The Entrepreneurial State, or, You Didn’t Build That

President Obama received a lot of outraged criticism from the right during the 2012 campaign for his remark, “You didn’t build that.” What he meant, though he uncharacteristically said it in a fairly clumsy way, was that for every proudly self-made entrepreneur there is a huge web of supporting institutions and infrastructure built by the government.

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Trade Agreements and Cultural Exceptions: A Plea for Tolerance

Outgoing WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy has recently criticized EU-US and transpacific trade talks, which have the potential to create the world’s two largest free trade areas and measurably increase prosperity and growth for hundreds of millions, if not billions, of people. He has a point. Several, actually.

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Who Would Adam Smith Vote For?

With the debates over, the presidential candidates on their last, gasping try to grasp those elusive Electoral College votes in Iowa, Colorado, Nevada, Virginia, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, or Ohio needed to put them over the top, and the polls to open in less than 48 hours, it is a bit late to be offering strategic advice to Barack Obama – advice that by all indications he would have ignored – but he could have done much worse than to cloak himself in Adam Smith’s mantle. Yes, the same Adam Smith whose profile adorns the neckties of more than a few Wall Street bankers and right wing think-tankers.

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Romney, Ryan, Foreign Aid and Diplomacy

In these dark days of an ever-widening political divide, it is nice to know there is still something on which Republicans and Democrats can agree: foreign aid. Both sides are against it.

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Hillary’s African Safari: Where Idealism and Realism Collide

It must come as some reassurance to Mitt Romney that he is not the only would-be President who says remarkably silly things while visiting foreign lands. Last month Hillary Clinton, on a tour of sub-Saharan Africa, delivered a speech in Senegal in which she said that the United States would stand up for democracy and universal human rights “even when it might be easier or more profitable to look the other way, to keep the resources flowing.” In a barely veiled dig at China, she added, “Not every partner makes that choice, but we do and we will.”

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Mexico, the new Brazil, when it was the new China, before Africa and Switzerland showed up

According to the Financial Times, in perversion of all perversions, we’re now supposed to believe that Switzerland is the new China. Got that?

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New Frontiers: The Rush to Invest in Frontier Markets

If any event could illustrate the fragility of the BRICS conceit, it is the recent blackout in India, which left as many as 600 million people without power for up to two days. More than anything else, it reveals the sorry state of India’s governance.

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