US President Barack Obama: after the 2012 election  he was able to go through with a significant rise in taxes on high incomes. Photograph: Zach Gibson/The New York Times

You have to be seriously geeky to get excited when the Internal Revenue Service releases new statistics. Well, I’m a big geek; like quite a few others(...)

Former US president George W Bush. The current crop of Republicans are doubling down on his economic policies.

The year 2015 was, of course, the year of Donald Trump, whose rise has inspired horror among establishment Republicans and, let’s face it, glee, call (...)

Buildings in Beijing, China, shrouded in smog: China faces a huge air quality crisis, brought on largely by coal-burning, which makes it far more willing to wean itself from the worst form of fossil fuel consumption. Photograph: How Hwee Young/EPA

Did the Paris climate accord save civilisation? Maybe. That may not sound like a ringing endorsement, but it’s actually the best climate news we’ve ha(...)

The US Federal Reserve building in Washington DC. The real profile in courage was the Fed’s behaviour in 2010-11 when it stood fast in the face of demands that it tighten policy.  Photograph: AFP Photo

According to economist Kevin O’Rourke, who has been doing a running comparison between the Great Depression that began in 1929 and the Great Recession(...)

For those of us who remember the 1970s, New York in 2015 is so safe it’s surreal. Photograph: Getty Images

New York, New York, a helluva town. The rents are up, but the crime rate is down. The food is better than ever, and the cultural scene is vib(...)

French police stand guard as people gather to look at the Eiffel Tower that is lit with the blue, white and red in tribute to the Paris victims. Photograph: Reuters

Like millions of people, I’ve been obsessively following the news from Paris, putting aside other things to focus on the horror. It’s the natural huma(...)

While popular culture may focus more on meth than on prescription painkillers or good old alcohol, it’s not really news that there’s a drug problem in the US heartland

A couple of weeks ago President Obama Barack mocked Republicans who are “down on America”, and reinforced his message by doing a pretty good Grumpy Ca(...)

US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton  is completely right about the record: historically, the economy has indeed done better under Democrats. Photograph: Katherine Taylor/Reuters

Last week the Wall Street Journal published an op-ed article by Carly Fiorina titled “Hillary Clinton Flunks Economics”, ridiculing Clinton’s assertio(...)

Justin Trudeau’s Liberals are finally willing to say what sensible economists have been saying all along. And they weren’t punished politically – on the contrary they won a stunning victory. Photograph: Kevin Van Paassen/Bloomberg.

Canada has a reputation for dullness. Back in the 1980s the New Republic famously declared “Worthwhile Canadian Initiative” the world’s most boring he(...)

Denmark’s monetary and fiscal errors do not say anything about the sustainability of a strong welfare state. Photograph: Stockphoto/Getty Images

No doubt surprising many of the people watching the Democratic presidential debate, Bernie Sanders cited Denmark as a role model for how to help worki(...)