Economics & Politics

November 26th, 2014

Sustainable Development Economics

PARIS – Two schools of thought tend to dominate today’s economic debates. According to free-market economists, governments should cut taxes, reduce regulations, reform labor laws, and then get out of the way to let consumers consume and producers create jobs. According to Keynesian economics, governments should boost total demand through quantitative easing and fiscal stimulus. [...]

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November 24th, 2014

China’s New Global Leadership

NEW YORK – The biggest economic news of the year came almost without notice: China has overtaken the United States as the world’s largest economy, according to the scorekeepers at the International Monetary Fund. And, while China’s geopolitical status is rising rapidly, alongside its economic might, the US continues to squander its global leadership, owing [...]

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Pity the American people for imagining that they have just elected the new Congress. In a formal way, they of course have. The public did vote. But in a substantive way, it’s not true that they have chosen their government. This was the billionaires’ election, billionaires of both parties. And while the Republican and Democratic [...]

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October 24th, 2014

A New Macroeconomic Strategy

I am a macroeconomist, but I dissent from the profession’s two leading camps in the United States: the neo-Keynesians, who focus on boosting aggregate demand, and the supply-siders, who focus on cutting taxes. Both schools have tried and failed to overcome the high-income economies’ persistently weak performance in recent years. It is time for a [...]

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Earth Institute director Jeffrey Sachs and the Quakers’ Michael Shank call on Obama to stop the airstrikes—and stop supporting anti-Assad rebels. Too many times in recent history the United States has responded militarily to provocations and threats in ways that have resulted in spiraling war and violence at great long-term cost to the American people. [...]

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September 16th, 2014

The Price of Scottish Independence

NEW YORK – Though the world’s eyes now are on Scotland’s referendum on independence from the United Kingdom, Scotland is not alone in seeking to redraw national boundaries. There are independence movements in many other parts of the world; indeed, 39 new states have joined the United Nations since 1980. Many more aspirants are waiting [...]

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Tonight President Obama will address the American public and explain his decision to expand the ongoing Middle East war with more US bombings in Iraq and Syria. The decision to expand the US military campaign comes amidst high public emotions stirred by two gruesome beheadings. Yet Obama is leading us into a prolonged trap; the [...]

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It is hard to exaggerate the shamelessness that passes for political behavior these days. Politicians sell out our democracy to the highest bidder, and trade away our public schools, clean air and water, and economic futures. Around the world I’ve seen repeatedly how greed and corruption put societies on the path of self-destruction. Unless we [...]

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September 2nd, 2014

Let the Middle East Govern Itself

NEW YORK – It is time for the United States and other powers to let the Middle East govern itself in line with national sovereignty and the United Nations Charter. As the US contemplates yet another round of military action in Iraq and intervention in Syria, it should recognize two basic truths. First, US interventions, [...]

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