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.
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) claims his recent budget proposal will “save Medicare.” Medicare, he says, will run out of money in the next ten years and is “headed for a […]
It has been a bad 10 years for the economy. As I’ve written before, the last decade was, economically, a lost decade. As this graph from Ezra Klein shows, there […]
Prosperity means more greenhouse gases. In a perverse way, the global recession was good for the environment, because emissions actually fell in 2009. But as the world economy begins to […]
Buzz has been building about the possibility of that Sarah Palin will run for President after all. Palin announced on Thursday that she will launch a bus tour of key […]
In a special election last night, Democrat Kathy Hochul upset Republican Jane Corwin to become New York’s 26th District’s representative in Congress. The race had been widely seen—and was treated […]
Baby Boomers have had it easy in many ways. One of the advantages of being born during a baby boom is that your generation is always going to be large […]
Resolving the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is one thing that could really make a lasting difference in our relations with the Middle East.
On June 4, 2009, President Obama gave a speech at Cairo University in Egypt, in which he said he was seeking “a new beginning between the United States and Muslims […]
The 2012 elections may be largely about race. While the state of the economy may ultimately determine whether Obama wins or loses, the rhetoric in both the presidential and congressional […]
Does killing Osama bin Laden guarantee President Obama’s reelection? It’s hard to imagine—short of the unemployment rate magically dropping several points—a single better piece of news for Obama. It’s certainly […]
Osama bin Laden’s assassination is, I believe, a great victory for the U.S. in the fight against violent fundamentalism. It’s also a great relief to me personally that he is […]
When the news hit that the U.S. had killed Osama bin Laden in northern Pakistan, analysts everywhere pointed out that he was no longer involved in Al Qaeda’s operations. Indeed, […]
When it comes to greenhouse gases, it’s not what we make, it’s what we consume. The Economist recently published the results of a paper that was in The Proceedings of […]
A month ago I wrote an article expressing my concern over whether the U.S. has a clear, achievable plan in Libya. I knew at the time that President Obama would […]
“Taxation without representation,” as James Otis said, “is tyranny.” But taxation with representation is just democratic government.
Like most people, I hate paying taxes. I’d love to keep all the money I earn, and receive government services for free. But I nevertheless have argued that if anything […]
“The budget is a profoundly moral document,” former Clinton advisor Paul Begala told Greg Sargent. “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be.” Budgets, after all, reflect our priorities. […]
In a speech at George Washington university today, President Obama unveiled his plan to pay down the federal debt. Last week, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) proposed his own debt reduction plan, […]
It’s April 12, 2011. Do you know who your candidates are? It may seem early to start thinking about next year’s presidential election, but by the standards of recent history […]
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), the architect of the Republican’s new budget proposal, is courageous in one sense. By proposing to privatize Medicare and reduce Medicare benefits, he is risking his […]
The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot in Memphis forty-three years ago yesterday. Around the country, labor unions and civil rights held commemorative rallies protesting efforts in Wisconsin, Ohio, […]
I paid more taxes on my blogging income than General Electric paid last year. That’s not because I make so much money blogging, but because GE literally paid no taxes […]
As I’ve noted before, long-term demographic trends in the U.S. work against the Republican Party. As Michael Grunwald put it, the country is steadily becoming “less white, less rural, less Christian.” […]
A couple of days ago, I wrote about an op-ed William Cronon wrote in The New York Times arguing that by attempting to strip public unions of their bargaining rights, […]
As I’ve written before, labor unions play a vital role in our economy. Whatever mixed feelings they have toward labor unions, Americans generally understand this. While they may not want […]
The U.S has begun an undeclared war in Libya, and it’s not clear what exactly it hopes to achieve by its actions.
Just how much of an impact will shocks like rising oil and food prices and the devastation in Japan have on America's strengthening but still vulnerable economy?
For the first time, a Washington Post/ABC News poll has found that by a margin of 53-44 a majority of Americans think same-sex marriage should be legal. It won’t be the […]
Federal and state governments certainly face serious fiscal problems, and can’t continue to spend more than they take in indefinitely. But are they really broke?
According to some Republicans from New Hampshire, the answer to this question is yes.