The problem with the current pandemic is that we don’t know if we’re coming or going. It’s as if we’re swimming far from shore, overwhelmed by one wave after another, and we’re unsure if we’re heading toward land or away from it. China was the early face of COVID-19, but it hasn’t faced many infections… Continue reading What’s Up with the Herd?
COVID-19 has been ruthless in choosing winners and losers around the world. The obvious “losers” have been those countries led by right-wing nationalists: Brazil, India, Russia, the United Kingdom, and (until recently) the United States. These five countries are responsible for more than half of the world’s coronavirus infections and nearly half the deaths. Just… Continue reading What Explains COVID’s East-West Divide?
The presidential election wasn’t close. Joe Biden won the popular vote by more than 7 million votes, which translates to a margin of 4.5 percent. His Electoral College victory was larger than either of George W. Bush’s. Yet, Donald Trump still refuses to concede. The soon-to-be-ex-president tried to pressure Republican legislators to overturn the election… Continue reading America’s Destructive Denialisms
If the current pandemic is a test of the global emergency response system, the international community is flunking big time. It has done just about everything wrong, from the failure to contain the virus early on to the lack of effective coordination thereafter. As the predicted second wave begins to build — the world is… Continue reading The Pandemic Pivot
During the Trump era, America increasingly seems like a motley collection of states brought together for reasons of territorial contiguity and little else. The conservative South is ravaged by a pandemic. The liberal Northeast waits patiently for elections in November to oust a tyrant. A rebellious Pacific Northwest faces off against federal troops sent to… Continue reading Pandemic Reveals Europe More United Than United States
If the United States had quick-thinking and efficient leadership, the pandemic would have infected about 100,000 people and killed only a couple thousand. That’s the experience of South Korea, times seven to account for the difference in population. If the United States had overwhelmed but reasonably sensible leadership, the coronavirus pandemic would have racked up… Continue reading In the US, the Second Wave Is Already Here
Complaints about American decline have been commonplace since at least the Vietnam War era. In the late 1980s, declinism experienced an upsurge with the publication of The Rise and Fall of Great Powers, by Paul Kennedy, which warned of the dangers of imperial overstretch. Even America’s putative victory over the Soviet Union in the Cold… Continue reading The Descent of America
After the election of Donald Trump, New Zealand became the go-to option for terrified Americans fantasizing about emigration. Three years later, New Zealand has burnished its reputation as a credible refuge by successfully confronting two epidemics that continue to plague the United States—one political, the other medical. New Zealand’s most recent success has been its… Continue reading New Zealand: David Confronts Two Goliaths
In his infinite ignorance, Donald Trump has invited world leaders to the White House for a face-to-face meeting at the end of June. Unlike the other countries in the G7, the United States has yet to get the coronavirus pandemic under control. One of the hotspots that the White House itself has identified is none… Continue reading Is It Time to Boycott the United States?
Welcome to Chewing the Fat, our weekly talk show here at WXYZ. Today, we have a special treat for you — two guests who will answer the question on everyone’s mind. Should we stay at home in virtual quarantine or should we head out the front door and reopen the economy? The coronavirus pandemic is… Continue reading Death and the Economy: A Dialogue