters casting ballots is horrible. I don't know how this might be enforced but surely it would change the country for the better.

  56. Good Luck! There are many crucial issues to our popular culture which can be addressed from the sports pages. I hope you will do it.

  57. Education was never a priority in this country until Wall Street came up with a way to profit from it.
    There is nothing more depressing than working in a school where the walls are peeling or have gapping holes, The decades old paint color is depressing, Books are out of date and torn and not enough to go around. The library is non-existent and the science lab is ill equipped. No art or music room and barely enough teaching supplies. Classes are overcrowded and staff is cut to the bone.
    Private charters receiving public dollars led way to co-locations. The charter part of the school is infused with investor dollars, so they get a complete makeover while the public school section is left to rot. The media only reported great things about charters. Politicians welcomed their campaign donations despite the fact that many have closed their doors in the middle of the night leaving students stranded. Or spent tax payer dollars on everything but the children that led to FBI raids. Treat children like cattle and throw out those who need the most academic help. And yet billionaires are pushing more schools to be charters and test-prep factories. When that happens, charters would have to deal with behavior problems, students with special needs, parents who won't take an interest, falling test scores, etc. Then the investors will pull out and we will be right back where we started. And soon those pretty charter schools will become dilapidated too.

  58. RE: "Education was never a priority in this country until Wall Street came up with a way to profit from it." Uh, no, Education has been a prioirty for a couple hundred years. The Charter School movement, a relatively recent creation, takes private schools and combines it with the "voucher" movement to make a way to profit off of K-12 education. They are at best an experiment. While more than a few Charter schools are suspect there also have been sucesses - see New Orleans post Katrina. Mostly, the Charter movement was non-union. If you want to look a monoopoly that hurt kids in schools, consider that the teacher's unions first priority is to protect their membership, not the kids in the schools.

  59. NOLA charters have not been a success. Read the reports on Diane Ravitch's blog. Something mainstream media won't report because it would be a black eye to the Reform Movement and Duncan in particular.

  60. Why build only "new schools?" In the early '90s, Sen. Moseley Braun had a provision included in the re-authorization of education legislation that would have funded repairs and renovation of existing structures. It was never funded when the Gingrich-led GOP revolutionaries took over Congress. They let a bold initiative die.

    There are many fine older structures that need to be improved, and even the "modern" schools built in the '50s and '60s are now suffering from "deferred maintenance."

    Educational infrastructure is another area in which we have let our capital assets deteriorate. Addressing the problem with capital investments in repairs and renovation is more cost effective than new construction, and it still sends the message that Joe suggests.

  61. The sports page? Who was the management genius who came up with that idea? Nocera's column on business issues is one of the best in this newspaper.

  62. The management genius was probably Joe!

  63. The NY Times Opinion page is seriously diminished by this reassignment.

  64. Sorry to hear you're leaving for the sports page (which I never read) when you're so valuable here. Won't you reconsider? No? Ah, well. Best of luck, and thanks for all the thoughts.

  65. I will miss reading columns that seem less theoretical and more rooted in reporting.

  66. All the best, Mr. Nocera!

    Like other readers, I'm surprised to hear that you are heading for the Sports section. Your business analysis and writing is outstanding!

    Feel free to color outside the lines every now and again...

  67. Since you are going to cover sports, here are some Yogi quotes that may be apropos to your situation.
    On going to the sport's page:
    " It's pretty far, but it doesn't seem like it."
    On your columns:
    " I never said half the things I said".
    On deciding to go to the sports pages:
    "When you come to the fork in the road, take it."

  68. @ Mark

    It's tough to make predictions, particularly about the future!

  69. Joe, I was really happy to read your last opinion column, not because it is your last, but because each opinion was short, concise and to the point. More opinion columns should be like this. I differ with your infrastructure opinion for schools. Yes, we need safe modern facilities. There is no doubt about that, but state of the art schools do not automatically translate into better education. We have the best facilities here in McCormick, SC, but year after year the results are disappointing. This is not to say that there are no solutions beyond charter schools and infrastructures. If I had a voice that would resonate with decision-makers, I would offer my plan that is centered around parents, welfare, and student accomplishments. It's too involved to include here. Anyway, enjoy your new assignment.

  70. I will miss you Joe! Yours has been a voice of sanity in opining on matters of business and culture. I've learned a tremendous amount of things about industries I never knew much about, and commonsense solutions to the countries biggest problems, such as the ones you've given us today.

    In departing for the sports world (what a natural switch, given it's role in our society, a mirror into the human foibles on the field as opposed to industry), I wish you well and hope to read you there. I'm sure whatever you report on will feature your common sense, readable prose, and mastery of the contradictions between what people say they want, and what they end up doing.

    Good luck!

  71. Thank you for your opinions! The idea of Mayor Bloomburg buying a gun
    company is intriguing and a good idea- maybe he could create change from within.
    Building fancy new schools is not. Too often superintendents start demanding new schools probably more as a lasting memorial to their tenure in a job than for any other reason. In the fancy new schools, you can expect state-of-the-art sports facilities but the elimination of music programs, experienced teachers let go for cheaper new hires because of the need to save money somewhere.
    Your advocacy of e-cigarettes is also baffling. An article in this very paper months ago reported on the flagrant lack of regulation of their manufacture in China - a young man we know almost lost his life (he spent weeks in a ward for serious burn victims) when one exploded in his small apartment, causing a fire.
    But I've enjoyed your columns even if I disagree with some of them.

  72. I will miss your thoughtful columns, as I still miss your daily gun report, depressing as it was. I hope that you will occasionally have columns.

  73. Comment Part Two (Sorry, computer glitch sandbagged me!):
    As for smoking, at age 22 I went from 3 packs a day to zero and haven't looked back since. Why people can't just look at the facts and make a determination that as satisfying as smoking is, it'll probably kill me is a mystery to me but "addiction" is something to which I am not prone.
    Sorry for the two part comments (I'm surprised Part One made it in!) but now, I'm done and, apparently, will be looking for a new lap top in the near future.
    Good luck to you, Mr. Nocera! You will be missed here in the old opinion pages but am glad you may be found somewhere in the NYT.

  74. great last column. thanks.

  75. Bloomberg should buy a gun company and gun-control proponents should become NRA members to change the organization from within.

  76. Thanks for a great run. See you on the sports page.

  77. Sorry to see that Joe Nocera is leaving the Opinions section, where he has been a remarkable voice of reason on a wide variety of subjects with an unusual talent for analysis, particularly on business matters. His columns about education and gun control demonstrated a social conscience not usually found in someone so conversant with the intricacies of Wall Street and international trade.

    Nocera will be a good addition to the NYT sports pages, which I’ll begin reading online instead of in the print version.

    Joe Nocera’s thought about term limits for Supreme Court justices is great. Weekend voting is a must, and ought to be a two-day event in even-numbered years. Objections by religious fundamentalists is easily solved by pre-voting ‘absentee’ ballots. I look forward to investing in a secondary offering of the not-yet-formed Bloomberg Gun Company.

    Hopefully, The New York Times will permit an occasional Op-Ed piece on national politics in the Opinions section by sportswriter, Joe Nocera.

  78. Oh Joe, say it ain't so!

    If we needed more proof of your value as an op-ed communist, today's column provides it.

    I truly hope Michael Bloomberg takes your suggestion, and I am tickled to see in your column an idea about public schools I've had for a few years. In fact, every one of the points you make has merit, which is hardly a surprise.

    I've appreciated your point of view and will miss you on this page.

  79. Say it ain't so, Joe!

  80. Bloomberg Guns wouldn't need to make the smart gun for it already exists. Gun retailers that would stock the gun is the key. Bloomberg would need to focus on the retail end and there's the rub.

  81. Joe Nocera's columns have always been the best reasoned articles I've read in the Times or any other publication. His thoughtful opinions on the NCAA, Wall Street, gun violence, and education were packed with food for thought and backed up with facts. I will miss him greatly!

  82. All good points Joe and all the more reason you'll be wasted on the sports page.

    Hopefully you'll be doing what you enjoy.

    Good luck!

  83. Sad to see you go, Mr. Nocera. Oh, and I agree with all your opinions!

  84. It's been great reading you here. Love the idea of Bloomberg buying a gun company!

  85. It's a shame, Joe, that you saved up all your best ideas for your last column. Don't wait until your farewell from the sports pages to take on the designated hitter.

  86. I am very sorry to see you leave this page. While I'd love to see you write about football, the only sport I care about, you're contributions here have been greatly appreciated, at least by me, and I am really going to miss you. Your last hurrah today is on issues I care a lot about. Good luck on the sports pages. I beg of you to not be as hard on the Jets and the Mets as you have been on tobacco and guns. Please? Again, I'll miss you here.

  87. Mr Nocera you write well and your opinions will be missed. Hopefully your new assignment will bring you challenge and fulfillment.

  88. Some years ago the Met put on the Houston Grand Opera production of "Porgy and Bess." It was a success on all levels--far more than today's stripped-down Met productions.

  89. Please continue needling the NCAA in your new position. Your move to the sports section may make me open it for the first time!

  90. Joe,

    I don't often agree with your positions but always find them well presented and relevant. In any case they make me think and you will be missed here for your passion and insight.

    Good luck in your new endeavor, I'll see you in Sports!

    Best regards,


  91. Joe, I'm sure I'll be reading you in the Sports section as well.

    I agree with a few others here that your fracking take was dud. But you are the first person I read to challenge the NCAA, which opened my eyes to their fiefdom.

    I believe your most valuable contribution to these pages, and I'm guessing what probably took the greatest toll on you, was the tallying up of the week's gun deaths. So many, and it just never ends. I hope your preaching on that went beyond the choir faithful, and thank you for trying to move the ball forward in some way.

    Good luck in your virtual move.

  92. Thank you Mr. Nocera. Some good opinions in here for sure. Your idea of Michael Bloomberg buying a gun manufacturer could completely upend the arms-manufacturing industry by forcing them to compete for safer guns. It would likely take a while for it to catch on. Likely the NRA would lead a campaign against Bloomberg which would kill sales initially. However, once people have given smart-guns a chance, they could likely make the switch. As I recall, the NRA led such a campaign against safety switches on guns before it was eventually mandated, after it had begun to proliferate of course.

    As for infrastructure, we all now how badly investment is needed. A majority of Americans -Republican, Democrat and Independents alike- believe we need to invest in infrastructure. However, lobbyists don't see it as a priority and so it never gets done. Now, after years of neglect, our Army Corps of Engineers has said we need a $3 Trillion dollar investment in infrastructure just to fix our current roads, bridges and schools. Still, we need many new roads, bridges and schools on top of that. Even as I write this, Republicans want to CUT the gas tax, even though gas is cheaper than it's been in a decade, and even as economists and engineers say we must raise the gas tax to pay for improvements in infrastructure. It's a carnival of ineffectiveness.

  93. Of the handful of columnists that I like to read, Joe Nocera is the one that I agree with least. Even in disagreement, I find his columns fresh, insightful and worthy of respect.

    I'm sorry to see you move, Joe, because it's good for the limit of our ideas to be pushed, and you push ours. I wish you the best of luck.

  94. Say it ain't so, Joe.

  95. Tell us it aint so Joe! The straight talk, the ideas and the balance. No trimming for a vested cause! Just Joe and our good fortune.

  96. Joe, I'm going to miss your advocacy that's always based on cold, hard facts. Still, I urge that you continue to, from time to time, produce your gun deaths roster - even more prominently so - which presents an irrefutable log of the toll of lax guns laws on our nation and shows how un-pro-life we really are. There's momentum building in the right direction now, just as with gay rights, as people become weary of the mayhem and madness. Please continue to be a part of it.

  97. Push to repeal the 2005 law providing gun manufacturers with immunity. That will save countless lives because gun manufacturers will have to start implementing safety devices that work.

  98. Wonderful column, too bad you are leaving.

    The Bloomberg gun company is something I never thought of and it is a stroke of genius. He might well do it!

    As for term limits for Supreme Court justices, I fear you stole that idea from me (smile).

    But I still worry about presidents having so much power over the make up of the Supreme Court. Given that many of our controversial decisions have been 5-4, the power to name two justices would mean the power to decide what the Supreme Court decides. We would have a new constitution every few years!

    But, you might say, "Isn't that what we have already?" Good point.

  99. Particularly love the Bloomberg idea. Would love to hear what he thinks of this. And, being the owner of at least a dozen recordings of 'Porgy...', I just might drive down to NYC if this ever happens. What an event that would be!

  100. Gee----I am going to miss you. Always thoughtful columns that actually made me re-think some of my opinions. That is the mark of a great columnist.

  101. I strongly suspect that Joe Nocera will, in his own way, rival Red Smith as one of the very best writers on American sport.

  102. We will miss your incisive and to- the- point critical words 're' human endeavors, our silliness in searching for values where none exists, our inability to get rid, however briefly, of our ego, and transcend beyond our own narrow interests. And yet, you won't be gone, as we know that Sports, supposed to build character while entertaining, is plagued by all the corruptible sources we find in other avenues, the temporary fame that money and power gives us. Best of luck with your 'exclusive' attention to 'sports politics' and thanks for your soul-searching reporting.

  103. The Sports Page? Your column will be sorely missed.

  104. Say it ain't so, Joe. I have enjoyed reading your column and always found your opinions thoughtful and a pleasure to read. Whether I agree with a columnist or not, the only requirement I have is that the column makes me think, educates me, or tests my preconceived notions on issues. You have done all three. Thank you for your column and your opinion.

  105. Good luck, Joe, as a sports columnist. I'm sure you will do it well.

    As for fixing our political culture, tinkering with Supreme Court terms won't do it. We need to fix the root problem, the system of legalized bribery in Washington. It starts by undoing Citizens United, but that's just the beginning. Campaigns must be publicly funded, which would prevent big-money interests from buying elections. Lobbyists would have to find another form of work, maybe an honest one this time.

  106. I don't want you to go!

  107. Joe, you have opened my eyes on many a morning as I sip my coffee. I will miss you. Your positions are well thought out and reasonable; a rare commodity in today's media.

    The good news is you will still be able to keep a watchful eye on the NCAA! ;-)

    Best of Luck and we'll be looking for you on the other side.

  108. We will follow you to the Sports section but will miss you especially on Saturday mornings in the Op-Ed area.Thank You for all the light you have shined on important matters.

  109. Bloomberg is not anti-gun, far from it. He is just opposed to anyone but him having guns. He has armed guards all around him to protect himself and his family. He got special permission for his guards to take submachine guns to the Bahamas. He is so privileged he as a military arsenal and a private army of thugs to shoot his guns for him.

  110. Sorry to see you go. You will be missed!

  111. Joe, you seldom wasted words nor promoted lofty but ridiculously unobtainable goals. We wil miss such straight talk common sense in the Opinion pages.

  112. I've disagreed with Nocera (vehemently) more times than I've agreed, but he's the one Times columnist who hasn't completely towed the Liberal line. His opinions on E-Cigs, the NCAA, the BP legal fallout spoke to the Libertarian in me. One of the few I'll miss...

  113. Joe, say it ain't true!
    I've enjoyed your columns from their inception. Your clarity of expression and solid writing should be a lesson for budding columnists at all levels.
    Best wishes as you take the next path in your life. Enjoy the adventure.

  114. Your writing is always excellent. I will miss you and I'm sure the NYT will too. I am only interested in politics, not sports.

  115. Your ideas are all great! I especially think the idea about Bloomberg buying a gun manufacturer and having the goal of state of the art schools for all public school students by 2025 are brilliant. I hope Bill Gates and George Soros are reading this.
    We will miss your presence on the Opinion Pages. Thanks for your work over the years.
    Chris Larsen

  116. Vote by mail. Oregon does it. Why drive to the polls?

    Cheap. Efficient. It works for them.

  117. "Why don’t they spend their money on [school] infrastructure instead [of charter schools]?"

    Because the founding idea of charter schools - competition to state monopoly schools - wouild be defeated. And if you think charter schools don't work you need to expand your sources of information.

  118. You have been great!
    And great for all thinking people, no matter of what stripe.
    Best of luck in your future endeavor!
    You will be missed!

  119. Unfortunately, I don't read the sports page. I will miss reading your work.

  120. I too will miss your voice on the editorial page but, if you must go, I'm glad it's to the sports page. We spend a fortune on sports and devote a lot of our time paying attention to our favorite teams and players. We need you keep an eye on the NCAA, FIFA, sports betting, rogue athletes, rogue sports programs and whatever new issues develop. Best of luck.

  121. Good work, Joe. Your column has been unpredictable and thought provoking.

  122. Who moved the man from intelligent discussion to "sports?" Local and metropolitan team sports are part of the virus that is destroying America--it has become more important to win than to find common ground.

  123. I'll miss your Opinion pieces, Mr. Nocera.

  124. Say it ain;t so Joe! Loved your insights on these pages.

  125. Good ideas on the Supreme Court and school infrastructure. and I totally agree about 'Porgy and Bess'.

    While I didn't always agree with your columns, I found them better reasoned and less openly hostile to opposing opinions than most of the others appearing on this page.

    Finally, I just finished 'All The Devils are Here' that you co-wrote with Bethany McLean. Enjoyed getting a clearer picture of the causes of the housing crash. I did think the conclusions let the rating agencies off too easily though.

  126. As I've gotten older, I've become less and less interested in sports in general and sports writing in particular because of the endless repetition and hype. Perhaps Joe will get me reading the sports pages again.

  127. Why not organize a large group of gun control advocates to form and fund a partnership which would purchase a gun manufacturer? Stopping the absolute madness of the NRA can only be done from inside the industry because every attempt to impose restrictions on gun ownership is met with the lie that liberals want to take away guns.

  128. If it's your personal decision to go to the sports page, fine. Good luck. I will miss you. I never read the sports page; the few times I get any sports information at all is when you write about sports in your column.

    If you are going because of a management decision, I think it's a bad decision. Like John, I would rather you focus on business. Your business columns (and books) are outstanding.

  129. When I lived a year as an ex-pat in Australia, I was surprised to learn that voting ~IS~ required there. If you didn't show up to the polls, you were hit with an approximately US$200 fine. People were planning months ahead how to arrange their lives to vote on the given day. Here, now that there are so many options for absentee and early voting (at least here in Ohio), I don't see a reason to change from Tuesdays or to make it a national holiday

  130. The bad news is that business reporting will take a serious hit. The good news is that more people (than ever) will read the sports stuff) and you will find things there that are important to society (concussios, are college athletes employees, etc). Go for it...

  131. Joe, I've been reading your excellent writing since your days at Fortune. I hope you enjoy your new stint at Sports, but your intelligent writing about business will be sorely missed.

  132. Say it ain't so, Joe! A rational opinion from you every so often has kept me going!

  133. I've really enjoyed reading your columns. Here's a "con" about schools. I reflexively reach to cover my wallet when there's talk about "state-of-the-art" anything. What's wrong with "pretty good?"

  134. I too will miss your comments on financial markets and gun control. But in your new post, Joe, "give the NCAA hell".

  135. I have missed you in the sports pages for these many years. You were the main reason I read that section, even when I was in my 30's. (Now 79)

    I look forward to your excellent writing there. (Sports, for some reason, seems to have the best writers in any newspaper.)

    I have enjoyed you opinion pieces, but I shall be very happy to see you again in the sports.

    Best Regards,


  136. First we lost Keith Olbermann to sports and now you. So sorry to see this happen... again.

  137. Comparing Joe Nocera to that posturing fool Keith Olbermann does him a great disservice. Agree with him or not, Joe always has something worthwhile to say. Olbermann...rarely, if ever!

  138. One of the Times best columnists is leaving op-ed to do... sports... Really? Migawd! Bread and circuses, bread and circuses. What a time we live in...

  139. Mr. Nocera: thanks for the wonderful ride. Looking forward to more of your "unvarnished" thoughts on the NCAA, "student-athletes", publicly-financed sports stadiums, and the rest. And perhaps you can explain why the New England Patriots have become more despised than the Oakland Raiders of old?