Opinion


How to Rebuild America’s Economic Foundations

The modern American economy was shaped by four major infrastructure initiatives, each of which was too big for the private sector to take on alone: the continent-wide railroad network, the interstate highways, the air traffic control system, and the Internet. Early development of all of them was..

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The Value of Fake News Tuesday, April 30th, 2019

On a trip to Ethiopia in the 1990s, I met with Prime Minister Meles Zenawi to try to persuade him to stop jailing journalists. Since Zenawi’s guerillas had ousted a repressive Soviet-backed dictatorship a few years before, there had been an explosion of exuberant and sometimes wildly inaccurate..

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The Return of Violent Identity Politics

I first visited Sri Lanka as Britain’s development minister in the 1980s, during the early stages of the vicious war between guerrilla fighters – the so-called Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) – and Sri Lanka’s armed forces. This bloody ethnic conflict, pitting the largely Hindu..

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Can the Sahel’s Coming Crisis Be Averted? Monday, April 29th, 2019

Some crises take us by surprise. They seem to come out of nowhere, suddenly creating upheaval and a desperate scramble to respond. Other crises are manifest, but there is no single point of eruption. The factors that fuel them intensify until the moment comes when we realize – too late – the..

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My Best Growth Forecast Ever

America’s real GDP growth rate of 3.2% for the first quarter of this year is impressive, as was the 3% average growth in 2018 (measured from the fourth quarter of 2017 to the fourth quarter of 2018). Since the end of the Great Recession – from 2011 to 2017 – the US economy grew by only 2.1%..

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Can Capitalism Beat Climate Change? Saturday, April 27th, 2019

Easter visitors to London have found some streets and buildings occupied by “Extinction Rebellion” activists, warning of climate catastrophe and rejecting “a failed capitalist system.” Followers of central bank thinking have seen the governors of the Bank of England and Banque de France..

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The Road to War with China Friday, April 26th, 2019

Over the past two years, American foreign-policy elites have increasingly cast China not only as a competitor to the United States, but as an enemy on a par with the Soviet Union. Although anti-Chinese rhetoric in the US is not new, President Donald Trump’s administration has greatly sharpened..

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The Pre-History of Post-Truth

Since the United Kingdom’s Brexit referendum and the election of US President Donald Trump in 2016, the conventional wisdom has held that we are now in a “post-truth” or “post-factual” age. Yet, while such terms may help to give us a sense of certainty in a politically unpredictable era,..

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How to Regulate Big Tech Thursday, April 25th, 2019

Two years ago, it seemed clear to me that a combination of factors would lead to increased calls to regulate technology companies, especially Big Tech giants Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google. When that happens, I argued at the time, regulatory policy would have to strike a sensible balance..

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Asia Is the New Ground Zero for Islamist Terror

The Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka rank among the deadliest terrorist attacks in modern history, and underscore the metastasizing scourge of Islamist violence in Asia. Radical Islamic groups, some affiliated with larger extremist networks, have been quietly gaining influence in an arc of..

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Continued Detentions: The Intended Role for Chelsea Manning Wednesday, April 24th, 2019

The noose is tightening around the WikiLeaks world, yet another dedicated attempt to strangle the channels of information that might cast light over the dastardly deeds of state. Connections are being targeted; associates are being brought in. Officials of the United States, having found heart in..

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Why Do Americans Pay More for Drugs?

It seems puzzling at first: prescription drug prices in the United States continue to rise at an alarming rate, despite the threat (or promise) of competition from cheaper generic substitutes. But there really is no mystery. Pharmaceutical companies pay players throughout the health-care system to..

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The Arab Spring’s Second Chance

Mass protests in Algeria and Sudan have recently removed two aging autocrats, ending 20 and 30 years, respectively, of absolutist rule. In both countries, the insurgents are now locked in negotiations with the army, the de facto managers of a transition to a new political order. The outcome of..

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Lethal Bungling: Sri Lanka’s Easter Bombings Tuesday, April 23rd, 2019

The number of dead is bound to rise, already standing at more than three hundred. The bombs, worn by seven suicide bombers, struck at three churches during the period of Easter Sunday worship, and three hotels. As the dead were counted and the wounded accounted for, the situation through the glass..

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Bipolar Markets in the “New Mediocre” Monday, April 22nd, 2019

Financial markets tend to undergo manic-depressive cycles, and this has been especially true in recent years. During risk-ons, investors – driven by “animal spirits” – produce bull markets, frothiness, and sometimes outright bubbles; eventually, however, they overreact to some negative..

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Tackling The Kalapani Dispute Saturday, November 16th, 2019

The publication by India of its new political map consequent upon the change in the autonomy status of Kashmir has sent ripples across Nepal as the map has included the..

Germany Can Reduce Its External Surplus Friday, November 15th, 2019

Abolish the Billionaires? Friday, November 15th, 2019