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The Outcome of the Fiscal Fight in Greece and Implications for Spain, Italy, Ireland, Portugal, France, Belgium, Etc

There’s a big fiscal battle happening in Europe. The relatively new Greek government is demanding continued handouts from the rest of Europe, but it wants to renege on at least some of the country’s prior commitments to improve economic performance by reducing the preposterous burden of spending, regulation, and intervention. That seems like a rather […]

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Three Key Wild Cards for Public Policy in 2015

Four years ago, I put together some New Year’s Day Resolutions for the GOP. Three years ago, I made some policy predictions for the new year. But since I obviously don’t control Republicans and since I freely admit that economists are lousy forecasters, let’s do something more practical to start 2015. Let’s simply look at […]

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Excessive Government Spending in Europe: Sowing the Seeds for another Fiscal Crisis

Europe is in deep trouble. That’s an oversimplification, of course, since there are a handful of nations that seem to be moving in the right direction (or at least not moving rapidly in the wrong direction). But notwithstanding those exceptions, Europe in general is suffering from economic stagnation caused by a bloated public sector. Barring […]

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Slovenia: A Case Study of Missed Opportunities and Economic Decline

I’m a big believer that real-world examples can teach us about the benefits of good fiscal policy (think Hong Kong, Estonia, Canada, and the U.S. under Reagan and Clinton) and the costs of bad fiscal policy (France, Cyprus, Greece, and the U.S. under Bush and Obama). Today, let’s look at another example of bad fiscal […]

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Can Greece Be Rescued?

I’m a pessimist about public policy for two simple reasons: 1) Seeking power and votes, elected officials generally can’t resist making short-sighted and politically motivated choices that expand the burden of government. 2) Voters are susceptible to bribery, particularly over time as social capital (the work ethic, spirit of self reliance, etc) erodes and the […]

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It Doesn’t Seem Possible, but France Is Going from Bad to Worse

Remember when Paul Krugman warned that there was a plot against France? He asserted that critics wanted to undermine the great success of France’s social model. I agreed with Krugman, at least in the limited sense that there is a plot against France. But I explained that the conspiracy to hurt the nation was being […]

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