Alexandru Georgescu
Alexandru Georgescu
Economist, Research Fellow with the EURISC Foundation, studying geopolitics, international security issues and critical infrastructure protection, currently in a Ph.D. research program on the latter subject
Trump’s Infrastructure Blues

Trump’s Infrastructure Blues

There is a phenomenon jokingly associated with Steve Jobs, called a “reality distortion field”, whereby he did not just happen to be right very often with regards to his products, but the Universe itself conspired to make him right, regardless of what he said when it comes to what the consumers want or need. A similar phenomenon has been observed with Donald Trump, ever since he announced his candidacy for the US Presidency. Some pundits have taken to calling it “Trump’s luck” and, were there any possible means for him to do so, the coincidences have been so “fortuitous” that one expects him to have arranged them himself. His announcement speech spoke about illegal immigrant criminals and was widely derided by the media for not bearing any relation to their preferred reality. More


Starved of Elites

Starved of Elites

The staffing of the Trump Administration will always be its Achilles’ heel, from the lowest echelons of its 4,000 positions to be filled to the Cabinet level of the mandarins who decide many of the US Executive branch’s policies and their details. Regardless of the factual and moral truth in the matter of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn’s discussions with the Russian Ambassador and his report on the content of the discussion to his superiors, the political truth made his position untenable even for Trump at his most defiant. While public contention has reached new heights with the Trump Presidency, every new Administration has had its staff criticized, scrutinized, derided, lambasted or slandered until a stable and workable political formula could be found. More


The Future Is Already Here. It’s Just Not Evenly Distributed

The Future Is Already Here. It’s Just Not Evenly Distributed

Science fiction author William Gibson coined the phrase in the title of this article in an interview with The Economist over a decade ago and his observation still stands. Automation and its physical sub-domain, robotization, are taking the world by storm. Automation stands for the reduction of human input in any process, though we will be referring mostly to economic processes. Labor saving devices and processes have been a mainstay of Western economic development since the Industrial Revolution, with their share of detractors, but labor elimination devices are increasingly more capable and more affordable, even for areas previously thought immune to automation. More


Trumponomics

Trumponomics

Western political culture is adept at communication through soundbites and sloganizing. Adding suffixes (-nomics, -care, -ism) to names of politicians is one way of supposedly distinguishing their brand of ideology from that of another – Reaganomics, Thatcherism, Clintonomics, Romneycare, Obamacare. Echoing Bill Clinton’s famous campaign war cry, “it’s the economy, stupid!”, Trumponomics is possibly the most important component of President Donald Trump’s “greatness agenda” that won him a previously unthinkable electoral victory. His detractors have lambasted his views as being both heretical to current orthodoxies, as well as overly simplistic, which is another way of bemoaning Trump’s effectiveness as a political communicator and the current electoral revolt against the tyranny of the expert class consensus. However, Trumponomics is being shaped by dissident thinkers[i] encouraged by Trump’s anti-establishment ethos as a valuable and timely critique of past and current policies and how they have affected America itself, not just in the sense of abstract figures like GDP. While it may be a sign of the Trumpmania that swept stock markets in the period leading up to the inauguration, Deutsche Bank[ii] has already announced that Trumponomics will double yearly US growth and add another 0.5 percentage point to global growth by the end of his term, ending the worst economic recovery since The Great Depression:   More


Humours of an Election

Humours of an Election

One would think that, like Nostradamus, William Hogarth was given visions of the future which he could only portray through the filter of his culture and surroundings, in Oxfordshire, England, in the middle of the 18th century. His four paintings, collectively entitled “Humours of an Election”, read like an allegory of present day elections, whose wholesome exteriors are at odds with the vice often coursing underneath, erupting into sight either accidentally or at the instigation of rivals. The first three paintings (“An Election Entertainment”, “Canvassing for Votes” and “The Polling”) illustrate the endemic corruption during the election of a new Member of Parliament, supposedly from the 1754 elections. The last one, “Chairing the Candidate”, shows the Tory candidate victorious and celebrated by his supporters. The paintings are stunning for their detail and their intentional aesthetics of ugliness. Many threads are weaved simultaneously in the same painting. More


A Window into the Future

A Window into the Future

Trying to figure out what America or some other important country will do is a cottage industry that keeps many analysts well fed and in the public eye. One analyzes country profiles, historical precedents, and the national culture and even performs biographical analysis on its decision makers. One area which this author feels is a useful weathervane for the evolution of America’s worldview and political options beyond the medium-term is to see how its elites will shift in the future. More


Aristotle and the Benefits of Moderation

Aristotle and the Benefits of Moderation

Many times, when moving from the descriptive of “what is” to the prescriptive of “what ought to be”, it is necessary to appeal to a shared knowledge of a moral framework that imbues the ideas presented with values, concepts and interpretations that are scarcely universal, but rather grounded in one specific civilization and possibly one specific tradition. In his article in The Market for Ideas No. 2, “Blurred lines: Good vs. Good. Evil vs. Evil.”, Dragoș Tîrnăveanu crowned his analysis with a twist on the ancient Manichean (dualist) vision of a conflict of opposites – light versus dark, good versus evil. He analyzed the uncertainty of our modern age, in which an asymmetry of information and of values gives rise to morally ambiguous situations, which he termed as “Good vs. Good” and “Evil vs. Evil”.  More


Trump and the Israel Gambit

Trump and the Israel Gambit

There have been many attempts to label Donald Trump as an anti-Semite by his Democratic opponents, who feel themselves entitled to sling the accusation around implicitly because of Jewish voting patterns that heavily favor them. This is the sort of “scarlet letter” that instantly destroys careers, campaigns and social standing without a presumption of innocence or due process. More


Trump’s Budget Battles Are Just Beginning

Trump’s Budget Battles Are Just Beginning

Maybe it is the effect of being immersed in the now and only being aware of the rough summary of history, but I am not alone in getting the feeling that the political polarization in the Western world has reached such a fever pitch that political coups that took place once in a generation are now occurring with greater frequency. Whether it is the unbalancing of the political establishment or the overt transgression of formal or informal political norms, one gets the feeling that politics has become unhinged. More


The Dissolution of the Communities

The Dissolution of the Communities

The “dissolution of the monasteries” took place in England during Henry the VIIIth and the dynastic woes that induced his religious estrangement from Rome, but was subsequently repeated many times throughout Europe, when monarchs and budding republics sought to marginalize the clergy’s political influence by neutralizing its wealth. Something similar comes to mind when analyzing the chaos in Western civil societies, manifesting as political polarization, individual social pathologies and collective disaggregation. More


A principled dissent from Romania’s glorious IT future

A principled dissent from Romania’s glorious IT future

One of the features of the modern Romanian economy is the rapid growth of the IT industry, along with a burgeoning prestige for such positions as being both intellectually demanding and well paid. The government has stepped in through various means to encourage the local implantation of foreign players and to enact fiscal privileges for IT workers. More


The Canary Is Choking to Death in the Coalmine

The Canary Is Choking to Death in the Coalmine

Where a rich person decides to live, where he keeps his money, where he invests his money, what measures he takes to safeguard his posterity are infinitely more informative to us than what they simply declare, which is subject to fashions, social pressures, group affiliation tactics or plain, old disinformation. More


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OEconomica No. 1, 2016