Matthew Yglesias

Matthew Yglesias is a senior editor at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, a former Prospect staff writer, and the author of Heads in the Sand: How the Republicans Screw Up Foreign Policy and Foreign Policy Screws Up the Democrats.

Recent Articles

China's Trade Deficit

Why increasing oil prices are a big problem for China, and for us.

Chinese factory workers (Imaginechina via AP Images)

A funny thing happened happened early this week while Washington was focused on the budget -- China ran a quarterly trade deficit. Yes, that's right, the currency manipulating export-mad engine of growth whose rapid advances have dominated coverage of the global economy is now a net importer. Given the amount of huffing and puffing that Americans have done about trade with China over the past several years, you might think this is excellent news. In fact, it's a sign that oil scarcity poses a severe risk to the world economy -- America's most of all.

What happened?

What's in a Word?

A philosophical defense of blogging


Suppose you meet a previously un-contacted native tribe and begin trying to learn its language. Every once in a while, tribal members point to a rabbit and say "gavagai." You come to assume that "gavagai" means "rabbit." But what if you're wrong? What if it means "undetached rabbit part" or "temporal stage of a rabbit"? How would you know? Am I blowing your mind yet?

The Policy Apocalypse

The right's ridiculous rhetoric on Obama will have a real effect on policy.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

The question of what, if anything, differentiates a "Tea Partier" from a conventional Republican has attracted a lot of attention over the past year and a half. Research from political scientist Chris Parker sheds light on one aspect of the situation: Tea Partiers are in the grips of apocalyptic fantasies such that "6 percent of non-Tea Party conservatives believe the president is destroying the country versus the 71 percent of Tea Party conservatives who believe this to be true."

Principled Action

Why the drumbeat to go to war with Libya is a bad idea

The past week has featured a slightly surreal journalistic drumbeat for war in Libya, currently wracked by a civil war that the incumbent Gadhafi regime seems to be winning. New Republic literary editor slash foreign-policy commentator Leon Wieseltier deemed the Obama administration's failure to intervene "a disgrace," while the neoconservative Foreign Policy Initiative assembled a letter headlined by Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol urging America to go to war. As is typical of 21st-century would-be war-starters, however, they didn't actually use the word.

Catch-Up Growth

Economic development is at the root of unrest throughout the Arab world -- and helping countries manage economic growth well should be our concern going forward.

A Nigerian oil disaster (Flickr/Sosialistisk Ungdom -- SU)

As the world's eyes remain fixed on political change in the Arab world, it's worth looking back to where the crisis began -- unrest over higher food prices in grain-importing countries -- to get a sense of the fundamental challenges facing the region. In the short term, the run-up in food prices was mostly driven by bad harvests in Russia and Australia. In a deeper sense, however, raising prices for both food and other commodities such as oil are all driven by a fundamental shift in the world's pattern of economic growth.