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A debate is under way about the cost of higher education

A debate is under way about the cost of higher education

Jul 18th 2019N MANY WAYS the flood of bold, progressive policy proposals coursing across America’s political landscape began in 2015, when Bernie Sanders, an independent senator from Vermont, put a plan to make higher education at public universities free at the centre of his upstart campaign for the presidency. Then the idea seemed radical, even gimmicky. Now it is noteworthy when leading Democrats oppose the notion. Yet some do, for example Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, and their arguments still pack a punch. Why indeed should taxpayers’ money be spent on the children of the...

July 17, 2019
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Millions of Chinese students brace themselves for joblessness

Millions of Chinese students brace themselves for joblessness

May 2nd 2020 | Editor’s note: The Economist is making some of its most important coverage of the covid-19 pandemic freely available to readers of The Economist Today, our daily newsletter. To receive it, register . For our coronavirus tracker and more coverage, see our RADUATION EQUALS unemployment” has long been a common saying in China (the nouns share a character). It is often used in jest by university students as final exams loom. But for the 9m or so due to graduate in June—a record high—the words convey a dark reality. As China limps back to work after covid-19, their job prospects...

May 2, 2020
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Why does low unemployment no longer lift inflation?

Why does low unemployment no longer lift inflation?

Aug 22nd 2020VERY NIGHT at about 10pm the lights of the prisoner-of-war camp in Indonesia would mysteriously dim, to the puzzlement of the Japanese guards. They failed to spot the makeshift immersion heaters, used to brew cups of tea for the inmates, that had been cobbled together by a prisoner from New Zealand, William Phillips. These secret contraptions were just one example of his resourcefulness.After the second world war he built a “hydraulic” model of the circular flow of income in an economy—a labyrinth of water tanks, valves and pipes that helped earn him an appointment at the...

August 22, 2020
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An abortion ban prompted by covid-19 reaches the Supreme Court

An abortion ban prompted by covid-19 reaches the Supreme Court

Apr 12th 2020 | Editor’s note: The Economist is making some of its most important coverage of the covid-19 pandemic freely available to readers of The Economist Today, our daily newsletter. To receive it, register . For our coronavirus tracker and more coverage, see our THE RECENTLY bolstered conservative majority on America’s Supreme Court is famously unfriendly to abortion. Many expect the five Republican appointees to forge a retreat from Roe v Wade, the 1973 case recognising a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy, when a ruling on access to clinics in Louisiana arrives later this...

April 12, 2020
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A Republican, Mitt Romney, argues for child benefits in America

A Republican, Mitt Romney, argues for child benefits in America

Feb 4th 2021 | Jails are experimenting with tablets and Zoom classesMore doctors are taking nutrition seriouslyExtreme views on abortion by Republican nominees are jeopardising their party’s chances across the country

February 4, 2021
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What can be learnt from Chinese futures trading?

What can be learnt from Chinese futures trading?

Sep 10th 2020O LONG AS you think about what others are thinking about, and stick to your trading strategy, you can always be successful.” This encouraging, if dubious, sliver of market wisdom was proffered on September 3rd by Zhou Chengji, a Chinese investment adviser, during a two-hour online tutorial. China is hardly alone in having a raucous community of would-be market gurus and day traders. But Mr Zhou’s focus was on an asset that makes China look rather unusual: egg futures, the only ones of their kind in the world nowadays.For punters with strong views about whether hens will be...

September 12, 2020
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The market v the real economy

The market v the real economy

May 7th 2020Editor’s note: The Economist is making some of its most important coverage of the covid-19 pandemic freely available to readers of The Economist Today, our daily newsletter. To receive it, register . For our coronavirus tracker and more coverage, see our TOCKMARKET HISTORY is packed with drama: the 1929 crash; Black Monday in 1987, when share prices lost 20% in a day; the dotcom mania in 1999. With such precedents, nothing should come as a surprise, but the past eight weeks have been remarkable, nonetheless. A gut-wrenching sell-off in shares has been followed by a delirious...

May 7, 2020
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The Republican Party and Donald Trump’s alternative election fantasy

The Republican Party and Donald Trump’s alternative election fantasy

Nov 14th 2020 | MONG REPUBLICANS’ favourite grievances over the past four years is a claim that Democrats never accepted the results of the 2016 election. In fact, nine hours after the Associated Press called the election for Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton took to a much smaller stage than she had hoped to command to say that she had “congratulated Donald Trump, and offered to work with him on behalf of our country.” Soon afterward, then-President Barack Obama said he would “make sure that this is a successful transition...we are now all rooting for [Mr Trump’s] success in uniting and...

November 14, 2020
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It is possible to build houses cheaply in the Bay Area

It is possible to build houses cheaply in the Bay Area

Mar 4th 2021 | HE BUILDING at 833 Bryant street in San Francisco’s trendy SoMa neighbourhood will be unusual. To start with, all the inhabitants of its 146 units will previously have been homeless. Its constituent parts will have been prefabricated, constructed miles away and fitted together on-site like puzzle pieces. Most unusually, the project will have been cheap to build, at least by Bay Area standards. A report by the Terner Centre at University of California, Berkeley found that, once completed in July, the project will cost 25% less per unit than comparable ones.That is an...

March 4, 2021
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Arab states are embracing solar power

Arab states are embracing solar power

May 7th 2020 | WO MILLENNIA after the ancient Egyptians dropped their solar deity, Ra, their descendants are rediscovering the power of the sun. In the southern desert, half an hour’s drive from Aswan, Egypt is putting the finishing touches to Benban, one of the world’s largest solar farms (pictured). Its 6m panels produce 1.5 gigawatts (GW) of energy, enough to power over 1m homes. “In a decade we’ll still need oil for plastics and other petrochemicals, but not for energy,” says Rabeaa Fattal, a Dubai-based investor in Rising Sun, one of Benban’s 40 fields.Much of the modern Middle East...

May 9, 2020
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