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“The Middle Way Is None At All”

The full quotation, “In politics the middle way is none at all” is attributed to John Adams, frustrated by holdouts in the Second Continental Congress, who were clogging the docket with useless half-measures and misguided appeasements during the debate over a declaration of independence.  Of course, we know that John Adam’s views prevailed and independence […]

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The Yellow Vests Movement

According to Wikipedia, the yellow vest movement is a populist, grassroots, political, revolutionary, (take your pick) movement that began in France in October 2018.  The movement is motivated by rising fuel prices, a high cost of living and the belief that a disproportionate burden of the government’s tax reforms are falling on the working and […]

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Understanding Brexit

In Great Britain you can bet on almost anything through authorized bookmakers.  Currently, the odds on Brexit happening are now, for the first time, no better than even. Trying to explain Brexit is almost impossible.  Perhaps the most interesting effort comes from Jeff Lafferty, a Scottish comedian.  “So the way I understand it is that […]

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Subsidy Risk

Dependence on subsidies entails significant, and potentially existential, risk factors.  A case can be made in favor of subsidizing new technology, for limited periods, in order to mitigate early, low volume related costs, as potential participants seek to reach critical mass.  However, subsidies are generally of limited duration, as the long term costs are not […]

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Universal Basic Income: Now India?

We have previously commented on proposals by economists and political scientists that would substitute universal income policies as credible alternatives to existing social programs such as unemployment insurance.  (see blogs dated 2015-12-17, 2016-11-22 and 2018-05-02,) The idea is straightforward:  Provide citizens with a minimum allowance, without means-testing, that would give everyone the wherewithal to live […]

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“The Risks of Failing to See the Sea”

This is the title of a recent Wall Street Journal editorial written by Elisabeth Braw, referencing a major military exercise, in and around Norway, involving 31 countries.  She notes that the West suffers from what is sometimes called “sea blindness”, a general ignorance of maritime and naval affairs. She goes on to suggest that, since […]

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