Mark Thoma, a University of Oregon economist, uses his own small-town upbringing to explore why there is a difference in attitudes toward regulation between more conservative rural areas and larger cities that are generally much more liberal.
The 25th anniversary of "The Goonies" brought a deluge of fans to Astoria last weekend. I trekked along with family to take it all in: the celebration of an adventurous gang of young misfits; the strange assortment of fans who literally come from around the world; and of course, the dual spectacles of Astoria and the cultural tourism business.
Tuesday evening while other politicians watched returns and rehearsed election party speeches, Portland’s well-regarded former mayor Bud Clark was waxing eloquent on another subject: “Industrial hemp is not marijuana,” he declared. “You can’t smoke hemp. It’s like smoking rope… It’s a good thing and it can be made here in America.” Clark was enumerating the economic virtues of industrial hemp as co-emcee of the first annual Hemp History Week, marked by almost 200 events in 31 states and the nation’s capital.
James Fallows, one of the most respected authorities on modern China, spoke last night at the University of Oregon in Portland to an audience of about 50 local China wonks, including businesspeople, academics and Chinese expats. His point was clear: most Americans have a simplistic understanding of the Chinese and we’d do best to educate ourselves in order to “become comfortable with the idea of a world in which China plays a major part.”
American politicians and media love to talk about China as a threat to American superpower. One favorite narrative holds that China co-opted American manufacturing and is now beating us out on renewable energy innovation as its economy clips along at 8% growth every year. That’s a compelling story, but not a very nuanced one.
I took a trip to Shanghai in February, hoping to get a glimpse of the China behind the hype. One of the books I brought was Postcards From Tomorrow Square, a collection of some of Fallows’s essays about China. Fallows has been writing about national issues, foreign policy and Asia for 25 years for the Atlantic and he spent the last few years living and reporting in China.