April 30, 2012 |
It turns out that there is at least one question on which Mitt Romney is not a flip-flopper: He has a utopian view of what an unfettered, lightly taxed market economy can achieve. He would never put it this way, of course, but his approach looks forward by looking backward to the late 19th century, when government let market forces rip and a conservative Supreme Court swept aside almost every effort to write rules for the economic game. This magical capitalism is the centerpiece of Romney's campaign, and it may prove to be his undoing.
March 25, 2012 |
BIALKA TATRZANSKA, Poland - Just a few years ago, winter was a dead season for the Kotelnica Mountain, quiet under a quilt of snow. Today, Kotelnica vibrates with activity from ski fans who flock to the new resort, one of Poland's trendiest. The transformation happened in just a decade and reflects the inventiveness and enterprise seen in Poland since a market economy arrived with democracy in 1990. People in this 17th-century village at the foot of the Tatra Mountains in southern Poland were making a modest living on farming and sheep breeding, with additional funds coming from relatives who had gone, in a long-standing tradition, to the United States for work.
July 18, 2010 |
You might think two of last week's biggest stories - financial reform and controversy over the diabetes drug Avandia - had nothing to do with each other. If so, you'd be wrong. Both are about a fundamental problem in any market economy: Bad incentives for businesses, stoked by the demands of Wall Street, can imperil us all. During the housing bubble, mortgage brokers had bad incentives to write risky loans to unqualified buyers, because they could sell the mortgages and dodge the risks themselves.
May 30, 2010 |
Václav Havel, former Czech president, playwright, and most revered of Eastern European dissidents during the Cold War, came to Philadelphia last week for the U.S. premiere of his new play, Leaving , at the Wilma Theater. Havel's seminal 1978 essay, The Power of the Powerless , inspired nonviolent resistance to communism in the 1980s; in his writings from prison, he captured the essence of democracy better than most writers in the "Free World. " When he was last in Philadelphia on July 4, 1994, to receive the Liberty Medal, democracy seemed in the ascendancy worldwide; an air of triumphalism pervaded Washington.
December 1, 2008 |
In the old days - from the Venetian Republic to, oh, the Bear Stearns rescue - if you wanted to get rich, you did it the Warren Buffett way: You learned to read balance sheets. Today you learn to read political tea leaves. You don't anticipate Intel's third-quarter earnings; instead, you guess what side of the bed Henry Paulson will wake up on tomorrow. Today's extreme stock market volatility is not just a symptom of fear - fear cannot account for days of wild market swings upward - but a reaction to meta-economic events: political decisions that have vast economic effects.
May 2, 2008 |
Carin Dillingham handed over her watch to the pawnbrokers at Society Hill Loan as if she were giving up one of her bones. The 30-year-old bookkeeper stood pregnant, broke and sad under rows of pawned guitars hanging like curing hams from the ceiling of the ragged South Street shop. She got a $20 loan for her $200 Bulova, a gift from the Harley-Davidson Co., where she used to work. "It feels so weird," said Dillingham, accompanied by her fiance, Pat Lapetina, 35, an unemployed ironworker doing painting jobs on the side.
December 5, 1999 |
With so much social and political ferment loose in the art world in recent decades, political art and art politics have acquired a new focus - and for Artists Equity members a subjective one, judging from their recent panel discussion at the American College in Bryn Mawr. The Nov. 19 event, titled "The Artist and Society - Why Haven't Artists Demanded More?" was part of a two-year series of Philadelphia/Tri State Artists Equity Association public forums aimed at exploring advocacy and career issues for artists.
August 29, 1998
Russia's economy is on the verge of collapse. Nobody wants its currency, especially Russians. Goods, services and raw materials are obtainable even by government agencies and large businesses only by barter. Rumors that President Boris Yeltsin would resign were so rampant that The Nose That Glows went on TV yesterday to deny them. Still, as he shuffled his Cabinet yet again - but not the blame away from himself - real fear arose that Russia's semi-post-Communist political order may implode.
July 19, 1998 |
The last thing Assistant Township Manager Matthew Lahaza expected to find in Bulgaria was California-grown tomatoes. "I was stunned," Lahaza said. "Bulgarian tomatoes far surpass any tomato I've had here, but they can't grow them in the kind of quantity needed for marketing. " "Agriculture is one of their biggest resources, but they are behind the times," he said. "They have no money for fertilizer - no money to buy new farm equipment. " What the Bulgarians do have is advice.
July 1, 1998 |
Turning his focus to China's move toward a free-market economy, President Clinton today praised business leaders and entrepreneurs as pioneers leading the way to a new way of life here. "I've had the chance to see examples of the kind of ingenuity and energy of those who live and work here, from the magnificent examples of architecture and culture to the people," Clinton told an audience of Chinese and U.S. business leaders. "You are in the vanguard of an historic process," he said.