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China Needs Higher Inflation

Some Chinese economists have attempted to assuage inflation fears by noting that the recent surge in the producer price index is unlikely to translate into a sharp uptick in consumer prices. In fact, this is precisely what China should fear. BEIJING – Recent price increases in the world’s two largest economies have unnerved global markets, which have become accustomed to the low inflation – and even deflation – that has...

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An Olympic-Size COVID Risk

Without herd immunity (or something close to it) in Japan, hosting the Tokyo Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games is a risky bet. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga could win big if there is no new wave of infections, but that doesn't change the fact that he is willing to gamble with people’s health, livelihoods, and lives. TOKYO – In 2020, Asia – especially East Asia – was often touted as a model of effective pandemic...

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A Digital Bridge to Social Support

During the COVID-19 pandemic, governments worldwide have taken advantage of technological solutions to streamline social-protection schemes. But, for all its benefits, a digital approach to welfare programs implies an obvious risk: exclusion of those on the wrong side of the digital divide. JOHANNESBURG – For all its devastation, the COVID-19 crisis does have a silver lining: it has shone a spotlight on important policy...

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America’s Flawed Search for Itself

Americans must constantly and critically question the breezy, arrogant belief that the United States is a most perfect union of freedom, democracy, and openness. But the notion that the US is not the best of countries but the worst is equally distorted and in its way just as toxic and conceited. NEW YORK – Recently, the US podcaster-provocateur Joe Rogan made headlines by saying that, given America’s current cultural...

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We Don’t Need the G7

The group’s recent summit in Cornwall should be its last. Political leaders need to stop devoting their energy to an exercise that is unrepresentative of today’s global economy and results in a near-complete disconnect between stated aims and the means adopted to achieve them. NEW YORK – The latest G7 summit was a waste of resources. If it had to be held at all, it should have been conducted online, saving time,...

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An Interview with Tom Frieden

PS: You are President and CEO of Resolve to Save Lives, which recently produced a report on “epidemics that didn’t happen, or whose impact was lessened, because of careful planning and swift strategic action.” At the Back to Health event, you will participate in a panel on preventing the next pandemic. What do the report’s case studies tell us about effective or innovative approaches to pandemic prevention?Tom Frieden: Epidemics don’t have to spread uncontrollably...

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How Latin America Should Navigate US-China Tensions

US-China tensions are unlikely to abate anytime soon, and Latin America will not be able to insulate itself fully from the fallout. But by heeding the lessons of the last three years, the region’s governments and businesses can better position themselves to succeed over the next three years and beyond. SANTIAGO – Once a peripheral presence in Latin America, China has become one of the region’s most important partners....

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Is Globalization Harming Innovation?

New studies show that, while greater competition from China has contributed to an increase in patents in Europe, it has reduced the innovation rate in the US. These divergent outcomes are partly attributable to changes in the manufacturing sector. MUNICH – Globalization encourages innovation, or so the conventional wisdom goes. But emerging evidence suggests that this assumption, like so many economic shibboleths, must...

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The Logic of Effective Climate Action

The starting point for addressing climate change, economists agree, is a tax on carbon. But while the resulting reduction in emissions would benefit virtually everyone on the planet, those who bear a disproportionate share of the costs will mobilize in opposition – that is, unless they are given a reason not to. BERKELEY – In his classic book, The Logic of Collective Action, the late great Mancur Olson explained that...

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