2020

Trump’s ‘Uncreative Destruction’ of the U.S.-China Relationship

Economists like to think of the wreckage caused by stock market downturns, widespread bankruptcies, and corporate downsizing as “creative destruction.” As it destroys the old and the dysfunctional, the capitalist system continually spurs innovation, much as a forest fire prepares the ground for new growth. Or so the representatives of the dismal science argue. Donald… Continue reading Trump’s ‘Uncreative Destruction’ of the U.S.-China Relationship

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COVID-19 and the Global Economy

THE MODERN GLOBAL economy rests on the foundation of modern medicine. The transactions that sustain the global trade of goods and services require an implicit assurance that merchants and financiers are not infecting one another when they meet to conduct business. Economic globalization requires that the nodes of international distribution—ports, airline terminals, railway stations, intermodal hubs—do… Continue reading COVID-19 and the Global Economy

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Will the Coronavirus Kill Globalization?

At a dinner party in mid-February, an architect told me that he was having a problem finishing his building projects. It was the carpets. Most wall-to-wall carpeting for big construction projects in the United States, he explained, comes from China. The coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan — and the subsequent shutdown of many Chinese factories —… Continue reading Will the Coronavirus Kill Globalization?

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2019

The Rising Tide of the Populist Right

In the Americas, the Trump tsunami has swept across both continents and the “pink tide” of progressivism has all but disappeared from the southern half of the hemisphere. In Europe, with the recent exception of Spain, the left has been banished to the political margins. In Africa and Asia, socialism has devolved into nationalism, authoritarianism,… Continue reading The Rising Tide of the Populist Right

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2017

Donald Trump and the Fourth Great Shattering

When the historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., published his bestseller The Disuniting of America in 1991, he didn’t seriously entertain the worst-case scenario suggested by the title. At the time, the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia were imploding, while separatist movements in Quebec, East Timor, Spain’s Basque country, and elsewhere were already clamoring for their own states. But when… Continue reading Donald Trump and the Fourth Great Shattering

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2016