Philippe Legrain, a former economic adviser to the president of the European Commission, is a visiting senior fellow at the London School of Economics’ European Institute and the author of
LONDON – Those campaigning for Britain to exit the European Union claim that doing so would make their country both freer and richer. They assert that after “Brexit”, the UK could quickly negotiate a bespoke agreement with the EU that offers all the benefits of free trade without the costs of EU membership; strike better trade deals with other countries; and reap huge benefits from scrapping burdensome EU regulations. But this is a delusion.
In fact, Brexit would entail big economic costs for Britain. The uncertainty and disruption of drawn-out and doubtless acrimonious divorce proceedings would depress investment and growth. Permanent separation would reduce trade, foreign investment, and migration, hurting competition, productivity growth, and living standards. And “independence” would deprive Britain of influence over future EU reforms – notably, the completion of the single market in services – from which it would benefit.
Aryeh Neier, President Emeritus of the Open Society Foundations and a founder of Human Rights Watch, is the author of The International Human Rights Movement: A History.
NEW YORK – The announcement that US President Barack Obama’s visit to Japan later this month will include a stop in Hiroshima is welcome news. Of course, Obama will not apologize for America’s 1945 nuclear attack, which annihilated the city and instantly killed about 90,000 people (with many more dying later from the effects of radiation). Nonetheless, the visit will inevitably spur reflection and debate about what happened there and why.
The main argument in favor of dropping an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, and a second bomb on Nagasaki three days later, has always been that it would hasten an end to World War II. The attacks actually saved many more Japanese and American lives, the argument goes, than they claimed. Implicitly, this argument recognizes that Hiroshima was not a military target. The main tactical purpose of the attack was to kill large numbers of civilians, thereby demonstrating to the Japanese the high cost of continuing the war.
Martin Feldstein, Professor of Economics at Harvard University and President Emeritus of the National Bureau of Economic Research, chaired President Ronald Reagan’s Council of Economic Advisers from 1982 to 1984. In 2006, he was appointed to President Bush's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, and,… read more
CAMBRIDGE – On May 26-27, the heads of the Group of Seven leading industrial countries will gather in Japan to discuss common security and economic problems. A major common problem that deserves their attention is the unsustainable increase in the major developed countries’ national debt. Failure to address the explosion of government borrowing will have adverse effects on the global economy and on debt-burdened countries themselves.