Economics & Politics

THE BREAKTHROUGH AMERICAN infrastructure of the early 19th century was the Erie Canal, which connected the Midwest farm belt with the Port of New York and the eastern seaboard. In the second half of the 19th century, the railroad offered the next infrastructure revolution by connecting the two oceans and the continent in between. In the [...]

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September 19th, 2016

Decoding the federal budget

There is nothing more important for our economic future — or less understood — than the federal budget. It allocates around 20 percent of our national output to such crucial priorities as health, education, science, the environment, and national defense. It determines, to a large extent, the extent of suffering from poverty and even the [...]

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Over the next several weeks, I will explore the economic choices facing the United States and its relations with the rest of the world. The election season obviously makes this timely, yet the real choices facing our country will not be settled in November. The debates will take place over many years. We had best [...]

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August 31st, 2016

America’s True Role in Syria

Syria’s civil war is the most dangerous and destructive crisis on the planet. Since early 2011, hundreds of thousands have died; around ten million Syrians have been displaced; Europe has been convulsed with Islamic State (ISIS) terror and the political fallout of refugees; and the United States and its NATO allies have more than once [...]

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August 1st, 2016

Sputtering US economy

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July 11th, 2016

Why ISIS Persists

Deadly terrorist attacks in Istanbul, Dhaka, and Baghdad demonstrate the murderous reach of the Islamic State (ISIS) in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, and parts of Asia. The longer ISIS maintains its strongholds in Syria and Iraq, the longer its terrorist network will create such carnage. Yet ISIS is not especially difficult to defeat. [...]

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Britain’s vote to leave the European Union raises three huge questions. Why did a majority vote “leave”? What will be the consequences? And, of course, what should be done now? These questions are as pertinent for the United States as they are for the UK and Europe. Read the full article at The Boston Globe.

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June 27th, 2016

The Meaning of Brexit

The Brexit vote was a triple protest: against surging immigration, City of London bankers, and European Union institutions, in that order. It will have major consequences. Donald Trump’s campaign for the US presidency will receive a huge boost, as will other anti-immigrant populist politicians. Moreover, leaving the EU will wound the British economy, and could [...]

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Few if any issues in public policy are as muddled and contentious as international migration. There is no international regime that establishes standards and principles for national migration policies other than in the case of refugees (migrants escaping persecution). My aim here is to describe some economic and ethical principles that may underpin an international [...]

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