What We Are Reading Today: Arguing With Zombies by Paul Krugman

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Updated 25 February 2020

What We Are Reading Today: Arguing With Zombies by Paul Krugman

There is no better guide than Paul Krugman to basic economics, the ideas that animate much of our public policy. Likewise, there is no stronger foe of zombie economics, the misunderstandings that just won’t die.

In “Arguing with Zombies,” Krugman tackles many of these misunderstandings, taking stock of where the US has come from and where it is headed in a series of concise, digestible chapters, according to review published on goodreads.com.

Drawn mainly from his popular New York Times column, they cover a wide range of issues, organized thematically and framed in the context of a wider debate. Explaining the complexities of health care, housing bubbles, tax reform, Social Security, and so much more with unrivaled clarity and precision, Arguing with Zombies is Krugman at the height of his powers.

This book puts Krugman at the front of the debate in the 2020 election year and is an indispensable guide to two decades’ worth of political and economic discourse in the US and around the globe.

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What We Are Reading Today: Democratic Federalism

Updated 04 June 2020

What We Are Reading Today: Democratic Federalism

Authors: Robert Inman and Daniel L. Rubinfeld

Around the world, federalism has emerged as the system of choice for nascent republics and established nations alike. In this book, leading scholars and governmental advisers Robert Inman and Daniel Rubinfeld consider the most promising forms of federal governance and the most effective path to enacting federal policies. 

The result is an essential guide to federalism, its principles, its applications, and its potential to enhance democratic governance.

Drawing on the latest work from economics, political science, and law, Inman and Rubinfeld assess different models of federalism and their relative abilities to promote economic efficiency, encourage the participation of citizens, and protect individual liberties. Under the right conditions, the authors argue, a federal democracy—including a national legislature with locally elected representatives—can best achieve these goals. Because a stable union between the national and local governments is key, Inman and Rubinfeld also propose an innovative method for evaluating new federal laws and their possible impact on state and local governments. Finally, to show what the adoption of federalism can mean for citizens, the authors discuss the evolution of governance in the European Union and South Africa’s transition from apartheid to a multiracial democracy.

Interdisciplinary in approach, Democratic Federalism brims with applicable policy ideas and comparative case studies of global significance. This book is indispensable for understanding the importance of federal forms of government—both in recent history and, crucially, for future democracies.