Most recent Viewpoints blogs and columns

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    Politics Makes Us ‘Stupid’ Because the World is Complex

    Ezra Klein has launched his new site,, with an essay on ‘how politics makes us stupid’. The piece is provocative, and Klein uses some... Read more

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    The Sad State of the Economics Profession

    It is not an exaggeration to say the current reputation of economists is probably just below that of a used car salesman. The recent failures... Read more

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    The IMF is Dead Wrong on Low Interest Rates

    In its just-published World Economic Outlook the IMF trumpets the view that the real level of equilibrium interest rates worldwide has declined substantially since the... Read more

  • A Syrian man (R) runs past rubble as smoke billows in the background following a reported air strike by Syrian government forces on March 7, 2014 during the Friday prayers in the Sukkari neighborhood of the northern city of Aleppo. More than 140,000 people have been killed in Syria since the start of a March 2011 uprising against the Assad family's 40-year rule. (Baraa Al-Halabi/AFP/Getty Images)

    Syria’s Real Scoreboard

    It’s simpler when war is binary. Easier to understand – and discuss – when one side is winning, and the other is losing. When it... Read more

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin looks on during a lunch hosted by the office of the Russian President Vladimir Putin for the Presidents of the International Paralympic Committee member organisations during the 2014 Sochi Paralympic Games on March 13, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Harry Engels/Getty Images)

    Putin’s Risky Bet in Ukraine

    To understand why Russian President Vladimir Putin has been willing to escalate tensions in the Ukraine even after annexing the Crimean peninsula, it’s instructive to... Read more

  • Part of the thousands of acres of Bureau of Land Management land that has been temporarily closed to round-up illegal cattle that are grazing south of Mesquite Nevada on April 10, 2014 in Mesquite, Nevada. BLM officials are rounding up ranchers Cliven Bundy's cattle, who has been locked in a dispute with the BLM for a couple of decades over grazing rights.(George Frey/Getty Images)

    Bundy, the Senecas and Fighting for Sovereignty

    In 1997, New York state declared war on the Seneca Nation reservations located upstate near Tonawanda. The war was over a declared power of the... Read more

  • French soldiers stand guard near the Eiffel Tower in Paris on March 30, 2013. (Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images)

    Our First Ally

    Napoleon got smacked around by the fierce Russian winter, and the Germans had their way with the French army in three wars over seven decades,... Read more

  • A partial eclipse is seen during sunset over the Dome of the Rock, a Muslim holy site, in Jerusalem's old city, on November 3, 2013. The rare solar eclipse will sweep across parts of Africa, Europe and the United States as the moon blocks the sun either fully or partially, depending on the location. (Menahem Kahana/AFP/Getty Images)

    Why Are Muslims Turning Away From Science?

    “Seek knowledge, even if you have to go all the way to China!” The above is one of the most well known and oft-quoted statements... Read more

  • A Russian military intelligence special troops soldier trains during military exercises in the southern Russia's Volgograd region, on April 4, 2014. Russia's aggression in Ukraine has met with weak opposition from Western leaders, argues Robert Murray with the Frontier Centre for Public Policy. (Andrey Kronberg/AFP/Getty Images)

    The Poverty of Western Strategy in Ukraine

    The West has very few options left to curb further Russian aggression in the Ukraine. After seizing Crimea many naively hoped that Russia would be... Read more

  • An 18-month-old giraffe named Marius, who was shot dead and autopsied in the presence of visitors at Copenhagen Zoo on Feb. 9, 2014. Photo was taken on Feb. 7. (Keld Navntoft/AFP/Getty Images)

    The Shooting of Marius the Giraffe: Cruel When Not Kind

    Recently, the Copenhagen Zoo shot a young giraffe named Marius with a bolt gun, publicly dissected it—like a hanged criminal in 18th-century England—in front of... Read more

  • Cisco Systems Inc. Chairman and CEO John Chambers in Las Vegas on Jan. 7, 2014. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

    From Syria to China, Cisco Stonewalls on Inquiries Into Surveillance Projects

    Like other “networking giants” in the industry it leads, Cisco Systems does business with governments and private sector entities around the world. It is not... Read more

  • Kirstin Petersen, an academic fellow in artificial intelligence at Harvard University, demonstrates robots inspired by termites at the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Chicago on Feb. 13, 2014. (Kerry Sheridan/AFP/Getty Images)

    Government as Innovator? You Bet!

    Five years ago, the federal government spent $169 billion to fund basic research and development. This fiscal year, it’s down to $134billion. People who believe... Read more

  • Pedestrians stand in front of a share price board in Tokyo on April 7, 2014. (Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP/Getty Images)

    Japan Lost the Battle to Be a Top-Tier Power

    For an extended period of time after World War II, Japan had the potential to be a major economic power behind the United States, given... Read more

  • A Ukrainian soldier guards a road not far from Prokhody, a village in the Kharkiv region, some 4km from the Russian border, on April 5, 2014. Officially, these Ukrainian conscripts are conducting military exercises, but with a reported 40,000 Russian troops gathered along the border just weeks after annexing Crimea, these soldiers have been deployed to repel an invasion from invisible but feared troops amassed on the other side. (Robert Leslie/AFP/Getty Images)

    Ukraine Crisis: Is the West Powerless to Stop Russian Aggression?

    As the situation in Ukraine rapidly spins out of control, various Western leaders have stepped up their verbal warnings to Russia. President Obama, in a... Read more

  • Outgoing Algerian premier and newly appointed Algerian president's campaign manager Abdelmalek Sellal speaks during a political meeting in the city of Tlemcen, some 600 km west of Algiers, ahead of next month's presidential election. Algeria's leader Abdelaziz Bouteflika who is running for re-election appointed Energy Minister Youcef Yousfi as interim premier while outgoing Sellal was tasked with running the ailing president's campaign. (Farouk Batiche/AFP/Getty Images)

    The Algerian Elections and the Status Quo

    As in many other authoritarian regimes in the region, the Algerian elections are not meant to facilitate a change of leadership through voting, but are... Read more

  • Afghan policemen take position near Kabul military airport in Kabul on June 10, 2013, during a clash between insurgents and Afghan security forces. Taliban insurgents claimed responsibility for the continuing attack on Kabul airport on Monday, saying that military facilities had been targeted by gunmen. (Massoud Hossaini/AFP/Getty Images)

    Taliban Victory in Afghanistan Would Pose Problem for Pakistan

    As the world awaits the outcome of the Afghan elections and the beginning of NATO withdrawal, it’s generally assumed that Pakistan would welcome Taliban victory... Read more

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    Cognitive Dissonance on Minimum Wages and Maximum Rents

    “Many cities are pricey places to live.” That was the opening line and major premise of a recent Los Angeles Times opinion piece advocating that... Read more

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin looks on during a press conference in his country residence of Novo-Ogaryova outside Moscow on March 4, 2014. Russian President Vladimir Putin on March 4 said that deposed Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych had no political future but asserted he was legally still head of state. (Alexey Nikolsky/AFP/Getty Images)

    How Did Putinism Come to Pass?

    At the moment, Russia stations 100,000 troops at Northern, Southern and Eastern borders of Ukraine to intimidate that country. With the achievement of getting Crimea... Read more

  • A protester wears stickers on his face during a tax day demonstration in front of the James A. Farley Post Office in New York on April 17, 2012. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

    How America Created Canada’s High-Tax State

    For some present-day Canadians, it is often assumed that our identity rests upon a higher tax burden vis-à-vis the United States. Actually, the historical record... Read more

  • Oscar Pistorius puts on his jacket as he arrives at the high court in Pretoria, South Africa, on April 11, 2014. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

    Marching on Pistorius: Athlete and Democracy on Trial in South Africa

    With Nelson Mandela’s death, news from South Africa seemed to have died along with the world’s most famous ex-political prisoner turned president. It was as... Read more