Gregg Easterbrook

Gregg Easterbrook has published three novels and eight nonfiction books, mostly recently It’s Better Than It Looks: Reasons for Optimism in an Age of Fear. He was an editor at the Washington Monthly from 1979
to 1981.

Blame Obama and Boehner for the Downgrade

In April 2010, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said there was “no chance” Treasury bills could lose their AAA rating. The fact that top government officials thought there was “no chance” something could happen surely is one reason it happened. U.S. government bond ratings are falling — the S&P downgraded the US credit rating yesterday from… Read more »

Why Didn’t the Heat Wave Cause Power Failures?

Last week a record-setting heat wave afflicted much of the United States — yet there were no brownouts. Electricity shortages during heat waves long have been common. We tend to miss what doesn’t happen, and what didn’t happen last week was electric power scarcity. Two factors are at play, one positive and one vexing. The… Read more »

Facing Down the Debt

Over the past three generations, America’s leaders have faced down the Depression, won World War II, won the Cold War, created Social Security and Medicare, passed the Civil Rights Act and dramatically expanded environmental protection. The record is one of boldness and triumph. Today, America’s leaders face the challenge of reducing giveaways to special-interest groups…. Read more »

Twilight of the WASPs?

White Anglo Saxon Protestant (WASP) men are supposed to hold the reins of power in the United States. All but two presidents have been WASP males; almost all Supreme Court justices; most leaders of the House and Senate. Today everyone knows America has a black president for the first time. It’s also the first time… Read more »

How Nations Go Bankrupt, One Sliver at a Time

Governments in Greece, Portugal, the United States and elsewhere are borrowing, and often wasting, money at a reckless pace. Why do banks and financial markets cooperate? Because there’s something in it for them. They keep a little slice of the public money being borrowed or wasted. Only a sliver. But the more that is borrowed,… Read more »