Opinion


China’s Path Not Taken Monday, May 6th, 2019

This month marks the centenary of one of the most important cultural and political episodes in modern Chinese history: the May Fourth Movement. On May 4, 1919, Chinese students and intellectuals launched a massive protest in Beijing, demanding the end of “feudalism” and more political freedom...

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The Deal Of The Century: Straws In The Wind Sunday, May 5th, 2019

Following Israel’s general election and the confirmation of Benjamin Netanyahu as prime minister for the fourth time, Washington announced that the Trump peace plan – dubbed by the President as “the deal of the century” – would not be unveiled until after Ramadan, which in 2019 concludes..

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Fallujah Forgotten Saturday, May 4th, 2019

I don’t know if most people in the United States ever knew what Fallujah meant. It’s hard to believe the U.S. military would still exist if they did. But certainly it has been largely forgotten — a problem that could be remedied if everyone picks up a copy of The Sacking of Fallujah: A..

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The Economy We Need

Three years ago, US President Donald Trump’s election and the United Kingdom’s Brexit referendum confirmed what those of us who have long studied income statistics already knew: in most advanced countries, the market economy has been failing large swaths of society. Nowhere is this truer than..

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Exceptionally Innocent Thursday, May 2nd, 2019

Go right now and get yourself and the nearest house with a flag in front of it a copy of Roberto Sirvent’s and Danny Haiphong’s American Exceptionalism and American Innocence: A People’s History of Fake News — From the Revolutionary War to the War on Terror. If this book had existed when I..

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China’s Selective Memory

This is a big year for anniversaries in China. On May 4, the People’s Republic will commemorate the centennial of the May Fourth Movement, the student-led protests in front of Beijing’s Tiananmen Gate in 1919 that marked the birth of Chinese nationalism. And then, one month later, on June 4,..

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How to Rebuild America’s Economic Foundations

The modern American economy was shaped by four major infrastructure initiatives, each of which was too big for the private sector to take on alone: the continent-wide railroad network, the interstate highways, the air traffic control system, and the Internet. Early development of all of them was..

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The Value of Fake News Tuesday, April 30th, 2019

On a trip to Ethiopia in the 1990s, I met with Prime Minister Meles Zenawi to try to persuade him to stop jailing journalists. Since Zenawi’s guerillas had ousted a repressive Soviet-backed dictatorship a few years before, there had been an explosion of exuberant and sometimes wildly inaccurate..

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The Return of Violent Identity Politics

I first visited Sri Lanka as Britain’s development minister in the 1980s, during the early stages of the vicious war between guerrilla fighters – the so-called Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) – and Sri Lanka’s armed forces. This bloody ethnic conflict, pitting the largely Hindu..

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Can the Sahel’s Coming Crisis Be Averted? Monday, April 29th, 2019

Some crises take us by surprise. They seem to come out of nowhere, suddenly creating upheaval and a desperate scramble to respond. Other crises are manifest, but there is no single point of eruption. The factors that fuel them intensify until the moment comes when we realize – too late – the..

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My Best Growth Forecast Ever

America’s real GDP growth rate of 3.2% for the first quarter of this year is impressive, as was the 3% average growth in 2018 (measured from the fourth quarter of 2017 to the fourth quarter of 2018). Since the end of the Great Recession – from 2011 to 2017 – the US economy grew by only 2.1%..

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Can Capitalism Beat Climate Change? Saturday, April 27th, 2019

Easter visitors to London have found some streets and buildings occupied by “Extinction Rebellion” activists, warning of climate catastrophe and rejecting “a failed capitalist system.” Followers of central bank thinking have seen the governors of the Bank of England and Banque de France..

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The Road to War with China Friday, April 26th, 2019

Over the past two years, American foreign-policy elites have increasingly cast China not only as a competitor to the United States, but as an enemy on a par with the Soviet Union. Although anti-Chinese rhetoric in the US is not new, President Donald Trump’s administration has greatly sharpened..

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The Pre-History of Post-Truth

Since the United Kingdom’s Brexit referendum and the election of US President Donald Trump in 2016, the conventional wisdom has held that we are now in a “post-truth” or “post-factual” age. Yet, while such terms may help to give us a sense of certainty in a politically unpredictable era,..

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How to Regulate Big Tech Thursday, April 25th, 2019

Two years ago, it seemed clear to me that a combination of factors would lead to increased calls to regulate technology companies, especially Big Tech giants Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google. When that happens, I argued at the time, regulatory policy would have to strike a sensible balance..

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