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November, 2015


One debate, two perspectives

In contrast to the previous two Republican presidential debates, which were criticized for quirky and “gotcha” questions, the one held in Milwaukee on Tuesday night by Fox Business Network got right into meaty issues with a question on the minimum wage. Bloomberg View’s Ramesh Ponnuru and Paula Dwyer give their blow by blow of some of the issues discussed. Dwyer: Donald Trump says he’s not sympathetic with people who want a $15 minimum wage. I wonder if that’s going to cost him support among working-class voters. Ponnuru: Wasn’t much of his case for immigration restriction that it would raise wages?Read More

Bush was better, but is that enough?

A new McClatchy/Marist poll released earlier this week revealed that 58 percent of those surveyed said the more they hear about Jeb Bush the less they like him. Only 32 percent said the more they hear, the more they like him. His marks were worse than any of the other candidates the pollsters asked about, including Trump. In fairness to Bush, the poll was taken after his weak performance in the CNBC debate. Will his performance in the November 11 GOP Milwaukee debate change those responses? It is hard to erase a negative impression in opinions and negative impressions ofRead More

The price of free speech in Japan

It’s not just American university campuses that are being roiled by clashes over the limits of free speech. At one of Japan’s most prestigious institutions of higher learning, no less than the president himself has just been dismissed by his academic colleagues for publicly supporting Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The dispute taps into a deeper national debate over Japan’s future. A favorite claim of liberal academics and activists is that Japan remains one of the most conservative societies. In recent years, their invective has been directed toward Mr. Abe, who is charged with repressing and intimidating liberal views. Media outletsRead More

Wednesday afternoon links

1. Chart of the Day I (above). Traffic volume data recently released by the Federal Highway Administration through August indicate that Americans have been driving at record levels lately. For the month of August, total travel on all US roads and streets was estimated to be 277.3 billion miles, which was 2.3% above August 2014, and established a new all-time record high for travel volume during the month of August. The moving 12-month total for traffic volume on all roads and streets was 3.11 trillion miles through August 2015, which also established a new record high (see chart above). Compared to August of last year, theRead More

North Korea’s “epic economic fail” in international perspective

DOWNLOAD THE REPORT This report brings to the table new research on the dimensions of economic failure in modern North Korea, offers a quantitative view of how nations develop in our modern world, and where North Korea’s awful slide downward fits within this global tableau; offers admittedly approximate long term estimates of overall net resource transfers to the DPRK, including estimates of net transfers from the major state benefactors; and some indications about the interplay between concessionary resource transfers from abroad and the DPRK’s domestic economic performance. It concludes with some observations about the implications of these findings. Source: New AEIRead More

Debate Debrief: More economics for the GOP in Round IV

Barely two weeks after the Republican primary debate hosted by CNBC in Colorado, Fox Business Network (FBN) welcomed the 2016 GOP candidates to Milwaukee to discuss the economy. Co-hosted by the Wall Street Journal, the evening was split into a 7 p.m. undercard debate and the main event at 9 p.m. At 7 p.m. Trish Regan and Sandra Smith, both of FBN, & WSJ’s Washington Bureau Chief Gerald Seib led Governor Chris Christie (NJ), former governor Mike Huckabee (AR), Governor Bobby Jindal (LA), and former senator Rick Santorum (PA) in an hour of back-and-forth. Republican presidential candidates pose during aRead More