Gregg Easterbrook

Behind the hurricane hype

August 26, 2010

STORM-GULF

The fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, coupled with the mild hurricane Danielle tracking toward Bermuda, turns thoughts toward cyclones.

China as number one? Remember Japan in the ’80s

August 18, 2010

An Asian nation with a roaring economy will eclipse the United States … America has entered a cycle of decline, while the sun is rising in the East … soon all our products will be made overseas and America will falter … doom is at hand.

August 18, 2010

POINTS THAT DIDN’T QUITE MAKE THE MAIN COLUMN:

1. Rejecting the idea of Japan-as-number-one

My friend James Fallows’ 1989 book “More Like Us” was prescient in rejecting the idea of Japan-as-number-one. Jim wrote the book book while living in Japan. Some of the reaction to his book was critical scoffs — doesn’t he know Japan is invincible! The content of this book has done well on the test of time. Fallows’ thesis was that Americans would never wish they were like the Japanese, whereas the Japanese someday would wish they were “more like us.” So far, that’s happened.

The 40 super-rich aren’t necessarily giving away half of their wealth

August 6, 2010

superrichUSETHISIt must be sweet to be super-rich and also bathed in public adulation, as were the 40 super-rich people who just pledged to give away at least half their wealth. This was prominent news around the country, and most coverage was sheer hero worship.

The ultimate challenge to Detroit culture

August 4, 2010

OBAMA/

Last week President Barack Obama visited a General Motors factory to proclaim the auto bailout a success, and today calls at a Ford Motors facility to proclaim the car industry recovered. Sales of U.S.-made vehicles are rising, while Ford – which, bless its internal-combustion heart, refused government money – just announced a $2.6 billion second quarter profit. That makes it time to assess the car companies.

August 4, 2010

POINTS THAT DIDN’T QUITE MAKE THE MAIN COLUMN:

* This column has been harping on the themes that electric cars are heavily subsidized and that average people are being taxed to support battery-powered luxo cruisers that will be marketed to the well-to-do. Since my latest table-thumping on same, the press has noticed this issue – must have been on the agenda at the latest Media Conspiracy meeting. (Knock three times, the password is “swordfish.”) See here and here and here. But where’s the populist outrage against taxpayers being compelled to subsidize electric playthings for the rich?