Recent Posts

  • Angela Merkel is Getting it Right

    By Steven Hill, International Politik (Germany), October 4, 2010

    The Chancellor’s critics are misjudging today’s challenges and the strength of Merkel’s leadership

    Forget Barack Obama. Forget the Hu Jintao/Wen Jiaboa duo, David Cameron, or Vladimir Putin. Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel is the world’s most important leader. The latest reports suggests that Germany’s economy has been growing at a blistering annual rate of nearly 9%, making a good recovery from the U.S.-led…

  • The China Superpower Hoax

    By Steven Hill, Truthdig

    China must have the best public relations maestros in the world. How else would a country with a lower per capita income than Iran, Mexico and Kazakhstan, one of the worst environmental records of any major nation, endemic corruption, jails stuffed with dissenters, and a dictatorship, besides, be hailed by so many as the next global superpower?…

  • Shorting Economists: The ‘Experts’ Keep Getting it Wrong

    By Steven Hill, Truthdig, August 19, 2010

    That modern-day guild known as “economists” has been on a self-righteous rampage lately. This latest rash of finger-wagging was kicked off by the Greek debt crisis. Looking at tiny Greece, these economic Cassandras foresee a menacing future for the entire global economy if President Barack Obama and Europe don’t rein in their budget deficits.…

  • Angela Merkel: The World’s ‘Most Valuable Leader’

    By Steven Hill, Social Europe Journal, August 18, 2010

    Forget Barack Obama. Forget the Hu Jintao/Wen Jiaboa duo, or David Cameron or Vladimir Putin. Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel is the world’s most important leader. The latest report showing Germany’s economy growing at a blistering annual rate of nearly 9%, well into recovery from a US-made economic collapse, is just further evidence of the obvious. …

  • The Economic Fallacy of ‘Zombie’ Japan

    By Steven Hill, Guardian, August 11, 2010

    Japan has been getting a raw deal from the so-called economic experts. Consider this: in the midst of the great recession, the United States is suffering through nearly 10% unemployment, rising inequality and poverty, 47 million people without health insurance, declining retirement prospects for the middle class and a general increase in economic insecurity.…

  • Don’t scorn Germany and Japan; learn from them

    By Steven Hill, Los Angeles Times, July 29, 2010

    In the midst of the Great Recession, the United States is suffering through nearly 10% unemployment, rising inequality and poverty, 47 million people without health insurance, declining retirement prospects for the middle class and a general increase in economic insecurity. The global marketplace has become tumultuous, so when we find a bright spot, one would think it deserves a mention.…

  • Swiss offer a fix for direct democracy

    By Steven Hill, Sacramento Bee, July 2, 2010

    I recently participated in a research trip to Switzerland to study the alpine nation’s system of direct democracy (initiative and referendum, or I&R). Its model offers fresh ideas about how to repair the dysfunctional initiative process in California and San Francisco.

    In California, it takes approximately 750,000 signatures to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot — almost 3 percent of the statewide population — and about three-fifths that for a nonconstitutional statute.…

  • Building a Balanced Supreme Court

    May 17, 2010, New York Daily News

    Oftentimes, American-style partisanship results in Republicans and Democrats fighting like two mindless gamecocks in the ring. Well, take your seats, because nothing brings out this combative behavior more than a Supreme Court nomination.

    President Obama’s nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court will kick off the usual bloodletting across the partisan divide.…

  • Europe’s Answer to Wall Street

    By Steven Hill, April 21, 2010, The Nation

    A year and a half after an economic earthquake shook the world, the so-called experts are still trying to figure out what happened and how to move forward. In the shadows of that confusion, new economic models are beginning to find traction. Alternatives to Wall Street capitalism, the epicenter of the temblor, are suddenly getting a new hearing in the United States, whether it’s Paul Volcker calling for reinstatement of Glass-Steagall regulation of the banking sector, the United Steelworkers announcing an alliance with the Mondragon cooperatives in Spain to develop manufacturing cooperatives in the United States, or Cleveland-based efforts to establish worker-owned co-ops in distressed communities [see Alperovitz, Howard and Williamson, “The Cleveland Model,” March 1].…

  • Europe Tax Model Delivers Much More

    By Steven Hill, Sacramento Bee, April 15, 2010

    Most Americans seem to regard April 15 – the day income tax returns are due to the Internal Revenue Service – as a recurring tragedy akin to a biblical plague. Particularly this year, with U.S. government deficits soaring, everyone from the tea baggers to Fox News and Senate Republicans are sounding the alarm about a return to “big government.”…

  • Inspiration Across the Pond

    By Steven Hill, March 29, 2010, E!Sharp

    Europe is going through another one of its occasional bouts of self-doubt and pessimism. The great historian Arnold Toynbee once wrote, “Countries have characters that are as distinctive as those of human beings.” The collection of countries known as Europe has never hidden its gloom very well.…

  • A More United Europe

    By Steven Hill, March 22, 2010, Forbes.com

    Greece’s debt situation has pundits taking out their crystal balls trying to divine the future not only of Greece, but also the euro and Europe. Every news outlet from The New York Times to National Public Radio has joined the chorus of gloom and doom.…

  • Europe’s Case of ‘Chief Executive Envy’

    By Steven Hill, March 19, 2010, Social Europe Journal

    Every time Europe goes through one of its occasional crises, calls arise across the continent for ‘stronger leadership.’ The perception of having feeble leadership was a major factor in the push for the Lisbon Treaty, which went into effect late in 2009 and created a president for the European Council and a high representative for foreign affairs and security.…

  • Returning the Senate to Majority Rule

    By Steven Hill, March 18, 2010, Roll Call

    Standing at the edge of the health care precipice, President Barack Obama has reached a defining point in his presidency. The recent news that Anthem Blue Cross is planning to jack up individual premiums as much as 40 percent is just the latest example of our flailing health care system.…

  • Can Obama Bypass Republicans on Health?

    By Steven Hill, Feb 22, 2010, NY Times.com

    Yes, President Obama should push his health care package through the Senate via the reconciliation process. Indeed, it is imperative that he do so for two reasons.

    First, because the U.S. badly needs health care reform. And second, to restore the constitutional principle of “majority rule” that has been thwarted in the filibuster-gone-wild Senate.…

  • Lessons for Europe From California

    By Steven Hill, February 17, 2010, The Guardian (London)

    Over a year ago, the world economy suffered a massive economic quake – and certain countries have been experiencing aftershocks ever since. Two such aftershocks have grabbed headlines, one recently in Greece and another last summer in California. A comparison of these two events reveals something about the respective features of the west’s two leading capitalist economies, the US and Europe.…