Look inside Governor Edmund “Jerry” Brown Jr.’s final state budget that was passed in June, and you will see important reasons why California struggles with a host of problems ranging from road congestion to reliable water supplies.
Let's transfer more technology to China, writes Scott Sumner, with approving comments from Don Boudreaux. They're exactly right, skewering one of the common backstop defenses of protectionists on both left and right.
[Subscription Required] V.S. Naipaul, who died Saturday at 85, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature on Oct. 11, 2001, a month after al Qaeda’s attack on the American homeland. As many in the West were still struggling to fathom what drove Islamist fanatics to commit mass murder, it was reassuring to see the Nobel go to Naipaul, who had unapologetically insisted on the universality of Western beliefs.
My colleague Steve Davis has a nice post quantifying economic uncertainty due to the trade war, and its emerging impact on investment. Steve (and Nick Bloom) have done a great job quantifying policy uncertainty over time. To be clear, policies can have two effects -- there is the certainty of damaging policy, but there is also the damaging uncertainty of what policy will be.
Trumpism is sometimes derided as an updated know-nothingism that rejects expertise and the input of credentialed expertise. Supposedly, professionals who could now save us tragically have their talent untapped as they sit idle at the Council of Foreign Relations, the economics Department at Harvard, or in the offices of the Brookings Institution — even as Trump’s wheelers and dealers crash and burn, too proud, too smelly, or too ignorant to call in their betters to come in and save Trump from himself.
In a trade war, one folly begets the next. Take Donald Trump’s opening shot: a punitive tariff of 25 percent on steel. Alas, what is supposed to shrink an endemic trade deficit and intimidate rapacious foreigners has hit hardest at home. While U.S. steel manufacturers are gaining protection from more efficient competitors, the country as a whole is footing the bill.
[Subscription Required] America’s arms-sales policies are too restrictive, leading even some pro-U.S. countries to buy weapons from Russia and China. This year’s National Defense Authorization Act would give Defense Secretary Jim Mattis authority to waive certain new restrictions for specific countries enacted by Congress last year. But the problem is more fundamental: The U.S. arms-sale regime needs to be recalibrated to protect American influence in a highly competitive geopolitical environment.
In Leslie Scism, “The Problem With Government Flood Insurance,” Wall Street Journal, August 13, 2018 (print edition), an interview with Evan Greenberg, CEO of Chubb, Scism asks: Will state insurance departments approve the large rate increases that insurers may feel necessary for homeowners if extreme weather leads to higher claims costs?
The Department of Defense is overhauling the military personnel system for the first time in a generation. And the changes, some large, others small, all indicate that the department has finally embraced the “talent management” revolution that swept the private sector more than two decades ago.
Younger doctors who are flirting with support of government-run health care should consider some hard facts—including the unfortunate results such control would likely have for patients and doctors themselves. They should also look at the recent raw experience of Britain with a government-controlled health care system.