Benjamin Studebaker

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

Netanyahu’s Reelection is a Disaster for Israel

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has scored a stunning victory in his battle for reelection, defeating a center-left coalition which just days prior looked to have the upper hand. Netanyahu achieved this by pulling sharply to the right, saying several remarkably destructive things that he cannot simply take back. By re-electing Netanyahu in the full light of the things Netanyahu has said in the last week, Israel has indicated to the world that its population largely stands behind the things Netanyahu has said. This will cause irreparable damage to Israel’s international standing and to the US-Israel alliance, all of which can only serve to undermine Israel’s long-term strategic interests.

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The Oklahoma Racism Scandal: Why It’s Wrong to Punish the Students

The University of Oklahoma was recently scandalized when footage emerged in which members of the fraternity Sigma Alpha Epsilon sang a revoltingly racist song:

This should make us think long and hard–how are young people acquiring racist beliefs? What are the social, economic, and environmental factors that lead young people to think negatively of other people based on their racial background? To what extent is wider society influenced by these same factors? How can we mitigate them and create a more fair and just society? But we’re not asking any of these questions. Instead, we’re going after the students and patting ourselves on the back for not being racist. That’s a mistake–here’s why.

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Why You Should Get a Raise

Since the global economic crisis of 2008, many of the world’s advanced economies continue to struggle to recover. In many of these countries, growth since the crisis has been much slower than it was in the years prior. Indeed, when we look closely, we see that the 2004-2007 growth average is higher than the 2010-2013 average in just about all the major advanced economies, and that in some countries this difference is very large:

Slowing GDP Growth

What’s holding back recovery? To understand this, we need to understand what kind of economic crisis we’re trying to recover from in the first place. Read the rest of this entry »

The GOP Letter to Iran is Terrible

Recently, 47 republican senators wrote an open letter to the Iranian government implying that the senate may not ratify any agreement the Obama administration makes with Iran, claiming that a future president (presumably republican) might revoke any such agreement with “a stroke of a pen”. Here’s the letter. This is really bad–not because a deal with Iran would be wonderful (although I have argued elsewhere that it’s a good idea), but because this letter exposes the deep ignorance of 47 of our senators.

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Benjamin Netanyahu is Wrong about Iran

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave his long-anticipated speech before congress on Iran. If you’re interested, here’s the transcript. Netanyahu argues that the deal the Obama administration is trying to work out with Iran would endanger the security of Israel and the United States. His argument is remarkably weak. Here’s why.

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