And That’s My Opinion!

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

Comments: 136

  1. Will your replacement be able to spell b-u-s-i-n-e-s-s and discuss their issues?

  2. Porgy and Bess? The music yes...the storyline..no way. Poor black people singing and dancing while the heroine is a walking stereotype.

  3. Yes, that he should call this "the greatest American opera ever written" says everything about his sophistication or lack thereof. Joe, you never heard Four Saints in Three Acts, Einstein on the Beach, Atlas, or Nixon in China? Never heard The Ghosts of Versailles?

    And the incessant ranting about how nicotine is harmless. Look at the medical literature! Why do other readers think he is such a great researcher?

    I think the space he occupied can be put to much better use!

  4. As a fellow Classical High School alum, I always read your columns and books with great interest and usually am in agreement. No more so than now in your last Op-Ed column. Your parting suggestions are right on point, especially about voting on a day or days other than Tuesday. I look forward to reading your insightful views on the world of sports.

  5. I will miss your smart take on business. But I guess we'll get to read your take on the business of sport soon. That's certainly under reported territory. I hope this doesn't mean the Times is abandoning a column that provides an ethical, holistic perspective on the business of business.

  6. Sports? You belong back on the Business pages! That was you at your best!

  7. Although I have great respect for Mr. Ornstein (his book "The Broken Branch" is a must read for anyone interested in post-1950's politics), I don't agree with his idea to limit Supreme Court justices to a single 18 year term since it will not fix the highly partisan and protracted process we currently have for selecting and confirming justices. Instead, I'd like to suggest the following: whenever their is a Supreme Court vacancy, the two major parties can each nominate one candidate; the resume for each candidate (limited to 500 words) along with an at most 2000 word description of their judicial philosophy prepared by the American Bar Association would be published; no other information or elucidation (including endorsements or advertising) would be allowed; 45 days after this information is posted a national election would be held (one person one vote) and the candidate obtaining the most votes would be the next justice. Recall that the Constitution starts with the words "We the People."

  8. I can't believe this. You are going to do Sports? Your commentary provided me with a great deal of information and an intelligent view of complex problems--many which I hadn't considered. Miss you? You bet I'll miss you because I don't read Sports.

  9. The NYT has a sports page? This is news to me.

  10. Appointing Supreme Court justices for a term of years is a great suggestion. We obviously need some new blood there. An even better suggestion would be term limits for members of Congress but that won't happen since politicians are not about to vote themselves out of a job. Stuff like this is the reason I am not a big fan of the Constitution.

  11. I never read you will be missed.

  12. I believe that the two first issues--about Bloomberg buying a gun manufacturer and upgrading the schools that we have, rather than creating a new concept--and very interesting.

    The school issue makes sense in that establishing some schools with unique themes caters to various individual groups of students. Most students, especially through, let's say, have no idea as to what turns their career might take. Or where the jobs will be.

    The Bloomberg Guns issue could prove quite multifaceted: partially defunding the NRA; gunwales might sway toward educated people buying guns fro Bloomberg and they would ask for background checks and get training; smart guns; etc.

  13. Thanks for all you've shared. Hope you will offer your usual provocations in an occasional guest column in the opinions section, as I'm sure will will in sports.

  14. Excellent piece. Perhaps the Times might set aside space for a regular compendium single paragraph descriptions of interesting ideas. They'd make excellent food for thought.

  15. Say it ain't so, Joe. Your talents are best used in the realm of big ideas.

  16. You're moving to the Sports Page?

    Roger Goodell and the NCAA are having a fit, but Wall Street is throwing a champagne party!

  17. Say it ain't so! Your column is my favorite to make sense of things going on in business. Your column on Chevron and attorney Donzinger inspired me to read two books about that fascinating case study of a lawyer who is obsessed, takes on corporate America and cheats, demeaning himself, injuring his clients and wrecking his case. I can get this sort of information nowhere else. Good luck on the sports page. You will be missed.

  18. No no no on e cigarettes. They bother me just as much as non-e cigarettes. I just don't want to be around them.

  19. Sorry to see you go, but at least I'll have an excuse to read the sports pages now. Don't give up on the NCAA story. Everyone - especially kids - need a champion.

  20. Good riddance. Take your pro oil and gas industry opinions with you.

  21. Congratulations on your achievements and contributions in the opinion pages. I particularly appreciated your stance on gun issues and violence.

  22. You will be missed Joe Nocera. Your opinion pieces are the ones I often read happily. I think these ideas are very creative - Bloomberg owning a gun company - brilliant! And school infrastructure! What a wonderful idea. Especially in New York City. My son attended NY Public Schools as did I (long ago) and the lack of supplies was appalling. His middle school did not have an outdoor play area and shared the gym with two other schools in the same decrepit building. And this was one of the "better" schools in Manhattan. It was not just obvious to me but to the students themselves who found it demoralizing. I'm not a fan of Charters although I understand their appeal. But investing in more and better public schools would make a huge difference in this city. I would love love love to see Porgy and Bess at the Met so thanks for suggesting.
    Best of luck in your new endeavor. I hope it's at least as much fun as Opinions.

  23. Joe,
    Please look into the American sports addiction culture that harms educational outcomes for our students. American schools have sports imbedded in them while those countries crushing us in comparative testing don't. American students never witness academic competitions like National Science Bowl in Washington DC or the International ENVIROTHON this year in Ontario or any of the International Science Olympiads because the press is a no show every year - yet our students daily hear the morning announcements honoring the previous nights winning sports team exploits, read the papers that all have a daily sports section, go to most any chain restaurant and there is likely to be sports on the tube, etc. In all this - do you think our students perceive that America values athletic achievement over academic? Highlight the fact that here in CT a student athlete only needs to maintain 4 D's and an F to remain academically eligible to continue playing their sport. Does anyone think that the athletes are getting any kind of a successful education that could actually benefit them when sports ends at high school? How about the fact that my science class students are expected to wear safety goggles when they use meter sticks - yet the football players go out there and get concussed, wrecked knees and so much more? Is using a meter stick more dangerous than two high school players running into each other at top speed?

  24. Your column was great, taking insightful, non-doctrinaire positions on everything from asbestos to guns to taxes. You will be missed. Thanks for all you did.

  25. I have enjoyed your wise and thoughtful columns for years, Mr. Nocera. God speed and good luck in your new challenges.

  26. Seriously sorry to see you go to the sports page. The only sports writer I ever read regularly was Bill Lyon of the Philadelphia Inquirer, and that's because he was as much poet as reporter. Maybe I will make an exception for Mr. Nocera, too. We will see.

    As for the Bloomberg-owned gun company -- brilliant! What a great idea. Would love to see what happened if he did that.

    Best of luck in your new position.

  27. Good luck and we will miss you because you had a different take than some other Op-Ed columnists.. I think that your sports orientation was a factor in seeing the world in a different way. Most women do not understand how important sports are to men and fail to appreciate how they entwine sports metaphors into everything they say. It's just another way to view life.

  28. A lot of men don't understand the total obsession with sports, either, myself included. However, one root of that lasting interest is that sports are the way men can appeal to women by showing what they can do in difficult situations. This motivation can be buried in many other considerations, but it persists. That big time sports now comes with piles of money completes the picture of the sex appeal of athletic competition.

    As for my long ago colleague Joe Nocera, his columns have been filled with righteous indignation over the abuses of college sports. This is one of the most important things a columnist, even a reporter, can do: find something obviously wrong in the world and let people know about it.

  29. I have always found your opinions to be well researched, provocative, and well worth reading. Your valuable work will be missed.

  30. I agree with Robin.

  31. Norman Ornstein is not the only one calling for limited terms for Supreme Court justices. I have written about this numerous times, but my motivation in doing so is different. A lifetime term is too much, it places too much power in a single individual and implies that the person is somehow god like, a fount of endless wisdom and guidance. Fooey. Just putting on the black robe and sitting three feet above the court bends a person's mind. Being there for as long as you wanna be warps it completely.

    There's another reason. Lifetime appointments are an insult to democracy. We could take that insult if we concluded that we really were getting better, more sound judgements. We aren't. It is clear that the Justices rule based on their deep personal biases, just like the rest of we human beings. Changing the guard would swing issues seasonally (just like Congress), but it would give us a window to see that decisions are inherently, inescapably political, not drawn from a deep well of endless wisdom.

    Here's the personal part. While I have attended only a very few Supreme Court oral arguments, I had occasion to do some work at a nearby institute oriented toward the high court. The atmosphere in that place was stuffy, one of potentates, of people walled off and isolated from reality because they got good grades in law school. We need to make it clear that however high and mighty a judge might be, in time he or she will have to come down and live among the rest of us, like it or not.

  32. The politics of Supreme Court nominations has been especially rancorous over the past few decades because we are living in an unusual historical period. Neither major party has dominated our politics for the past half-century, unlike earlier times. As a result Presidents have found themselves making nominations to Senates often controlled by the opposing party. Even in those circumstances most appointments are confirmed, but when the open seat can be the deciding vote or move the deciding vote substantially in one direction or the other, politics plays a greater role. Even when Presidents face opposing Senates, their nominees have been confirmed at a 3-1 rate if the partisan balance on the Court is fairly lop-sided. But when the Senate and President are divided, and the seat in question is crucial, Presidents have historically failed to secure confirmation of their nominees about sixty percent of the time.

    http://web.mit.edu/cstewart/www/papers/l&s1.pdf

    I, too, am sad to see you leaving the Editorial pages, Mr. Nocera. While I didn't always agree with your views, you were always articulate and thoughtful.

  33. Good luck

    I cannot let you go without disputing your praise of vaping. If someone wants to take nicotine, I don't care. I wish they wouldn't but it's their choice. However, I shouldn't have to be subjected to the fumes and smoke or Vapor thrown off by their drug deliver device. Let them take a lozenge or a pill. Vaping is fine for the person vaping.....they want the drug they take the risk. I, on the other hand, don't want the drug and shouldn't have to take the risk. The vapor isnt just water and as vaping companies put more and more additives in the vaping products, it will become more and more dangerous.

    Want nicotine, take a pill. Suck on a lollipop with nicotine in it. I don't care but no vaping please.

  34. You miss his point. There is no "praise" for vaping. It is literally a "pick your poison" choice and he is advising the less harmful, in his opinion, option for those already using cigarettes.

  35. Love your work here and your thoughtful opinions.
    Moving to the sports pages. Good grief what a terrible idea.
    We really need more sports news and commentary don't we.

  36. Thanks for incisive, thoughtful reporting on issues we wouldn't otherwise have understood.

  37. Thanks Mr. Nocera. You have been a breath of fresh air and common sense.

  38. Yes, greater funding for public schools would be very beneficial. Currently too much of philanthropic capitalists' money is going to privatizing schools, which is ultimately not a democratic objective - the "reform" movement is largely a scam, aiming at re-segregating schools and breaking the power of unions. But is Bill Gates going to listen to Nocera? I doubt it. What if we take the matter out of the hands of the 0.1%, by increasing the taxes on them and devoting the money to public education? Why should Bill Gates be deciding how the country's young are educated?

  39. Thanks, Joe; while I've both agreed and disagreed with you, you've usually amped-up my critical thinking neuronal circuits. Best idea is weekend voting --- I mean, REALLY, voting and voter turnout is so important? Then how about making it easier!
    And my final note of agreement concerns Porgy and Bess. Those Gershwin songs are simply terrific, and the Met knows it, yet fails to act on it; ridiculous.

  40. Oh Well; I guess I'll have to get more interested in sports now.

    Thank you and Good Luck.

  41. Very sad to see Joe Nocera leaving the op-ed page. He is one of the most original and iconoclastic writers around, and these all would have been great columns, so thanks for sharing!

    In addition to what I assume will be a focus on money in college sports, I hope Joe looks at the need for rules changes to football to avoid life-threatening (or at the very least, career-ending) injuries, and what this might mean for the economics of the game. One suggestion: weight limits for players. Another: Do away with helmets and padding, and simply forbid any head contact. It would turn football into a form of rugby, and it would probably be more entertaining to watch.

  42. The problem with the Op Ed page is that in an electronically delivered world opinion is conflated with "reporting" of the news. The result is opinion pieces+reporters with by lines that are opinion integrated into the news+factual news+third party news (AP) all mixed together into a dynamic publication that uses email, social media, etc as outlets + comment sections which are themselves edited. This results in clear and consistent media bias and a the full loss of any semblance of unbiased media. Finally, first amendment protections have allowed highly biased media sources the ability to foist untruths without any consequences.
    In fact, Joe Nocera is no stranger to this exact phenomena

  43. That's not the paper's problem. That's the fault of the dumb-bell who does the conflating. And the fault of our education system, which has been taken over by people who don't believe that critical thinking skills should be taught in schools.

  44. Nocera will be missed on the op-ed page, at least by this reader. My only solace is my belief and hope that he will continue on the sports beat his longstanding crusade to take the NCAA to task whenever that august body places its own and its institutional "owner's" interests above the interests and needs of college athletes.

  45. The Opinion page is losing an important voice, one that always depended and revealed solid fact-based analyses of issues often obfuscated by prejudice and emotion. Mr. Nocera's ability to take on the cult-like belief in the power of markets so dominant in business (and thus in the politicians bought by businessmen) was due to his years steeped in that culture. He understood it and had the authority to take it on in its own terms, on its own grounds in a way no other Times columnist can today. Given the power of business in our society today, that is a serious void.

  46. Say it aint so, Joe!

    Oh, well, I'll find you on the sports pages, hopefully analyzing and railing against some of the the sports world's hidden -- and not so hidden -- seamier aspects.

    As to this column: the idea that Bloomberg buy a gun company is very interesting. I don't know if it would have a significant effect, but that is precisely what we need in so many areas: a new way to think of solutions to problems, solutions that are not simply and uselessly dependent on demonizing the "opposition."

    As to our schools: what we need is for China to land someone on Mars or, at least, the moon. The last time we really supported education in this country with not only material support but respect was after the Soviet Union launched Sputnik. I had fervently hoped that before it collapsed, it would send someone to Mars to get us moving again on education, to stop living off the fruits of past efforts, to stop eating our seed corn.

  47. Re Public Schools. Not every school needs to be replaced, though many surely do. Instead, schools must become the center of their community. No lock-downs. The playgrounds need to be the best place to hang out on weekends, the soccer fields booked all weekend long. The multi-purpose rooms need to be open to and booked with non-school functions, as well as school activities. Fabulous art and music rooms-- for ALL. Combine that with a long school day-- full of enrichment, not just rote learning. Add on a VERY long school year, brimming with summer fun. Start with the worst schools in the worst cities and make them literal beehives. Stop the sell-out to corporate interests and invite the capitalists into our last (and potentially best) democratic institution-- public education-- as volunteers, reporting to the true experts: teachers.

  48. We will mis your Opinions. Best of luck in your new assignment

  49. The sports page??

  50. I never read the sports section, Joe! I'll miss your take on various subjects in Opinion. That said, is there a way to do your job in sports but make this country understand that our infatuation with contact sports (all organized sports really)is perversely overblown, and some even dangerous for our children, who will become adults with serious, lingering effects?
    Sigh.

  51. Sports is BIG business.
    These corps are ripe for some light being shed on some of their inner workings. Look no farther than the Olympics. Our own baseball, football, basketball owners have not achieved sainthood. Billionaires have a tendency to cross the line.
    That is my opinion.
    Good Luck with your new endeavor.

  52. Don't go.

  53. What great ideas. We need you more now than ever!

  54. Good ideas on guns and schools.

  55. I'll miss you and your pieces, Joe! I love what you have to say and how you say it. It always felt like we were just chatting over a cup of coffee (or Joe!) at the corner diner.

  56. Thanks for the memories.... To read and remember is high praise, perhaps the highest. And having coffee with you every morning for so many years...I guess I'll need to flip over to the sports section? But then, politics and governance are blood sports...so the transition should be easy. Enjoy and Thanks...

  57. Ibid! (Limbaugh stole ditto from me.) Please continue to write about businesses other than sports. I think your Sunday Review piece on risk was phenomenal and your book with Bethany about the 2008 financial meltdown set a standard for fact based explanation. In your new slot, I hope you continue to expose the hypocracy of big-time collegiate athletics.

  58. I'll miss this column

  59. I will miss your columns covering a wide variety of topics. It's a shame if you are limited to sports. We need your ideas about business and other things. Maybe I'll find my way to the sports pages, but I hate to see you exiled there. Good luck in all your future work!

  60. The Met did Porgy and Bess sometime in the mid 80's. I saw it. It was beyond spectacular.

  61. The sports pages are not a relegation Sir. Maybe someone is giving you a wide berth to explain (over and over again) college football and basketball are semi-pro leagues in reality.
    How North Carolina has danced out of being nailed for its pretend courses to being ranked number one in pre-season basketball polls is something to be investigated.

  62. Mr. Nocera, thank you for your contributions to the Op-Ed pages. I don't always agree with you, but the reasoning behind your views have always been worthy of respect.

    And I love the Bloomberg idea in this column. Are you listening, Michael?

  63. I have learned from your columns. I cannot say that about most other tiems political Op Ed Writers who seem to appeal to one or another faction for cheers and boos. Your suggestions in your farewell piece are indicative of solutions and ways to move forward. Thanks and good bye. I have never read an article about sports and at 68 I'm unlikely to follow you. Cheers!

  64. Sad to see you go. I guess op-ed's loss is sports' gain. I'll miss you in these pages but look forward to reading you in the sports pages. Thank you for your rational opinions and thoughts that graced Times' op-ed pages the last few years.

  65. If this means that your lens will be focused on the NCAA, then you have my permission. I have enjoyed the range of issues you've written about.

  66. I am not interested in sports, so I rarely read your sports columns. However, I faithfully read your non-sports columns and found them to be very worthwhile and enjoyable. Like some of the other readers, I am "seriously sorry to see you go to the sports page." Your point of view will be missed.

  67. Joe, You will be greatly missed on this page. I have really enjoyed your columns and the insights you bring to the problems and issues of our day. Good luck in your new role at the Times. I hope you bring the same sensibility to sports that you do to life in general.
    Good Luck!

    RJ

  68. Joe, thanks for your thoughtful and informed columns. You single-handedly brought the issue of college sports and the NCAA to the forefront. Your suggestions in this last OpEd column are all worthy of further investigation. Looking forward to continuing to read your incisive commentary, but now about sports in general.

  69. I have learned from you over the years. Best wishes.

  70. Transferring you to the sports section seems a terrible waste of your exquisite talent and wisdom on many issues critical to the future of our country. After suffering the loss of Bob Herbert, this is another blow to plain old common sense. I will miss truly you!

  71. Sorry to see you go, Joe. Your column filled a unique niche that I imagine won't be filled anytime soon. You covered topics that weren't necessarily trending but almost always of interest. While I enjoy reading other columnists, you provided more water-cooler fodder than any other. Thanks.

  72. Sorry to see you go. I'll have to pay more attention to the Sports section now!

  73. I'm one of the lucky ones, because I'm a sports fan. I've enjoyed and have been informed by Mr. Nocera's columns for a long time now, and while I'm sorry he's leaving the op-ed page I'm delighted that I'll still get to read his thoughts in the sports section. He's had much to offer in that world, too. (Being a disappointed Mets fan, I would like to add: "Wait 'til next year!")

  74. Dear Mr. Nocera:
    How can we consider anything rational when we're riding around in trucks, flying Confederate flags? (Giuck!)
    And, if we're not doing that, we're firing Semi-Automatic weapons at a variety of living creatures, with 4 legs, 2 legs, or wings.
    And, may I suggest that the 2-legged creatures advocating these positions learn to breathe through their noses, or, at least, stop dragging their knuckles?
    Have a good time on the Sports Pages. Are you sure that is a move up?

  75. Don't go!!

    What a great idea about Bloomberg!!

  76. Good luck in your future endeavors!

    I've read many of your columns with interest, and have enjoyed reading them.

    Changing election day from Tuesday to a weekend, when more people are not working, faces the same opposition from the G.O.P. that expanded voting hours, automatic voter registration, and early voting do. That's the Party that doesn't believe in participatory democracy!

  77. Supreme Court term limits

    Better infrastructure for our schools

    Less guns on the streets

    You have my proxy, Mr. Nocera...

  78. I agree completely with the idea that federal judges ((especially Justices) should be subject to term limits. This is so obviously something that should be done that the real question is why hasn't it been done.

  79. Thanks for calling out the NCAA for their complete, utter, and unabashed hypocrisy when it comes to the use and abuse of young men.

    The NCAA is one of the faces of America today, and an accurate one. It condones abuse of athletes and does nothing to encourage the schools to ensure that all DI athletes graduate with real educations. It tolerates a remarkably unequal distribution of the money generated by sport. (Coach millions - Kids zero!) It throws kids on the scrap heap after four years while bringing onboard new red meat every year.

    We see all these same virtues around us in American life today. An inability to legislate a living minimum wage. A smashing of unions everywhere. A continuing "outsourcing" of American jobs to slave wage countries.

    The talk of American "freedoms," particularly as they pertain to gun "rights," is simply a smoke screen for a systemic oligarchic collection of the nation's wealth.

    Plain and simple. Just like a larger version of the NCAA.

  80. Joe, say it ain't so! Opinion Page's loss but Sports Section's gain, see you there.

  81. There's a reason Bloomberg hasn't bought or started his own gun company in efforts to destroy the 2A. He's no fool. He knows no one would buy the lefts idiotic version of a gun or support his anti-freedom agenda. Anti-gunners don't buy guns and pro 2A folks aren't fooled by his nonsense. Who will be his clientele? #AnotherDumbIdea

  82. Everything but the idea that Bloomberg buy a gun company. It's just too messy. It's like taking over a drug cartel in order to create safer heroin, or becoming a pimp to improve the plight of young prostitutes. Smart guns is a good idea but less guns is even better.

  83. Brilliant. Michael Bloomberg should buy a gun company. And then another. And another until we end gun violence.

  84. Like so many other people, I am sorry to see you leave the Op-Ed page. I have enjoyed your writing style and your insightful take on the important things in life. I wish you all the best in your new assignment. But most of all, I wish you didn't have to leave us, your loyal Opinion readers.

  85. Your work on gun violence did not go unnoticed. And yes, term limits, for the love of the wee man we need some common sense.

  86. At least one state does hold its elections on Saturday and that would be Louisiana.

  87. In that you are heading over to the sports page, how about encouraging those capitalistic gladiators to stop taking the Lord's Day "for their pleasure". (See Isaiah 58:13-14).

    Yes, I know, the academic theologians will say I'm wrong on this. I hear you. Love y'all!

    www.ltgof.net

  88. Why not Dowd or Brooks? Does the Public Editor not read the Comments Sections to their columns? They run about 9 to 1 against everything they write.
    Does the Times value the opinions of its most dedicated readers or not?

  89. re coments run 9 to 1 against Dowd and Brooks. Does the Times use them to attract readers, so they can express their negative reactions? I wonder. Especially Brooks--why is he given a Times an PBS/NPR voice to push his pious moral homilies? Most readers seem to think he's a bit ridiculous.

  90. Bloomberg buying a gun company, that’s such a stupid idea I wish it could come true. Someone who never in their life would consider owning a gun could only believe the idea that his buying a gun company and producing “smart guns” would be a winning idea. People who do buy guns recognize this smart gun canard for what it really is which is a solution looking for a problem. On the upside as perceived by the anti-gun crowd this idea if implemented would for sure guaranteed almost immediate bankruptcy for that gun company and really isn’t that what these folks really want.

  91. Thank you, Mr. Nocera, for putting some wonderful ideas into print. Nothing more important that any newspaper or editorial writer can do than make us stop and think about an issue from another perspective.

    Guns, education, the Supreme Court, infrastructure....these really are the important issues facing this country while GOP candidates think "gotcha questions" are the most relevant concern on the planet.

    Again, kudos for making us think about who we are and what we envision (or want to) for the future of our country.

  92. Thank you, Joe, for providing us with many intriguing and provocative columns over the years, including today's. Best wishes in your new assignment.

  93. Good luck with sports, Joe - hopefully you will help your paper recognize all local teams (not just the guys in the Bronx) with equal fervor.

    Outside of the idea for the opera - a great one, too - none of those suggestions has a chance to be realized. The Supreme Court idea makes great sense - who, exactly, can make that happen in a country that cannot agree on the need to sufficiently pay for education, let alone pass a Constitutional amendment.

    Opinions are like bottoms - we each have one, and everyone else's stinks.

    Good luck!

  94. I second every point you made! Certainly those suggestions would make us a better, safer, country, so why not use your op-ed as a template for the future. Pay attention HRC!

  95. Being an out of towner, I rarely read the sports section of the Times. Guess I'll have to look at it a little bit more now.
    As for charter school investor/promoters, I don't trust their motivations are strictly for student improvement. Living in Illinois, the battle here between public and charter schools is mostly about politics. On the Republican side the goal is to eliminate unions and the support they offer Democrats. For elected officials the point is to wash their hands of having to deal directly with providing education, making their jobs easier. There are no clean hands here.

  96. Tuesday voting was meant to avoid the Sunday pulpit influence, not farming practice.

  97. Dear Joe:

    Whose idea was it to switch you to the sports page--yours or your bosses? If it was your idea, then I'm mad at you for depriving us of your incisive and relentless pursuit of the truth. If it was a corporate decision from the New York Times, then shame on the New York Times.

    Either way, the Op-Ed page will never be as interesting without you.

  98. We can't afford to lose op ed columnists like you to the sports page. I'm not happy.

  99. The sports page? More on Division One NCAA football and men's basketball, I hope. You're one of the few (Zirin, Branch) who has it figured out. And writes about it.

  100. Thanks, Joe. I don't always agree with you, which is exactly as it should be. You never disappoint me by pandering to any particular audience or sugar-coating your opinions, just so that I'll keep reading. Good for you. A job well done. Good fortune to you in your new endeavor.

  101. Since I don't give a darn about sports, never watch it, never read about it, I'll miss Mr. Nocera's thoughtful, well argued op-ed columns. I loved his book too -- All the Devils Are Here, with Beth McLean. THE clearest, best-explaining book I've read on causes of the 2008 financial crash.

  102. Mr. Bloomberg- I think that is a fantastic idea, one where your money would get the proverbial and literal bang for the buck. Best idea i have heard in a decade. Thank You

  103. Many thanks, Mr. Nocera, for your incisive, thoughtful, courageous, reasonable and intelligent columns. I will miss them greatly. Not much of a sports fan. But something tells me you will attract me to those pages. GOOD LUCK in your new beat. I know you will do superbly. Many thanks and, again, I'll miss you.

  104. Sorry to see you go. I just hope that you aren't replace by some establishment, pro-One Percent stooge. The way the Times is going lately, I fear that will be the case.

  105. You're leaving the Op-Ed page? Say it ain't so, Joe!

  106. Can we start a "Bring Nocera Back" movement?
    He's been a very strong thinker and his opinions are quite tied to facts, much more so than many other opinion writers.

  107. Thank you for a column that was consistently intelligent and provocative. Best luck in the new assignment.

  108. Sorry to see you go, Joe! Since I have zero interest in sports, I guess I won't be reading you anymore! (I'll give it a try or two!)

  109. Say it ain't so, Joe. I just retired, so I'll have more time to read Op-Ed pieces and now, this. Aime. With regard to your good ideas, I always believed four smart people could figure out all our problems in 20 minutes were it not for politics. To your good ideas, I would add those of Lawrence Lessig: campaign finance reform is the single best idea of them all. Congress is ruining America.

  110. So long, Joe. Always enjoyed your opinion pieces. I'm not a sports fan, but who knows, maybe you'll make a convert as I will have to check your new gig out from time to time.

  111. I will really miss your columns.

  112. Sorry to see you go. Good luck.

  113. I've loved your column and your advocacy for non-ideological, practical solutions to the intractable problems of our society. Sorry to see you go. But usually journalists move from Sports to General subjects. Now you are following Michael Powell going the other way. Sad.

  114. Really disappointed in this assignment change. Nocera's op ed columns are the main reason I subscribe to the NYT. Since I am not interested in the sports pages I will likely cancel my already too expensive daily home delivery. Thanks Joe for all the great work.

  115. I imagine he will be writing more about the business of sports, including the NCAA which likes to pretend it is not a business, rather than the outcomes of sporting events. I would understand that also might not interest you but for better or worse it is an important part of our national culture.

  116. We'll miss Joe's smart and informative pieces, especially those on the business world. Good luck on your new assignment, Joe. Will be reading you soon on the sports page.

  117. We read columns because we care, we listen, and we respect the opinions of the columnists. Although I'm not a frequent flyer on the Op-Ed section, I will miss you. For me the Op-Ed is my go-to NYT Front Page along with the morning coffee. I will lookout for your thoughts elsewhere.

    I just read that the problem with facts is that there are just so many of them. The problem with opinions is the just opposite. Unlike facts, there is not a lot of good opinions out there. I like your thoughts. The issue is there are only very few in society that can walk the talk, who can actually carry out those thoughts into meaningful actions. On a leadership level, there are actually fewer with enough courage, luck, and survival skills to do so. Otherwise, it's just words. This must occurred first on an individual level before it can gather momentum and translate to the entire society, and politics is not enough as a tool to shape public opinion as we have seen during the past decade. Technology has been more conducive to sharing facts, but makes opinions anonymous and reduces it to a popularity contest between a 1-5 stars. Those around me who make opinions (and attitude) of others matter are those that tend to be empathetic and feel the pain of daily living, and refrain from being isolated by listening and relating to others. This would solve the problem with isolation in modernity that it normalizes insanity.

    Thanks Joe!

  118. Good luck to you, I have enjoyed your articles immensely. Thank you

  119. Sports page?! Why?! :(

  120. I hope that Michael Bloomberg reads this column. The idea of actually buying a gun company, or a few of them, never occurred to me as a possibility for a well-heeled advocate for sensible gun control in a nation obsessed with shooting other human beings.

    Perhaps it has never occurred to Mr. Bloomberg either. He wouldn't need to worry about NRA sanction for manufacturing and marketing smart guns, for example, because why should he care what the NRA thinks?

    So, please, Mr. Bloomberg, if you decline to run for the presidency, consider buying up some gun manufacturers. Throw in a few ammo-makers and rogue dealers into the bargain.

    Thank you, Mr. Nocera for your contribution to intelligent dialogue in these pages. I will miss you, just I missed your common sense mentee, Jennifer Mascia, several months ago.

    www.endthemadnessnow.org

  121. Here's a corollary idea: why not subsidize membership to the NRA! Imagine millions of gun control advocates showing up at the national convention?

  122. I have always profited from your pieces and look foward to the new sports rubric. Please continue to go after the NCAA (and Big Time College Sports, Inc in general ) and the NFL, both of which I think should face credible charges of RICO violations.

  123. His new assignment sounds fantastic! Best of luck Joe!

  124. I will miss your column. I do not regularly read the sports column, but now may have to. Great that you will still be around to share some type of an opinion.

  125. Nocera: "I’ve enjoyed writing this column and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it."

    Thanks, Joe Nocera; I have enjoyed reading your columns and have agreed with most of your op-ed columns, including this one.

    Always thought the best writing in the majority of newspapers I read can be found on the sports page. That was also the opinion of a very bright Catholic priest friend of mine, someone who was not a "jock" but enjoyed good writing.

    Best of luck to you in your new venue. Again, thanks for the op-ed columns.

  126. This marks the end of an era. Thank you for shedding light on all of the topics that you have. I have not agreed with you on all of them but your writing has been well thought out and worth reading even (especially) when I haven't agreed with you. Enjoy your new assignment.

  127. Mr. Nocera,
    You have been a voice of reason exploring issues of our day and I am so sorry to see you go! Your opinion columns, and business columns before, have been thought-provoking and unique in perspective - always great to read. Thank you!

  128. will miss you Joe. all the best

  129. “Why don’t they spend their money on infrastructure instead?”- With due respect to Ms McAvoy, this is a terrible idea. Funding should go to more and better trained staff, after school programs, and computers and other resources. A new "state of the art" building is just a feel-good waste of money.

  130. Max, a school that makes the community proud doesn't have to be "state of the art." It has to be in good repair. Everything must work -- or fixed promptly. Floors should be regularly swept. Grounds should be neat and inviting. I don't know what exactly Paula McEvoy means by "infrastructure," but she does refer to the message sent by a "broken-down school." Hence I am concluding that she recognizes the fact that schools must be pleasant places to be.

  131. Whoops. She does talk about state of the art schools -- and new ones. My apologies, Mark.

  132. No one's irreplaceable, but you will be hard to replace. I hope the sports gig doesn't mean an unbalanced focus on the Yankees, Mets, Knicks, Rangers, Giants, and Jets. After all, the NYT is a national paper. I have a feeling you will deal with all of that just fine. Good luck.

  133. Since most politicians treat policy-making as sport, I suspect there will be some intersections there for you to write about.... Best of luck on the new assignment!

  134. Joe, so very grateful for your advocacy about reforming the NCAA. The sheer exploitation of so-called student athletes and big money college sports programs shocks the conscience. Everyone gets paid big bucks except the poor kids that create all the value. How very un-American.

  135. Unamerican? Is this not pretty much the Amazon model? And, how could that be unamerican?