Hoover Daily Report
Featured
Featured

Civil War In Iraq? Quite Possibly. World War III? Forget About It.

by Niall Fergusonvia Boston Globe
Monday, January 6, 2020

The United States may now face pandemonium in Iraq, but Iran will not necessarily be the beneficiary.

Featured

What Is The Middle East In The Middle Of Anymore?

by Victor Davis Hansonvia American Greatness
Sunday, January 5, 2020

The United States is trying to square a circle, remaining strong and deterring dangerous elements, but to do so for U.S. interests—interests that increasingly seem to be fewer and fewer in the Middle East.

Featured

The Soleimani Strike: One Person Decides

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Friday, January 3, 2020

The U.S. drone strike in Iraq against the commander of Iran’s Quds Force, Qassem Soleimani, raises once again the question of legal constraints—under domestic and international law—on the president’s power to use force unilaterally. I have written a legal opinion in government and many, many pieces out of government on this issue, and over the years I have grown very cynical about the supposed legal constraints on those war powers. 

Featured

The Post-Suleimani View From Iran

by Abbas Milanivia Project Syndicate
Saturday, January 4, 2020

One hopes that Iranian leaders' domestic woes and deep desire for self-preservation will lead them to embrace symbolic acts of retaliation in response to the recent assassination of the security and intelligence chief Qassem Suleimani. And one hopes that the US, too, will act prudently in responding to Iran’s next move.

Analysis and Commentary
Analysis and Commentary

State Support For Nuclear Power

by John H. Cochranevia Grumpy Economist
Sunday, January 5, 2020

Tyler Cowen responded with an interesting post to my query, "I don’t see just why nuclear power needs “state support,” rather than a clear workable set of safety regulations that are not excuses for anyone to stop any project."

Analysis and Commentary

Iranian Analytics

by Victor Davis Hansonvia National Review
Friday, January 3, 2020

For all the current furor over the death of Qasem Soleimani, it is Iran, not the U.S. and the Trump administration, that is in a dilemma. Given the death and destruction wrought by Soleimani, and his agendas to come, he will not be missed.

Analysis and Commentary

What My Younger Self Never Expected

by Michael Spencevia Project Syndicate
Friday, January 3, 2020

At the start of a new year and a new decade, it is both humbling and illuminating to reflect on major global developments that no one saw coming just a few decades ago. For those who grew up during the Cold War or in the ensuing period of American primacy, the economic and geopolitical rise of the developing world must rank high on the list.

Analysis and Commentary

Impeachment Fallouts

by Victor Davis Hansonvia National Review
Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Impeachment is shaping up as unpredictably explosive, but not in the way imagined. There are lots of things that we do know about the present impeachment of Donald Trump — and we know that there are even more areas that remain unknown.

Analysis and Commentary

(Adjective) Libertarianism

by John H. Cochranevia Grumpy Economist
Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Libertarianism consists of many different ideas, and is clearly in need of some adjectives. Tyler Cowen, in an interesting new-Year's reflection, offers "State-Capacity Libertarianism." The guts of it is, I think, that the State must exist, and do competently and effectively its crucial tasks.

Analysis and Commentary

Why Trump Will Win Again In 2020

by Victor Davis Hansonvia The Spectator
Thursday, January 2, 2020

There is a growing wrath in the country, either ignored, suppressed or undetected by the partisan media.

Analysis and Commentary

Wealth And Taxes, Part I

by John H. Cochranevia Grumpy Economist
Thursday, January 2, 2020

Last November I had the pleasure of discussing "Top Wealth in the United States: New Estimates and Implications for Taxing the Rich" a very nice paper by Matthew Smith, Owen Zidar and Eric Zwick at the NBER asset pricing meetings, presented by Eric. The paper prompts a series of blog posts on wealth distribution and wealth taxes. I'll try to stick to points that haven't been made a hundred times already.

Analysis and Commentary

Wealth And Taxes, Part II

by John H. Cochranevia Grumpy Economist
Friday, January 3, 2020

(This is a continuation of Wealth and Taxes, part I.) A second asset pricing perspective helps us to digest "wealth," its distribution, and whether we should care.

Analysis and Commentary

Wealth And Taxes, Part III

by John H. Cochranevia Grumpy Economist
Sunday, January 5, 2020

(This post follows part I and part II) So, why do we care about the distribution of wealth? -- Especially, as we learned in part I that wealth is poorly defined and poorly measured, and we learned in part II that much of the distribution of "wealth" reflects higher market prices for the same assets, which do not increase their owner's ability to consume over a lifetime? Why so much anger, even from commenters on this blog?

Analysis and Commentary

Victor Davis Hanson: Rachel Maddow, Robert Mueller's Legal Dream Team, Paul Krugman All Have Lessons For 2020

by Victor Davis Hansonvia Fox News
Thursday, January 2, 2020

The Washington Post recently published a surprising indictment of MSNBC host, Stanford graduate and Rhodes scholar Rachel Maddow.

Analysis and Commentary

A New Year’s Quiz

by Bill Whalenvia Forbes
Tuesday, December 31, 2019

You’d think that the last presidential election would have been a dagger to the heart of the prediction business, but guess again: the new year is about to kick off with all sorts of wild stabs as to what will happen during the dawn of a new decade.

Analysis and Commentary

How To Read Vietnam’s Latest Defense White Paper: A Message To Great Powers

by Derek Grossman, CAPT Chris Sharmanvia War on the Rocks
Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Ten years is a long time to wait for anything, but the release of Vietnam’s latest defense white paper on Nov. 25 — the first since 2009 and fourth since Hanoi began issuing white papers in 1998 — was certainly worthwhile.

Analysis and Commentary

Why Is Russia In Syria?

by Jakub Grygielvia American Interest
Friday, January 3, 2020

Russia recently announced that it will spend $500 million to fix and update the commercial port of Tartus in Syria. In 2017 Moscow had renewed its lease over the port, signing an agreement with Damascus in a clear show of support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. But Russian (and before 1991, Soviet) naval presence there dates back to the early 1970s.

Analysis and Commentary

How ‘The Irishman’ Maligns My Stepfather

by Jack Goldsmithvia The New York Times
Friday, January 3, 2020

For half his life, he has watched himself portrayed as someone he is not.

Analysis and Commentary

Melanie Mitchell On Artificial Intelligence

by Russell Robertsvia EconTalk
Monday, January 6, 2020

Computer Scientist and author Melanie Mitchell of Portland State University and the Santa Fe Institute talks about her book Artificial Intelligence with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Mitchell explains where we are today in the world of artificial intelligence (AI) and where we might be going. Despite the hype and excitement surrounding AI, Mitchell argues that much of what is called "learning" and "intelligence" when done by machines is not analogous to human capabilities. 

Analysis and Commentary

The Education Exchange: Has The War On Poverty Been Won?

by Paul E. Petersonvia The Education Exchange
Monday, January 6, 2020

Richard Burkhauser, Professor Emeritus of Policy Analysis at Cornell University’s College of Human Ecology, joins Paul E. Peterson to discuss the poverty rate in the United States, looking at a full-income poverty measure, and raising the question of whether President Lyndon Johnson’s original War on Poverty has been a success.

Analysis and Commentary

Fabio Rojas's Weak Argument For Subsidizing Illegal Aliens

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Monday, January 6, 2020

Somehow I missed Indiana University sociology professor Fabio Rojas’s April article titled “Conservative Arguments in Support of Undocumented College Students,” published by the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal. It appeared on April 19. I won’t comment on whether his arguments are conservative; I don’t care. The problem is that they’re not good arguments.

Analysis and Commentary

Asset Prices And Unemployment Fluctuations

by Patrick J. Kehoe, Pierlauro Lopez, Virgiliu Midrigan, Elena Pastorinovia The National Bureau Of Economic Research
Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Recent critiques have demonstrated that existing attempts to account for the unemployment volatility puzzle of search models are inconsistent with the procylicality of the opportunity cost of employment, the cyclicality of wages, and the volatility of risk-free rates. 

Analysis and Commentary

The Battle To Keep India Secular

by Tunku Varadarajanvia The Wall Street Journal
Thursday, January 2, 2020

A new citizenship law undermines what made the country a relative success.

Analysis and Commentary

Make Toilets Great Again

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Thursday, January 2, 2020

Back in September, I attended a round table where the guest was a major economic advisor to Donald Trump and the participants were economists and other public policy people. I can’t be more specific because of the Chatham House Rule. Under that rule, I’m free to report what I said and people’s reactions as long as I don’t name them.

Interviews
Interviews

Darrell Duffie On Our Big Stablecoin Future

interview with Darrell Duffievia CoinDesk
Friday, January 3, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Darrell Duffie discusses crypto currencies and their future.

Interviews

Andrew Roberts: The Life And Legacy Of Winston Churchill

interview with Andrew Robertsvia Fox News
Monday, January 6, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Andrew Roberts says there are many reasons Americans should value the life and legacy of Winston Churchill, Britain's prime minister during World War II.

Interviews

Richard Epstein On The John Batchelor Show (Part 1)

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The John Batchelor Show
Saturday, January 4, 2020

(Part 1) Hoover Institution fellow Richard Epstein discusses his Defining Ideas article "Lara's Theme Harms California Insurers."

Interviews

Richard Epstein On The John Batchelor Show (Part 2)

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The John Batchelor Show
Saturday, January 4, 2020

(Part 2) Hoover Institution fellow Richard Epstein discusses his Defining Ideas article "Lara's Theme Harms California Insurers."

Interviews

Jonathan Rodden: Why The Left Loses Elections

interview with Jonathan Roddenvia Jacobin Magazine
Friday, January 3, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Jonathan Rodden talks about about the Left’s geography problem, the role of gerrymandering and voter suppression, and the prospects for reshaping political parties and electoral institutions.

Interviews

Jack Goldsmith On Jimmy Hoffa, Labor Unions, And The Rise And Fall Of The Mob

interview with Jack Goldsmithvia Conversations with Bill Kristol
Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Jack Goldsmith discusses his recent book In Hoffa's Shadow: A Stepfather, a Disappearance in Detroit, and My Search for the Truth.

Interviews

Chester Finn: Learning In The Fast Lane - Conversations With Mark Bauerlein

interview with Chester E. Finn Jr.via First Things
Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Chester Finn discusses his book Learning in the Fast Lane: The Past, Present, and Future of Advanced Placement.

Interviews

Kiron Skinner: US Allies On High Alert As Iran Vows Revenge For Death Of Top General

interview with Kiron K. Skinnervia Fox News
Monday, January 6, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Kiron Skinner weighs in on U.S. allies support in the ongoing conflict with Iran, and notes that the Trump administration has a lot of diplomatic work to do in the fast-paced crisis

Interviews

Kiron Skinner: Former State Department Official On Iran: We Need Our Allies, ‘We Can’t Do This Alone’

interview with Kiron K. Skinnervia Fox Business
Friday, January 3, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Kiron Skinner discusses U.S. strategies toward Iran and Skinner encourages a maximum diplomacy campaign to gain support from allies.

Interviews

Captain Christopher Sharman On The John Batchelor Show (Part 1)

interview with CAPT Chris Sharmanvia The John Batchelor Show
Friday, January 3, 2020

(Part 1) Hoover Institution fellow Christopher Sharman discusses his War on the Rocks article "How To Read Vietnam’s Latest Defense White Paper: A Message To Great Powers."

Interviews

Captain Christopher Sharman On The John Batchelor Show (Part 2)

interview with CAPT Chris Sharmanvia The John Batchelor Show
Friday, January 3, 2020

(Part 2) Hoover Institution fellow Christopher Sharman discusses his War on the Rocks article "How To Read Vietnam’s Latest Defense White Paper: A Message To Great Powers."

Interviews

Herb Lin: Cyber Operations Vs Information Operations - CyCon 2019 Twilight Talk

interview with Herbert Linvia NATO CCDCOE
Monday, August 12, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Herb Lin discuses cyber operations vs. information operations.

In the News
In the News

How To Be A Dictator Identifies The Similarities Between Political Tyrants

featuring Frank Diköttervia Paste Magazine
Monday, December 30, 2019

Although spanning decades and seas, the men profiled in Frank Dikötter’s How to Be a Dictator: The Cult of Personality in the Twentieth Century share haunting similarities.

In the News

India’s Real Estate, Construction Industries In Deep Trouble: Raghuram Rajan

featuring Raghuram Rajanvia Hindustan Times
Saturday, December 7, 2019

There is also “significant distress in rural areas,” Rajan wrote in an opinion piece in India Today magazine. He said India is in a growth recession, defined as an economy growing at a slow pace and where unemployment is rising.

In the News

Human Rights Activist, Islam Critic To Speak This Month At CU Boulder

featuring Ayaan Hirsi Alivia Daily Camera (CO)
Thursday, January 2, 2020

A human rights activist and outspoken critic of Islam will speak this month at the University of Colorado Boulder’s Benson Center for the Study of Western Civilization. Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a best-selling author, fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, founded a nonprofit to advocate for women and girls’ rights and was named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in 2005.

In the News

Has ‘Productivity Inequality’ Grown Faster Than Wage Inequality?

quoting Edward Paul Lazearvia National Review
Tuesday, December 31, 2019

It is common to hear that workers’ productivity no longer determines their wages. “Workers are delivering more, and they’re getting a lot less,” former vice president Biden recently argued. Income inequality supposedly demonstrates that the economy’s rewards are flowing, undeservedly, to those at the top.

In the News

U.S. Kills Iran’s ‘Celebrity Soldier’

quoting Jack Goldsmithvia Defense One
Friday, January 3, 2020

In case you’re wondering, “The president has broad self-defense powers,” tweeted former DoD lawyer Jack Goldsmith, and so “legal arguments are a distraction from what is going on here, since law has very little if anything to do with it.”

In the News

Sullivan Declares President Trump Has 'A Lot Of Accomplishments'

quoting Victor Davis Hansonvia Patch
Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Fifth District Republican congressional candidate says national economy is booming and he supports an additional tax cut for middle class.

In the News

Our Views: Vincent, Mattis Tout The Power Of Reading

quoting General Jim Mattisvia The Advocate
Tuesday, December 31, 2019

In Louisiana, where rates of illiteracy exceed the national average, we have much work to do in expanding the state’s community of readers. That involves a number of challenges, including an assumption that reading books is merely a pastime — and something that real men aren’t supposed to embrace.

Stalin at the Tehran Conference in 1943.
In the News

The Time Stalin Went For A Joyride On The Moscow Metro

quoting Stephen Kotkinvia Jalopnik
Monday, December 30, 2019

Imagine being a weary commuter on your way home from a long day of toil. You descend into the subway and wait for a train. One arrives, you slowly board and ease yourself down into a seat, finally able to rest for a moment.

In the News

Assembly Bill 5 Is Already Destroying Jobs And Opportunities

quoting Lee Ohanianvia Los Angeles Daily News
Tuesday, December 31, 2019

With Assembly Bill 5, lawmakers not only came up with a solution for which there is no problem, they created hardships where there were none before. The bill was peddled as means to establish fairness for California freelance and independent contractors. No longer will they be “exploited” by businesses. 

In the News

Don’t Blame Mankind For The Bushfires – Blame Cruel Nature

quoting Thomas Sowellvia The Conservative Woman
Saturday, January 4, 2020

The bushfires up and down the eastern coast of Australia are a national tragedy. They have claimed many lives, destroyed hundreds of houses and devastated thousands of hectares of bushland. Everyone agrees that we are overwhelmingly indebted to the fire-fighters who have been tirelessly waging war against nature: they have done a tremendous job in the face of a seemingly insurmountable task.

In the News

2019, A Year Of Slowdown For Indian Economy

quoting Raghuram Rajanvia Xinhuanet (China)
Monday, December 30, 2019

India has seen a economic slowdown in 2019, with the country's real estate, automobile, construction sectors and overall consumption demand facing a serious and constant decline.

In the News

Can Republicans And Democrats Date Each Other?

quoting Shanto Iyengarvia Rewire News
Thursday, January 2, 2020

Would you date or marry someone who didn’t share your political beliefs? A decade ago, experts say more people were OK wading into romantic waters outside of their political party. But with the increasing polarization of politics at the national level, now, not so much.

In the News

Stepson Of 'The Irishman' Character Condemns Netflix Movie In N.Y. Times Op-Ed

quoting Jack Goldsmithvia Hollywood Reporter (CA)
Friday, January 3, 2020

The stepson of Chuckie O'Brien, played in the film by Jesse Plemons, writes that the Martin Scorsese feature is the "capstone to my stepfather’s 44-year humiliation."

In the News

The East Craves Western Values And Other Commentary

quoting Victor Davis Hansonvia The New York Post
Thursday, January 2, 2020

"When I first visited Hong Kong in 2013,” recalls Mark Milke at The Post Millennial, “almost every politician, civil servant and business leader I met emphasized three priorities”: capitalism, rule of law and anti-corruption. 

In the News

Bay Area Iranian Americans Fear Retaliation, War In Wake Of U.S. Attack

quoting Abbas Milanivia San Francisco Chronicle
Friday, January 3, 2020

The U.S. killing of Iran’s top general in a drone strike has many in the Bay Area’s Iranian American community on edge about retaliatory attacks that could spiral into war, endangering family and friends in the Middle East or even in America.

In the News

Despite Iranian Demonstrators Chanting ‘Death To America,’ Qassem Soleimani Was A Polarizing Figure In Iran

quoting Abbas Milanivia Market Watch
Sunday, January 5, 2020

Many reacted with shock and anger to the killing of the Iranian general by a U.S. airstrike in Baghdad Friday.

Interest Rates
In the News

Negative Interest Rates Aren’t Such a Departure After All

quoting Paul Schmelzingvia Bloomberg
Thursday, January 2, 2020

A Yale professor’s paper shows they have always been with us and challenges the notion of a normal level.

In the News

Creating Conservatism Inc., Continued

cited Victor Davis Hansonvia National Review
Tuesday, December 31, 2019

When Bill Buckley founded National Review, the original Conservatism Inc., he created not just a new publication but an entire movement that has been, and is still very much today, a force for good. Bill always intended NR to be a cause bigger than himself, much more than a mere fortnightly.

In the News

Seeking A Free Society

cited Thomas Sowellvia World Magazine
Wednesday, January 1, 2020

A conversation with Christian libertarians.

In the News

Mike LaChance’s Top 10 Posts Of 2019

mentioning Victor Davis Hansonvia Legal Insurrection
Tuesday, December 31, 2019

As 2019 comes to a close, it’s once again time to take a look at the year gone by and pick out some top posts.

Vladimir Putin
In the News

Are Today’s Dictators Following Last Century’s Playbook?

mentioning Frank Diköttervia The Star
Friday, January 3, 2020

The best writers crave a fresh angle on old stories. Dutch historian Frank Dikotter’s fresh angle on 20th century dictators is how tediously alike they all were in creating and cultivating a cult of personality, if such a thing can exist for mass killers. As for U.S. President Donald Trump veering their way with his own cult, you be the judge.

Kenneth Judd, Hoover Paul H. Bauer Senior Fellow
In the News

Departmental Seminar With Kenneth Judd

mentioning Kenneth L. Juddvia University of California, Davis
Monday, February 3, 2020

Kenneth Judd of the Hoover Institution will deliver a department seminar on Monday, February 3, 2020.

In the News

My Books Of 2019

mentioning Andrew Robertsvia Powerline
Monday, January 6, 2020

Inspired by Scott, I thought readers might be interested to know some of the books that I read during 2019, and my thoughts about them.

In the News

Year In Review 2020: Season’s Readings

mentioning Elizabeth Cobbsvia Dallas Voice
Friday, January 3, 2020

So many books, so little time. That’s what they say, and in 2019, it was the truth. Here are the can’t-miss, shouldn’t-skip books of the past 12 months

In the News

The Seven Trends That Will Define China In The 2020S

mentioning Elizabeth Economyvia South China Morning Post
Saturday, January 4, 2020

What can the world expect from China in this new decade? Besides US-China tension, slower Chinese economic growth, vertical integration and the tilt towards Chinese domestic consumption are all likely to have an effect on the rest of the world.