Why Tariffs Have Backfired Throughout American History

As a U.S. Trade War With China Escalates, the Only Guarantee Is Unexpected Aftershocks

In a truly iconic scene from the 1980s comedy Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, a high school economics teacher played by Ben Stein fails to elicit even a muscle twitch from his seemingly catatonic pupils as he queries them—“Anyone…Anyone?”—about the Hawley-Smoot Tariff of 1930.

Hilarious as this scene may be in the film, it recurs frequently in real life, not simply in classrooms but in many other settings, whenever the subject of tariffs comes up. It is both ironic and unfortunate that many Americans find tariffs too boring to care about …

Even Kafka Couldn’t Dream up California’s Surreal Housing Crisis

The Late Prague Novelist Visits the Golden State, Which Is Metamorphosing Into a Nightmare

I keep hearing you Californians calling your state’s housing crisis Kafkaesque.

You are far too kind: I never imagined a bureaucratic nightmare this cruel, absurd, and surreal.

You may …

Can Taiwan Teach California How to Thrive Under an Authoritarian Power?

The Island Nation Knows How to Navigate Beijing's Threats. The Golden State Could Do the Same With Washington.

Is California becoming another Taiwan?

In asking that, I don’t mean that earthquakes will turn California into an island. Instead, what California and Taiwan share is a problem—the predicament of the …

How Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric Drove My Generation into Politics

Trump’s Cynical Policies Make the Same Mistake That California Republicans Made 20 Years Ago

It’s often said that California is just like America, only sooner. We confront the same issues as the rest of the nation, just earlier. Perhaps no issue exemplifies that sentiment …

The Radical Paradox of Sweden’s Consensus Culture

Our Inclination to Agree Pushes Political and Social Policies to Extremes

In the 1930s, the American journalist Marquis Childs, after spending time in Sweden, wrote the bestselling book Sweden: The Middle Way. Childs described a country without major social conflicts between …

National Oversight or Not, All Health Care, Like All Politics, Is Local

Leaders of Britain’s NHS and America’s Mayo Clinic Enviously Eye Each Other’s Domains

At first glance, America’s fragmented, private health care delivery system and Britain’s state-run National Health Service have little in common. But both nations’ contrasting approaches to caring for their populations …