Theresa May and the continental side of Brexit
British Prime Minister Theresa May is taking the blame for a debacle that is not of her making. But even now, in the shadow of a hard Brexit, the damage can be contained if cooler heads prevail on the other side of the Channel.
Opinion: Yellow Vests are a symptom of France’s dysfunctional democracy
With the Yellow Vest protests, France has finally fractured between its metropolitan areas and a resentful low-wage periphery. What started as a tax revolt has become a diffuse and unstructured uprising against an unaccountable ruling caste. Many of the movement’s demands would only perpetuate France’s administrative and social centralism, yet its appearance shows that this political model may no longer be sustainable.
Emmanuel Macron’s shrinking revolution
French President Emmanuel Macron vowed to abolish France’s left/right political divide and shake up the country’s bloated bureaucracy. Yet his promised spending and tax cuts have been underwhelming, while his timid attempts to downsize the “layer-cake” administration have only stirred up fierce opposition. Time is running out for Mr. Macron to create a “shock of confidence” to get the economy moving.
Shinzo Abe’s underappreciated recovery
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe appears to have made good on his promise to pull Japan out of deflation and slow growth. A large part of the credit goes to the central bank, which stepped in with aggressive bond-buying. But equally crucial has been the role of middle-aged women, who are reentering the job market in droves.
Opinion: The promises and perils of basic income
Basic income has been touted as a libertarian answer to the bloated welfare state. With a pedigree that goes back to Milton Friedman, it has proved attractive to free marketers as well as leftists. But it could also prove an immense threat to personal freedom.
Renzi’s tinkering with jobs shows a changed mood in Europe
Prime Minister Matteo Renzi promised to turn Italy inside out, jump-start economic growth and reduce unemployment. But during almost two years in office, he has introduced only one significant economic reform, the so-called “Jobs Act.” The outcome has been mixed, and certainly below expectations. This does not mean Mr. Renzi is on the wrong track. ...
With India ready for takeoff, Modi pauses over launch button
After his first 18 months in office, during which India’s economic prospects have brightened considerably, 2016 gives Prime Minister Narendra Modi a last window of opportunity for radical new policy initiatives. If he decides on a bold course, it would depart from the incremental approach that has characterized Mr. Modi’s term thus far. ...
Imagining the EU without the UK
With eyes fixed on Greece, Europe’s politicians and media are ignoring a weighter economic and geopolitical threat - ‘Brexit’. The United Kingdom is the European Union’s second-largest economy and a military and political heavyweight; it is also the world’s oldest parliamentary democracy and an ardent promoter of free markets and decentralisation. What would the EU...