Opinion


Hungary’s Mafia State Fights for Impunity

Hungary has become a post-communist mafia state. It is led not by a party but by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s political-economic clan, which treats society as its private domain while formally maintaining a democratic façade. The Hungarian state’s actions are not impersonal but rather..

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Justice for Journalists

It has been more than eight months since Jamal Khashoggi, a prominent Saudi journalist and critic of his home country’s government who had been living in self-exile, was tortured, killed, and dismembered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. As the Saudis bent over backward to obscure the truth..

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Hold the Brexit Con Artists to Account Monday, June 17th, 2019

In late May, the Westminster Magistrates’ Court decided to hear a complaint brought by activist Marcus Ball, who had accused Boris Johnson, the former UK foreign secretary who is now leading the field to succeed Theresa May as prime minister, of lying during the 2016 Brexit referendum campaign...

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Why So Many Newborns and Mothers Still Die

Wash hands? Check. Monitor heart rate? Check. Prepare essential supplies? Check. These might seem like obvious steps for medical professionals to take while delivering a child. But lapses in care remain one of the leading causes of preventable patient deaths in low- and middle-income countries, and..

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The US Recovery Turns Ten Friday, June 14th, 2019

This month marks the tenth full year of the US economic recovery that began in June 2009. Back then, a “trough” in business activity signified the end of the Great Recession that followed the 2007-08 global financial crisis. The current expansion has continued, uninterrupted, ever since. The..

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The Growing Risk of a 2020 Recession and Crisis

Last summer, my colleague Brunello Rosa and I identified ten potential downside risks that could trigger a US and global recession in 2020. Nine of them are still in play today. Many involve the United States. Trade wars with China and other countries, along with restrictions on migration, foreign..

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Tariff Man’s Bark Is Worse than His Bite Thursday, June 13th, 2019

Late last month, US President Donald Trump threatened to impose tariffs on imports from Mexico in ten days if it did not halt the flow of migrants from Central America. The tariffs would start at 5% and then increase by five percentage points monthly until reaching 25% in October. The announcement..

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Paying for the Welfare State Without Raising Taxes

The current value of the US government’s unfunded pension and Medicare liabilities is $46.7 trillion, or roughly two and a half times US GDP. Other estimates put that figure much higher. In the United Kingdom, a similar calculation by the Adam Smith Institute yields a £1.85 trillion ($2.34..

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How the US Drug War Victimizes Women in Latin America

It has been two years since Cecilia’s son, Carlos, set sail from the coast of Ecuador on an ordinary day’s fishing voyage. She has not heard from him since. At first, she feared that his fishing trawler had sunk or been attacked by pirates. But the fate Carlos turned out to have met was more..

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Africa’s Gig Opportunity Wednesday, June 12th, 2019

The growth of digital platforms in Africa could offer new opportunities to bridge the current gap between often-insecure informal work and formal employment. Portable benefits, which move with a freelance worker from gig to gig, could drive this transition. There are already about 300 active..

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Lessons from India in Digital Disruption Tuesday, June 11th, 2019

Digital technology can rapidly transform how countries provide services such as education and health to their citizens. The public services of the future should be effective, efficient, fair, data-driven, and responsive to individual needs. And the groundwork to turn this vision into reality needs..

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Can Global Rules Prevent National Self-Harm?

US President Donald Trump has used national security as a justification for his tariffs on steel imports, his threatened tariff hikes on autos, and the tariffs he recently vowed to impose on Mexican imports. “If you don’t have steel, you don’t have a country,” he declared (to cite just one..

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Islands of Climate Innovation Monday, June 10th, 2019

To live in a small island state today is to reckon regularly with the cruelest irony of climate change. Islands contribute little to global warming, but they are the first to suffer from its devastating effects and the least equipped to manage them. As carbon dioxide emissions from larger,..

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Europe Must Fix Its Fiscal Rules

Earlier this year, I argued that in countries where interest rates are extremely low and public debt is considered safe by investors – making it less costly from both a fiscal and economic standpoint – larger fiscal deficits may be needed to make up for the limitations of monetary policy. The..

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JOURNALISTS NEED ENTRY BARRIER Sunday, June 9th, 2019

There are two professions all over the world that seem to have no entry barrier. Anyone can get in and get out at any time. One is politics ( Yes, people from all sorts of background with or without formal education enter politics at various levels these days to get powerful positions and make..

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Europe’s Silent Majority Speaks Out Friday, June 7th, 2019

Last month’s elections to the European Parliament produced better results than one could have expected, and for a simple reason: the silent pro-European majority has spoken. What they said is that they want to preserve the values on which the European Union was founded, but that they also want..

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