When a patient dies in a hospital, it’s not uncommon for doctors to convene what is known as a morbidity and mortality conference, the goal of which is to determine what went wrong and why. In the months and years following a national crisis, we engage in a somewhat similar process. Over time, official investigations are carried out, and political leaders, the media and the public initiate ad hoc debates meant to arrive at a general understanding of the primary cause of the crisis and what steps need to be taken to prevent something like it from ever happening again. Read the rest at Geopolitical Futures.
When the coronavirus pandemic slows and allows us to catch a breath — both literally and figuratively — there will be an international reckoning that likely will end with China bearing the brunt of the blame. In order to force China to implement adequate safety standards, we should stop importing essential items, especially food, medicine and medical equipment, until the country proves that it can be a responsible member of the global community. Read the rest at USA Today.
The world is gripped with fear and fascination. If anyone predicted that politics and economics in 2020 would be upended by a tiny sack of chemicals known as a virus, I tip my hat to you. Few of us — perhaps with the exception of survivalists and flu scientists — saw this coming. Read the rest at Puget Sound Business Journal.
The biggest political and economic effects of pandemics come from public panic and panicked government responses, not the disease itself. Read the rest at Geopolitical Futures.
I used to freelance for The Economist, and one of my favorite covers is from 1992. Under the headline, “Who would tame Leviathan?” is a grotesque, blue monster (donning a bowler hat, of course) with an insatiable appetite for money. Who is Leviathan? Leviathan is the government. Read the rest at Puget Sound Business Journal.
Earlier this year, my wife and I decided to decamp from Seattle and head for the suburbs. We put our small, Northgate-area condo on the market, and it sold in less than 24 hours for $30,000 over asking price. How did we do it? Read the rest at Puget Sound Business Journal.
I KNEW Seattle was no longer a place for me when I met with Debora Juarez — the District 5 City Council member I had voted for. Read the rest at the Seattle Times.
This article was originally posted on RealClearScience.
It is generally accepted as gospel truth among climate scientists and science writers that the world must immediately and drastically reduce carbon emissions in order to prevent apocalyptic climate change. Though RCS’s editorial stance toward apocalyptic climate change is one of skepticism — largely because doomsday prophets, be they the scientific or religious type, have always been wrong — we freely admit that a catastrophic outcome is a possibility and radical measures may be necessary. (At this time, however, we believe that the best policy is the gradual lowering of carbon emissions through the implementation of a carbon tax.)
Whatever combination of climate solutions the world decides to implement, a new analysis in Environmental Science & Technology reminds us that all policies bear costs and unintended consequences. In the case of greenhouse gas reductions, the unintended consequence may be an increased risk of global hunger. Continue reading
This article was originally published on RealClearScience.
It’s time to end the federal porn subsidy.
You might be asking, What federal porn subsidy? Fair question. Technically, there isn’t a federal porn subsidy. However, if we borrow some of the logic commonly used by politically driven economists, we can redefine the word subsidy to mean whatever we want. Continue reading
This article was originally posted on RealClearWorld.
My wife and I travel to Europe about every eight months. (Photographs? I thought you’d never ask!) In order to minimize costs, we closely monitor exchange rates, preferring to book trips when the rate is favorable.
Currently, 1 U.S. dollar purchases 0.89 euros. The exchange rate hasn’t been this good for American travelers since September 2003. (See chart.)
It’s raining euros, hallelujah! (Credit: European Central Bank)
The good news (for Americans travelers and European exporters, but not necessarily anybody else) is that the euro is expected to keep falling. In fact, The Economist predicts that the U.S. dollar may reach parity with the euro sometime this year. That hasn’t happened since November 2002.