Blog Posts Driving the Debate

January 13, 2012

NCF curates a weekly list of blog posts that touch on emerging issues affecting the American business community.

Ezra Klein notes the "confused argument against immigration."

Richard Florida at The Atlantic Cities laid out "the geography of women's economic opportunity" in the world. It's a little bit wonky, granted, but there's been a debate on the blogosphere this week about the length and severity of Japan's 1990s recession.

Noah Smith argues that Japan's economy was actually relatively strong during the 2000s, contrary to the popular notion that the country has suffered a stretch of two nearly unbroken decades of stagnation.  Many of the free market reforms and previously unseen initiatives (at least in Japan) that the country's former prime minister Junichiro Koizumi brought about deserve much of the credit.

Arnaud de Borchgrave at The Atlantic Council outlined the key "threats to watch in 2012," including those challenges both military and financial.

Speaking of risks, it looks like North Korea has far more advanced nuclear program that the public previously knew.

Gavyn Davies wrote on "America's incredible shrinking labor force."  After 2008, what had been a steady upward rise in the labor force came to a sudden stop and has been stagnating ever since.  The fundamental reason is short-term but worrying, having to do with a drop in the participation rate.  In other words, a large number of people have quit working or looking for work in America, which in turn puts our traditional economic dynamism at risk.

The Mafia may be the largest banking institution in Italy.  According to a recent report, "The mafia affects up to 50 businesses every hour, causing the loss of 'tens of thousands of jobs' and the closure of more than 1,800 businesses throughout the country each year."  A shadow banking system acts like a cancer to a country's economic body, much like Greece's endemic tax avoidance.