Tag: Europe

Speak Loudly and Carry a Small Stick »

At the beginning of the twentieth century, President Teddy Roosevelt’s foreign policy was, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” At the beginning of the twenty-first, President Obama’s policy appears to the the opposite: “Speak loudly and carry a small stick.” President Obama threatened Syria not to step over a “red line” by using...
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Ukraine’s Orange Revolution, Part 2 »

Russia’s Vladimir Putin has obtained a Pyrrhic victory in forcing the Ukraine to reject a free-trade agreement with the European Union that would have eliminated 95 percent of custom duties on its exports to those 28 countries and, more importantly, institutionalized its ties to the Western world. The move has triggered protests that have...
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U.S. Ranks Third Lowest of Eleven Countries on Health Care Spending »

Every year, scholars from the Commonwealth Fund report the results of a survey of eleven developed countries, which questions thousands of residents about their health costs and access to health care. The media invariably cherry pick the report to produce headlines like this: “We pay more, wait longer than other countries”. Perhaps there is...
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Stephen Halbrook’s Gun Control in the Third Reich »

The gun control debate in the United States is often couched in somewhat parochial terms, with one side invoking, for example, the nation’s unique Second Amendment guarantees and the other citing America’s disturbing problems with gun violence. Yet for this issue (and many others), it’s often enlightening to look at the experiences of other...
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When Extremism Is Seen as Moderate... »

France’s National Front, the far-right organization that has become a symbol of the xenophobic, Euroskeptic, nationalist reaction against the prevailing problems in Europe, has sent ripples across the world by topping the latest polls and winning a significant by-election. Marine Le Pen, its leader, is busy giving birth to a continent-wide movement of like-minded...
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Obama Administration Says ‘Nein’ to German Homeschooling Family Seeking Asylum »

Late last month a heavily armed SWAT team consisting of police, special agents, and social workers, stormed the home of Dirk and Petra Wunderlich. This was the culmination of a four-year saga trying to evade German authorities. No, the Wunderliches were not cooking up a dastardly terrorist plot or smoking pot. Their high crime...
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The Republic of Georgia’s Uncertain Economic Future »

Over the past ten years the Republic of Georgia has seen a remarkable amount of economic progress. Twenty-one years ago, Georgia was one of the Soviet republics, and struggled economically after the break-up of the Soviet Union. Its economic turnaround came with the election of Mikheil Saakashvili as president in 2004. He fired all...
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Bismarck and Healthcare Insurance: DeLong and DeShort of It »

Brad DeLong at The Health Care blog makes these assertions: Bismarck created the world’s first national health insurance system 130 years ago because he wanted to make the German people healthier. The rationale for national health insurance in the U.S. today is the same as it was for Bismarck. People can’t pay for expensive...
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A New Case for Freedom of Immigration: Alvaro Vargas Llosa’s Global Crossings »

Immigration has long been a hot-button topic—and not only in the United States. “[I]n a number of opinion surveys, fewer than one in ten people in many countries belonging to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development favor increased migration,” the noted development economist Lant Pritchett wrote in 2006. One reason may be a...
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No Longer Fruitcakes. . . »

Barring legal maneuvers, a fringe party becomes part of a country’s mainstream politics for one of two reasons: because it sheds or conceals its extravagant views or because mainstream politics shifts in such a way as to make it relevant. The UK Independence Party, which won an average of 25 percent of the vote...
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