Populism’s continuing rise

Yascha Mounk interviewed by David Frum in the Atlantic, on populism, the trouble with illiberal democracies and America’s role. An excerpt: “The first is that we need to fight for an inclusive nationalism. This means that we oppose any attempt to identify the nation with a particular ethnic or religious group (as parts of the currentContinue reading “Populism’s continuing rise”

The remedy for inequality? War

Democracy on its own does not consistently lower inequality, Walter Scheidel argues in the Atlantic, only catastrophe will. As “inequality has been written into the DNA of civilization ever since humans first settled down to farm the land. Throughout history, only massive, violent shocks that upended the established order proved powerful enough to flatten disparitiesContinue reading “The remedy for inequality? War”

Still waiting for the new big macroeconomic idea..

Saltwater economics vs. freshwater economics: the battle is on. New Keynesian macroeconomists (saltwater) fail to acknowledge radical uncertainty in their models, and still can’t to explain why banks underprice risk worldwide. But has the other side a better model? Read this interesting article by Robert Skidelsky for Project Syndicate.

How to dispute indisputable facts

Well, try the guidebook of the cigarette industry, writes ‘ Undercover Economist’ Tim Harford. Applicable to Brexit campaigns, Trump news conferences, Russia state propaganda and Facebook filter bubbles. False claims stick……..fact checking doesn’t work (not in the least because facts are boring)……..distraction does work………….as does some level of ignorance…………and polarisation. How to solve this problem?Continue reading “How to dispute indisputable facts”

Fukuyama – the prophet

The read of the week: an essay on why Francis Fukuyama is still so widely misunderstood and the high level of accuracy his predictions had, including the rise of Donald Trump…25 years ago. An appetizer: “The spread of egalitarian values that went along with secular democratic politics would open up spaces of severe resentment –Continue reading “Fukuyama – the prophet”

Een conservatieve oplossing voor het klimaat

Heel interessant voorstel voor een CO2 belasting uit onverdachte hoek. Ondere uit de koker van Hank Paulson, minister van Financien onder George W. Bush en oud-topman van Goldman Sachs. Benieuwd of de nieuwe Republikeinse president er wat in ziet… Larry Summers is ook een voorstander.

Minority power

Fascinating piece by the great Nassim Nicholas Taleb (from last summer) on intolerance as a winning strategy (when in doubt, choose McDonald’s). It’s a long read, but worth every minute. It will teach you a lot on the impact of applying minority rule to democracy, religion and financial markets. As a teaser: “Let us conjectureContinue reading “Minority power”