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Driverless technologies are not to be coddled or promoted. Their development should be slow and sober. If the evidence warrants, it should be stopped altogether. We are weaponizing our cars and trucks for use against us. It’s madness.

Driverless vehicles may not be all that they’re cracked up to be. Indeed, they may be harmful to our collective security and well-being.

[OP-ED]: The curse of middle-aged capitalism -- for Trump and all of us

 08/21/2017 - 13:57
In 1995, the largest five firms by market “capitalization” (the value of a company’s shares) were old-line businesses: Exxon, AT&T, Coca Cola, General Electric and Merck. By 2015, only Exxon (now Exxon Mobil) remained.

 A persisting puzzle about the U.S. economy is how it can seem both strong and weak. On the one hand, it remains a citadel of innovation, producing new companies like Uber. On the other, the economy is expanding at a snail’s pace of 2 percent annually since 2010. How could both be true? Why isn’t innovation translating into faster growth? The answer -- or part of the answer -- is that American businesses are running on two separate tracks. Call them the “youthful” and “middle-aged” tracks.

[OP-ED]: The messy reality of global warming

 06/07/2017 - 10:10
Based on present technology and knowledge, we don’t know how to solve global warming. There is no obvious way to eliminate our pervasive dependence on fossil fuels without plunging the world into a prolonged depression and inviting widespread civil strife. 

There was no need for President Trump to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement to achieve his goal of overturning the Obama administration’s global warming policy. This had already occurred through court rulings and executive orders, which effectively halted higher vehicle fuel economy standards (up to 54.5 miles per gallon) and ended the Clean Power Plan program, which pushed electric utilities to shift away from coal.

Afghanistan Attack: death toll increases to 80 killed, 300 wounded

 05/31/2017 - 08:31
A man who was injured in a suicide bomb attack, reacts at the scene, in Kabul, Afghanistan, May 31, 2017. EPA/JAWAD JALALI

At least 80 people were killed and more than 300 others wounded in the car bomb attack Wednesday in a high security zone in Kabul near the presidential palace, where several embassies and government buildings are located, according to the latest official data released by the Afghan Ministry of Public Health.

Plain Text Author: 
EFE

[OP-ED]: Globalization’s false sins

 05/17/2017 - 08:26
Las importaciones a menudo son más baratas que los productos norteamericanos, ayudan especialmente a las familias de bajos ingresos, cuyos presupuestos constan de más productos manufacturados, donde el descenso de los precios fue agudo.

Globalization has gotten a bad rap. The Trump White House associates it with all manner of economic evil, especially job loss. The administration has made undoing the damage a central part of its economic strategy. This will almost certainly fail and disappoint, because globalization’s ill-effects have been wildly exaggerated.

Plain Text Author: 
Robert J. Samuelson

[OP-ED]: Who’s afraid of the ‘administrative state’?

 03/07/2017 - 15:28
It’s time to make the administrative state a mainstream concept, through the creation of a regulatory budget. The point is not to justify the instant repeal of most rules, as Bannon’s critics fear, but to improve understanding and accountability.

Just what White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon meant when he recently suggested “deconstructing the administrative state” is unclear. To critics, he would gut the whole superstructure of social and environmental safeguards, starting with the Environmental Protection Agency (which, say news reports, may face a staff cut of one-fifth). But regardless of Bannon’s meaning, the relentless growth of the administrative state is a reality that we can’t escape.

Plain Text Author: 
Robert J. Samuelson

[OP-ED]: Trump’s senseless war on Mexico

 02/03/2017 - 08:10
 
Photo courtesy of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, who spoke during an event in Mexico City, Mexico, at the conclusion of the 33rd Ordinary General Assembly of the National Agricultural and Livestock Council. Peña Nieto remarked today that the country "doubles its commitment" to openness and free trade, despite opposing voices such as that of his counterpart Donald Trump and in the framework of the future renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement ( NAFTA). EFE / Presidency of Mexico

”Mexico braces for a trade war with Washington,” headline in the Financial Times, Jan. 31, 2017.

Let’s hope not, because a trade war triggered by President Trump would be an act of pure economic aggression, unjustified either by the United States’ economic and political interests or by Mexico’s behavior. It would be the economic equivalent of Russia’s seizure of the Crimea, a raw exercise in bullying.

Plain Text Author: 
Robert J. Samuelson