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  • Author: Thomas H. Mayor
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Karl Marx formulated his ideas in the middle of the 19th century when much of Europe, particularly England, was well along in what is often referred to as the Industrial Revolution. The central Marxist idea was that those who had wealth would reap the benefit of this revolution and become ever more wealthy while those who lived from their labor alone would be relegated to a bare subsistence. In his view, capital accumulation and increases in productivity do not benefit those who work for a living. Allegedly, those who own the means of production (wealth) and supposedly perform no work, receive all the benefits.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Europe, England
  • Author: Edmund S. Phelps
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: In his most recent tome, Edmund Phelps, the 2006 Nobel Laureate in Economic Science, addresses a topic crucial to successful national capitalist systems: the dynamics of the innovation process. Phelps develops his thesis around three main themes: In part one, he explains the development of the modern economies as they form the core of early—19th century societies in the West; in part two, he explores the lure of socialism and corporatism as competing systems to modern capitalism; and, in part three, he reviews post-1960s evidence of decline in dynamism in Western capitalist countries.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Paul H. Rubin
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: A concept recently developed by scholars in psychology and biology is "pathological altruism." (Oakley 2013, Oakley et al. 2012). A pathological altruist is defined as "a person who sincerely engages in what he or she intends to be altruistic acts, but who harms the very person or group he or she is trying to help, often in unanticipated fashion; or harms others; or irrationally becomes a victim of his or her own altruistic actions." (Oakley, Knafo, and McGrath 2012: 4). We may relate this concept to Buchanan's Samaritan's dilemma: Buchanan's Samaritan is the altruist, and the pathology is that the recipient will be in the "no work" cell, so that the Samaritan becomes a victim of his own altruistic actions (Buchanan 1975).
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Gerald P. O'Driscoll, Jr.
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The intellectual climate has never been more open to a critical analysis of existing monetary institutions both here and abroad. When the Germans agreed to a monetary union, they were promised that they would keep the Bundesbank; only the name would be changed to the European Central Bank. Instead, Germans with whom I have spoken now think they got the Banca d'Italia. In the United States, before the financial crisis, the Federal Reserve was held in high regard by the public. Now, at least in some circles, "the Fed" has become a term of opprobrium, not unlike "the IRS."
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Germany
  • Author: Lewis E. Lehrman
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: To evaluate the history of the Federal Reserve System, we cannot help but wonder, whither the Fed? and to consider wherefore its reform—even what and how to do it. But first let us remember whence we came one century ago.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: James A. Dorn
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: This article deals with the main problems and proposed solutions with respect to the euro. I start with what I perceive to be confusion in the debate on the euro. The next section shows a large variation in the growth performance in the eurozone, and more broadly in the European Union (EU). This should make us skeptical when hearing about the crisis of the euro, or of Europe. I then proceed to discuss what the problem countries in the eurozone suffer from. The next section deals with a more difficult question: What are the links between the euro architecture and the accumulation of these problems—that is, the imbalances and structural barriers to economic growth in some members of the eurozone? I then proceed to discuss the adjustment under the euro after 2008, focusing on the weaknesses of the policies of the crisis management. The article ends with a critical discussion of the problems and solutions put forward in the debate on the euro.
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Thomas Grennes
  • Publication Date: 01-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The value of government debt relative to the size of the economy has become a serious problem, and the problem is likely to grow in the future. Total debt of the U.S. government relative to gross domestic product increased substantially since the financial crisis and the Great Recession that began in 2007, but the debt ratio has been increasing since 2001. Gross debt relative to GDP increased from 55 percent in 2001 to 67 percent in 2007 to 107 percent in 2012. Comparable figures for debt held by the public (net debt or gross debt minus debt held by various government agencies) were 80 percent in 2011 and 84 percent in May 2012 (IMF 2012). As a result, the debt ratio is now the highest in U.S. history, except for World War II, when it reached 125 percent of GDP (Bohn 2010). U.S. debt is also high relative to the debt of other high-income countries, and projections of future debt place the U.S. government among the world's largest debtors (IMF 2011, 2012; Evans et al. 2012). Gross debt consists of all the bonds issued by the U.S. Treasury, but a broader measure that includes contingent debt results in a much larger debt (Cochrane 2011). Contingent debt includes unfunded obligations related to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and loan guarantees to agencies such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and these obligations are so large that they have been described as a “debt explosion” (Evans et al. 2012). The sovereign debt crisis of the European Union has similarities to the U.S. debt problem, but it also has significant differences, as will be shown below. Interestingly, the poorer countries of the world that have frequently experienced debt problems in the past, have avoided major debt problems so far.
  • Topic: Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: George Selgin
  • Publication Date: 01-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: When the merits of a European Monetary Union were first being debated, many skeptics fell into one of two camps. The first camp consisted of “Keynesians” (for example, Eichengreen and Bayoumi 1997, Salvatore 1997) who, referring to the theory of optimal currency areas, doubted that Europe constituted such an area, and believed that the proposed monetary union would eventually fall victim to country-specific (“idiosyncratic”) shocks. Unemployment and other burdens stemming from such shocks would, these critics argued, eventually force the monetary authority to either abandon its commitment to price-level stability in order to offer relief to adversely affected members, or cause the members to abandon the union so as to be able to realign their exchange rates.
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: J.A. Dorn
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The heavy debt burdens of Greece and other European welfare states are the result of profligate entitlement spending and a lack of fiscal discipline. Both explicit debt and massive unfunded liabilities in pay-as-you-go social welfare programs must be resolved if Europe is to achieve long-run prosperity.
  • Political Geography: Europe, Greece
  • Author: Michael Tanner
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Margaret Thatcher once quipped about the problem facing modern social welfare states: "They always run out of other people's money." Today, in country after country, we are seeing that prophetic remark coming true. The headlines have been dominated by the problems of the so called PIIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and Spain), which face the most immediate economic crisis and have required economic support from the International Monetary Fund and other European countries. However, even countries with relatively robust economies, such as France and Germany, are facing unprecedented levels of debt. Unless the countries of Europe reform their welfare states, they will face some combination of huge tax increases or default on their obligations, both explicit and implicit. The result will be social upheaval and continued economic stagnation. The tough choices facing those countries are playing out today in parliaments and on the streets. The future remains highly uncertain. But how much better off is the United States? Our national debt exceeds $16.4 trillion and is increasing at a rate of more than $3 million per minute. And that only represents the debt that is actually "on the books." If the unfunded liabilities of Medicare and Social Security are included, then U.S. total indebtedness could top 800 percent of GDP.
  • Topic: International Monetary Fund
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Greece, France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Ireland
  • Author: Jagadeesh Gokhale, Erin Partin
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: What are the implications of Europe's economic troubles for America? Several EU economies now face deep private and sovereign debt overhangs-a situation not unlike that in the United States, which also faces its own challenges with fiscal policy. How do the economic conditions in America and the EU compare in the short and longer terms? This article provides an overview of key indicators that summarize and help to project the two regions' economic prospects. It should be noted at the outset, however, that economic conditions and policies in the two regions differ in substantive ways. As in the United States, most European economies-members of the European Monetary Union (EMU)-now participate in a single currency (euro) system operated by the European Central Bank-the counterpart of the U.S. Federal Reserve System. However, the EU lacks a single central fiscal authority that operates a significant cross-nation transfer system. Having surrendered authority over monetary policy and, by the definition of a single currency, exchange rate policy, EMU member nations must depend on national fiscal policies to exert stewardship over their economies.
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Europe
  • Author: Michael Tanner
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: It does not take more than a glance at the headlines to see that European countries are in trouble. From Greece to Britain, from France to Portugal, it is becoming clear that the modern welfare state is unsustainable, facing fiscal catastrophe, stagnant economic growth, punishing taxes, and prolonged joblessness. European countries are being forced, kicking and screaming, to rethink their approach to social welfare. But how much better off is the United States?
  • Political Geography: Britain, United States, America, Europe, Greece, France, Portugal
  • Author: Pierre Lemieux
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The American welfare state is not as different from the European welfare state as conventional wisdom would have it. If we define the welfare state as that part of the state (the whole apparatus of government at all levels) devoted to taking charge of the welfare of the public, welfare-state functions cover social protection (which includes public pensions), health, and education. These functions make up 57 percent of total U.S. government expenditures compared to 63 percent for the typical euro zone country. In this sense, the American welfare state is only about 10 percent smaller than the European welfare state.
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Europe
  • Author: Desmond Lachman
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The European sovereign debt crisis offers a cautionary tale for the United States. This is the case since all too sadly the U.S. public finances appear to be on the same sort of unsustainable path that lies at the heart of the present European crisis. Whereas Europe, taken as a whole, currently has a budget deficit of around 3 percent of GDP And a gross public debt ratio of around 90 percent of GDP, the United States has a budget deficit of around 8 percent of GDP and a gross public debt ratio in excess of 105 percent of GDP.
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Veronique de Rugy
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Austerity is a term used to describe debt-reduction policies, but it can mean radically different things. For some people, austerity means adopting a debt-reduction package dominated by tax increases. For others, it means adopting a package made mainly of spending restraint-including reforms of social programs. The lack of a distinction between the two meanings of the word-and hence, the distinction between two different debt-reduction policies-is unfortunate and could also explain the confusion over what is happening in Europe.
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Pascal Salin
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: A great number of European governments have decided on austerity policies to reduce their fiscal deficits and public debt. In order to evaluate such policies, it is necessary to analyze the present and past economic situation of European countries, and to recognize the important role that savings plays in understanding this economic situation and possible future developments. After examining the economic background of austerity policies and the role of savings, this article discusses the choice of different types of austerity policies and policy mixes.
  • Topic: Development
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Mark Hallerberg
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Germany has a northern European welfare state. This means that social benefits are extensive compared not only to the American standards but compared to other European countries, such as Italy or Spain. In the early 2000s, both foreign observers and Germans themselves considered the country the “sick man of Europe.” Its firms seemed increasingly uncompetitive, due especially to its costly labor. Economic growth in this period was stagnant. This “exporting giant” even had a slight current account deficit.
  • Topic: Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany, Spain, Italy
  • Author: Juhan Parts
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Estonia has had a quick recovery from the recent recession and its economy is in better shape than before the crisis. It is now much leaner and significantly more capable of handling international shocks. After a sharp contraction, in which GDP contracted by over 14 percent in 2009, GDP growth rebounded quickly, growing at a rate of 3.1 percent in 2010 and 8.3 percent in 2011.
  • Political Geography: Europe, Estonia
  • Author: Pedro Schwartz
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The ongoing crisis that so dramatically hit Spain in 2008 was at least in part caused by the countercyclical monetary policy the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank applied in the first years of the new century. Their artificially low interest rates must in part be responsible for the excessive leveraging in banks, businesses, and households. Their unwarranted use of monetary policy to foster growth has recoiled on them with a vengeance. Now central bankers and their political masters find that they cannot perform as expected. A constant feature of financial crises in the past two centuries, as Reinhart and Rogoff (2010) have noted, is that, when banks collapse, companies fail, and families go insolvent they all turn to the central bank and the government to bail them out. The authorities usually find it difficult to answer those anguished calls even when they have the power to print money, so that devaluations and write-offs ensue.
  • Political Geography: Europe, Spain
  • Author: John Samples
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: No one has yet written a detailed history of campaign finance regulation, even limited to the United States. In 1988, Robert E. Mutch published Campaigns, Congress, and Courts: The Making of Federal Campaign Finance Law. He then embarked on research seeking to fill out that story in the late 19th century. My own The Fallacy of Campaign Finance Reform combines public choice analysis with political theory in a way that historians might not recognize. Ray La Raja's excellent Small Change: Money, Political Parties, and Campaign Finance Reform Examines a larger historical tableau from a political science perspective. Paula Baker is apparently at work on a broader history of campaign finance and its regulation. This work began as a case study in that project and grew into a book. I look forward to the broader history, but I am happy to have this work.
  • Topic: Reform
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Harris Dellas
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The entry of Greece into the euro zone in 2001 was widely expected to mark a transformation in the country's economic destiny. During the decade of the 1980s, and for much of the 1990s, the economy had been saddled with double-digit inflation rates, double-digit fiscal deficits (as a percentage of GDP), large current-account imbalances, very low growth rates, and a series of exchange rate crises. Adoption of the euro—the value of which was underpinned by the monetary policy of the European Central Bank (ECB)—was expected to produce a low-inflation environment, contributing to lower nominal interest rates and longer economic horizons, thereby encouraging private investment and economic growth. The elimination of nominal exchange-rate fluctuations among the former currencies of members of the euro zone was expected to reduce exchange rate uncertainty and risk premia, lowering the costs of servicing the public sector debt, facilitating fiscal adjustment, and freeing resources for other uses.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Pedro Schwartz
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The great hopes that surrounded the euro at its birth have failed to come true. It was intended to be a currency as sound as the deutschemark and also a symbol of European unity. It is now reeling under the blows of a prolonged financial crisis and creating discord among the members of the European Union. Clearly, the design of the new money was defective. What its flaws were has been generally misdiagnosed: I will suggest that even if euro- members had kept by the rules of the game the euro could not have worked as intended.
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Wolfgang Munchau
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: It was one of the author's predictions in 1998 that the euro zone would end up teaching us more about economics compared to what economics could teach us about the euro zone. While many of the author's predictions of that year did not hold, including the forecast that the euro would challenge the dollar as the world's foremost reserve currency, this particular prediction ultimately turned out to be correct. A monetary union is a hybrid between a fixed exchange rate system and a unitary state, one that is fully captured neither with closed-economy macro models nor classical international macro models of fixed exchange rates.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Jurgen Stark
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: It was one of the author's predictions in 1998 that the euro zone would end up teaching us more about economics compared to what economics could teach us about the euro zone. While many of the author's predictions of that year did not hold, including the forecast that the euro would challenge the dollar as the world's foremost reserve currency, this particular prediction ultimately turned out to be correct. A monetary union is a hybrid between a fixed exchange rate system and a unitary state, one that is fully captured neither with closed-economy macro models nor classical international macro models of fixed exchange rates.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Jason Kuznicki
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: I often tell aspiring libertarians that they both can and should learn from people who are far removed from them ideologically. Indeed, if they fail to do so, then they are neglecting a vital part of their self-education. When asked whom I have in mind, I almost always mention James C. Scott. Two of Scott's earlier books, Seeing Like a State and The Art of Not Being Governed, are fascinating intellectual excursions for people of the libertarian bent, as well as for many others.
  • Political Geography: America, Europe
  • Author: Robert B. Zoellick, Sebastian Mallaby
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Sebastian Mallaby: We are here to talk to Bob Zoellick. I have been in Washington 16 years, Bob is the personification of the kind of silo busting polymathic energy which says, I am not just interested in international economics, I am not just interested in international relations, I am not just a U.S. government official, I am also going to do multilateral diplomacy. So Bob has been on all sides of those various divides. He has a voracious intellect, so it is always interesting to speak with him whether he is in office or out of office.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Washington
  • Author: William A. Niskanen
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Defeat of a proposed constitution for the European Union by voters in France and the Netherlands in 2005 should have provided an opportunity to reflect on a broader range of alternative political and economic futures for Europe. But it did not. For the Lisbon Treaty, which became effective in December 2009, implemented most of the provisions of the proposed constitution that the voters rejected more than four years prior. It was important to reconsider the major current European political and economic institutions as well as alternative steps toward further European integration. For the major current institutions were created under different conditions, and the experience suggests that they may not best serve the peoples of Europe under current and expected future conditions.
  • Topic: Disaster Relief
  • Political Geography: Europe, France, Netherlands
  • Author: David Cronin
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: This article revisits the key conceptual aspects of the New Monetary Economics (NME) by examining the idea of “monetary separation” and objections raised against it. So long as a dominant role for base money in exchange exists, using it to provide the unit of account remains advantageous and is likely to outweigh any mooted benefits of separation. Recent quantitative analysis, however, shows the transaction demand for government base money to be falling, a development that can be expected to continue in the years ahead. The passage of time thus seems to be weakening the principal basis on which monetary separation has been criticized—namely, the superiority of base money in payments. That development fits into the history of money told by Austrian economists, which emphasises payment practices evolving over time in response to technological improvements and market forces.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany, Cyprus, Luxembourg
  • Author: Takis Michas
  • Publication Date: 08-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Political clientelism and rent seeking have been the central organizing principles of Greek society since the foundation of the Greek state in the 19th century. The influence of the Eastern Orthodox Church on Greek nationalism and the legacy of the patrimonialist Ottoman empire produced a weak civil society. The result has been a disproportionately large Greek state and public bureaucracy since the 1800s that set the stage for rent-seeking struggles that have followed.
  • Topic: Corruption, Debt, Financial Crisis, Governance
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Jerome L. Stein
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The foreign debts of the European countries are at the core of the current crises. Generally, the crises are attributed to government budget deficits in excess of the values stated in the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP), as part of the Maastricht treaty. Proposals for reform generally involve increasing the powers of the European Union to monitor fiscal policies of the national governments and increasing bank regulation.
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Gerald P. O'Driscoll Jr.
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: We remain in an economic crisis and financial crisis, one that Gary Gorton has named “The Panic of 2007” (Gorton 2008). The thesis of this article is that monetary policy has played a pivotal role. Under Alan Greenspan and now Ben Bernanke, the Fed has conducted monetary policy so as to foster moral hazard among investors, notably in housing (O'Driscoll 2008a). More generally, the crisis is the product of a “perfect storm” of misguided policy. Policies to encourage affordable housing fostered the growth of subprime lending and complex financial products to finance that lending. Regardless of the desirability of the social goal, the financial super- structure depended on housing prices never falling. Housing prices do fall sometimes, and did so decisively beginning in 2007 (Gorton 2008: 50).
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Privatization
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, New Zealand
  • Author: David Beckworth
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The historian Niall Ferguson can never be accused of lacking boldness. Over the past decade he has argued, among other things, that Europe would have been better off had Great Britain stayed out of World War I and allowed Germany to win, that the British empire provided a global public good that benefited the world economy, and that the United States should follow suit today by more actively embracing the demands of empire. He has also been championing the burgeoning field of counterfactual history, a development that many historians consider controversial given its speculative nature.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Germany
  • Author: Nikolas Gvosdev
  • Publication Date: 02-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: A review of America's post-Soviet strategy toward Russia is long overdue. The illusions that once guided policy are now at an end. What is needed is a dispassionate approach to Russia, wherein Americans would neither magnify nor excuse the virtues and vices of the Russian Federation but would accept the following realities: Russia is unlikely to become integrated into the Euro-Atlantic community and is unwilling to adjust its foreign policy priorities accordingly; There is broad-based support within Russia for the direction in which Vladimir Putin has taken the country; Russia has undergone a genuine—if limited— recovery from the collapse of the 1990s; Washington lacks sufficient leverage to compel Russian acquiescence to its policy preferences; and On a number of critical foreign policy issues, there is no clear community of interests that allows for concepts of "selective partnership" to be effective.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, America, Europe, Asia, Soviet Union
  • Author: Michael Tanner
  • Publication Date: 03-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Critics of the U.S. health care system frequently point to other countries as models for reform. They point out that many countries spend far less on health care than the United States yet seem to enjoy better health outcomes. The United States should follow the lead of those countries, the critics say, and adopt a government- run, national health care system.
  • Topic: Government, Health
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Robert J. Michaels
  • Publication Date: 11-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Rising energy prices and climate change have changed both the economics and politics of electricity. In response, over half the states have enacted “renewable portfolio standards” (RPS) that require utilities to obtain some power from “renewable” generation resources rather than carbon-emitting fossil fuels. Reports of state-level success have brought proposals for a national standard. Like several predecessor Congresses, however, the most recent one failed to pass RPS legislation.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Andrei Illarionov
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: One day I asked Milton Friedman a question. That question was in my mind every time we met: “Could he have achieved the same status he did in America if he had lived in Russia—not only in terms of his research, but in shaping his outlook on life and in his under-standing of freedom?” Having kept silent for a moment, he answered: “no.”
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, America, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Daniel Mitchell
  • Publication Date: 11-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Some policymakers in the United States and Europe argue that it is possible to enjoy economic growth and also have a large welfare state. These advocates for bigger government claim that the so- called Nordic Model offers the best of both worlds. This claim does not withstand scrutiny. Economic performance in Nordic nations is lagging, and excessive government is the most likely explanation. The public sector in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, and Iceland consumes, on average, more than 48 percent of economic output. Total government outlays in the United States, by contrast, are less than 37 percent of gross domes- tic product. Revenue comparisons are even more striking. Tax receipts average more than 45 per- cent of GDP in Nordic nations, a full 20 percent- age points higher than the aggregate tax burden in the United States.
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Will Wilkinson
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: “Happiness research” studies the correlates of subjective well-being, generally through survey methods. A number of psychologists and social scientists have drawn upon this work recently to argue that the American model of relatively limited government and a dynamic market economy corrodes happiness, whereas Western European and Scandinavian-style social democracies pro- mote it. This paper argues that happiness research in fact poses no threat to the relatively libertarian ideals embodied in the U.S. socioeconomic system. Happiness research is seriously hampered by confusion and disagreement about the definition of its subject as well as the limitations inherent in current measurement techniques. In its present state happiness research cannot be relied on as an authoritative source for empirical information about happiness, which, in any case, is not a simple empirical phenomenon but a cultural and historical moving target. Yet, even if we accept the data of happiness research at face value, few of the alleged redistributive policy implications actually follow from the evidence. The data show that neither higher rates of government redistribution nor lower levels of income inequality make us happier, whereas high levels of economic freedom and high average incomes are among the strongest correlates of subjective well- being. Even if we table the damning charges of questionable science and bad moral philosophy, the American model still comes off a glowing success in terms of happiness.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Europe
  • Author: Rensselaer Lee
  • Publication Date: 06-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The danger posed by Russia's inadequately secured stocks of nuclear weapons and fissile material is a major national security concern for the United States. Various cooperative U.S.-Russian programs aimed at securing nuclear material, weapons, and design intelligence have been mounted since the 1990s, but clever and determined adversaries may be able to circumvent or defeat the defenses that the United States and its partners are attempting to put in place. U.S. programs are by their nature reactive: they have long time horizons; they focus preeminently on the supply side of the problem; and they face serious technological limitations. Russia's imperfect commitment to nonproliferation also undermines the effectiveness of U.S. nonproliferation efforts.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Foreign Policy, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Asia
  • Author: John C. Goodman
  • Publication Date: 01-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Almost everyone agrees that the U.S. health care system is in dire need of reform. But there are differing opinions on what kind of reform would be best. Some on the political left would like to see us copy one of the government-run “single-payer”systems that exist in Western Europe, Canada, and New Zealand, among other places. Proponents of socialized medicine point to other countries as examples of health care systems that are superior to our own. They insist that government will make health care available on the basis of need rather than ability to pay. The rich and poor will have equal access to care. And more serious medical needs will be given priority over less serious needs.
  • Topic: Government, Human Welfare, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Canada, New Zealand
  • Author: Leslie S. Lebl
  • Publication Date: 06-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: For almost 50 years, proposals by the European Union to develop a common foreign and security policy for all member states failed. Since the late 1990s, however, the situation has changed. Despite, or perhaps because of, member states' disagreements over Iraq, the EU probably will continue to develop common foreign and security policies, and the European Commission may begin to play a role in developing new European military capabilities.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Iraq, America, Europe, Middle East
  • Author: Charles V. Peña
  • Publication Date: 12-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: President Bush asserts that U.S. military action against Iraq was justified because Saddam Hussein was in material breach of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1441. But even if Iraq was in violation of a UN resolution, the U.S. military does not exist to enforce UN mandates. It exists to defend the United States: its territorial integrity and national sovereignty, the population, and the liberties that underlie the American way of life. So whether Iraq was in violation of Resolution 1441 is irrelevant. The real question is whether Iraq represented a direct and imminent threat to the United States that could not otherwise be deterred. If that was the case, then preemptive self-defense, like Israel's military action against Egypt, Syria, Jordan, and Iraq in the 1967 Six Day War, would have been warranted. And if Iraq was not a threat, especially in terms of aiding and abetting Al Qaeda, then the United States fought a needless war against a phantom menace.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Middle East, United Nations, Syria, Egypt, Jordan
  • Author: Veronique de Rugy, Richard W. Rahn
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Global economic growth and personal freedom are under attack by governments and international organizations seeking to squelch financial privacy and tax competition. Privacy rights and international tax competition are beneficial constraints on the monopoly power of governments. But high-tax nations and organizations such as the European Union are pressing for international agreements to remove those limits on government power at the expense of prosperity and freedom.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, International Organization
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Marian L. Tupy
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The accession of eight Central and Eastern European countries (CEECs) to the European Union in 2004 will bring some important benefits. The new members will gain from reduced barriers to trade and investment. By 2010, the movement of labor will also be freed. But accession to the EU is neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition for economic growth. The combined effects of market access and economic liberalization, not EU membership, optimize economic growth.
  • Topic: Emerging Markets, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Leon T. Hadar
  • Publication Date: 08-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The war in Iraq has created tensions between the United States and some of its leading allies in Europe and exposed a deep diplomatic rift between the traditional transatlantic security partners. The controversy over Iraq has also ignited strong anti-American sentiments and threatened international cooperation in the war against Al Qaeda.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Europe, Middle East
  • Author: William G. Shipman
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Changing demographics are forcing countries around the world to reexamine their public pension systems. The member states of the European Union are no exception. Indeed, the EU nations are among those facing the greatest social, budgetary, and economic challenges as a result of their aging populations. Therefore, EU members will be forced to rethink their public pension programs and move away from traditional pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) pension models to new systems based on savings and investment.
  • Topic: Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Veronique de Rugy, Charles V. Peña
  • Publication Date: 04-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The threat of direct terrorist attack against the United States proved to be real. And the subsequent anthrax cases point to the possibility of a future bioterrorist attack, including use of the deadly smallpox virus. The nature of terrorism is such that it is impossible to accurately predict the probability of such an attack, but the potential consequences are catastrophic. Therefore, it is a serious threat that deserves serious attention.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Doug Bandow
  • Publication Date: 04-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The United States possesses the most powerful military on earth, one that has proved its potency in ousting the Taliban from power in Afghanistan. Yet, even as the military was gearing up to perform so well, some people were calling for a return to conscription or, more dramatically, for institution of mandatory national service for all young people.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Government
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Europe, Taliban
  • Author: Gary T. Dempsey
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Since September 11, 2001, there have been calls from various quarters to embrace nation building as a tool for combating terrorism. The logic behind the idea is that “good” states do not do “bad” things, so Washington should build more “good” states. That idea, however, relies on several dubious assumptions—for example, that embarking on multiple nation-building missions will reduce the potential for anti-American terrorism. If anything, nation building is likely to create more incentives, targets, and opportunities for terrorism, not fewer. The nation-building idea also draws on false analogies with the past. For example, some people assert that Europe's experience under the Marshall Plan can be readily duplicated in a whole host of countries and that, with enough economic aid, trained bureaucrats, and military force of arms, “bad” states anywhere can be transformed into open, self-sustaining, peaceful states.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Government, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Europe, Washington
  • Author: Charles V. Peña
  • Publication Date: 12-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: To prosecute the war on terrorism, President Bush has assembled a diverse coalition of countries for political, diplomatic, and military support. Some of those countries are long-standing friends and allies of the United States. Others have new or changing relationships with the United States. Although there may be a price for their support, America should not pay an excessive price—one that could be detrimental to longer-term U.S. national security interests. And though it may be necessary to provide a certain amount of immediate aid (directly or indirectly) as a quid pro quo for the support of other nations in our war on terrorism, the United States needs to avoid longer-term entanglements, open-ended commitments, and the potential for an extreme anti-American backlash.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, America, Europe, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Charles V. Peña
  • Publication Date: 12-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: To prosecute the war on terrorism, President Bush has assembled a diverse coalition of countries for political, diplomatic, and military support. Some of those countries are long-standing friends and allies of the United States. Others have new or changing relationships with the United States. Although there may be a price for their support, America should not pay an excessive price—one that could be detrimental to longer-term U.S. national security interests. And though it may be necessary to provide a certain amount of immediate aid (directly or indirectly) as a quid pro quo for the support of other nations in our war on terrorism, the United States needs to avoid longer-term entanglements, openended commitments, and the potential for an extreme anti-American backlash.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, America, Europe, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Stanley Kober
  • Publication Date: 10-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: One of the top foreign policy priorities of the Clinton administration during the last few years has been strong support for building a pipeline to transport oil from Baku, Azerbaijan, to the Turkish port of Ceyhan. The administration has argued that this pipeline, bypassing other routes going through Russia and Iran, would be the best way for the economically struggling countries of Central Asia to get their energy exports to market, thereby underpinning their newly won independence. Washington also stresses the supposed benefit of having the pipeline run through the territory of a NATO ally, Turkey.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, NATO, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Washington, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Baku
  • Author: Jonathan G. Clarke
  • Publication Date: 10-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The foreign policy record of the Clinton-Gore administration deserves a less than stellar grade. At the end of the Cold War, there was an extraordinary opportunity to build a new relationship with a democratic Russia; restructure U.S. security policy in both Europe and East Asia to reduce America's burdens and risk exposure; and revisit intractable Cold War–era problems, such as the frosty relations with Cuba, Vietnam, and North Korea. The administration's performance must be judged within the context of such an unprecedented opportunity for constructive change.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Europe, Israel, East Asia, Asia, North Korea, Vietnam
  • Author: Charles V. Peña
  • Publication Date: 07-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Traditionally, strategic offensive arms control and ballistic missile defense have been viewed as mutually exclusive. During the Cold War, the general belief was that anti–ballistic missile (ABM) systems would call into question the ability of the superpowers to successfully survive a first nuclear strike and inflict sufficient damage with a second strike. That is, missile defense could allow one superpower to launch a first strike and then use its defenses to intercept a second strike with the other superpower's surviving warheads—thereby undermining deterrence and stability. Furthermore, the thinking was that this situation would result in a dangerous offensive arms race as each side sought to counter the effects of the other's defenses.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Kurt Schuler, George A. Selgin
  • Publication Date: 06-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: On August 17, 1998, Russia devalued the ruble and stopped payment on its government debt, creating a financial crisis that continues today. Some observers have blamed the financial crisis, and the poor performance of the Russian economy generally, on government policies that they claim are rigidly laissez faire. However, a closer look at the Russian financial system reveals that it remains fundamentally socialist, though it has superficial capitalist features.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, Government, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Christopher Layne
  • Publication Date: 05-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The Clinton administration has made one miscalculation after another in dealing with the Kosovo crisis. U.S. officials and their NATO colleagues never understood the historical and emotional importance of Kosovo to the Serbia n people, believing instead that Belgrade's harsh repression of the ethnic Albanian secessionist movement in Kosovo merely reflected the will of President Slobodan Milosevic of Yugoslavia. The administration's foreign policy team mistakenly concluded that, under a threat of air strikes, the Yugoslav government would sign a dictate d peace accord (the Rambouillet agreement) to be implemented by a NATO peacekeeping force in Kosovo. Even if Milosevic initially refused to sign the Rambouillet agreement, administration leaders believed that Belgrade would relent after a brief “demonstration” bombing campaign. Those calculations proved to be disastrously wrong.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Foreign Policy, NATO, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia, Kosovo, Yugoslavia, Serbia, Balkans, Albania
  • Author: Janine R. Wedel
  • Publication Date: 03-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the subsequent breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, the governments of the United States and other Western countries have provided massive aid to promote a transition to the free market in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. But aid for market reforms in the region has been largely ineffective. Whether provided in the form of technical assistance, grants to political groups or nongovernmental organizations, loans and guarantees to the private sector, or direct financial aid to post-communist governments, that aid has been plagued by a number of problems. The failed $22.6 billion bailout of Russia by the International Monetary Fund in July 1998 only confirmed the flawed nature of the aid-for-reform approach.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia, Soviet Union
  • Author: Steve H. Hanke
  • Publication Date: 10-1998
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The devaluation of the Russian ruble this year was predictable, especially considering Russia's poor monetary history. State-manipulated money has been a Russian hallmark since the time of Peter the Great and shows that the country's money problems are endemic and do not depend on who controls the central bank. Czarist, Soviet, and post-Soviet governments have used the central bank printing press to finance deficit spending, resulting in high inflation, confiscation of savings, capital controls, or a combination of the three.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Soviet Union