Blame Congress for high health-care costs

IN AMERICA nearly one in every five dollars spent is on health care, a larger share than in any other country. Many of the culprits are well-known. Americans have more procedures, pay more for them, and face exorbitant administrative costs. One driver of rising costs has often been overlooked, however: …

Donald Trump visits hurricane-hit Texas

COMPASSION and competence are not President Donald Trump’s strong suits. But since Hurricane Harvey made landfall as a category four hurricane near Rockport, Texas, on August 26th, Mr Trump has done his best to empathise with south-eastern Texans struck by unprecedented life-threatening flooding, promising two visits to the affected areas …

An unforgiveable pardon for Sheriff Joe

THE powers of pardon bestowed on an American president—modelled on those enjoyed by English monarchs in centuries past—are so sweeping and awful that they impose their own discipline on chief executives, or so Alexander Hamilton predicted in Federalist 74. The responsibility of deciding the fate of a fellow-creature will “naturally …

The future of Bannonism

TWO days after he ceased to be President Donald Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon explained why he had welcomed The Economist to his house on Capitol Hill for a chat. “You’re the enemy,” he said, adding disdainfully: “You support a radical idea, free trade. I mean it, that’s a radical …

Louisiana fights the sea, and loses

WHEN Roosevelt Falgout was a boy, the brackish water that now laps within a few feet of his three-room cabin at Isle de Jean Charles was miles off. “There were only trees all around, far as you could see,” recalls the 81-year-old former oyster fisherman, at home on the Isle, …