Michael Boskin

For Michael Boskin's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Nov 27, 2012

Something new for China?

Political leadership transitions typically signal either a change in direction or continuity. But the mere prospect of such a transition usually postpones some important political decisions and freezes some economic activity, pending the resolution of the accompanying uncertainty. China’s decennial leadership transition, culminating at ...

Sep 28, 2012

Postelection fiscal cliff raises stakes for the world

As America’s elections approach, with President Barack Obama slightly in front of his Republican challenger, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, pollsters still rate the races for control of the presidency and the U.S. Senate too close to call, with the House of Representatives likely ...

Aug 13, 2012

California dreamin' on such a debt-filled day

While central governments’ fiscal problems plague many economies, a parallel crisis is enveloping many subnational governments around the world. From Spain to China to the United States to Italy, these governments — regions, states, provinces, cities, and towns — face immense fiscal challenges. Higher ...

Feb 9, 2012

What an Obama or Romney win means

Successful political candidates try to implement the proposals on which they ran. In the United States, President Barack Obama and the Democrats, controlling the House of Representatives and (a filibuster-proof) Senate, had the power to do virtually anything they wanted in 2009 — and ...

Dec 1, 2011

Let's hope Europe does the right thing at last

The resignations of Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi have highlighted how Greece, Italy and many other countries obscured for too long their bloated public sectors’ long-standing problems with unsustainable social-welfare benefits. Indeed, for many of these countries, meaningful ...

Aug 3, 2011

Merely round one in ongoing fiscal struggles

Wealthy Europe and America, crown jewels of mixed capitalist democracies, are drowning in deficits and debt, owing to bloated welfare states that are now in place (Europe) or in the making (the United States). As Europe struggles to prevent financial contagion and America struggles ...

May 30, 2011

Voters versus the welfare state

Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper, by winning an outright majority of seats in his country’s parliament for the first time since assuming office, continues a remarkable series of national election victories, backed by voters demanding at least a pause, and perhaps some reversal, of ...

Nov 22, 2010

U.S. forecast from November

STANFORD, Calif. — November’s midterm elections were a sharp rebuke to the vast expansion of government spending, deficits and debt in the United States. Elected in the midst of the financial crisis in the fall of 2008, President Barack Obama and the Democratic leadership ...

Sep 28, 2010

Fiscally, Obama has had a rough summer

PALO ALTO, Calif. — Has the Obama administration learned anything from the string of fiscal setbacks it has suffered this summer? First, at the Group of 20 Summit in Canada, President Barack Obama was soundly rebuffed by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, British Prime ...