February 13, 1997 |
Strolling down Friedrichstrasse, just a few blocks east of what had been the Wall, you would imagine that an economic miracle is happening all over again in Germany. Arising from the drabness that was the hallmark of the old Stalinist regime is a consumer utopia. For block after block, every designer label you've ever heard of competes for the brightest and most stylish storefront. Money is pouring in here from private developers and from the federal government, which is preparing to move the capital from Bonn to Berlin.
November 29, 1996 |
Western Europe is facing difficult times. Mainstream parties are following policies that promote monetary stability without ameliorating high unemployment. These policies have been pursued not only in the name of fiscal responsibility but also to guarantee inclusion in the European Monetary Union (EMU). The result is that increasing numbers of people blame their own governments and the European Union for high unemployment. Only extremist parties of the right claim to champion the forgotten man. Today's situation bears some frightening resemblance to the 1930s.
February 11, 1995 |
It cost almost $1,200 to put my son back together. He needed stitches in both his upper and lower lips. He was X-rayed twice. He was checked for broken bones, for eye damage and for a concussion. He was given penicillin and a painkiller and when it was over, about 2 a.m., and we were in the car leaving the hospital, he said he had no choice but to go back to where he had been mugged. He had been teaching inner-city kids how to use computers. That awful night is now some months distant and my son, thank you, is fine.
September 15, 1991 |
If it comes to pass, Sweden's decision to step away from socialism won't be sensational. In terms of drama, a polite, nonviolent election is no match for a coup or a revolution in the streets. But this country, in its own subdued and uncertain way, appears likely as it votes today to signal its intent to join the worldwide trend away from letting a central government run people's lives. The most likely outcome, according to the polls, is a narrow victory for a four-party, right-center coalition committed to trimming the massive Swedish welfare state, cutting taxes and privatizing industry.
June 5, 2003 |
Wearing a Gilligan hat, a protest sign and a wide grin, Rachiol Boulaouane stepped out of the crowd of marching strikers this week and succinctly summed up the average worker's view toward the government's effort to solve a pension crisis that threatens to swallow the economy. "Something has to be done, yeah," said Boulaouane, 30, who cleans housing projects for the city, "but I don't want to keep working until I have no teeth. " Like every French worker, public or private, Boulaouane labors a genteel 35-hour week, and he gets at least five weeks of paid vacation per year.
May 12, 2010
By Robert J. Samuelson It is now conventional wisdom that the world has avoided a second Great Depression. When the gravity of the financial crisis became apparent in late 2008, the response was swift and aggressive. Panic was halted. The resulting economic slump was awful, but it was not another Depression. The worst has passed. Or has it? Greece's plight challenges this optimistic interpretation. It implies that the economic crisis has moved into a new phase: one dominated by the huge debt burdens of governments in advanced societies.
August 15, 1996 |
With Jack Kemp's appearance on the Republican ticket, an old dream of mine has come true. The trouble is, I've changed my mind. Back in 1988, I wrote a long memo to my fellow editors at National Review, urging, imploring, begging them to endorse Jack in the Republican primaries. The alternatives were George Bush and Bob Dole, both of whom I thought would be misfortunes. Kemp, on the other hand, had been a good soldier in a dozen conservative causes, and at times he was willing to take the lead.
September 9, 1998 |
As the Monica Lewinsky scandal unfolds, many conservatives are crowing that it demonstrates the moral emptiness of the Clinton administration. What it really reveals, however, is the moral emptiness of today's conservatives. Why have Republicans, in searching for a means of attacking this administration, chosen to focus almost exclusively on Clinton's sexual transgressions? Why are they ignoring his substantive political activities, which certainly warrant far greater condemnation?
November 21, 1994 |
A few days after the election (known in Democratic circles as the "Invasion of the Body Snatchers"), I saw a person wearing a freshly minted lapel button. "I'm a Liberal and Proud of It," it said. Poor devil. He probably still thinks the war in Vietnam was a bad idea. There's always somebody who doesn't get the word. That's not me. I'm a liberal and I'm ashamed. I weep for the wasted years of my error-filled life and the damage I and those like me have done with our liberal meddling.
November 15, 1994 |
The run-up to the epic election of 1994 was marked by the endless repetition of two myths. First, that the country was in the grip of a foul, violent anti-incumbent mood. Second, that the campaign was issueless and empty. The two myths served a single purpose, which was to pre-emptively devalue the election as very much about nothing. Indeed, it was treated less as a political than a psychiatric phenomenon, an occasion for the American people to vent their somewhat deranged anger on such abstractions as "Washington" and "gridlock.