Springtime in the Southern Hemisphere is wonderful, and I have been having fun here for the past 10 days, keynoting at two great conferences, with one talk on central bank independence at the Central Bank of Chile and another talk on inflation targeting at the South African Reserve Bank.
Here is the problem with the old-style Obama strategy of slicing and dicing the electorate into aggrieved minorities and then gluing them back together to achieve a 51% majority. On almost every issue in this election that they should be running on, they simply cannot. And on those that they are running on, they probably should not be.
“Mir zaynen do!” (“We are here!”) The defiant Yiddish refrain of a Polish Jewish partisan song, written in the darkest days of the second world war, rings out in the winter sunlight, echoing between a sombre monument to the heroes of the Warsaw ghetto rising and the shining, brand-new Museum of the History of Polish Jews.
I think I am unusual among former government officials in arguing that the publication of national security secrets can promote democracy and good government. Such publications are often costly, sometimes very costly, to national security – more so than is generally realized.
In his new book, How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life, economics popularizer Russell Roberts explores what may be the world’s first self-help book, which is all the more remarkable for its author: Adam Smith, a.k.a., the18th century Scotsman known as the father of economics.
To answer what’s at stake for Republicans in the 2014 election, let’s dispense with the obvious: assuming the GOP walks away with majority control of both halves of Congress, it means passing real federal budgets instead of cliffhanger stopgap resolutions, properly putting judicial and administrative nominees through their paces, and forcing President Obama’s hand on legislation heretofore unable to reach his desk (so far, Obama has issued the fewest vetoes since Warren Harding).
Propositions and congressional races are sucking up all the political oxygen in the run-up to Tuesday’s statewide election. They should. Informing ourselves and getting out the vote is critical for the healthy functioning of our democracy.
Daron Acemoglu, the Elizabeth and James Killian Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his new paper co-authored with James Robinson, "The Rise and Fall of General Laws of Capitalism," a critique of Thomas Piketty, Karl Marx, and other thinkers who have tried to explain patterns of data as inevitable "laws" without regard to institutions. Acemoglu and Roberts also discuss labor unions, labor markets, and inequality.
During two years as ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul was constantly followed, harassed and demonized on state television. But though Mr. McFaul has left government service and returned home, the spying on him doesn’t seem to have stopped.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie isn’t running for re-election this fall, but his role atop the Republican Governors Association has made him more visible on the campaign trail than most other potential 2016 GOP presidential aspirants.