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THE GHOST OF COMMUNISM PAST: Reform in Russia and China

with Michael McFaul, Coit Blacker, Orville Schellvia Uncommon Knowledge
Tuesday, October 23, 2001

After two decades of reform, Stalin and Mao wouldn't recognize Russia and China today. But each state has taken a different path away from their communist past. Russia has emphasized democratic reforms while enduring economic instability. China has promoted economic growth based on market reforms, while maintaining tight control over politics. Which path will prove to be more successful, Russia's or China's?

GOING FOR BROKE? Welfare Reform

with Eloise Anderson, Barbara Ehrenreichvia Uncommon Knowledge
Tuesday, October 23, 2001

In 1996, a Republican Congress passed, and President Bill Clinton signed, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, better known as welfare reform. The Act replaced the Aid to Families with Dependent Children program (AFDC) with the Temporary Aid to Needy Families program (TANF). These changes effectively refocused welfare as job training and temporary assistance and moved millions of people off the welfare rolls. With TANF up for re-authorization by Congress in 2002, the debate over the first five years of welfare reform is heating up. Has welfare reform helped poor families and reduced child poverty? Does welfare reform itself need to be reformed?

Analysis and Commentary

Who Pays for the Patients' Bill of Rights?

by David R. Hendersonvia Hoover Daily Report
Monday, October 1, 2001

The people who actually pay the higher cost of employer-provided benefits are employees.

Milton Friedman

ECONOMICS AND WAR: The Economic Impact of the War on Terrorism

with Milton Friedmanvia Uncommon Knowledge
Tuesday, September 25, 2001

The September 11 attacks in New York and Washington have already cost America thousands of lives and billions of dollars in damages. But those are only the direct costs. How severe and how lasting will the impact be on our economy as whole? And how will new burdens on the federal government, including a military buildup and a bailout of the airline industry, affect fiscal policy? Should the government cut taxes or increase spending to get the economy moving again?

DIRE STRAITS: Whither Japan?

with Steven Clemons, T.J. Pempel, Steven Vogelvia Uncommon Knowledge
Friday, August 31, 2001

Following World War II, Japan reinvented itself both politically, as it adopted the institutions of democratic government, and economically, as it became a dominant producer and exporter of consumer goods. These reforms were so successful that, ten years ago, experts were predicting that Japan would overtake the United States as an economic superpower. Instead, Japan experienced a decade of recession and economic stagnation that continues still. What happened? Is this a sign of serious structural problems in Japan's political and economic institutions? In other words, is it time for Japan to reinvent itself once again? If so, how should the United States alter its relationship with a new Japan?

Analysis and Commentary

The New Protectionism at Work in Russia's Auto Industry

by Alvin Rabushka, Michael S. Bernstamvia
Wednesday, August 15, 2001

The Russian government, reinforced by a mid-July IMF Report, emphasized domestic industrial output as a principal source of growth in 2000 and 2001. Future growth, on this view, requires sustaining domestic production, which means holding down imports.

Analysis and Commentary

The New IMF Orthodoxy for Russia Is the Old Protectionism for Africa

by Alvin Rabushka, Michael S. Bernstamvia
Tuesday, July 31, 2001

The IMF released its mid-year report on the Russian Federation in July 2001. It recommends a new protectionism modeled on the lines of the old (failed) African policy of import substitution that was prevalent in the 1960s and 1970s.

RICH MAN, POOR MAN: Income Inequality

with Bruce Bartlett, Peter Orszagvia Uncommon Knowledge
Wednesday, July 18, 2001

How much does the gap between rich and poor matter? In 1979, for every dollar the poorest fifth of the American population earned, the richest fifth earned nine. By 1997, that gap had increased to fifteen to one. Is this growing income inequality a serious problem? Is the size of the gap between rich and poor less important than the poor's absolute level of income? In other words, should we focus on reducing the income gap or on fighting poverty?

Analysis and Commentary

The Dutch Disease: Peter the Great's Real Legacy?

by Alvin Rabushka, Michael S. Bernstamvia
Monday, July 2, 2001

Russia is abuzz with talk of the Dutch disease. The current conventional wisdom as summarized in a June 20, 2001, Wall Street Journal article entitled "Russia's Strong Ruble Damps Hopes for Extended Growth" is that high commodities prices are causing an economic slowdown, threatening Russia's recovery.

Analysis and Commentary

The IMF, the Truth, and Russia

by Alvin Rabushka, Michael S. Bernstamvia
Wednesday, May 30, 2001

The International Monetary Fund is trying to set up a venture that would warn of impending financial crises in developing countries, which would give both itself and other international lenders time to deal with problems in their early stages. But the IMF has no incentives to enforce the truth, even for its own policy objectives.


Economic Policy Working Group

The Working Group on Economic Policy brings together experts on economic and financial policy to study key developments in the U.S. and global economies, examine their interactions, and develop specific policy proposals.

Milton and Rose Friedman: An Uncommon Couple