As I've said before, my home away from home is Panera Bread. It has a fireplace with real gas logs, couches, and a leisurely and rather personal environment. It's a lot like Cheers, but with beer replaced by coffee. So it's not a place to escape from the wife and kids; they're as welcome as anyone. It's is a place to bring your laptop or tablet or whatever and do your work, blurring, as so much of life does these days for we who do "intellectual labor,", the distinction between leisure or play and being productive. Cheers, of course, was a joyful respite from your job, and even Frasier couldn't take his "scholarly productivity" seriously with a buzz on.
Ross Douthat has written on the revival of Marxism as a seductive theory in the wake of burgeoning economic inequality and the withering away of the middle class. He might have said that the futurist most attuned to both those trends is the savvy libertarian economist Tyler Cowen in his Average Is Over.
Peter Lawler is Dana Professor of Government and former chair of the department of Government and International Studies at Berry College. He serves as executive editor of the journal Perspectives on Political Science, and has been chair of the politics and literature section of the American Political Science Association. He also served on the editorial board of the new bilingual critical edition of Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America, and serves on the editorial boards of several journals. He has written or edited fifteen books and over 200 articles and chapters in a wide variety of venues. He was the 2007 winner of the Weaver Prize in Scholarly Letters.\r\n\r\nLawler served on President Bush's Council on Bioethics from 2004 – 09. His most recent book, Modern and American Dignity, is available from ISI Books.\r\n\r\nFollow him on Twitter @peteralawler.