Economics & Politics

October 12th, 2017

15 questions about tax reform

With President Trump pushing his tax reform proposal in Harrisburg, Pa., on Wednesday, here’s a look at what his plan would do to the economy. Read more in The Boston Globe.

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America today doesn’t just have red (conservative) states and blue (progressive) states, but de facto red countries and blue countries: regions with distinct cultures, heroes, politics, dialects, economies, and ideas of freedom. The recent massacre in Las Vegas suggests that it’s time to let them go their separate ways. Read more at Project Syndicate.

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September 27th, 2017

Trump on the Warpath

The US suffers from an arrogance of military power disconnected from today’s geopolitical realities. The US is on this path again, heading for a collision with a nuclear-armed adversary, and it will remain on it unless other countries, other American leaders, and public opinion block the way. Read more on Project Syndicate.

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At the United Nations, President Trump’s chief economic adviser, Gary Cohn, said Monday the U.S. would withdraw from the landmark 2015 Paris climate accord as planned. His comments came as U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said climate should be a top priority at this year’s General Assembly. Our guest, economist Jeffrey Sachs, notes that the “agreement is completely symmetrical for all 193 countries,” and also argues that chemical and oil companies should help pay for recovery efforts after extreme weather related to climate change.

Read the full transcript at Democracy Now.

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President Trump’s comments at the United Nations General Assembly urging the withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal sounded familiar to our guest, Jeffrey Sachs. “The last time we had this kind of rhetoric was George W. Bush with the axis of evil,” Sachs said. “It was immediately followed by the Iraq War, which was the most disastrous single step of American military action and ‘diplomacy,’ or anti-diplomacy, in modern times. So this is a setup, again, for war, for conflict. And it is extraordinarily ignorant and dangerous. Iran is in compliance with the agreement that was reached.”

Read the full transcript at Democracy Now.

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On Tuesday, President Trump gave his first address to the United Nations General Assembly, boasting about the size of the U.S. military and threatening to “totally destroy” North Korea. “[N]uclear war is a real threat,” says Jeffrey Sachs, leading economist and director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University. “It’s not some idle imagination right now. You have two leaders—both seem unstable—yelling at each other. Both have nuclear arms.”

Read the full transcript at Democracy Now.

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September 20th, 2017

Trump pushes US closer to war

Donald Trump’s speech to the United Nations on Tuesday moved the world closer to war. The speech was Hitlerian in tone and content, filled with vitriol and grievance. Germany, said Hitler, was stabbed in the back by its own leaders after World War I. The Obama administration, declared Trump, signed an agreement with Iran that [...]

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(CNN) Here is a message to investors in the oil industry, whether pension and insurance funds, university endowments, hedge funds or other asset managers: Your investments are going to sour. The growing devastation caused by climate change, as seen this month in Texas, Florida and the Caribbean, are going to blow a hole in your fossil-fuel [...]

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The federal government provides formal and informal disaster insurance to the states. Formal programs include the National Flood Insurance Program, while informal insurance comes in special recovery grants following major disasters such as Hurricanes Katrina, Sandy, Harvey, and Irma. We urgently need an overhaul of such funding, starting with the recovery in Texas and Florida. [...]

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The Chicago Cubs broke a 108-year drought by winning the World Series last year. American workers are in a 40-year drought, but with the right game plan, they too can start to win. Consider first the sorry facts. The median inflation-adjusted earnings of full-time male workers peaked in 1973. By contrast, the earnings of capital [...]

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