Economics

Fiber Connectivity in the United States

Susan Crawford— In the United States, we cannot even imagine cheap, unlimited communications capacity in our homes. Because of decades of political maneuvering by the enormous private companies that sell internet access to American consumers, a lack of leadership at the federal level, and the invisibility of this entire policy

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The Rise of Seapower

Andrew Lambert— Seapower, a distinctive socio-political response to unique circumstances, emerged in the eastern Mediterranean between 2000 and 500 BC. Sea cities evolved to service the resource demands of great land-locked powers: Egypt, Anatolia and above all Mesopotamia. Sailing ships moved timber and metals over increasing distances. Insular Tyre, the

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Populism in France

Christophe Guilluy— Amid a fanfare of republican self-congratulation, France has embraced globalization in all its glory. Wherever one looks, from the chronic alternation between traditional parties of the center left and center right to the denial of democracy itself, with the farcical referendum of 2005 on a European constitution, it

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Fear and Financial Crisis

Ben S. Bernanke, Timothy F. Geithner, Henry M. Paulson Jr.— The crisis of 2008 was a classic financial panic, a staple of economic history at least since the Dutch tulip crisis of 1637, except this time it was rooted in a mania over dubious mortgages rather than fashionable flowers. As

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My Doctor Told Me the Cost of the Appointment . . . Give or Take $200!

Peter A. Ubel— I had a persistent skin condition, and my dermatologist thought I should see someone with more experience caring for that kind of lesion. So, I went to a new dermatologist—I will call her Dr. Freezeitoff. At the front desk, the clerk reminded me that Dr. Freezeitoff wasn’t

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Why Do Markets Collapse?

Robert Skidelsky— Macroeconomics is about money and government, and their relationship. The unsettled questions in macroeconomic policy stem from disputes about the part money plays in economic life, and the part government should play. For 250 years, the dominant view of the economic profession has been that money is of

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The Dogs of War

George Magnus— When Mark Antony utters the words ‘let slip the dogs of war’ after the assassination of Julius Caesar, he is thought to be referring to devices in civilised societies that allow or inhibit war. For a long time, China and the US have had spats over specific trade

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Materialism and the Senses

Terry Eagleton— The early Marx is engaged on an arrestingly original project. No other critic of the system under which he lived had taken it to task for what it does to the human senses. There had been no such phenomenology of capitalism before. In Marx’s view, the capitalist mode

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Mining and the Rise of Capitalism

Jeannette Graulau— From David Landes’s Prometheus Unbound to Giovanni Arrighi’s Origins of Our Times, scholars continue to quarrel over one of the most difficult questions of all time: the why, how, and where of the origins of capitalism. Some return to the inexhaustible argument of England’s Industrial Revolution. Others, demystifying

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Nature’s Remedies: The Environmental Impact of Chinese Medicine in the Global Medical Marketplace

Tamara Venit Shelton— Nearly three years ago, on January 18, 2017, Chinese President Xi Jinping visited the World Health Organization and presented a traditional bronze statue used to identify acupuncture points on the human body. The gift was part of the Chinese government’s ongoing campaign to promote Traditional Chinese Medicine,

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