Benjamin Studebaker

Yet Another Attempt to Make the World a Better Place by Writing Things

Stephen Harper’s Austerity and Weak Oil Prices are Sinking Canada’s Economy

Canada has a federal election coming up on October 19, 2015. The election could not have come at a worse time for Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative Party. Canada’s economy has ground to a halt, and the voters are furious with Harper. His net approval rating has dropped to a disastrous -32:

What has he done wrong? Let’s take a closer look.

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The Stock Market Crash: What China and the US are Doing Wrong

Stock markets have been stumbling this week. To some degree, this is happening because corrections are needed, but one of the key reasons these corrections are happening right now is China. China’s stock market has been in a tailspin lately, and the Chinese government has taken a series of measures to prop up its stock market, all of which are only succeeding in making the situation much worse. Right wing commentators in the west are pointing at China and claiming that government intervention in the economy doesn’t work. This is a simplistic and reductive response–the problem is not that China is taking action, but that the specific actions that China is taking are the wrong actions.

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Ted Cruz vs. Ellen Page and Jimmy Carter

Ted Cruz has had a busy week. First the Texan senator and republican presidential candidate got in an argument about LGBT rights and religious freedom with actress Ellen Page. Then he launched an awkwardly timed attack on the presidency of Jimmy Carter, who was recently diagnosed with cancer. I’m not here to scold Cruz for being impolite. What I would like to do is talk about the substantive arguments Cruz makes and the way he makes them. So consider this post something of a doubleheader. Read the rest of this entry »

Is Birthright Citizenship a Good Policy?

Recently, we’ve been seeingĀ a lot of republican presidential candidates come out against birthright citizenship. Trump, Walker, Jindal, Graham, Christie, Santorum, Paul, Carson, and Cruz are against it. Rubio, Fiorina, Bush, Huckabee, Kasich, Pataki, Perry, and GilmoreĀ support it. Who has it right? Let’s investigate.

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Why Lazy Pundits Keep Comparing Sanders and Trump

In recent weeks, I’ve observed a troubling trend among America’s pundit class–the tendency to make really lazy Bernie Sanders/Donald Trump comparisons. You see, Sanders and Trump are both political outsiders, they both tell it the way they think it is, they both have experienced significant growth in their poll numbers in recent months, and they’re both causing problems for their parties’ other candidates. Revelatory, right? Pundit centrists love to draw strained equivalencies between the left and right in American politics and they love to focus on elections as narrative struggles between good guy centrists and bad guy extremists, so it’s natural for them to see these two figures as analogues. In truth, Sanders and Trump could not be more different–not merely in terms of their ideologies and policies, but in their whole approach, in their very attitude toward the public.

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