For a few weeks in 1992, U.S. politics were all about “family values.” President George H.W. Bush was in electoral trouble because of a weak economy and rising inequality. So his vice president, Dan Quayle, tried to change the subject by attacking Murphy Brown, a character in a TV sitcom, an unmarried woman who chose to have a child.
Now, it’s true that the big spending plans in the pipeline include “pay-fors” — that is, they include offsetting savings and revenue increases, so they won’t explicitly involve simply borrowing to pay for public investment. But the dissipation of debt panic means that Democrats won’t worry too much about how convincing those pay-fors look.Read More
If you’re under 50, you probably don’t remember when Japan was going to take over the world. But in the late 1980s and early 1990s, many people were obsessed with Japan’s economic success and feared American decline. The supposedly nonfiction sections of airport bookstores were filled with volumes featuring samurai warriors on their covers, promising to teach you the secrets of Japanese management.
That said, one must admit that Senate Republicans, especially Mitch McConnell, effectively blocked infrastructure spending even when Trump was in the White House. The main reason “infrastructure week” became a gag line was the Trump administration’s haplessness and lack of seriousness, its inability to formulate anything resembling a coherent plan.Read More
For a country brimming with “pro-family” politicians, the United States sure is a tough place to raise a family.
We Americans like to think “We’re No. 1,” but one recent study found that the United States was the second worst out of 35 industrialized countries as a place for families.
Conservatives are constantly pushing the claim that tax cuts, in particular, will supercharge growth; they love to cite the supposed economic triumph of Ronald Reagan. But Reagan presided over only a couple of years of very rapid growth, as the economy recovered from a severe recession. Over the course of the 1980s, the economy grew only 0.Read More
Let’s begin with a quick quiz question: What’s the highest-return investment you can think of? Private equity? A hedge fund?
Here’s something with a far higher return: a global campaign to vaccinate people in poor countries against the coronavirus.
So far the United States and other Group of 7 “leading” countries haven’t actually shown leadership in fighting the pandemic globally.