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Poorly educated voters hold the keys to the White House

A new paper suggests that voters without degrees are uniquely placed to pick the next president. It was in the 1970s that American politics began to polarize around voters’ levels of educational attainment. The Republican Party, until then a party of tweedy north-easterners, began recruiting less-educated southern whites, alienated by the civil-rights movement. Over time, […]

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2019 Big Mac Index

The Big Mac index is based on the theory of purchasing-power parity (PPP), which states that currencies should adjust until the price of an identical basket of goods—or in this case, a Big Mac—costs the same everywhere. By this metric most exchange rates are well off the mark. In Russia, for example, a Big Mac […]

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China v America; A new kind of cold war

        Source: The Economist magazine. FIGHTING OVER trade is not the half of it. The United States and China are contesting every domain, from semiconductors to submarines and from blockbuster films to lunar exploration. The two superpowers used to seek a win-win world. Today winning seems to involve the other lot’s defeat—a […]

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How to tax the rich

The Economist Magazine published this article on how to tax the rich. Good reading.                   DURING HIS lesser-known run for president, which began in 1999, Donald Trump proposed levying a wealth tax on Americans with more than $10m. He may soon find himself campaigning on the other […]

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Why house prices in global cities are falling

CENTRE POINT, a tower that looms over central London, was empty for so long in the 1970s that it lent its name to a homelessness charity. Recently it was converted from offices to flats. Half are yet to find buyers. So the developer has taken them off the market pending a clearing of the political […]

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Quantum computers will break the encryption that protects the internet

Quantum computers rely on the famous weirdness of quantum mechanics to perform certain sorts of calculation far faster than any conceivable classical machine. Their fundamental unit is the “qubit”, a quantum analogue of the ones and zeros that classical machines manipulate. By exploiting the quantum-mechanical phenomena of superposition and entanglement, quantum computers can perform some […]

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After a year of #MeToo, American opinion has shifted against victims

ONE year ago Alyssa Milano, an American actress, posted on Twitter: “If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet.” Within 24 hours she had received more than 500,000 responses using the hashtag “#MeToo”. Ms Milano’s tweet came days after the New York Times and New Yorker had […]

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Big Mac Index 2018

The Economist’s Big Mac index gives a flavour of how far currency values are out of whack. It is based on the idea of purchasing-power parity, which says exchange rates should move towards the level that would make the price of a basket of goods the same everywhere. Our basket contains only one item, but […]

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What to do about China’s “sharp power”

WHEN a rising power challenges an incumbent one, war often follows. That prospect, known as the Thucydides trap after the Greek historian who first described it, looms over relations between China and the West, particularly America. So, increasingly, does a more insidious confrontation. Even if China does not seek to conquer foreign lands, many people […]

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A prosecutor of Klansmen captures Jeff Sessions’s old seat, as the Republicans’ Senate majority shrinks

INITIALLY the mood at Doug Jones’s election-night party was genial but uneasy. Guests knew Mr Jones was closer to winning one of Alabama’s Senate seats than any Democrat in a quarter-century; they also knew that Mr Trump won the state by 28 points, and the last two Republican Senate candidates won 63.9% and 97.3% of […]

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Donald Trump’s big test in 2018 – The Economist video

The ninth in The Economist series of films previewing some of the big themes of 2018 considers America’s mid-term elections. A bad result for Donald Trump could lead to his impeachment. Can he unite and rally Republican voters?

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How bookmakers deal with winning customers

888, an online betting firm, was fined a record £7.8m ($10.3m) in August after more than 7,000 customers who had chosen to ban themselves from their betting accounts were allowed to retain access. Yet away from the regulator’s gaze, bookies often stand accused of the opposite excess: being too prompt to shun winning customers. Successful […]

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Active fund managers have had a good 12 months, but a terrible ten years

When it comes to choosing an index-tracking, or passive fund management, investment a lot of people choose a manager who tries to beat the market by picking the best stocks, because that sounds like a great idea. The tricky bit is finding the right manager. The temptation is to look at past performance but fund […]

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What machines can tell from your face

We are now living our lives in the age of facial recognition, and each new technology comes with its own pro’s and con’s. THE human face is a remarkable piece of work. The astonishing variety of facial features helps people recognise each other and is crucial to the formation of complex societies. So is the […]

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Donald Trump has no grasp of what it means to be president

DEFENDERS of President Donald Trump offer two arguments in his favour—that he is a businessman who will curb the excesses of the state; and that he will help America stand tall again by demolishing the politically correct taboos of left-leaning, establishment elites. From the start, these arguments looked like wishful thinking. After Mr Trump’s press […]

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The attorney-general’s amnesia

The Economist magazine writes “Millions of Americans who watched or listened to Mr Sessions’s testimony, which was broadcast live on National Public Radio and all major cable-news channels, heard his version of the truth. But he did not provide much enlightenment for those who followed the saga of Russia’s alleged meddling in the election in […]

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Why Trumponomics won’t make America great again

Accordng to this article in The Economist: DONALD TRUMP rules over Washington as if he were a king and the White House his court. His displays of dominance, his need to be the centre of attention and his impetuousness have a whiff of Henry VIII about them. Fortified by his belief that his extraordinary route […]

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Palace whispers in the court of King Donald

Image from The Economist magazine article. IT IS too soon to know whether Donald Trump’s sudden, regal dismissal of the FBI director—“Off with his head!”—will trigger a constitutional crisis. Much depends on who is appointed to succeed James Comey, and on the fate of FBI probes into Russian meddling in the election of 2016. It […]

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Trump presidency is in a hole

DONALD TRUMP won the White House on the promise that government is easy. Unlike his Democratic opponent, whose career had been devoted to politics, Mr Trump stood as a businessman who could Get Things Done. Enough voters decided that boasting, mocking, lying and grabbing women were secondary. Some Trump fans even saw them as the […]

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A Peronist on the Potomac

A PRESIDENT is swept into office after whipping up a wave of grievance and resentment. He claims to represent “the people” against internal exploiters and external threats. He purports to “refound” the nation, and damns those who preceded him. He governs though confrontation and polarisation. His language is aggressive—opponents are branded as enemies or traitors. […]