There are two opposing narratives of the “robot revolution,” by which I mean the rising productivity and falling costs of smart ICT-enabled systems, including robots, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, remote monitoring and sensing, and other ICT-based systems.  In the positive narrative, highly productive robots do the work of humans, thereby raising output, productivity, [...]

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In 2015, around 5.9 million children under the age of five, almost all in developing countries, died from easily preventable or treatable causes. And up to 200 million young children and adolescents do not attend primary or secondary school, owing to poverty, including 110 million through the lower-secondary level, according to a recent estimate. In both cases, massive [...]

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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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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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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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