Tag: Europe

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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Goodbye, Maggie »

Margaret Thatcher’s death caught up with me in the worst of places: a speech in Argentina. What to do? Should I follow my conscience and say a few words in memory of her—and risk offending an audience sensitive to the legacy of the Falklands War—or should I keep silent? I opted for saying a...
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Italy’s Populists »

The populist reaction against Europe’s crisis continues to move south, as exemplified by the astounding success of the Five Star Movement led by comedian Giuseppe Grillo, which became Italy’s largest single party in the recent general elections. An organization that has been in existence for three years, the Five Star Movement has capitalized on...
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No Surprise: U.S. Urges Britain to Warm to Brussels’ Centralization »

According to the London Evening Standard, Prime Minister David Cameron is planning to announce a referendum to be held after the 2015 general election on Britain’s relationship with the EU. Conservatives hope to negotiate a looser membership in which fewer powers are ceded to Brussels, and hold a referendum on the outcome. In other words, Britain...
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Is Christine Lagarde a Higgsean? »

Well, no, the IMF chief is a moderate Keynesian, like all her Establishment colleagues, and praises the world’s central banks for flooding the globe with cheap money. But she does recognize the critical role of regime uncertainty in hindering recovery: Lagarde said a number of factors are eroding growth. “At the center of them...
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Stimulating—Enough Already! »

Despite the evidence to the contrary, the dominant sentiment among politicians, academics and journalists in the United States, Europe and Japan continues to be that stimulating the economy via fiscal and monetary policy is the answer to the economic stagnation. It was stimulation—coupled with lower tax revenue due to the recession—that got several European...
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The Fading Promise of the Euro »

When the euro was created in 1999 the new currency promised to facilitate trade within the euro zone, to further unify Europe, and to challenge the dollar as the world’s reserve currency. The common currency does facilitate trade, but the differing goals of the member countries seem to be creating more divisiveness than unity...
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The Drowning Lifeguard? »

With Berlin under pressure from everybody to rescue everyone, the recent confirmation of Germany´s economic slowdown and Moody´s threat to downgrade the Triple-A rating enjoyed by that country´s sovereign debt is a poignant reminder that in certain circumstances the lifeguard can also drown. The last time Germany used its muscle to pull a partner...
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What Crusaders for Liberty Are Up Against: Part II »

Recently my fellow blogger Robert Higgs put up a post on The Beacon with this title, and I am following up with a post of the same name, after my attendance at the annual meeting of the Association for Heterodox Economics (AHE) last week. The AHE is an organization of academic economists from throughout...
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Is There a Trade-Off Between Economic Growth and Equality? »

The American dream is moving out of reach for average Americans, according to this article, even as things have looked up for the top 10%. Statistics like this prompt calls for increasing government redistribution and more progressive taxation to level the playing field. We know that redistributive policies lower economic growth and ultimately make...
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