Libya, Tunisia, Egypt – One of These Is Not Like The Other

Lately I've been puzzled about why NATO and the U.S. have intervened militarily in Libya, but stayed out of popular rebellions in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, and other middle east countries.  Human rights concerns doesn't seem to fully explain it.  After all governments in Yemen and Bahrain in particular have violated human rights without so … Continue reading Libya, Tunisia, Egypt – One of These Is Not Like The Other

Do Markets Like Totalitarian Governments?

Food for thought.  We've been bombarded with messages for at least 20 years about how markets and democracy have triumphed. Central planning is dead.  Further we're constantly told that democracy is "on the march" and totalitarian governments can't survive.  The intellectual descendants of Milton Friedman and Hayek like to assert that markets promote freedom and … Continue reading Do Markets Like Totalitarian Governments?

Income Inequality: Worse in US than Egypt/Tunisia

Washington's blog observes: Egyptian, Tunisian and Yemeni protesters all say that inequality is one of the main reasons they're protesting.However, the U.S. actually has much greater inequality than in any of those countries. Specifically, the "Gini Coefficient" - the figure economists use to measure inequality - is higher in the U.S. [Click for larger image] … Continue reading Income Inequality: Worse in US than Egypt/Tunisia

Demography and Revolutions

Continuing the discussion on Egypt, Tunisia, and the protests in North Africa/Middle East... One important characteristic of these nations is that they have very young populations. Young adults, those under say age 35, dominate the population, much the same way the Baby Boomers dominated the U.S. in the turbulent 1960's and 1970's.   Having a lot … Continue reading Demography and Revolutions

Tunisia, Egypt and “isms”

Note to regular readers: You may notice an increasing number of posts that deal with pure political economy or international issues.  In the past my posts have been dominated by macro-economic concerns and that's largely because my teaching schedule was heavily macro.  I'm teaching a new class this term that is essentially Political Economy 101, … Continue reading Tunisia, Egypt and “isms”