Isn't a wealth tax common sense?

IWAS not surprised when leading Democratic primary contenders began endorsing a "wealth tax" along the lines of what has been proposed by my University of California, Berkeley, colleagues Gabriel Zucman and Emmanuel Saez. What has surprised me is the level of pushback these candidates have...

How trolls overran the public square

SINCE 1900, human technology and organisation have been evolving at a blistering pace. The degree of change that occurs in just one year would have taken 50 years or more before 1500. War and politics used to be the meat of human history, with advances in technology and organisation unfolding...

THE BOTTOM LINE

Stop inflating the inflation threat

IN LIGHT of current macroeconomic conditions in the United States, I've found myself thinking back to September 2014. That month, the US unemployment rate dropped below 6 per cent, and a broad range of commentators assured us that inflation would soon be on the rise, as predicted by the Phillips...

THE BOTTOM LINE

A recession is never a necessity for economies

I RECENTLY received an email from my friend Mark Thoma of the University of Oregon, asking if I had noticed an increase in commentaries suggesting that a recession would be a good and healthy purge for the economy (or something along those lines). In fact, I, too, have noticed more commentators...

THE BOTTOM LINE

America's superpower panic in the face of a rising China

GLOBAL superpowers have always found it painful to acknowledge their relative decline and deal with fast-rising challengers. Today, the United States finds itself in this situation with regard to China. A century and a half ago, imperial Britain faced a similar competitive threat from America....

Is plutocracy really the problem?

WHY did the policy response to the Great Recession only partly reflect the lessons learned from the Great Depression?

COMMENTARY

How the US might go about tackling the rise of China

IN a recent issue of The New York Review of Books, the historian Adam Tooze notes that, "across the American political spectrum, if there is agreement on anything, it is on the need for a firmer line against China". He's right: On this singular issue, the war hawks, liberal internationalists,...

COMMENTARY

The robo-apocalypse won't be in your lifetime

WILL the imminent "rise of the robots" threaten all future human employment? The most thoughtful discussion of that question can be found in Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) economist David H Autor's 2015 paper, Why Are There Still so Many Jobs?, which considers the problem in the...

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Moore's economic analysis has no basis in empirical reality

IN December 2015, the right-wing commentator Stephen Moore, US President Donald Trump's pick to fill a vacancy on the US Federal Reserve Board of Governors, savagely attacked then-Fed Chair Janet Yellen and her predecessor, Ben Bernanke, for maintaining loose monetary policies in the years...

THE BOTTOM LINE

The Fed should buy recession insurance

THE next global downturn may still be a little way off. The chances that the North Atlantic as a whole will be in recession a year from now have fallen to about one in four. German growth may well be positive this quarter, while China could rebound, too. And although US growth is definitely...