News Analysis
News Analysis
Nobel Prize-Winning Economist Bashes Status Quo Thinking

Not everyone in the establishment is out to lunch.  The Nobel-winning Michael Spence at my old CFR stomping ground has been thinking about our failures of governance and the costs of backward looking policies.  In words that could have appeared on this blog, he’s written today that the bewildering pace of economic change taking place […]

Tasting the Dregs

The story that the Arab League will support the Palestinian bid for statehood at the UN next fall is not really news.  Real news would mean one of two startling developments: that the Arabs failed to give rhetorical and empty support to the Palestinians, or that they offered them real and meaningful help.Empty rhetorical gestures?  […]

All The Children Are Above Average

If you are a student at an American private college, you are majoring in the humanities and you have a GPA of 3.75 or less, you are so busted.A couple of researchers have looked at grading patterns across the country and have found a few facts that employers and parents all over the United States […]

Can’t Live With Them, Can’t Live Without Them

H.D.S. Greenway has a long and distinguished journalistic career and his NYT op-ed on US-Pakistan relations is nuanced, balanced, sensitive — and misses the main point.Greenway attacks the Obama administration for cutting military aid to Pakistan and tries to explain US-Pakistani relations.  They are angry, he says, because we want a “transactional” relationship and they […]

Reich More Than Half Right

Robert Reich has a smart WSJ piece this morning saying that without job growth, Obama is toast in 2012.  His suggestion: an extended payroll tax holiday for the first $20,000 of income and Depression style job creation programs like the WPA and the CCC.Coulda, woulda, shoulda.  Obama could have done that in 2009, and he […]

Chinese Juggling Act Getting Harder

In my post on global weirding I wrote that as China’s economy and society become more complex, it gets steadily harder for policy makers to balance competing interests and manage the tradeoffs.  This is what I mean: as the WSJ tells us this morning, turning the renminbi into an international reserve currency is much harder […]

Why Nothing Is "Shovel Ready" Anymore

President Obama recently admitted he was surprised to discover that shovel ready didn’t mean shovel ready anymore.He shouldn’t have been: the essence of blue social policy is to make everything complicated and hard.In the Depression, shovel ready still meant something.  No OSHA inspectors, no EPA paperwork: if the government wanted to open a camp and […]

Humanitarian Bombs

Shockingly, the Libyan rebels are not nearly as nice as Human Rights Watch.  Looting, burning, taking revenge — according to the New York Times, Libyan rebels in the western mountains are behaving much like their government opponents.  Maybe NATO should be bombing the rebels to protect pro-government civilians even as it bombs the government to […]

Shingles And The American Health Care Fiasco

Shingles is a serious, often excruciatingly painful disease that people who’ve had chicken pox often (roughly 1 million cases a year) get later in life.  The good news: there’s an effective vaccine that would prevent the disease and save billions.  The bad news: there isn’t enough of it and only 10 percent of the at-risk […]

Marie Antoinette: Alive and Well — And Eating Local Organic Produce in the Hamptons

The spirit of Marie Antoinette is alive and well and supporting local produce in the Hamptons according to this story in the Wall Street Journal.  Dedicated social activists have set up a charmingly twee non-profit to promote the production and consumption of local, organic food in the Hamptons.  No word yet on whether I-banker trophy […]

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