Fire! Fire! But where?

So we have entered the age of crisis and that means confusing times. As I have written before, stealing happily from Emanuel and Machiavelli before him, crises are destabilizing and therefore create opportunities for big debates and dramatic changes not normally possible. A few decades ago, Mancur Olson, the American economist and social scientist, wrote … Continue reading

“Never Waste a Good Crisis”

The statement that we must “never waste a good crisis” is generally attributed to Rahm Emanuel, President Obama’s Chief of Staff, in response to the Wall Street meltdown. Many have made the same point and, in fact, the words can be traced back at least to Niccolo Machiavelli who wrote, “Never waste the opportunity offered … Continue reading

The End of Progress?

Margaret Wente, always of value and never boring, has written an important and disquieting column about, among other things, the capacity of government. Wente inventories the string of crises – the financial meltdown, the Gulf oil spill, the European meltdown playing out in Greece, for starters – that not only continue to cause untold harm, … Continue reading

Let’s Raise Taxes!

Paul Krugman bravely continues his counter-offensive against the assault on government. Here he talks about what the current environmental disaster in the Gulf and Katrina have in common. His answer: they both reveal the dangerous deterioration in government competence, the inevitable result of cuts in taxes and cuts in government and, one might add, the … Continue reading