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“When life seems like a zero-sum struggle, gains by other groups are interpreted as losses by one’s own group.” This is a formula for resentment and discord.

The spoils society advances.

The “spoils society” is a phrase I coined some years ago to illustrate a basic problem of wealthy societies, including, of course, the United States.

 

[OP-ED]: Trump isn’t destiny

 06/13/2017 - 15:17
To some extent, the future of America depends on Donald Trump. But it depends even more on how these social and economic trends evolve -- how we cope with them and whether we become a more cohesive society or a more contentious one. EFE

 It’s time to take a brief break from Donald Trump. Whatever you think of him, there’s no denying that he dominates the news cycle. We seem to assume that the nation’s future depends on Trump’s fate, for better or worse. The reality is otherwise: The nation’s future also hangs on larger economic and social trends that no president can shape.

[OP-ED]: Trump’s stock boom -- illusion or reality?

 04/25/2017 - 10:10
Stock valuations are tricky. With hindsight, the market can stay above or below levels reflecting economic fundamentals for long stretches. Whatever the case today, stocks are nowhere near the absurd heights of the “tech bubble” at the turn of the century. EFE

The last thing President Trump now needs is for the stock market to go south on him. After all, he’s got worries aplenty: abroad, North Korea, Syria, Russia and Brexit; at home, the stalled effort to repeal Obamacare; and uncertainty surrounding “tax reform.” Compared with this tapestry of troubles, the stock market has been a splendid blessing.

Plain Text Author: 
Robert J. Samuelson

[OP-ED]: What does it mean to agree with Donald Trump?

 02/06/2017 - 07:59
The Trump White House has decided that the best way to deal with any institution or group that might stand in its way is to relentlessly try to delegitimize it. This has led to a ferocious strategy of attack toward the media, which the president now says is “the opposition party.” EFE

After his spat with Mexico, after the travel ban, this week Donald Trump did something that surprised me. He put in place a policy with which I agreed. He placed a smart check on ever-proliferating federal regulations. His executive action requires any department that wants to add a new regulation to get rid of two existing ones. It might seem gimmicky, but the British government adopted just this “one-in, two-out” rule in 2012 and it’s worked well.

Plain Text Author: 
Fareed Zakaria

[OP-ED]: Patriotism on steroids: Trump’s isolationism

 01/24/2017 - 15:04
US President Donald Trump during the signing of two executive orders to revive controversial Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipeline projects during a White House event in Washington, United States. Trump said the construction of these two projects, planned for years but paralyzed by the Obama administration, will be subject to "terms and conditions" that his cabinet will "negotiate" with the companies in charge of building them. EFE

The question that swirls around Donald Trump’s inaugural address is whether his aggressively pronounced policy of America First will actually result in America Last -- not literally last, but declining in power and prestige because the United States no longer views its role in the world as promoting economic and geopolitical stability for our allies.

Plain Text Author: 
Robert J. Samuelson

[OP-ED]: In defense of globalization

 01/24/2017 - 14:45
The director general of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Roberto Azevedo, is speaking at a press conference held in the framework of the World Economic Forum that hosts the Alpine city of Davos, Switzerland. EFE

The World Economic Forum this year feels like an exercise in ritual self-flagellation, which -- as with the old Christian practice of fasting and whipping one’s own body -- is supposed to purify the sinful nature of man. The sin, of course, is globalization, which everyone now seems to agree has been lopsided, inequitable, and dangerous. In fact, most of the flaws attributed to globalization are actually mistakes in national policy that can be corrected.

Plain Text Author: 
Fareed Zakaria