Robert Samuelson

For Robert Samuelson's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Jul 4, 2014

Americans: born in an empire of contention

An historian reminds Americans this Fourth of July weekend that dynamic social and economic change, poisonous politics, bad policies and flawed leaders in an "empire of contention" were all there two centuries ago.

Jul 1, 2014

Time to say goodbye to the business cycle?

The many failures of economics before, during and after the recent financial crisis have left an intellectual vacuum. It seems that governments' past success in stabilizing the economy in the short run encouraged too much debt and instability in the long term.

May 16, 2014

Is China the top economic power?

New World Bank figures suggesting that China's GDP will overtake that of the U.S. sometime this year raise profound issues for Americans who have presumed that postwar economic affluence depends on countries becoming more like the U.S.

Apr 8, 2014

Russia's big bet on 'Putinomics'

Russian President Vladimir Putin thinks he can enjoy political and military freedom in dealing with Ukraine without experiencing crippling economic costs from sanctions or the exit of multinational firms from Russia.

Mar 14, 2014

Will Putin's Crimea gamble backfire?

Although Russia could acquire Crimea, Russian President Vladimir Putin might not be able to keep Ukraine in Moscow's economic orbit. The crisis might have accelerated Ukraine's reorientation westward.

Feb 16, 2014

Wrong debate on economic inequality in U.S.

The theory that growing inequality in the 2000s caused many low- and middle-income Americans to over-borrow so that they could keep up with wealthier Americans doesn't hold up. The right debate is on why lenders relaxed credit standards.

Feb 11, 2014

Welfare state taking over the U.S. government

The budget story that is largely missed by American political leaders and the public is that the welfare state is strangling government's ability to respond to other national problems, because the constituencies for welfare benefits are more powerful than their competitors for federal support.

Feb 10, 2014

Myths about economic inequality

True, the gap between the rich and the poor is enormous, wider than most Americans would wish, but this reality has made economic inequality a misleading intellectual fad, blamed for many of our problems.