Will the New Free Trade Deals Create U.S. Jobs?
October 14, 2011

On Wednesday a divided Congress agreed to sign free trade pacts with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea that are meant to boost U.S. exports and investment in foreign business by reducing tariffs and other protectionist barriers. While business leaders and some trade unions—auto manufacturers, in particular—are united in support of the deals, many think they will hamper U.S. employment by opening up workers to competition from cheap foreign jobs. Before this, the last big trade pact was the 1993 North American Free Trade Agreement, between the U.S., Mexico and Canada.

The Internet Intellectual
October 12, 2011

Public Parts: How Sharing in the Digital Age Improves the Way We Work and Live  By Jeff Jarvis  (Simon & Schuster, 263 pp., $26.99) In 1975, Malcolm Bradbury published The History Man, a piercing satire of the narcissistic pseudo-intellectualism of modern academia. The novel recounts a year in the life of the young radical sociologist Howard Kirk—“a theoretician of sociability”—who is working on a book called The Defeat of Privacy.

F for Effort
September 28, 2011

Fifty years ago, President John F. Kennedy had a great idea. He would create an agency, the Peace Corps, to send idealistic young Americans abroad to spread their wealthy nation’s know-how among the impoverished peoples of the world. Lately, public schools in the United States have taken JFK’s idea and turned it around. Why not invite the impoverished peoples of the world to come here to enlighten us? America is still the planet’s wealthiest country, but it is no longer, by international standards, a particularly well-educated one.

Perry v. Bachmann: TNR’s Scientific Analysis of Who’s Crazier
September 12, 2011

Ever since Rick Perry declared his candidacy, Bachmann has struggled to emerge from his shadow. Once the undisputed craziest candidate who had a plausible shot at the nomination, the congresswoman from Minnesota has suddenly had to contend with a remarkable string of wacky revelations from her Texan opponent. One thing is clear: Between the two of them, there’s more craziness than Ron Paul fans at a straw poll. But who’s the most off-the-wall?

Conservatives, Nostalgia, and Racism
August 19, 2011

[Guest post by Isaac Chotiner] Reihan Salam, in a column today: One thing that is undeniably true is that American conservatives are overwhelmingly white in a country that is increasingly less so. As the number of Latinos and Asian-Americans has increased in coastal states like California, New York and New Jersey, many white Americans from these regions have moved inland or to the South.

How Obama Could Have Stayed the Execution of Humberto Leal Garcia
July 13, 2011

On Thursday, July 7, the Supreme Court refused a last minute stay of the execution of Mexican national Humberto Leal Garcia, despite the undisputed fact that Leal was tried and sentenced to death by a Texas court without ever being informed that he had a right to seek the assistance of the Mexican Consulate following his arrest. Within hours of the high court’s denial, Leal was executed by lethal injection. Case closed? Not exactly. Given that there are dozens of other foreigners on death row in the U.S.

How Thirteen Buses, One Mystical Poet, and Thousands of Protesters Ended Mexico’s Silence on the Drug War
July 01, 2011

Mexico City—Roberto Galván lifts his hand from his hip with gravitas, his eyes softening as he removes his square, bifocal glasses. His skin is blotched underneath the lenses, grey patches decorating the space between the wrinkles. His face is tired, his voice full of sorrow. “Should I tell you about my case?” he asks me. He leans forward and takes a deep breath. In January, Galván’s son disappeared. The 34-year-old, who lived in Monterrey, had taken a brief holiday in General Terán, a tiny town just nearby.

Is the U.S. Inadvertently Arming Mexico's Drug War?
June 15, 2011

On Monday, three Democratic Senators – Dianne Feinstein, Charles Schumer, and Sheldon Whitehouse – released a Congressional investigation finding that the majority of weapons recovered and traced from crime scenes in Mexico originated in the United States. According to ATF figures quoted in the report, of the 29,284 firearms recovered in Mexico and traced by authorities in 2009 and 2010, 70% were found to have U.S. origins. These weapons have played a major role in the bloodshed of Mexico’s ongoing drug war, which claims thousands of victims every year.

We Have A Revenue Problem
May 23, 2011

Deficit hawks have tended to treat the notion of solving the medium-term fiscal probably entirely through taxes as some impractical left-wing scheme. Michael Linden and Michael Ettlinger point out that this would work perfectly well: The United States is an extremely low-tax country compared to the other economically advanced countries in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Heat Wave
May 07, 2011

Since the conflict in Libya really started to get messy, oil prices have risen steeply—from about $103 in mid-February to $123 a barrel last week. Given the country’s drop off in production (it represents about 2 percent of the world’s crude), the vote for separation of South Sudan (an oil producer) and the violence that has come from that, the continuing declines in oil production in Mexico and Venezuela, and the strikes and other problems in Gabon, Yemen, Oman, Ivory Coast, and Nigeria, the rise in price seems somewhat justified.