Best of the Week: February 28 – March 6, 2010

10. Social Security Does Not Need a “Bailout” — Kathy Ruffing
9. U.S., NATO Intensify War Games Around Russia’s Perimeter — Rick Rozoff and The Pentagon’s Runaway Budget — Carl Conetta
8. The Chicago Boys and the Chilean Earthquake — Andrew Leonard and Milton Friedman Did Not Save Chile — Naomi Klein
7. The Attack on Climate Science: Why It’s the O.J. Moment of the Twenty-First Century — Bill McKibben
6. This Won’t Hurt a Bit — Sharon Begley
5. Larry Fink’s $12 Trillion Shadow — Suzanna Andrews
4. The Way to Stop Prison Rape — David Kaiser & Lovisa Stannow
3. Afghan Ghosts: American Myths — Jonathan Steele
2. The Riddle of Experience vs. Memory — Daniel Kahneman
1. Betting on the Blind Side — Michael Lewis
BONUS:  The Joy of X — Steven Strogatz

19 Days To Go: The Late Great Paul Samuelson

180px-Paul_SamuelsonThe greatest living economist has passed away.

This statement is not intended as a subjective judgment of the accuracy of his theories or my opinion of his political views, though both rank very high. It is simply a fact that no economist since John Maynard Keynes has been so influential (and indeed, though Keynes’s theories were more groundbreaking, Samuelson’s may have inspired more intellectual output).

I wish I had the time or the insights to wish him a proper farewell, but alas I am deep in the second draft of my book and would probably have little to add to the many eulogies that will come from across the academic world (for example, Real Time Economics has a smattering of economist reactions). The New York Times has a deservedly long article celebrating his major achievements. I encourage you to read it all.   Continue reading “19 Days To Go: The Late Great Paul Samuelson”

Yea, We Get It Already. Afghanistan = Vietnam. Now Can We Do Something About It?

In the umpteenth attempt to drain some forgotten lesson out of Vietnam and apply it to Afghanistan, the New York Times publishes an op-ed from retired Army Lieutenant Colonel Lewis Sorley. To Sorley’s credit, his analysis is carefully reasoned and more specific than most such comparisons. But Sorley suffers from the crucial leap of logic that Boston University military historian and former Army Colonel Andrew J. Bacevich keeps harping on: mistaking tactics for strategy.   Continue reading “Yea, We Get It Already. Afghanistan = Vietnam. Now Can We Do Something About It?”