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The Dangerous Delusion of Optimal Global Warming

The United Kingdom is now legally committed to reduce net greenhouse-gas emissions to zero by 2050. Opponents in Parliament argued for more cost-benefit analysis before making such a commitment; and Nobel laureate economist William Nordhaus argues that such analysis shows a much slower optimal pace..

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Don’t Squander the Techno-Revolution Wednesday, July 31st, 2019

Public discussion of the effects of automation and artificial intelligence (AI) often focuses on the productivity benefits for companies and the economy, on the one hand, and on the potential downside for workers, on the other. Yet there is a critical third dimension that should not be overlooked:..

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Economic Growth and the US Presidential Election

Economic growth in the United States was just 2.5% in 2018 and, according to the latest “advance” estimate, may have slowed to only 2.1% in the second quarter of 2019. The economy is growing at roughly the same pace as it did during Barack Obama’s second term as president (GDP growth was 2.5%..

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Populism Takes Asia Tuesday, July 30th, 2019

The rise of populism across the West in recent years has been the subject of countless discussions, and for good reason: populists’ misguided policies often have severely adverse political and economic consequences. Now, those risks are coming to Asia. There is no straightforward definition of..

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Great Countries, Bad Leaders

I first visited the United States in 1965 on a student scholarship funded by a generous Boston philanthropist. Ever since that trip, which took me from New York to California to Alabama and back, I have been a confirmed Americophile. I love the country and have visited it more often than any other..

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Sitting-Duck America

Events of the past few weeks have highlighted the current vulnerability of the United States, not militarily – that is a subject for another day – but in other dangerous ways. Unlike some commentators, I wouldn’t go so far as to say that America’s democracy is on its last legs, but it is..

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Abolish Terrorist Agencies Sunday, July 28th, 2019

Every government on earth, beginning with the United States, should shut down and be done with secret agencies, spy agencies, agencies used for murder, torture, bribery, election-manipulation, and coups. While these agencies prevent the public from knowing what is being done in its name, they do..

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The Victoria Delusion Saturday, July 27th, 2019

Most of the hardcore Brexiteers in the British Parliament are oddballs, but Jacob Rees-Mogg is probably the most eccentric of them all. The son of a journalist, with aristocratic affectations and bespoke (yet still ill-fitting) double-breasted suits, he is a walking caricature of Englishness. While..

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The G-Minus-2 Threat Friday, July 26th, 2019

For an all-too-brief period between the late 1980s and the late 2000s, the world was characterized by convergence, both ideological and economic. The West and the Rest agreed that an open liberal order was the best way to increase prosperity. Now, however, this ideological order threatens to..

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China’s Long View

A couple of months ago, while touring Jiangxi Province, Chinese President Xi Jinping made reference to an old revolutionary milestone. “Now there is a new Long March, and we should make a new start,” he said in response to the mounting economic conflict with the United States. In China,..

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The Crisis of Anglo-American Democracy Thursday, July 25th, 2019

How did the world’s two most venerable and influential democracies – the United Kingdom and the United States – end up with Donald Trump and Boris Johnson at the helm? Trump is not wrong to call Johnson the “Britain Trump” (sic). Nor is this merely a matter of similar personalities or..

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Boris’s Brexit Wednesday, July 24th, 2019

Now that Boris Johnson has achieved his lifetime ambition to become the United Kingdom’s prime minister, the tragicomedy of Brexit is approaching its climax. While the rest of the European Union has viewed this with barely disguised horror, there is good news and bad news in Johnson’s..

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Women on Top in the World’s Democracies

US President Donald Trump’s recent declaration that four Democratic congresswomen of color – Ayanna Pressley, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib – should “go back” to their countries was another reminder of his blatant racism and sexism. (Three of them were born in..

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How Can Developing Countries Pay for the SDGs? Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019

With objectives as far-reaching as ending poverty in all its forms and delivering quality education to all by 2030, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are highly ambitious – much more ambitious than their predecessor, the Millennium Development Goals. Whether or not the world achieves them..

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Can Europe Become a Global Player?

The last five years have not been kind to the European Union’s foreign-policy prospects. A new great-power competition is shunting aside the international rules-based order, and aspects of globalization – from trade to the Internet – are being used to divide rather than unite countries...

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Post-American Networks Monday, July 22nd, 2019

In today’s world, access to global networks is a critical source of power, but the resulting interdependence can also generate vulnerability. The power flows from centrality: being a hub that connects all (or most) other nodes. The threat of denying access to such hubs can be a powerful sanction..

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Brand Trudeau Wins a Second Term Tuesday, October 22nd, 2019

Few politicians come across more as products of hashtag committee management than Justin Trudeau. His image has been doctored, massaged and spruced, and even then, the..

Is Trump Right About Middle-East Peace? Tuesday, October 22nd, 2019

The Battle of the Fading Hegemons Monday, October 21st, 2019

Locking China Out of the Dollar System Monday, October 21st, 2019

Will Trump Be Removed from Office? Sunday, October 20th, 2019