Gregg Easterbrook

Unemployment is the real price of war

June 22, 2011

The cost of ongoing U.S. wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya is up to at least $1.2 trillion. What would the economic recovery look like if that money hadn’t been spent?

Make Puerto Rico a state: it’s good for business

June 14, 2011

As Barack Obama makes the first presidential visit to Puerto Rico in half a century, let’s cut to the chase: this island will be the 51st state, and the sooner the better.

Why can’t politicians admit they’re wrong?

June 7, 2011

Rep. Andrew Weiner, after elaborately denying posting a controversial picture on Twitter — Hollywood beauties are described as posing “semi-nude,” Weiner posed semi-lewd — just admitted that he did. Sarah Palin refuses to admit she was wrong about Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride — though she claimed Revere’s purpose was to warn “the British”. John Edwards, now facing criminal charges, is in jeopardy of going to jail owing to a chain of events that began when he refused to admit having an affair — after boasting of being a family-values vice-presidential candidate. Presidential contender Newt Gingrich first refused to admit a dumb remark about Medicare reform, then claimed quotation of his own remark is “a falsehood.” Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey at first refused to admit using a state helicopter for personal travel — though it was on film! — then denounced those who complained.

The Post Office — return to sender

June 1, 2011

Suppose a company that was losing customers to other firms responded by increasing prices, cutting service, granting raises to workers and overpaying management. If the company then demanded a lavish government bailout, the public would laugh.

What’s causing the tornado tsunami

May 24, 2011

“Tornadoes are currently on a frightening upswing.” That could have been written yesterday — but was written 12 years ago, by your columnist, in the November 8, 1999 issue of The New Republic.

Why we should focus on methane; not carbon dioxide

May 19, 2011

Gasoline is above $4 a gallon, a price that makes Americans think the End of Days is approaching. President Barack Obama wants the oil industry to give up a mere $2 billion per year in tax favors, and Big Oil CEOs just told Congress this is out of the question. (Watch CEOs of some of the world’s richest companies cry poor-mouth here).

With bin Laden dead, why doesn’t the U.S. leave Afghanistan?

May 11, 2011

In 2003, the United States invaded Iraq citing two justifications: to depose Saddam Hussein and to destroy Iraq’s banned weapons program. Within a year, Hussein and his accomplices were imprisoned, and it had been discovered there was no Iraqi banned weapons program. Having achieved its goals, why didn’t the United States leave? Seven years later, this question haunts the U.S. occupation of Iraq.

Discussing bin Laden on the BBC

May 10, 2011

Recently, I was a guest on BBC World Service, to discuss whether the killing of Osama bin Laden can be called “justice.” The BBC podcast is here. My Reuters column on the subject is here.

Why the U.S. had a right to kill Osama bin Laden

May 2, 2011

Should the United States have invaded Iraq? Should the United States be bombing Libya? These are troubling questions. But there is no question the United States had a right to kill Osama bin Laden — and no doubt his death is good news, including for the world’s Muslims, most of whom are law-abiding and peace-loving.

Bernanke raises the curtain on the Federal Reserve

April 27, 2011

Only the Pope guest-hosting Saturday Night Live could top, in public-relations terms, what just happened in Washington — Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke gave a press conference, the first time a Fed chair has stood before reporters to take questions. And maybe Benedict XVI should film an Internet intro to St. Peter’s, since Bernanke just posted an intro to the Vatican of money.