Daniel Altman

5 Things to Know About the Global Economy Right Now

Why Japan is a wildcard, the Eurozone's in trouble, and the BRICS are a bust.

Things could be worse, right? Having shaken off the jitters that saw shares drop at the end of July, the major markets have been enjoying another period of relative stability. Apart from Argentina's comic default and a few geopolitical flare-ups, little has happened to raise fears of another crash. The unemployment rate has been falling steadily -- if slowly -- in the United States, Eurozone, and even Japan, where more people are also joining the labor force. Domestic demand has returned even as the fringes of the global economy have frayed. But is there a storm around the corner? Here are a few things to keep in mind as we look to the next couple of years:

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Why I Hope to Vote Republican in 2024

Face it: Hillary Clinton will be a two-term president, and I’ll vote for her. But a Democratic stranglehold on the White House is bad for America.

Will demographics be the death knell of the Republican Party? I hope not. I've always preferred Democrats, but I'll be disappointed if I never cast a vote for a Republican candidate. Let me explain. 

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The Global Gilded Age

As inequality between countries has fallen, inequality within countries is rising -- with worrying consequences.

There's good news about inequality. If we treat the entire world as one society -- hey, why not? -- then inequality is falling. Hundreds of millions of poor people across the globe have entered the global middle class. But looking at inequality this way also blinds us to one of its biggest costs.

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Epic Soccer-Like Battles of History

Here's our martial World Cup wrap-up -- where the beautiful game is just war by other means.

In his classic book on English soccer hooligans, Among the Thugs, the author Bill Buford suggested that violence among English soccer fans in the 1980s had its roots in a displaced and unsatisfied need for mass conflict. A people who had for centuries fought wars among themselves, with neighbors and in the far corners of the globe, found in hooliganism a new source for the adrenaline generated by being part of a violent mob. That may also be true, but sometimes the parallels with war originate with what happens on the field. 

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Swimming in Money

Income inequality matters less than wealth inequality, so why is everyone still talking about taxing your salary?

For the first time in decades, economies around the world are having serious debates about inequality. The recent wave of opportunity created by globalization and technological change has reduced inequality between countries, but it has also increased inequality within many of them. This can have serious costs for society, so it's a shame that most of the debate is focused on the wrong kind of disparity.

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