The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
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For years, economists said Germany was doing everything wrong. But today it's thriving, even in the wake of the global...
American and British commentators have told three stories about the German economy over the past decade, all of them derogatory. Articulating a standard conservative view, Adam Posen of the Peterson Institute for International Economics in 2006 characterized Germany's performance as "lastingly poor." In a similar vein, Jude Blanchette, blogging for the libertarian Mises Institute, predicted... Read More
After the economist Nicholas Lardy visited China in the mid-1980s, he came away distinctly skeptical. While Chinese leaders were gearing up for a huge export drive, Lardy predicted “a marked slowing in China's trade expansion in the years ahead.” In particular he questioned Beijing's reported plan to boost total Chinese trade (imports plus exports) to... Read More
The size of the trade deficit with China is one of the hottest potatoes in American economic policy these days. It is about to get a little hotter, thanks to Beijing's highly provocative, if hitherto largely overlooked, controls on outbound tourism. In theory the United States should be a major beneficiary -- perhaps the major... Read More
n all the public bickering recently between Japan and China, one fact has received remarkably little attention: Japan's continuing refusal to pay compensation to victims of its militarist-era brutality. Ever since Japan surrendered in August 1945, one of the Japanese government's key policy objectives has been to slough off all such compensation claims. Japanese officials... Read More
For those who claim to understand the global economy, here's a pertinent question: Which East Asian economic powerhouse recently announced the largest current-account surplus in world history? The answer is Japan, although very few readers of the American press are likely to have noticed. Given the continuing media obsession with China, little news about East... Read More
When the 1970 Nobel laureate Paul Samuelson was asked what it takes to win a Nobel Prize, he volunteered, "It doesn't hurt to have good students." But even Samuelson's overachieving students -- he has taught economics at MIT for six decades -- sometimes need to be put in their place. At least that seems to... Read More
While it is still unclear how large the trade problem will loom in the presidential election, there is surely plenty to be worried about. On several occasions under George W. Bush, the monthly trade deficit has exceeded the total annual deficit -- $41 billion -- in the entire last year of his father's administration. Of... Read More
If ever there were a time for top-to-bottom reassessment of the U.S. transportation system, now is that time. James Fallows's Free Flight, published last summer, and Jim Motavalli's just-released Breaking Gridlock provide stimulating insights into the ways better technology and sensible planning might come together to improve methods of travel. Fallows offers a forward-looking account... Read More
By recent standards, the dismal U.S. trade figures for April 2000 counted as a relief. After all, imports fell slightly, and this helped narrow the trade deficit for the first time since August 1999. So much for the good news. Now for the bad: At $30.4 billion, the April deficit was just fractionally below the... Read More