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Economy


  • Originally published 05/01/2014

    This is What an Empire in Decline Looks Like

    As America's new economy starts to look more like the old economy of the Great Depression, the divide between rich and poor, those who have made it and those who never will, seems to grow ever starker.

  • Originally published 06/03/2013

    Niall Ferguson and Pierpaolo Barbieri: The E.U.’s Feeble War on Unemployment

    Niall Ferguson is Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard and author of “Civilization: The West and the Rest.” Pierpaolo Barbieri is Ernest May Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School. His book, “Hitler’s Shadow Empire: The Nazis and the Spanish Civil War” will be published this fall. EUROPEAN leaders have declared war on youth unemployment. At a meeting we attended in Paris last week organized by the Berggruen Institute on Governance, President François Hollande of France called on his fellow E.U. leaders to “act urgently” to address the problem. Germany’s finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, warned of an impending “catastrophe” that risks losing “the battle for European unity.” Italy’s labor minister, Enrico Giovannini, added, “We have to rescue an entire generation of young people.” Only a few days ago, his boss, the newish Italian prime minister, Enrico Letta, declared he wanted to make the European summit that begins on June 28 about “the fight” against youth unemployment.

  • Originally published 03/26/2013

    Estonia was comparatively richer in 1930s, says historian

    Jaak Valge, a well-known historian and Tallinn University researcher, says that Estonians today are worse off than in the 1930s in comparison to the rest of the continent.“If the current Estonia is more than two times poorer than Finland, then before [World War II] Finland was a quarter wealthier. While Portugal is presently richer than Estonia, Estonians were far more wealthy in the 1930s than the Portuguese, “ said Valge, speaking on ETV on Sunday....

  • Originally published 03/21/2013

    Michael Lind: Private Sector Parasites

    Michael Lind is the author of Land of Promise: An Economic History of the United States and co-founder of the New America Foundation. You don’t have to be a Tea Party conservative to believe that the economy is threatened when there are too many “takers” and not enough “makers.” The “takers” who threaten the dynamism and fairness of industrial capitalism the most in the twenty-first century are not the welfare-dependent poor—the villains of Tea Party propaganda—but the rent-extracting, unproductive rich.

  • Originally published 02/13/2013

    Hail Columbia! The federal government’s relentless expansion has made Washington, D.C., America’s real Second City.

    The Washington, D.C., region has long been considered recession-proof, thanks to the remorseless expansion of the federal government in good times and bad. Yet it’s only now—as D.C. positively booms while most of the country remains in economic doldrums—that the scale of Washington’s prosperity is becoming clear. Over the past decade, the D.C. area has made stunning economic and demographic progress. Meanwhile, America’s current and former Second Cities, population-wise—Los Angeles and Chicago—are battered and fading in significance. Though Washington still isn’t their match in terms of population, it’s gaining on them in terms of economic power and national importance....