Recent Posts

  • Reconsidering Japan, Reconsidering Paul Krugman

    By Steven Hill, International Politik (Germany), December 2, 2010

    The New York Times is doing a series on Japan that it describes as an examination of “the effects on Japanese society of two decades of economic stagnation and declining prices.” Reading the series is about as cheery a task as rubbernecking at a car wreck on I-95.…

  • Austerity vs. Stimulus: Who’s Right?

    By Steven Hill, Social Europe Journal, November 24, 2010

    To paraphrase Denmark’s Prince Hamlet, ‘To enact austerity or not to enact austerity, that is the question.’ Unfortunately, dear Hamlet, that is a question without a sure answer. The truth is, none of the experts know what is the correct thing to do.…

  • Germany Speaks Out

    By Steven Hill, International Herald Tribune/New York Times, November 12, 2010

    The Group of 20 meeting in Seoul is quickly emerging as a game-changing moment. Not only did President Barack Obama suffer a loss of face, but America’s leadership took a major hit.

    Following America’s catalytic role in bringing the global economy to the brink of disaster, followed by the Obama administration’s weakened political position after the Nov.…

  • United States too uncritical of Israel, says American author

    Interview with Steven Hill, By Mustafa Edib Yilmaz, Today’s Zaman, Istanbul, Turkey, Oct. 31, 2010 A leading American author and political analyst has said the US has been unable and unwilling to push Israel to make the necessary concessions to achieve peace in the Middle East because of historical and electoral reasons.

  • Media ‘Speculators’ Miss History Being Made In Europe

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

    Like financial speculators, the media likes to speculate in hype and sensationalism, dedicated to advancing their goals. Financial speculators do it to make gobs of money, and the media does it to grab eyeballs for their TV shows and newspapers. During the recent Greek debt crisis, both the financial and media speculators acted to put the eurozone in play, and to destabilise entire national economies.…

  • There’s No Place Like Europe: Steven Hill on Medical House Calls, Multiparty Politics, and Other American Fantasies

    Interview with Steven Hill by Alissa Bohling from t r u t h o u t

    While Europe is far from immuneto the economic decline and resource scarcity it faces along with the rest of the world, columnist and author Steven Hill maintains that the continent still leads the globe in building political infrastructures that foster a shared and sustainable prosperity.…

  • Review of “Europe’s Promise”: Europe as a role model?

    Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, October 11, 2010

    Review by Erich Weede of Steven Hill’s book Europe’s Promise: Why the European Way is the Best Hope in an Insecure Age

    Steven Hill is Director of the Political Reform Program of the New America Foundation. In his book he compares the economy, society and politics of Europe and America. …

  • 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?…

  • Europe’s challenge: “Out of many, one”

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

    With relief, Europe has made it to the end of the summer holiday season with the worst of the Greek/eurozone debt crisis behind it. Defying the gloomy headlines, the eurozone did not disintegrate; indeed this crisis, like previous ones, provided a shove toward further economic integration.…

  • Don’t cut Social Security, DOUBLE it

    By Steven Hill, New York Daily News, September 2, 2010

    In the aftermath of the Great Recession, a debate over Social Security is heating up. So far, the debate has been between those deficit busters who say Social Security must be trimmed back to reduce government indebtedness, and others who want to maintain it as is.…

  • 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.…

  • Europe Needs a Public Relations Makeover

    By Steven Hill, Social Europe Journal, July 16, 2010

    The American-European relationship has been crucially important during the post-World War II era for both places. Yet recently it has been hurt by both neglect and design. Even before the Greek debt crisis, Europe had been suffering a longstanding public relations crisis in the United States.…

  • 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.…

  • Closing the ‘Democracy Deficit’ in the EU and US

    By Steven Hill, June 17, 2010, Social Europe Journal

    My recent research trip to Switzerland with a group of other Americans was enlightening, in more ways than one. Besides admiring the great beauty of the Swiss mountains, lakes and picturesque cities, it was a chance to study in depth the Alpine jewel’s system of direct democracy (initiative and referendum, or I&R).…

  • Europe Energized

    By Steven Hill, June 8, 2010, New York Times/International Herald Tribune

    With toxic black ooze spreading throughout the Gulf of Mexico, it may be time for the Obama administration to think seriously about national energy policy. It could learn plenty by looking across the Atlantic.

    The average European today emits half the carbon of an average American and uses far less electricity.…

  • 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.…

  • Lessons from the Gulf of Mexico: US Needs a National Energy Policy like Europe’s

    By Steven Hill, May 17, 2010, Social Europe Journal

    With the spectre of the Greek default crisis still hanging over Europe, it may seem like Europe can’t do anything right. But with hundreds of thousands of gallons of toxic black oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, the United States could learn plenty from Europe about energy policy.…

  • Greek Crisis Leads to Positive Steps

    By Steven Hill, May 14, 2010, San Francisco Chronicle

    Contrary to what the doomsayers have been saying, Greece’s debt crisis may turn out to be one of the best things to happen to the European Union.

    While the situation has been messy, it also has signaled a badly needed wake-up call to Europe about a flaw at the heart of its monetary union.…

  • 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.”…

  • What the Doomsayers Haven’t Been Telling You About Greece

    By Steven Hill, April 15, 2010, Social Europe Journal

    The recent battle over healthcare reform in the United States, in which the Obama administration was barely able to pass weak reform, is just further proof of how far the US has fallen behind Europe. Yet all the media has been able to obsess over for the last couple of months is – the Greek debt crisis!…