Avalanches, Pandemics and Democracy

Avalanches, Pandemics and Democracy

Like in an avalanche involving a group of skiers where each has their own interpretation of the risk, there is no correct ‘moral’ stance when it comes to the pandemic. Amidst the complexity of trying to predict a disaster, we each bring our own assessment of the risk. But, democracy demands that even though we may disagree, we still see each other as worthy of respect. Continue Reading

Listen to the Science

Listen to the Science

The announcement of this year’s Nobel Prize laureates is an ideal occasion to appreciate how much we owe to basic science, and how scientists have come together like never before to help stop COVID-19. To overcome the pandemic and meet the other global challenges we face, we must follow their example – and their lead. Continue Reading

A Billion Here, A Billion There

A Billion Here, A Billion There

The United States comprises 4% of the world’s population but consumes over 16% of its energy. It is high time for the United States to once again step up to the challenge of climate change. How should we evaluate what a President Biden might do? Continue Reading

The Stock-Market Disconnect

The Stock-Market Disconnect

The best explanation for why stock markets remain so bullish despite a massive recession is that major publicly traded companies have not borne the brunt of the pandemic’s economic fallout. But having been spared by the virus, they could soon find themselves squarely in the sights of a populist backlash. Continue Reading

Don’t Mess With Our History

Don’t Mess With Our History

President Trump has announced the creation of a 1776 Federal Commission to promote Patriotic History Education, which will classify any history instruction that critically discusses slavery and race as “Un-american”. This is against the fundamental values of America, against liberty, and is in direct contradiction to the ideals of our revolution. Continue Reading

The Meaning of 200,000 COVID-19 Deaths

The Meaning of 200,000 COVID-19 Deaths

Americans’ desensitization to the pandemic’s skyrocketing death toll vindicates Joseph Stalin’s famous observation: “One death is a tragedy; a million is a statistic.” The danger of this approach, of course, is that it relieves government of its obligation to act – opening the way for far more COVID-19 deaths. Continue Reading

The Economic Case for Biden

The Economic Case for Biden

US President Donald Trump has seeded the investment environment with uncertainty, trashed America’s trade relationships, blown up the fiscal deficit, and left American workers worse off than they were when he took office. He is the polar opposite of Joe Biden, a politician who understands precisely what the US economy needs. Continue Reading

The Coming Global Technology Fracture

The Coming Global Technology Fracture

Today’s international trade regime was not designed for a world of data, software, and artificial intelligence. Already under severe pressure from China’s rise and the backlash against hyper-globalization, it is utterly inadequate to face the three main challenges these new technologies pose. Continue Reading

Winners and Losers of the Pandemic Economy

Winners and Losers of the Pandemic Economy

While it is true that bullish equity markets are out of step with the historic contraction in the real economy, to say that they are disconnected from it misses the point. In fact, the lofty valuations of companies with high intangible capital per employee make perfect sense in today’s economy. Continue Reading

Rings of Impact

Rings of Impact

Today, there is an important opportunity for businesses to engage in a “Race to the Top” as they re-design their practices to be attractive not only to investors, consumers, and employees, but also to the communities in which they participate. Continue Reading

Joe Biden, Redemption and The American Dream

Joe Biden, Redemption and The American Dream

There were no special effects, no crowds, no band, no balloons. But, none of this was needed. As Joe Biden looked at a blank camera, with a lined face worn by almost eight decades of triumph and tragedy, I saw a man speaking to a country that could now know it was understood. Continue Reading

The Robot Question

The Robot Question

Although robots that can perform human labor will put downward pressure on wages in the short term, they also will increase the rate of profit, encouraging more investment and a recovery in the wage rate. It is not so much the economics of new technologies that should worry us, but rather the politics and ethics. Continue Reading

The Long Run

The Long Run

The long run is a forecaster’s biggest challenge. But it yields substantial rewards, among them recognition of future challenges and possible solutions. Continue Reading

Should Governments Spend Away?

Should Governments Spend Away?

With sovereign-bond markets still showing little concern for the massive levels of borrowing and spending across advanced economies, it is tempting to think that there is effectively no limit to further stimulus. But we owe it to future generations to recognize how spending today could affect investment tomorrow. Continue Reading

The Challenges of the Post-Pandemic Agenda

The Challenges of the Post-Pandemic Agenda

The pandemic has highlighted the vulnerability of human societies and fortified support for urgent climate action. But while the small government, free-market template of the last four decades suddenly looks terribly outdated, history suggests that transitions between phases of capitalist development can be harsh and uncertain. Continue Reading

China Has Blown Its Historic Opportunity

China Has Blown Its Historic Opportunity

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, China could have become the development bank, central bank, and medical supplier to the world. By choosing unprovoked aggression over enlightened generosity, President Xi Jinping’s regime has squandered that historic opportunity and possibly also revealed its true character. Continue Reading

Saving Generation COVID

Saving Generation COVID

During the COVID-19 crisis, lockdowns and other social-distancing rules have forced schools worldwide to shut their doors, locking out a peak of 1.6 billion children. Unless the international community acts now, the consequences for this generation – especially its poorest members – will be severe and long-lasting. Continue Reading

A Note from a Quaran-teen

A Note from a Quaran-teen

July 17th will mark my 17th birthday. It will also mark the 138th day since I have come within six feet of anyone outside of my immediate family. Here is how our world in crisis looks to someone in Generation Z. Continue Reading