Mainstream U.S. economists have criticized Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’s proposals as unworkable, but these economists betray the status quo bias of their economic models and professional experience. It’s been decades since the United States had a progressive economic strategy, and mainstream economists have forgotten what one can deliver. In fact, Sanders’s recipes are supported [...]

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May 13th, 2016

The age of impunity

THE PANAMA PAPERS opened yet another window on the global system of financial corruption, showing how political leaders and businesses use shell companies in secrecy havens like the British Virgin Islands and many US states to evade taxes and hide corruption and other crimes. Yet the system of corruption depends on another factor beyond secrecy, one that [...]

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The fight against corruption entails no small amount of absurdity, since so much of the corruption these days occurs in broad daylight. The corruption is so blatant, so indefensible, that attempts at justification are necessarily surreal. Recently, 300 economists, including me, made the point thanks to Oxfam’s mobilization. Prime Minister David Cameron’s job at Thursday’s Anti-Corruption [...]

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US foreign policy is a danger to the United States and to the world and has been for some time. As president Dwight Eisenhower famously foretold in his farewell address of January 1961, the Military-Industrial Complex (MIC) now transcends political parties and administrations, keeping the country embroiled in perpetual wars. These military adventures, especially the covert operations led [...]

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In its obituary coverage of Jesuit anti-war activist Father Daniel Berrigan, the New York Times recalled its story of Berrigan’s 80th birthday in 2001, entitled “A Jesuit Lion of Protest Turns 80, Unrepentant.” Why, the newspaper implied, had Berrigan not yet repented for his deeds, even at age 80? The implicit question was and is absurd. Berrigan’s [...]

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NEW YORK – The diplomats have done their job, concluding the Paris climate agreement in December. And political leaders gathered last week at the United Nations to sign the new accord. But implementation is surely the tough part. Governments need a new approach to an issue that is highly complex, long term, and global in scale. Read [...]

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March 22nd, 2016

America Returns to Cuba

BEIJING – Barack Obama’s visit to Cuba is the first by a US president since Calvin Coolidge went in 1928. American investors, expat Cubans, tourists, scholars, and scam artists will follow in Obama’s wake. Normalization of the bilateral relationship will pose opportunities and perils for Cuba, and a giant test of maturity for the United [...]

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In Europe and the United States, Immigration is the number one political issue. Passions are high, dangerously so. The stakes are high as well. Migrants are risking their lives, and dying, to escape from violence, poverty, and joblessness. How can we reconcile the flood of migrants and the stiff backlash in the receiving societies? Read [...]

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Tuesday night’s surprise result in Michigan showed that Americans are fed up with the status quo. While Hillary Clinton is offering little more than business as usual, voters in the state’s Democratic primary ultimately backed Bernie Sanders’ calls for much-needed public investments, lower health care costs and worker empowerment. Indeed, Tuesday night’s results, coupled with [...]

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