Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

Ross Douthat tries to gloss DeSantis’ abusive treatment of migrants.  It goes about as well as you would expect.

DeSantis’ decision to send migrants to Martha’s Vineyard on false pretenses was clearly repugnant.  In fact, it seems to have been even worse than it appears:  the organizers apparently tried to trick the migrants into reporting their whereabouts to the wrong authorities, which would have jeopardized their status. But over on twitter, Ross Douthat tries […]

Fukuyama on Russia, Ukraine, and the future of democracy

I was planning to make this argument, but Fukuyama says it better than I would have: Thirdly, a Russian military failure—meaning at minimum the liberation of territories conquered after 24 February 2022—will have enormous political reverberations around the world. Russia and China prior to the war argued that liberal democracies, particularly the United States, were […]

More disinformation about COVID policy in New Zealand

I have a piece up at Science Based Medicine responding to criticism of New Zealand’s zero COVID policy by Jay Bhattacharya, an author of the Great Barrington Declaration and an uncompromising critic of COVID restrictions.  Here’s the intro: Bhattacharya’s most compelling argument is that the zero COVID policy led to an increase in non-COVID mortality […]

Russia is truly f*cked

I’m not talking about the current military situation or the ongoing destruction of the Russian armed forces; to be clear I hope Russia suffers a crushing defeat at the hands of the Ukrainians.  I’m referring to the damage that the Ukraine war is doing to Russian society.  This damage is immeasurable:  extreme levels of political […]

Committing to Ukraine

We need to make a long-term commitment to Ukrainian victory.  Jack Watling: Given that offensive operations to liberate occupied territories are likely to run through 2023 and are dependent upon Western aid, it is important that Ukraine’s international partners stop periodic announcements about specific lists of equipment and instead articulate a longer-term commitment to structural […]

How should economists criticize Biden’s actions on student loans?

There has been a lot of criticism of Biden’s student loan forgiveness among economists and policy journalists.  And the criticism is not limited to libertarian types, but extends to many economists who clearly care about debt relief, progressivity, and improving the quality and accessibility of higher education but who are nonetheless very critical of the […]

Here’s how Democrats can leverage abortion and Social Security in 2022

Data for Progress has new polling showing that Social Security is very popular, and that Social Security messaging helps Democrats in a generic ballot poll.     The DFP polling comes on the heels of recent comments from Republican politicians about cutting, sunsetting, or privatizing Social Security. So in theory Social Security looks like a good […]