The most exciting business news story of 2018 ended with a whimper this week as reports surfaced that Amazon's HQ2 project would in fact be two smaller projects, one on Long Island City in Queens and the other in Crystal City across the Potomac from Washington, DC ... The question of local government subsidies to entice businesses remains an urgent one, but the HQ2 drama in many ways reveals an even bigger policy failure ... Simply put, while locating large pools of high-salary white collar positions in the New York and DC metro areas makes a ton of sense for Amazon, it doesn't actually make that much sense for either greater New York City or greater Washington ... And it makes no sense at all for the United States of America, which urgently needs more economic opportunity in dozens of other metro areas that have a different set of problems. read more
Modern medicine's ability to keep us alive makes it tempting to think human evolution may have stopped. Better healthcare disrupts a key driving force of evolution by keeping some people alive longer, making them more likely to pass on their genes. But if we look at the rate of our DNA's evolution, we can see that human evolution hasn't stopped it may even be happening faster than before. read more
The Amazon HQ2 saga had all the hallmarks of the gaudiest reality TV. It was an absurd spectacle, concluding with a plot twist, which revealed a deep and dark truth about the modern world ... The prize: 50,000 employees and the glory of housing an international tech giant. The cost? Just several billion dollars in tax incentives and a potential face-lift to the host city. read more
More than 60 world leaders will gather in Paris this weekend to mark the centennial of the 1918 armistice. As host, French President Emmanuel Macron is embracing a post-national, pan-European understanding of the past -- and vision of the future. But the World War I centennial arrives at a moment when the European project and transatlantic alliance are under strain -- and nationalism is seeing a startling resurgence. read more
Senator-elect Mitt Romney said Wednesday that President Donald Trump's firing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions should not affect the special counsel's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election ... Romney, who will take office in January, praised Sessions in a statement but, in his first warning shot at Trump since Tuesday's election, made clear that Robert Mueller's probe of Russia and Trump's team should continue ... "I want to thank Jeff Sessions for his service to our country as attorney general," Romney said in a statement and a tweet. "Under Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, it is imperative that the important work of the Justice Department continues, and that the Mueller investigation proceeds to its conclusion unimpeded."