Newsweek April 19, 2013

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United States
The Newsweek/Daily Beast Company LLC
37 号


after boston

IT IS, obviously, understandable that people are shocked when something like the Boston bombing happens. Such an attack is a shocking thing—the images, the video, the beautiful faces of the three young people whose lives were taken; all shocking. But in today’s world, it isn’t really a surprising thing. After 9/11, how can anyone be surprised? In fact, I would take it back further. After the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and after Oklahoma City, how could anyone have been surprised? I remember the 1993 bombing very well. I was in New York and, as it happens, at CBS that Friday afternoon to tape a public-affairs discussion show that was preempted. And maybe I’m strange, but one recurring thought I remember having that day was, I wonder what took them so…

maids and masters

COMPLAINING ABOUT the hired help in Brazil is as old as the New World. And yet like the nightly telenovela, where the storyline often turns on maids and masters, the comfortable classes can’t seem to do without their household staff . No country has more domestic servants than Brazil: some 7.2 million, according to a recent report by the World Labor Organization (or 6.6 million, according to Brazilian government figures). By contrast, India, with five times the population, has 4.2 million paid servants, while the mighty United States employs just 667,000. So it was no surprise that when the legislature recently passed a constitutional amendment granting new rights for millions of domestics, the national chatter in Brazil grew shrill—upstairs and down. The new law and the tumult it has created say a…

greg walden

IF YOU harbor any doubt about the power of words, just take a look at Greg Walden. Last week the eight-term Republican congressman from Oregon went on CNN and accused Barack Obama of “trying to balance this budget on the backs of seniors”—a reference to the president’s proposed cuts to Social Security. Walden—who recently became chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, meaning he will oversee the GOP’s effort to hold on to the House in 2014—was effectively attacking Obama from the left. And soon enough, conservatives were attacking him. The Club for Growth, which punishes any Republicans who stray from its small-government orthodoxy, threatened a primary challenge. “We always knew Greg Walden had a liberal record, but the really cemented it with his public opposition to even modest entitlement reform,”…

golf’s young master

THERE’S PERHAPS no better way to understand golfer Guan Tianlang’s accomplishment That the 2013 Masters this April than to let the cold, hard numbers tell the story: At all of 14 years old, he was the youngest person to play the Masters— arguably the most prestigious sporting event in the world—by more than two years. He was 18 years younger than Adam Scott, the eventual winner, and more than 20 years younger than the average age of the field. His 58th-place finish in a field of more than 100 not only made him the best-finishing amateur in the tournament, but left him ahead of 13 different major winners. And all this after he was assessed a one -stroke penalty for slow play. Guan had traveled from China to prepare for the Masters…

slow progress

IT’S COMMON knowledge today that you can’t get cholera by breathing foul air, but in 19th-century England it was a subject of much debate. Today we understand the way cholera spreads—through contaminated drinking water—thanks to the foundational work of one man, a British physician named John Snow. He believed (correctly) that cholera came from the water supply, going against the popular notion that the disease stemmed from breathing air polluted by the smell of industries like tanneries. This was cause for a clash with the editor of the prestigious medical journal The Lancet, Thomas Wakley, who held Snow’s theories in such low esteem that when Snow died in 1858, he was given an insultingly short obituary. At just under 40 words long, the brief blurb mentioned nothing of Snow’s work…

lessons from all corners

IN DECADES past, First World countries have lectured the rest of the world about how to stabilize and grow their economies. Today, in a startling turnaround, the developed world buckles under high debt and slow growth, while countries such as South Korea, India, Chile, Mexico, and even tiny Barbados provide vital lessons for recovery. In Asia, South Korea’s rise from poverty demonstrates that prosperity lies not in the balance of trade but in a level of productivity achieved through exporting and importing. This contradicts the too-frequent assumption that exports are good, imports are bad, and a trade surplus is needed for growth. From 1965 to 1990, South Korea ran trade deficits, yet grew by 7.1 percent per year—three times faster than the United States after World War II. Instead of erecting…