Reminder Not to Rely on American and British News About Europe

German chancellor Angela Merkel waits for other leaders to arrive at the G7 summit in Bavaria, June 8, 2015
German chancellor Angela Merkel waits for other leaders to arrive at the G7 summit in Bavaria, June 8, 2015 (Bundesregierung)

Remember when Germany faced its “biggest political crisis since the late 1940s,” as one BBC journalist put it?

Or when, according to National Review, Angela Merkel had been “marooned“?

Or CNN reported that the “Merkel myth” had “imploded“? Read more

Everything You Need to Know About the Coalition Breakthrough in Germany

German chancellor Angela Merkel answers questions from reporters in Brussels, June 28, 2012
German chancellor Angela Merkel answers questions from reporters in Brussels, June 28, 2012 (Bundesregierung)

Germany’s Christian Democrats and Social Democrats have agreed to form another “grand coalition” government.

Here is everything you need to know about the deal. Read more

Why Should Norwegians Emigrate to the United States?

View of the village of Reine, Norway
View of the village of Reine, Norway (Sandra Mode)

American president Donald Trump reportedly disparaged immigrants from Africa, El Salvador and Haiti on Thursday, asking his advisors, “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?”

Trump then suggested that the United States should bring more people from countries like Norway, whose prime minister he had met a day earlier.

Much of the outrage has focused on Trump’s racism. It’s clear he would rather have more white than brown people in the country.

But here’s another question: What possible reason do Norwegians have to emigrate to the United States? Read more

Brexit Has Divided Generations in United Kingdom

A woman looks out over the skyline of London, England, May 13, 2014
A woman looks out over the skyline of London, England, May 13, 2014 (Ray Wewerka)

George Eaton argues in Britain’s New Statesman that age has replaced class as the nation’s best predictor of voting intentions.

Middle-class support for Labour and working-class support for the Conservatives rose in the last election. At the same time, the left attracted almost two-thirds of the youth vote and the right the support of almost two in three pensioners.

Young people have long been more progressive than their elders, but this wide an age gap is unusual. Read more

Why America Should Rethink Its Alliance with South Korea

American F-16 fighter jets at Kunsan Air Base, South Korea, August 15, 2013
American F-16 fighter jets at Kunsan Air Base, South Korea, August 15, 2013 (USAF/Armando A. Schwier-Morales)

America should rethink its alliance with South Korea, writes Adam Garfinkle in The American Interest. Read more

The Pros and Cons of a Flat Tax in Italy

Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi arrives for a European Council meeting in Brussels, June 24, 2011
Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi arrives for a European Council meeting in Brussels, June 24, 2011 (European Council)

Center-right parties in Italy, led by former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, are calling for a flat tax of 15 to 20 percent.

The single rate would replace the current five income tax brackets and possibly the two business taxes (national and regional).

Renato Brunetta, the leader of Berlusconi’s Forza Italia in the lower house of parliament, tells the Financial Times:

It’s the fiscal shock that will make Italy emerge from the trap it’s been in for the past decades.

Here are the pros and cons. Read more

Three Reasons for Democrats to Be Optimistic About the Midterms

A woman makes a photo of the United States Capitol in Washington DC, January 18, 2017
A woman makes a photo of the United States Capitol in Washington DC, January 18, 2017 (Lorie Shaull)

Democrats in the United States have three reasons to feel optimistic about this year’s congressional elections, argues Ruy Teixeira at his blog, The Optimistic Leftist.

  1. Off-year elections are a good predictor of performance in the midterms, as reported by Daily Kos. Democrats won several special elections in 2017, notably in Alabama and Virginia. That bodes well for 2018.
  2. Republicans don’t have a turnout advantage, at least not with a Republican president, according to Harry Enten of FiveThirtyEight. Republican voters are usually more motivated when a Democrat is in the White House.
  3. Donald Trump is hugely unpopular. Nate Cohn writes in The New York Times that the president is far less popular than the state of the economy would suggest — and when presidents are unpopular, their party often loses. Read more