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The Road from Serfdom

The Road from Serfdom

The aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis has wage earners unsettled, idled involuntarily and indefinitely. Unprepared either for the hardship of scrimping, or the moments of relief from toil, the unemployed are bewildered. What is in store? Many seek relief anticipating a return to the ‘good times’ of the recent past. In his commentary, Austerity […]

Austerity and Demoralisation

Austerity and  Demoralisation

The high unemployment that we have today in Europe, the United States, and elsewhere is a tragedy, not just because of the aggregate output loss that it entails, but also because of the personal and emotional cost to the unemployed of not being a part of working society. Austerity, according to some of its promoters, […]

America’s Debt-Ceiling Debacle

America’s Debt-Ceiling Debacle

When Greece’s sovereign-debt crisis threatened the euro’s survival, U.S. officials called their European counterparts to express bewilderment at their inability to resolve the issue. Now, the tables have turned, with American leaders on the receiving end of such calls. The most recent threat of a U.S. debt default has been avoided, but only temporarily. Another […]

Angela Merkel in The Land of Smiles

Angela Merkel in The Land of Smiles

Germany’s elections are over. The winners and losers are clear, and the political landscape has changed profoundly. The real drama, however, occurred not among the country’s main parties but on the boundaries of the political spectrum. Chancellor Angela Merkel is celebrating a landslide victory, with her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) having fallen just short of […]

After the Election

After the Election

The German saying “Man soll den Tag nicht vor dem Abend loben” (“Don’t count your chickens before they are hatched”) proved true  once again on 29 September. Both Social Democrats (SPÖ) and Conservatives (ÖVP), while still victorious, had to face major losses. But unlike other EU countries, the Austrian coalition was not voted out. With […]

No Alarms & No Surprises

No Alarms &  No Surprises

If it weren’t for all the posters splashing the heads of party frontrunners around the city, few would notice that it’s election time in Austria. In the scorching heat of recent weeks, electoral campaigns have had a very slow start. On 29 September, voters will go to the polls and choose which party or parties […]

Introducing Viktor Milos

Introducing Viktor Milos

Hungary’s Viktor Orbán is seen to be infecting Miloš Zeman’s politics. It may be time to call it a day for the Czech Republic as we’ve known it for the last 20 years. Not to tire readers with the recent history of Czech internal affairs, but one thing is clear: If the country headed west […]

The Risks Of Security

Americans were deeply shaken after the events of Sept. 11, 2001. In spite of the country’s long tradition of civil liberties, the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center changed perceptions, and giving up free speech and the right to privacy was seen as a fair trade for the promise of security. What had been […]

Their (Least) Favourite Thing

On my Austrian husband’s first holiday in the U.S., my whole family was there, and in an annual ritual, we all sat down in front of the TV and put on The Sound of Music. As scenic views of Julie Andrews cavorting through the Alps rolled out before us, my sister exclaimed to her children, […]

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