Jeff Jacoby
Jeff Jacoby
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review
 

Latest Articles

The fabulous wealth of the 'Oxfam 8'

January 18, 2017  •  The Boston Globe

OXFAM GRABBED headlines on Monday with a report claiming that the world's eight richest men own as much wealth as the world's poorest 3.7 billion people — half of the planet's population.

The report was released in Davos, Switzerland, at the start of the World Economic Forum, an annual powwow of high-powered business and political leaders. The executive director of Oxfam International, Winnie Byanyima, seized the occasion to portray the gap between the world's superrich few and extremely poor many as a moral and social calamity.

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Like a fish needs a treadmill

January 15, 2017  •  The Boston Globe

ARIZONA'S JEFF FLAKE, who occupies the US Senate seat once held by Barry Goldwater, shares his famous predecessor's dismay for profligate government spending. "Let us be honest with ourselves," Goldwater wrote in 1960, when federal spending totaled $92 billion. "Broken promises are not the major cause of our trouble. Kept promises are."

That hasn't changed, as Flake points out in the introduction to "PORKémon Go," the latest in his annual Wastebook series, which each year compiles scores of examples of preposterous and wasteful federal outlays.

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Racist opinions are hateful. That shouldn't make them crimes

January 11, 2017  •  The Boston Globe

HATE CRIME LAWS have been in the news on multiple fronts this week.

+ In Charleston, S.C., jurors in federal court Tuesday sentenced Dylann Roof to the death penalty after deliberating for just three hours. Roof, a 22-year-old white supremacist who murdered nine black parishioners at Charleston's Emanuel AME church in 2015, was convicted last month on 24 federal hate crime charges.

+ In Chicago, four young black men and women have been charged with Class 4 hate crimes, as well as with counts of aggravated kidnapping and aggravated battery assault, after abducting and torturing a mentally impaired white teenager, all the while livestreaming their attack on Facebook.

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Barack Obama's legacy of failure

January 8, 2017  •  The Boston Globe

AS HE PREPARES to move out of the White House, Barack Obama is understandably focused on his legacy and reputation. The president will deliver a farewell address in Chicago on Tuesday; he told his supporters in an e-mail that the speech would "celebrate the ways you've changed this country for the better these past eight years," and previewed his closing argument in a series of tweets hailing "the remarkable progress" for which he hopes to be remembered.

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What experts predict, reality will contradict

January 1, 2017  •  The Boston Globe

A NEW YEAR dawns, and you know what that means: Insiders, pundits, and gurus will spend the next 12 months making confident predictions that turn out to be spectacularly wrong.

"I think that you listen too much to the soldiers," wrote the British statesman Lord Salisbury to the viceroy of India in 1877. "No lesson seems to be so deeply inculcated by the experience of life as that you should never trust experts."

But the experts themselves — often mistaken, but never in doubt — rarely seem to learn that lesson. Their forecasts will keep flowing in the year ahead, undeterred by their egregious blunders in the one just ended.

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