The Way We Live Now

Signs of the Times

04.27.12 5:36 PM ET

In line at a Starbucks in comfortable Northwest Washington, I notice an ad soliciting a $5 donation for some good cause. It's headlined, "You get a wristband, America gets jobs." Is it possible for one sentence to say more about America in the 2010s? I only wish I'd seen it 6 months ago, so I could have used it in my novel.