By Rhacel Salazar Parrenas Oct 13, 2011 Comments
I spent nine months in Tokyo working as a hostess in a working-class club in one of the city’s many red-light districts, frequented by members of the yakuza, the Japanese crime syndicates. This type of place, in a seedy location, owned by a proprietor with a questionable background, was often assumed to be a site of forced prostitution.
By Rhacel Salazar Parrenas Oct 12, 2011 Comments
A decade ago, the U.S. government determined that apart from terrorism, the gravest threat to democracy in the world was human trafficking. It vowed to wage war on this scourge as well as on terrorism.
Anwar al-Awlaki may be dead, but the two terrorists in Yemen most deserving of U.S. retribution remain alive and well.
By Daniel J. Arbess Oct 10, 2011 Comments
As the debtor economies of the developed world sputter, the health of China grows ever-more central to the fate of the global economy. Yet, the debate on China’s prospects remains polarized and often superficial, with commentary either baselessly bullish or derisively bearish.
By Nicholas Wapshott Oct 10, 2011 Comments
So, more than 80 years after Friedrich Hayek and John Maynard Keynes first crossed swords, who won the most famous duel in the history of economics?
Ogun Dairo put a match to the pile of wood chips she had carried from a nearby sawmill. The chips were soggy and didn’t burn. Instead, they smoldered, and the smoky fire fueled an unlikely global exchange that has supported her family of five for three decades.
By Nicholas Wapshott Oct 9, 2011 Comments
By the early 1940s, the Keynesian Revolution in America was in full swing. Fast-moving events in Germany obliged Franklin D. Roosevelt to spend on the vast scale that John Maynard Keynes prescribed. Despite the president’s assurances during the 1940 presidential campaign -- “I have said this before, but I shall say it again and again and again: Your boys are not going to be sent into foreign wars” -- he ordered a gargantuan rearmament program. In 1940, the annual defense expenditure was $2.2 billion; the following year it reached a sizzling $13.7 billion.
By Douglas Holtz-Eakin Oct 7, 2011 Comments
The U.S. economy is struggling. More than two years after the end of the recession, unemployment is stuck at more than 9 percent. Analysts are lowering their estimates of growth, which they now forecast will be even slower than the disappointing pace of 2011’s first half.
By Nicholas Wapshott Oct 6, 2011 Comments
Friedrich Hayek arrived in London in January 1931 to take up an invitation to participate in the most telling duel in the history of economics. His aim, in four lectures at the London School of Economics: Overturn the theories of John Maynard Keynes, and prove that recessions were not caused by a lack of desire from customers to buy goods.
By Nicholas Wapshott Oct 5, 2011 Comments
The greatest debate in the history of economics began with a simple request for a book. In the early weeks of 1927, Friedrich Hayek, a young Viennese economist, wrote to John Maynard Keynes at King’s College, Cambridge, in England, asking for an economic textbook written 50 years before: Francis Ysidro Edgeworth’s exotically titled “Mathematical Psychics.” Keynes replied with a single line on a plain postcard: “I am sorry to say that my stock of ’Mathematical Psychics’ is exhausted.”
In “American Nations,” I’ve sought to show how our Balkanized past has informed our divided present, in the hopes of fostering a better understanding of the American identity and predicament. But inevitably people ask what this means for the future.
In 2100, will the political map of North America look the same as it does today? Will the continent still be divided into three enormous federations (the U.S., Mexico, Canada)?