Project Syndicate

Project Syndicate produces and delivers original, high-quality commentaries to a global audience. Featuring exclusive contributions by prominent political leaders, policymakers, scholars, business leaders, and civic activists from around the world, we provide news media and their readers cutting-edge analysis and insight, regardless of ability to pay.

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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

Reopening the Peace Factory

Reopening the Peace Factory

Some regard the United Nations as one of the greatest achievements of the so-called liberal international order that was conceived at the end of World War II, while others argue that the organization has never been very liberal, international, or ordered. Both positions have become clichés, but the second is closer to the truth. 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

Winning the Fight Against Cholera

Winning the Fight Against Cholera

In recent years, the world has made considerable progress in the fight against cholera. But, with climate change, urbanization, and population growth creating an ideal breeding ground for the disease, stronger action is urgently needed to bring eradication within reach. 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

Poverty as Injustice

Poverty as Injustice

Across Western advanced economies, a widespread sense of malaise has given rise to a debate about what the state can and should do to ensure economic justice, particularly for those at the bottom of the income ladder. As always, the fundamental question is whether public policies would help or hamper growth and dynamism. Continue Reading

To the Brink with China

To the Brink with China

The chances of a Sino-American cold war are far higher today than they were just months ago. Even worse, the chances of an actual war, resulting from an incident involving the countries’ militaries, are also greater. 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

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

How to Close America’s COVID-19 Testing Deficit

How to Close America’s COVID-19 Testing Deficit

The US is facing a major health and economic catastrophe for one simple reason: its existing COVID-19 testing infrastructure has broken down. There is still time to build a new system that enables policymakers and the public to understand where outbreaks are occurring and where they are likely to occur next. 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

Mask Wars

Mask Wars

The pandemic and the protests of recent months should serve as a reminder of a simple truth: a mask is always just a mask. What matters for democracy is not whether people cover their faces in public, but which people do so, and why. Continue Reading

Will COVID-19 Kill Cash?

Will COVID-19 Kill Cash?

Reports that the coronavirus could be transmitted by handling cash has given people another reason to steer clear of banknotes. Although untrue, the damage has been done, and a recent survey found that 75% of respondents expect to use cash less in the future. 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

America’s Compromised State

America’s Compromised State

The lack of a coordinated national response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States has predictably resulted in an unmitigated economic and public-health disaster. The problem is and always has been that those in a position to do something about such crises do not speak for most Americans. Continue Reading

The Fastest Way Out of the Pandemic

The Fastest Way Out of the Pandemic

During the 2009 swine flu pandemic, a few countries cornered the vaccine market, leaving the vast majority of the global population with no vaccine at all until the outbreak was effectively over. This scenario must be avoided at all costs during the current crisis – and, thanks to the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility, it can be. 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

Training for the Pandemic Economy

Training for the Pandemic Economy

The transition to the world being created by COVID-19 was always going to be difficult for workers in the worst-affected sectors. The main question now is whether policymakers will take the steps – including apprenticeship programs and expanded funding for community colleges and technical schools – that are most likely to make it easier. Continue Reading

A 100-day Agenda to Reunite America

A 100-day Agenda to Reunite America

After four years of a president who has deliberately tried to divide Americans, the United States can and must find common purpose to address its many challenges. The next US president can take a range of early steps to achieve this goal. Continue Reading

Why Disaster Preparedness Cannot Wait

Why Disaster Preparedness Cannot Wait

As countries emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic over the coming year, world leaders will face a defining moment. By ramping up investments in disaster preparedness, they can shape their legacies and set humanity on a safer course for the next decade and beyond. Continue Reading

Reviving the WTO

Reviving the WTO

The World Trade Organization has an irreplaceable role to play in transforming countries’ economic prospects and the lives of people around the world. Although the COVID-19 crisis has brought the organization’s deteriorating health into sharp focus, its further decline is not inevitable. Continue Reading

The Pandemic Must End Our Complacency

The Pandemic Must End Our Complacency

With an economic downturn as severe as the Great Depression and political conditions similar to those in the run-up to World War I, an international system built on globalization now hangs in the balance. The world desperately needs effective collective leadership – and not just to contain COVID-19. Continue Reading

United States of Despair

United States of Despair

America finds itself in the grips of two epidemics, each of which has exposed deep inequalities across races and levels of educational attainment. Between rising “deaths of despair” among working-class whites and higher COVID-19 mortality rates among African-Americans, the stunning secular decline in US life expectancy will continue. Continue Reading

Redefining National Security for the Post-Pandemic World

Redefining National Security for the Post-Pandemic World

Three decades of efforts to broaden the definition of “national security” have largely failed, and it is time to try a new approach. Thinking instead in terms of global security would expand policy discussions beyond national governments and lead to a stronger emphasis on making societies more resilient. Continue Reading

American Exceptionalism in the Age of Trump

American Exceptionalism in the Age of Trump

As the world’s two largest economies, the United States and China are condemned to a relationship that must combine competition and cooperation. For the US, exceptionalism now includes working with the Chinese to help produce global public goods, while also defending values such as human rights. Continue Reading

Globalizing the Fight Against the Pandemic

Globalizing the Fight Against the Pandemic

As a global problem that will remain a threat everywhere as long as it is still present anywhere, the novel coronavirus demands a collective and collaborative response. With a new COVID-19 Technology Access Pool to share data and intellectual property, all countries and companies now have a chance to become a part of the solution. Continue Reading

The Future of Global Power

The Future of Global Power

Although the Sino-American rivalry was escalating long before the COVID-19 crisis erupted, it has since been thrown into overdrive. But while both countries are pursuing a zero-sum vision of the future, only one is doing so with a long-term strategy. Continue Reading