Ignoring climate change could sink the US economy

Good economic decisions require good data. And to get good data, we must account for all relevant variables. But we’re not doing this when it comes to climate change — and that means we’re making decisions based on a flawed picture of future risks. While we can’t define future climate-change risks with precision, they should be included in economic policy, fiscal and business decisions because of their potential magnitude.

‘Poor doors’ inevitable in Manhattan real estate

Everybody’s mad about the “poor door.” This is the name critics have bestowed upon the separate entrance for the affordable-housing units at a planned new luxury building on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Those who pay market rates would have access to extra amenities – gym, pool, Hudson River views – as well as their own doors and lobby.

3 ideas from Paul Ryan’s poverty plan that liberals can love

Liberals are used to hating Rep. Paul Ryan.

I fought predatory, for-profit schools

It happened the same way that anyone falls in love: the slow build of excitement, the sheer anticipation of each day propelling you forward, the blind haze of overwhelming joy clouding all reason and logic.

Why Germans are angry about U.S. spying

For most Germans over 50 years old — and that includes most of today’s decision-makers — the word “spying” has a quite specific historic meaning. It conjures up images of the Cold War: pictures of John Le Carré-like exchanges on Glienecke Bridge; memories of “Romeo” spies seducing defense department secretaries in Bonn; and the traumatic downfall of German Chancellor Willy Brandt when it turned out that one of his personal assistants was an East German spy. Spying is thus invariably linked to the past confrontation with the Soviet Union and pre-unification East Germany.

An Idiot’s Guide to Inequality

We may now have a new “most unread best-seller of all time.”

French food on a slippery slope

Before my first visit to France, around 45 years ago, I was told that you couldn’t find bad food there if you tried. I was of limited experience, so even a hot dog jammed into a baguette bore witness to that “fact.”

Even when the VA does act, it still fails our veterans

Jymm’s preferred attire is a skin-tight Minnie Mouse T-shirt with bright pink windbreaker pants. Even when not sporting his outfit of choice, he dons short shorts and shirts with holes in them, because that’s what he finds most comfortable. His Santa Monica apartment was furnished with broken chairs and tables he dug out of dumpsters. He held onto his favorite old drinking glass long after it broke. Jymm is a Vietnam veteran (who holds two Purple Hearts), and he’s definitely a character. But he’s never hurt himself or anyone else.

Moon landing 45 years ago brought us together

It was, after all, only a boot-crunching dust. You wouldn’t think the sight would affect so many or change so much.

After plane horror, Europe must stand up to Putin

Vladimir Putin has become a global menace.

Blue-state disgrace

Immigration is a complex problem. So is the long-term question of how the United States should handle the influx of tens of thousands of children from Central America. Beyond the legal mandates, we owe them basic human decency. On the other hand, to say that they should all simply stay here for good begs big questions about encouraging more children to make this journey, and the rights of all the people abroad who are waiting their turn in line. Unless you believe in open borders, it’s all thorny. What seems right for an individual child can seem wrong systemwide.

Smart shoppers choose cheaper store-brand aspirin

At CVS, a 100-tablet package of store-brand aspirin costs you $1.99. Bayer aspirin is three times that much. Nonetheless, millions of people end up buying Bayer. When it comes to headache remedies, salt, sugar and hundreds of other important products, many people choose national brands even when a cheaper store brand is at hand. Why?

Leopoldo Lopez’s imprisonment is a symptom of a sick Venezuela

This year, my husband, Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, spent his 43rd birthday behind bars. To mark Leopoldo’s birthday, our children, Manuela, 4, and Leopoldo, 1, and I tried to bring him a birthday cake at the Ramo Verde military prison. We were turned away. We were forced to celebrate on the street outside the prison, where our family sang Happy Birthday to a life-size picture of him.

 
The detention of popular newscaster Rui Chenggang was a surprise.

Fall of favored son prompts debate in Chinese media

There had never been a Chinese television personality quite like the handsome and erudite Rui Chenggang. At the tender age of 36, he’d become the most popular personality on China’s state-owned CCTV network. Economic News, his high-profile nightly business news program, boasted an estimated 10 million viewers. Rui himself counted the same number of followers on the Sina Weibo microblog.

Cutting corporate taxes won’t help the middle class

Earlier this week, I testified in front of the Joint Economic Committee on the topic of assessing the recovery after five years.

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