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Noel Maurer
Interests: My current research asks whether foreign governments or international institutions can improve economic governance. Is it possible to alter a country’s property rights system from the outside? This research has two prongs. The first is a historical work, tentatively entitled Imperial Experiments: Intervention, Economic Growth, and Property Rights, which tests various hypotheses about the success and failure of American attempts to improve economic governance outside the United States and protect the property rights of U.S. investors before World War II. The second is a series of contemporary case studies about attempts to alter nations’ internal economic governance from the outside: bilateral investment treaties, investor protection clauses in trade agreements, conditional loans, the “mortgaging” of export revenues, vulture funds, and military intervention. I also watch a lot of baseball, enjoy very bad music, and do a lot of travelling. The travel tends to be either in total luxury, or to places where I need to wear body armor and live in constant fear of, well, death.
Recent Activity
It appears that Governor LePage has gone off the deep end. Among other things, he said this: “Let me tell you this, explain to you, I made the comment that black people are trafficking in our state, now ever since... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at The Power and the Money
Speaking of health care, does everyone know that Colorado has single-payer on the ballot this November? The big problem is rising health care costs. You can come up with a program that covers its costs now, only to have it... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at The Power and the Money
It looks like the Obamacare exchanges are running into some trouble, which is disappointing for anyone who would like to see all Americans have access to affordable health care. The problem, as noted elsewhere, is that not enough healthy people... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at The Power and the Money
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Wow, the alt-right sure came out into the open fast. Like cockroaches from under a rock. One minute, invisible, next one, all over the place. Jesus, what an election. Anyway, I was drawn to one thing from the Vox explainer.... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at The Power and the Money
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I am in Snoqualmie, Washington, outside Seattle, talking about intellectual property and hanging out with the same GOP-centric establishment crowds I always hang with on the West Coast. One interesting comment came up in a discussion of whether, when and... Continue reading
Posted Aug 4, 2016 at The Power and the Money
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My wife and kids came to Alabama on an overnight train to Birmingham, something she really wanted to do. We met them downtown, near the train station. The freeway drive up from Montgomery is worth doing, if only for a... Continue reading
Posted Aug 4, 2016 at The Power and the Money
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Yesterday, Jeff Cox of CNBC published a column called “Donald Trump can win Pennsylvania. Here’s why.” He’s right! Donald Trump can win Pennsylvania. We go a lot to Chester County, Pennsylvania, where the exurbs of Philly blend into the part... Continue reading
Posted Aug 1, 2016 at The Power and the Money
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We are all guilty of it. In fact, “identity politics” should be called just politics, period. We all belong to prescriptive or ascriptive groups. Our membership in those groups (whether voluntary, involuntary, or quasi-voluntary) gives us material interests. Sometimes we... Continue reading
Posted Jul 22, 2016 at The Power and the Money
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The fat crybaby has whined that he won’t defend the Baltic States unless, well ... SANGER: If Russia came over the border into Estonia or Latvia, Lithuania, places that Americans don’t think about all that often, would you come to... Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2016 at The Power and the Money
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Well, that was an interesting read in the paper this morning! It got me to go to the video. As of right now, three things seem clear, at least to me. Fat Crybaby planned to sandbag Senator Cruz. The yelling... Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2016 at The Power and the Money
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The last post (quoting Callum’s Craic) pointed out the biggest problem with keeping Scotland and N.I. in the E.U. while letting the rest of the U.K. secede: who would control the U.K.’s representatives in Brussels? Sure, it is easy to... Continue reading
Posted Jul 20, 2016 at The Power and the Money
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This blog suggested that one way around the Brexit issue would be a brief treaty revision that declared England and Wales to be an “overseas territory” of the United Kingdom. That way, the U.K. government keeps a seat at the... Continue reading
Posted Jul 19, 2016 at The Power and the Money
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I am very hesitant to discuss something that confuses Paul Krugman. Very hesitant. There is a great paper by Ricardo Hausmann and Dani Rodrik from 2003: “Economic Development as Self-Discovery.” The basic story is that it really isn’t just what... Continue reading
Posted Jul 19, 2016 at The Power and the Money
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The best book on coups is Naunihal Singh’s Seizing Power: The Strategic Logic of Military Coups. It answers many of the questions I had earlier about the attempted coup in Turkey. Singh is at the Air War College in Montgomery,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 16, 2016 at The Power and the Money
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Seriously, letting people openly carry long-guns in urban areas is crazy. There is no self-defense scenario in which they would be useful. And if a terrorist starts shooting, having civilians carrying rifles will only put those civilians at risk. Here... Continue reading
Posted Jul 15, 2016 at The Power and the Money
Turkey is in the middle of an old-fashioned military coup, in the same league as the 2014 one in Thailand. This is not at all like recent events in our hemisphere. Honduras in 2009 was a complex and confusing situation... Continue reading
Posted Jul 15, 2016 at The Power and the Money
Imagine my surprise when the Economist told me that President Duterte made two quotes in his inaugural speech: “Abraham Lincoln, expressing mildly laissez-faire views; and Franklin Roosevelt, expressing gently left-leaning sentiments.” Oh, I wasn’t surprised that Duterte made contradictory quotes!... Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2016 at The Power and the Money
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Dylan Matthews’ third point in his screed about why the American Revolution was a mistake is that without the Revolution, we would have had a Westminster-style parliamentary government, and parliamentary governments are better. I grant the point about parliamentary government.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 8, 2016 at The Power and the Money
Last night I watched with horror as the Dallas massacre unfolded live on television. At first, the coverage was good. But then along came Brian Williams to take over as anchor. We were then treated to headlines proclaiming “Civil War”... Continue reading
Posted Jul 8, 2016 at The Power and the Money
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In 1973, a business historian named Robert Sobel published a highly entertaining book entitled For Want of a Nail. It is an incredibly detailed faux history book from a world where the British defeated the American revolution, all the way... Continue reading
Posted Jul 4, 2016 at The Power and the Money
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What else would you talk about in Alabama besides Brexit? Well, lots of things, actually. Like airplanes! But I did spend a lot of time talking about Brexit with the mavens at the Air War College here at Maxwell AFB.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 4, 2016 at The Power and the Money
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July 4th is upon us, and here we go again with a bunch of “The American Revolution was a mistake” posts. Now it’s Dylan Matthews at Vox, giving us three reasons why 1776 and all that was a “monumental mistake.”... Continue reading
Posted Jul 3, 2016 at The Power and the Money
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The Washington Post publicizes a lot of good political science these days. (Thank you, Mr. Bezos!) They recently ran a column entitled, “Americans aren’t biased against Latino immigration. Here’s what they actually fear.” Short version: Morris Levy (USC) and Matthew... Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2016 at The Power and the Money
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The Kingdom of the Netherlands consists of several countries and a few overseas municipalities. Only one of them, the eponymous one sitting on the northwest shore of the European peninsula, is part of the E.U. The rest are overseas territories,... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2016 at The Power and the Money
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There has been a lot of discussion lately about the Great Stagnation: the apparent slowdown in productivity growth in rich countries since 1970. The phenomenon is indisputable, but mysterious, since it parallels the rise of computers and the internet, both... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2016 at The Power and the Money
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