I’ve been in a cave for several weeks crashing to complete my new book, and am only now emerging to read Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report and the commentary on it. I’ll hopefully have more to say on the report, especially on its legal analysis of criminal obstruction of justice as applied to the president. But for now I want to comment on the reaction to Attorney General William Barr’s handling of the report in his March 24 letter and his May 1 testimony. It seems over the top to me.
When I first visited Venezuela in 2010, Hugo Chávez was still the country’s president. Venezuela in those days wasn’t all bad. I enjoyed sipping Scotch (the national drink of choice) in Carabobo and boating on the Orinoco River. But I could tell that things were not going to end well. “The reality of Chávez’s regime,” I wrote at the time, “is that it is a sham democracy. . . . Private property rights . . . are routinely violated."
In a recent op-ed, fired FBI Director James Comey was back again preaching to the nation about the dangers of Donald Trump and his capacity to corrupt any top-ranking federal official of lower character than Comey’s own.
Many blog readers have asked for my opinions of "Modern Monetary Theory." I haven't written yet, because I try to read about things in some detail, ideally from original sources, before reviewing them, which I have not done. Life is short.
Hauck Auditorium, Hoover Institution, Stanford University
Artificial intelligence, advanced manufacturing, and other new technologies appear poised to transform the world economy, and, though the transition may be painful, the United States is well-positioned to take advantage of these new opportunities. Panelists will discuss the impact of changing demographics and advancing technology on the U.S. economy and what the United States can do to manage these changes and seize their potential, including improving the educational system, removing bias in AI, and ensuring a growing, productive population.
The Hoover Institution hosted a public panel discussion "Emerging Technology and the U.S. Economy" on Monday, May 6, 2019 from 4:00pm - 5:15pm PST. The event was livestreamed and can be viewed here.
Globalization, digital technologies, and other factors have allowed competitive US corporations to achieve market dominance. If the past is any guide, it is only right that these "superstar" firms should now be challenged by grassroots political movements protesting against an unholy alliance of private-sector and government elites.
by Steven J. Davis, John Haltiwangervia VoxEu.org (Centre for Economic Policy Research)
Sunday, May 5, 2019
Young firms live a financially precarious life, often dependent on self-funding tied to the value of the business owners’ homes. This column uses data from the US to show that housing market fluctuations play a major role in driving medium-term changes in young firm employment shares. As young firms hire a disproportionate number of younger and less-educated workers, these groups are disproportionately affected by house price fluctuations.
Social Security’s trustees issued a dire warning last week. In their 2019 annual report, they announced that future costs for the program will be 20 percent higher than projected revenue. As soon as next year, Social Security’s yearly expenses are expected to exceed its income — forcing the program to begin drawing down its trust funds.
The trade war between the United States and China has not given either side much to cheer about. As of January, Washington has levied 10 percent tariffs on U.S.$250 billion in Chinese goods, and China has reciprocated with similar tariffs on U.S.$110 billion in U.S. goods. In the United States, the uncertainty over the future trade relationship has caused significant volatility in the stock market, created hardship for American exporters (particularly farmers and high-end manufacturers), and contributed to a dramatic drop in Chinese tourism and investment into the United States.
Since 2012, the California Community Colleges (CCC) system has been driving transformation of its workforce mission to better address labor market needs. From 2012–2018, the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO) deepened its commitment to modernizing the system’s career and technical education (CTE) programs and infrastructure. The approach taken by the CCCCO was informed by two public policy principles surfaced through the convenings of the California Economic Summit: 1) approach the State as a set of regional economies rather than a monolithic one, and 2) expand CTE capacity in order to provide skilled workers needed by regional economies.
Poverty activist, social entrepreneur and author, Mauricio Miller, talks about his book The Alternative with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Miller, a MacArthur genius grant recipient, argues that we have made poverty tolerable when we should be trying to make it more escapable. This is possible, he argues, if we invest in the poor and encourage them to leverage their skills and social networks. Miller emphasizes the importance of self-determination and self-respect as keys to helping the poor improve their own lives.
For over 50 years, a limited number of black students living in Boston have been able to enroll in schools in the suburbs as part of the METCO program, run by the Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity. Charles Glenn sits down with Paul E. Peterson to discuss who benefits from the program and whether it distracts from larger issues related to urban schools.
I visited the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER) in Great Barrington, MA a little over a week ago and met Jeffrey Tucker for my first time. He’s the editorial director there. We got talking about his early life in Lubbock, TX and he told me an interesting story about how his grandfather, to avoid discrimination against himself for a physical problem, started serving an underserved and probably discriminated-against community whose members didn’t care about this physical problem. So each sided acted to deal with people who were discriminated against (assuming his grandfather’s fear of discrimination was justified.)
Hoover Institution fellow Charles Plosser discusses the need for the Fed to sync their strategy with communications, and whether the central bankers have the will or the way to implement the fresh strategies they outlined.
Hoover Institution fellow Adam White discusses the moral vision of the late Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia. White explains the enduring nature of that vision, and its potential to rejuvenate legal education.
Started in 1919, the Hoover Institution Library and Archives has been collecting materials pertaining to war, revolution, and peace for over 100 years. Deputy Director Eric Wakin and Curator Jean Cannon showed several items from the collection.
In recent weeks, we have offered some strong critiques of Attorney General William Barr’s handling of the public release of the Mueller report. Most notably, Steven Taylor asserted that, “Donald Trump finally has the AG he wanted back when he was railing at Jeff Sessions. He has a toady who will use the office to further Trump’s own political needs rather than act as law enforcement.” And I asserted, “The attorney general hasn’t said a single thing that wasn’t technically true about the Mueller report. But he was dishonest.”
These days, Michael McFaul bikes every day from his home on Stanford University’s campus to his job as a professor of political science. He is free of the suit and tie he used to wear — and the drivers and security guards who used to surround him — when he spent his days consulting with President Barack Obama in the White House Situation Room, whispering with Obama in a specially built soundproof room in the Moscow Ritz-Carlton, or drawing the ire of Russian President Vladimir Putin as the U.S. ambassador to Russia from 2012 to 2014.
The Tubman Command is an impeccably researched historical novel that brings to light the bravery and brilliance of American icon Harriet Tubman. It’s May 1863. Outgeneraled and outgunned, a demoralized Union Army has pulled back with massive losses at the Battle of Chancellorsville. Fort Sumter, hated symbol of the Rebellion, taunts the American Navy with its artillery and underwater mines.
As if the Democrat Socialist Party doesn’t have enough problems dealing with rank hypocrisy following the release of the Mueller report and Wednesday’s testimony by Attorney General William Barr to Congress, now we are treated to Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn.
I’ve had a front row seat to China for well over a decade. My law firm started this blog in January, 2006, and we were representing foreign companies in China and the rest of Asia long before that. When we started this blog we were unabashedly optimistic about China, but in the last ten or so years China has gotten more difficult for foreign companies and it has rarely missed an opportunity to prove that its promises to open its economy ring hollow.
Facebook banned Alex Jones, Paul Joseph Watson, and other “controversial” personalities from its platforms on Thursday. This move and similar actions by big tech contradicts its deep love for net neutrality. “Net neutrality is the idea that the internet should be free and open for everyone,” Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said in 2017.
In commentary on Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar’s denigration of Jews, a vital dimension of her outbursts has been largely overlooked. No one is asking what prompted her anti-Semitic prejudice. Whence comes the voluble contempt for the Jewish people?
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) thinks Silicon Valley is bad for economic and societal growth — and he wants Congress to do something about it. “There is something deeply troubling — even wrong — about social media companies,” he said at a tech event hosted by the Hoover Institution on May 2. “Is Silicon Valley the best our best minds can offer?”
On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you” (John 20:19 ESV). According to Open Doors USA, persecution against Christianity world wide is intensifying, with Christian women being the most vulnerable.
Two Federal Reserve officials laid out the case for a possible interest-rate cut just days after Chairman Jerome Powell said there was no reason to move in either direction. Two other US central bankers sounded more comfortable with the current policy stance.
The William Greenleaf Eliot Society held its 52nd annual dinner April 18 at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in honor of Washington University in St. Louis’ group of committed supporters. Eliot Society members generously give to the university and lead in supporting the annual fund. Members help the university address a broad range of critical needs including scholarships, student assistance programs, educational resources and faculty development.
Michael McFaul says "I don't see a big difference between the late Obama years and the early Trump years. I see more continuity along the three big dimensions: strengthening NATO, punishing Russia for belligerent behavior, and strengthening Ukraine."