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Robert de Neufville

Contributor, Big Think

I lecture and write about politics and philosophy. I hold degrees in politics from Harvard and Berkeley, and have studied complex systems at the Santa Fe Institute. Other interests include theoretical physics, cognitive science, evolutionary biology, and the game of Go. You can find me on Twitter at @rdeneufville.

Taxes in the U.S. Are Low and Progressive

Nobody seems to really like the U.S. tax system. Conservatives complain that taxes are too high, while liberals say the system isn’t progressive enough. Both may well be right. But, […]

Election Notes: The Battle for Michigan

The latest Quinnipiac poll has Rick Santorum ahead of Mitt Romney 35-26 among Republicans and voters who lean Republican. National polls are not by themselves be good indicators of who […]

Evolution and the Meaning of Life

In an aside to his contribution to our recent discussion of same-sex marriage (my contribution is here), Big Think’s Peter Lawler wrote that Darwinists agree with many religiously observant people […]

Marriage Equality Is a Civil Right

In an interview last year,Focus on the Family head Jim Daly seemed toconcede that same-sex marriage would be legal sooner or later. As Iwrote earlier this week, that’s because younger […]

Will the Supreme Court Rule on Same-Sex Marriage?

On Tuesday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the 2010 district court ruling that California’s Proposition 8  forbidding same-sex marriages was unconstitutional. It was the first time a federal […]

Election Notes: Santorum Wins

Rick Santorum beat Mitt Romney in all three Republican contests on Tuesday. Santorum won by sizable margins in both Missouri and Minnesota—where Romney came in third behind Ron Paul—although Missouri […]

Why More Republicans Aren’t Voting

In Florida four years ago about 1.95 million people voted in the Republican primary. This year 1.66 million people voted in the same primary. That’s 300,000 fewer people, a 14% […]

Election Notes: What Mitt’s Victory Means

Mitt Romney looks more and more like the Republican nominee after soundly defeating the Republican field in the Florida Primary. Romney managed to get more votes than Newt Gingrich and […]

Election Notes: Mitt Is Still the Favorite

The chance that Mitt Romney will be the Republican nominee fell since last week after Newt Gingrich beat him by 12 points in Saturday’s South Carolina primary. After the primary, […]

Obama Frames the Economic Debate

It has been clear for some time that the presidential election would be about economics. The killing of Osama bin Laden, the withdrawal of troops from Iraq, and the fall […]

Countries Are Not Like Corporations

Mitt Romney has experience that Barack Obama doesn’t. For all his obvious gifts, Obama has no real experience running private companies, while Romney is one of the most accomplished business […]

U.S. Election Notes, January 19

As we approach Saturday’s Republican primary in South Carolina, Mitt Romney’s nomination is looking more and more likely. Political futures marketIntrade now gives Romney an almost 90% chance of winning […]

U.S. Election Notes, January 12

Mitt Romney’s convincing victory in New Hampshire—exit polls showed him winning in a wide variety of key groups—made him the first non-incumbent Republican in years to win both Iowa and […]

Candidates Are Who They Say They Are

As a former pro-life governor of liberal Massachusetts, whose signature achievement was the health care plan that served as a model for Obamacare, Mitt Romney has to work hard to […]

U.S. Election Notes, January 5

Welcome to the first of my weekly roundups of the upcoming U.S. elections. President Obama’s approval rating remains below 50% and the economy continues to be weak, but political futures […]

What Do the Iowa Caucuses Mean?

Don’t read too much in to Mitt Romney’s narrow victory in the Iowa caucus. There’s no question that the relatively small state of Iowa has an outsize influence both on […]

Why the U.S. Should Borrow More

The hottest investment right now may be U.S. treasury bonds. Daniel Kruger reports this week that here was record demand for treasuries in 2010. At a recent auction for four-week bonds […]

Could Newt Win?

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote that Mitt Romney remains the likely Republican nominee in spite Newt Gingrich’s recent surge in the polls. The smart money over at the […]

Why Americans Don’t Care

Compare the covers of the different editions of the latest issue of Time. In most of the world, the cover of the magazine features a striking image of an Egyptian […]

Can Voters Forgive Obama?

It’s the economy, stupid. The conventional wisdom is that Barack Obama’s re-election chances hinge on the state of the economy. While some of my readers are already convinced for some […]

The Supreme Court and Obamacare

Obamacare is going to get its day in the Supreme Court. The court granted certiorari in—literally, informed the lower courts that it would hear—three cases challenging the Affordable Care Act […]

The Divide Among Whites

White America is divided between those who are comfortable with the influx of immigrants from other countries and those who feel they threaten the American way of life. Obama’s race […]

The Rich People’s Congress

Members of Congress aren’t like you and me—they’re substantially richer. Roll Call reported this week that the total net worth of Congress was more than $2 billion in 2010. That’s […]

The New Baby Bust

After WWII, birth rates in the U.S. rose dramatically. During the war, relatively few couples could afford to have children, and many young men were on the front lines anyway. […]