Last week, after attending monetary policy conferences at Stanford, Chicago and Frankfurt, I put forth evidence in EconomicsOne.com of a revival of research on monetary policy rules for the instruments, whether at the conferences, in research papers, or in Fed publications. I offered possible explanations for the revival, also with evidence, including revealed preference by policymakers, the need to deal with the effective lower bound, disappointments with past departures from rules, threats of legislation, and concerns about political pressure.
Now that the Trump administration has offered a blueprint for economic development and reform in the Palestinian territories, the opportunity costs of maintaining the status quo are clear for all to see. Although the Palestinians remain opposed to the plan, at least now they can start to consider the economic potential of peace.
The #MeToo movement has emphasized not only how rampant sexual abuse is, but also how frequently third parties disregard — or even enable — it. California is an epicenter of this movement with many of the highest-profile instances of both assault and bystanderism occurring here, particularly in Hollywood. In perhaps the most notorious case, at least 16 people admitted witnessing or knowing of Harvey Weinstein’s sexual misconduct but remaining silent; his behavior was infamous within both Miramax and the Weinstein Co., giants in the entertainment industry.
Today, America finds itself in roughly the same waters that drowned British ambitions in the Middle East between 1946–1969. In less than two decades, Washington has vacillated from direct intervention to calls to “share the region,” which have now been supplanted by the “America First” diplomacy of bold declarations that favor smaller, “face-saving” compromises.
Hoover Institution fellow Markos Kounalakis talks with Anna Fifield, Beijing, bureau chief for the Washington Post and author of The Great Successor: The Divinely Perfect Destiny of Brilliant Comrade Jong Un, about how a better understanding of North Korea’s leader might lead to improved relations with the closed-off nation.
As I indicated last week, I plan to spend the summer writing about whether our schools have improved over the past quarter-century or so—essentially the “reform era. ”There’s little doubt, I argued, that outcomes improved dramatically for the lowest-performing students and for children of color from the mid-1990s until the onset of the Great Recession, at least in the key subjects of reading and math.
A recent open letter from 17 wealthy Americans willing to identify themselves and one American who was unwilling to do so has gotten a lot of attention. In it, they make a case for higher taxes on very wealthy Americans like themselves and, apparently, on Americans who are wealthy, but much less wealthy than some of the signers.
Hoover Institution fellow Harvey Mansfield discusses the pressures that lead universities to disinvite guest speakers, the reasons for the uptick in disinvitations, and how campus leaders can protect the essential contributions invited speakers make in preparing students for informed, thoughtful citizenship.
It premiered in Hollywood and New York – but on June 11, Women of the Gulag, a documentary film based on Paul Gregory‘s book of the same name, came home to Stanford. It got a big audience at Hoover’s Hauck Auditorium, in the new David & Joan Traitel Building, with a splendid reception afterwards. (We’ve written about the film here and here and here and here.)
On Sunday night’s episode of Life, Liberty & Levin on Fox News, LevinTV host Mark Levin was joined by constitutional expert and former federal Judge Michael McConnell to discuss how the framers constitution really intended for impeachment to work.
“The Trump administration’s foreign policy is too frequently underestimated,” Niall Ferguson avers at The Boston Globe. Take Mideast diplomacy: “No journalist I know takes seriously Jared Kushner’s Middle East peace initiative,” but the effort is deeply attuned to new realities in the region, since “previous peace initiatives put the big constitutional and territorial questions first” — issues that are “big, but insoluble. Kushner’s goal is to begin with the small matter of money, which in reality is not so small.” Team Trump is putting its hopes in pragmatic Arabs who are sick of terrorists and “corrupt governments.” Linking their desires to Israeli-Palestinian peace, Ferguson argues, is a positively Kissingerian stroke.
President Donald J. Trump promised to drain the D.C. Swamp and to keep his administration clear of lobbying interests. The president has done a good job of keeping promises to cut taxes, reduce regulations and show restraint in foreign policy, yet he needs to focus more on keeping special interests out of the decision-making process in his administration. The Pentagon of course is naturally involved in defense contracting, with many being promoted to jobs at the Department of Defense having come right out of the defense industry.
Should we ‘no platform’ far-right speakers? When Oxford University Student Union invited Steve Bannon, a former Donald Trump adviser accused of advocating far-right views, there was a predictable storm of protest. Some argued he should be denied the oxygen of publicity, others that his views should be challenged in public.
A "No War on Iran" rally is planned for Tuesday in San Francisco at the BART Plaza at Mission and 24th Streets, with protestors calling for the Trump administration to end economic sanctions against Iran and back away from military conflict.
Why have American politics become so polarized? One reason is that in recent years, while Democratic politicians have increased their dominance in urban areas ever further, the traditional rural support base for Democratic candidates in Appalachia and the South has collapsed. Conservative “blue dog” Democrats are nearly extinct.
The insight was conjured by Brexiteer historian Niall Ferguson on BBC Politics Live on Tuesday afternoon. Exasperated by what he saw as the false promises of a no deal scenario, Mr Ferguson told host Jo Coburn: “On the present trajectory, the Conservatives are going to lose heavily at the next election unless the Brexit Party is disbanded and Nigel Farage endorses Boris Johnson, which seems to me highly unlikely to happen. We’re in the midst of a major realignment in British politics.
Adam Smith is remembered for his disdain for beggar-thy-neighbor “mercantilist” trade policies and for the “invisible hand” theorem of how to use decentralized markets to organize an economy better than any centralized authority could. To many, he is closely associated with laissez-faire economics. But those who actually read his work know that he took a much more nuanced view of markets, businesses, and government, recognizing the moral and social aspects of how individuals behave and how prosperity ensues.