Op-Eds & Articles

Article

Of Debt and Detriment

Authors: Benn Steil and Emma Smith
Weekly Standard

Benn Steil and Emma Smith show how China mirrors the U.S. “exorbitant privilege” from minting the world’s primary reserve currency. While the United States is deeply indebted to the rest of the world, it still earns far more abroad than it pays out. China, in contrast, has become the world’s largest creditor while paying foreigners far more than it receives. Steil and Smith argue that China is making itself vulnerable to financial crisis by massively subsidizing its geostrategic objectives.

See more in China; United States; Economics

Op-Ed

Trump’s Manufacturing Tactics Could Backfire

Author: Edward Alden
Journal Sentinel

Donald Trump came to Washington determined to shake up America’s economic relations with the world, to pursue what he has unapologetically called an “America first” strategy “to benefit American workers and American families." At the heart of that strategy is restoring manufacturing to its former glory, writes Edward Alden. 

See more in United States; Manufacturing

Article

Trump Says Europe Is in Trouble. He Has a Point.

Author: Sebastian Mallaby
The Washington Post

Germany’s foreign minister reports “astonishment and agitation.” The French president protests indignantly about unsolicited “outside advice .” Even Secretary of State John F. Kerry sees behavior that is “inappropriate.” President-elect Donald Trump’s weekend interview, in which he casually predicted the breakup of the European Union, has certainly attracted attention.

See more in Europe; Politics and Strategy; Economics

Article

Unlocking Clean Energy

Author: Varun Sivaram
Issues in Science and Technology

Many government policies now "lock in" mature clear energy technologies while blocking out innovative alternatives. Here's Varun Sivaram's plan to transform lock-in barriers into bridges for technological succession.

See more in Global; Energy and Environment

Article

Race, Gender, Region: Understanding the Decline in U.S. Life Expectancy

Author: Thomas J. Bollyky
Council on Foreign Relations

Last week, the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), part of the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, released its 2015 mortality statistics, which showed U.S. life expectancy fell from 78.9 to 78.8 years over the prior year. It is worth putting these results in the context of long-term trends in U.S. life expectancy and comparing them to other nations. Three lessons emerge when you do.

See more in United States; Health

Article

Globalization Resets

Author: Sebastian Mallaby
International Monetary Fund

International financial flows have declined significantly since 2008, and world trade is stagnating. Rather than portending a period of de-globalization, Sebastian Mallaby analyzes the data more closely to suggest a reset, not a reversal, of globalization.

See more in Global; Globalization; Economics

Op-Ed

The Government Failed U.S. Workers on Global Trade. It Must Do Better on Technology.

Authors: Vivek Wadhwa and Edward Alden
The Washington Post

“Much more even than globalization, technology is going to create upheaval and destroy industries and jobs. This can be for the better, helping us create new and more interesting jobs or freeing up time for leisure and artistic pursuits. But unless we find ways to share the prosperity and help Americans adapt to the coming changes, many could be left worse off than they are,” argue Vivek Wadhwa and Edward Alden. 

See more in United States; Trade; Technology and Science

Article

How Cities and States Are Leading the Fight for More Beneficial Trade

Author: Edward Alden
PBS NewsHour

“The real progress has been not in Washington—where the idea of an active government role in promoting economic competitiveness remains suspect—but in the states and the largest cities. More and more local governments have taken the lead in developing competitiveness strategies that start from the premise that local prosperity depends in good part on success in international economic competition,” argues CFR Senior Fellow Edward Alden. This is an excerpt from his new book, Failure to Adjust: How Americans Got Left Behind in the Global Economy.

See more in United States; Competitiveness

Article

The Cult of the Expert—and How It Collapsed

Author: Sebastian Mallaby
The Guardian

Sebastian Mallaby uses the framework of central bank power to examine the rise and recent decline of the cult of the expert. He concludes that, ironically, experts need to play the political game if they hope to maintain their legitimacy; and that a healthy democracy is well served by a mix of public accountability and technocratic independence. 

See more in United States; Monetary Policy; International Finance