‘US’ Category

  1. The tax state and entrepreneurial profit

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    December 12, 2017 by AK

    Corey Robin, the author of The Reactionary Mind, wrote on Crooked Timber: Schumpeter famously said that taxes are the “thunder of world history.” In The Guardian, he put it this way: Taxes are the “thunder of world history,” wrote Joseph Schumpeter. “The spirit of a people … is written in its fiscal history.” Schumpeter’s 1918 …
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  2. The sleeper-waker

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    December 9, 2017 by AK

    “If one uncouples the last car from a train, the train will have no last car.” This pseudo-paradox is supposed to illustrate a certain property of natural languages. “Russia’s next president will be Vladimir Putin” is based on a similar, if inverted, logic, but few Russians experience it as a paradox. A case of bad …
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  3. Which emperor, though?

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    December 7, 2017 by AK

    Yelena Suponina writes in Forbes Russia about Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel: Trump has approached it [the problem of Jerusalem] with the sangfroid and superciliousness of a Roman emperor, who is not supposed to seek insight into his vassals’ petty squabbles for some overseas territories. He is not ready to untangle this ball …
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  4. Jayda Fransen’s “hate crime(s)” as 1st Amendment-protected speech

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    December 1, 2017 by AK

    President Trump has retweeted three videos posted by Jayda Fransen, an English anti-Muslim activist. It has been reported that Fransen has been convicted of a “hate crime” and charged with two others in the UK. Closer inspection reveals that the laws she has purportedly broken are mildly Orwellian – with apologies to Ben Judah. The …
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  5. Erase and rewind

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    November 9, 2017 by AK

    The BBC reports: US actor Kevin Spacey is to be erased from a completed Hollywood film following the allegations of predatory sexual behaviour against him. “Erased.” The Guardian settles on “cut out.” Incidentally, retroactive film editing in the Soviet block peaked after Stalin’s death, when the Communist leaders decided that the best way to deal …
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  6. Labors too modest for a knock on the head

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    November 5, 2017 by AK

    I didn’t expect to ever agree with Masha Gessen again on anything but her conclusions in this piece make sense to me. She asks, among other questions: Is there any reason, at this point, to think that a tiny drop in the sea of Facebook ads changed any American votes? Her answer is “No.” To be …
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  7. “Deep concerns that do not arise in traditional welfare economics”

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    October 11, 2017 by AK

    In 2013, “W.W.” wrote in the Democracy in America column in The Economist: The insidiousness of “libertarian paternalism” is not in the slippery slope from the non-coercive nudge to explicitly coercive limits on individual liberty. Rather, the problem is that, as a piece of language, “libertarian paternalism” renders difficult the ability to conceive of a …
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  8. Dewey on George

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    September 18, 2017 by AK

    John Dewey wrote in 1927: No man, no graduate of a higher educational institution, has a right to regard himself as an educated man in social thought unless he has some first-hand acquaintance with the theoretical contribution of this great American thinker. Of Henry George, that is.


  9. The Purple Death

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    September 12, 2017 by AK

    From Eliot Weinberger’s Not Recommended Reading in the London Review of Books: The Purple Death (1895) by William Livingston Alden Professor Schmidt, a bacteriologist, believes that the way to bring about economic equality is not by assassinating the capitalists, who are easily replaced, but by eliminating millions of workers, thereby creating a labour shortage that would …
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  10. “My niece got weed”

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    September 9, 2017 by AK

    According to Wikipedia, “Love Me Two Times” is a song by the American rock band the Doors. It first appeared on their second studio album Strange Days… The song was written by guitarist Robby Krieger. Written, recorded and issued in 1967. A comment on YouTube: When I first heard this song as a teen, I …
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