Sep
01
2011

Economic Ideas, On and Off the Table

Fringe theories get a hearing as textbook solutions are shunned

Money--lots of it.

Economics has traditionally been the media's favorite academic discipline. In normal times, the "consensus" of the economics profession (or at least what passes for consensus) tends to weigh heavily in the way reporters and editors cover political subjects--assuming that less-regulated trade is always beneficial, for example. But since the onset of the economic crisis, journalists have increasingly abandoned their habit of deferring to the views of mainstream economics. As economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman often argues (e.g., 5/7/11), the answers to our economic problems that come from ordinary textbook economics have come to be seen as radical […]

Sep
01
2011

The Forever Wars

Media enlist to promote unending military adventures

In the era of the "War on Terror," the United States has embarked on two major wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a NATO-led "humanitarian" bombing of Libya that almost immediately morphed into a war for regime change, and undeclared drone bombing campaigns in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. Launching these wars has been fairly easy for the White House, with or without congressional approval. How any of them ends, though, remains unclear. The shift from the U.S.'s time-limited military adventures since the Vietnam War--in conflicts like Grenada, Panama, Somalia and Kosovo--to today's seemingly interminable and endlessly multiplying military commitments is one […]