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January 27, 2020

By any meaningful definition of a democracy, the U.S. is not one.
——Marvin Zonis


January 23, 2020

By Marvin Zonis


January 16, 2020

Weijian Shan finds the highly touted trade deal wanting and suggests what’s needed to move U.S.-China relations forward
——Marvin Zonis


January 07, 2020

By Marvin Zonis

Iran’s Muslims observe a forty-day mourning period. On the 40th day after the death, intense mourning rights are held. Then the mourning period is over.

The forty-day mourning rights for General Suleimani will be held on February 12.

Then the Iranians are likely to seek their revenge.


January 03, 2020

Suleimani became head of the Quds Force in 1998 and spent the early years strengthening ties with Hezbollah in Lebanon, President Assad in Syria and Shiite militia groups on Iraq.


January 02, 2020

By Marvin Zonis

Here’s what the President had to say about light bulbs, back in September 2019:

“They took away our light bulb. I want an incandescent light. I want to look better, okay? I want to pay less money to look better. Does that make sense? You pay much less money and you look much better. And on top of that, with the new bulbs, if they break it’s considered a hazardous waste site. It’s all gases inside and you’re supposed to bring it back to where you bought it in a sealed container. Give me a break.

“I asked the people, the professionals. Well, what do people do when it breaks, because they break all the time? What do they do? Nothing, they throw it away. So I owe — a lot of people didn’t know, they didn’t understand. You get a much better light at a much reduced cost, and it’s much safer. Because when those other bulbs break they really are dangerous. The gases come out, they’re dangerous."(https://www.factcheck.org/2019/09/trump-bends-the-facts-on-lightbulbs/)

The President was clearly talking about what are called CFL bulbs or Compact Fluorescents. They were the alternative to regular incandescent bulbs when President George W. Bush introduced the bipartisan Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. The law provided targets for the gradual improvement in energy efficiency. Initially the law applied only to the traditional pear shaped bulbs. But in 2017, the Obama administration extended the rules to almost all other types of non-traditional bulbs such as candelabra bulbs and others.

Since the introduction of the first law, a revolution in light bulbs has occurred – a revolution which has apparently passed President Trump by.


December 16, 2019

By Marvin Zonis

Here is his latest push back.

According to the GAO, 40 of 50 U.S. states will experience some water shortage in the next ten years.

Nevertheless, President Trump has announced that he has ordered a federal review of the water efficiency standards of bathroom fixtures.


December 04, 2019

Short on funds, the Iranian government tripled the domestic price of gasoline. Demonstrations protesting the price hikes spread across the country. Remarkably, the demonstrations were spearheaded by working and lower class Iranians — formerly the pillars of support for the regime — rather than the middle classes who had led earlier demonstrations. The security apparatus appears to have panicked and the new police force, charged with restoring order, shot its way to the current calm. A record number of the protesters were killed by their own government. Several consequences now seem clear:

*Government revenues have been decimated by U.S. sanctions.

*The decision to raise the price of gasoline was made by a committee composed of all the branches of the Iranian government. Yet the decision badly miscalculated the consequences, indicating how out of touch the government is with the lives of ordinary Iranians.

*Those “ordinary” Iranians have been badly hurt by the U.S. sanctions and by the mismanagement and corruption of their own government.

*But it is their own government that the protesters have blamed for their hardships.

*Confronting armed security forces with shoot to kill orders is not something to be done lightly or often. These demonstrations will die out. But they indicated the depth of anger on the part of the people.

*In short, this is not a formula for domestic tranquility and is not sustainable.

Now, please see what Professor Daniel Brumberg and Karim Pakravan think
——Marvin Zonis


November 28, 2019

While he was a daring and hugely successful battle commander, General Mattis failed as a Secretary of Defense. He did not manage to leave a mark on the Pentagon and did nothing to prepare the armed forces to fight the next war, rather than the last war for which they have been continually preparing along with vast expenditures of taxpayer dollars.
——Marvin Zonis


November 18, 2019

Three readers, who asked to remain anonymous, sent critiques of the recent mailing by Gramm and Early on Income Inequality. Their critiques seem to devastate the central point that the two were making, that income inequality is considerably less than estimated by the U.S. Census Bureau.
——Marvin Zonis


November 12, 2019

When U.S. incomes are adjusted for taxes paid and government transfers received, inequality is dramatically reduced.
——Marvin Zonis


November 07, 2019

U.S. unemployment at 3.7% (August 2019). U.S. stock markets at record levels. Yet something is dramatically wrong with the economy — in the U.S., in Japan, and in the E.U. Low to negative interest rates and exploding inequality suggest a paradigm shift is on the way.
——Marvin Zonis


October 28, 2019

China has mastered the elements of technology that give it the capability for continuous monitoring of the communications, social relationships, physical movements, and more of its population. Simultaneously, President Xi is totally committed to maintaining the rule of the Communist Party and preventing its demise (see the Soviet Union). His system of rule is massively repressive of any fundamental dissent or any attempt to organize its citizens, no matter how small the group. The combination of these three factors suggest that China is approaching true totalitarian rule. The first actual state in history — aside from states in novels — to do so.

--Marvin Zonis


October 18, 2019

Germany has consistently been the world’s most successful exporter while importing relatively little. The result has been that Germany’s current account surplus has been higher than that of any other country. For example, in 2017, Germany’s current account surplus was $296 billion versus $195 billion for Japan and $164 billion for China. Yet despite Germany’s impressive export performance, its economic future appears grim. Its population is shrinking and its economic growth rate is diminishing. Its infrastructure is increasingly decrepit and its export reliance on automobiles and machine tools is no longer sufficient to propel growth. Its largest export market has been China whose growth is diminishing. Even worse, there appears little impetus within the German government to do anything to address these negative forces.
——Marvin Zonis


October 11, 2019

President Trump has sent many tweets about his trade war: “China will never retaliate to U.S. tariffs,” “trade wars are easy to win,” "We are winning, big time, against China,” “China is eating the Tariffs,” “China wants to make a deal so badly,” “China does not want Tariffs!” “We are not in a trade war with China,” and on and on. In fact, China is winning the trade war. The U.S. is the big loser. Read this and weep.

--Marvin Zonis


Publications

Books

The Kimchi Matters: Global Business and Local Politics in a Crisis Driven World,
co-authors Daniel Lefkovitz and Sam Wilkin, Chicago: Agate Press, 2003

The Eastern European Opportunity, A Complete Guide and Sourcebook,
co-author Dwight Semler, New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1992

Majestic Failure: The Fall of the Shah,
Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1991

Khomeini and the Islamic Republic of Iran,
co-author Daniel Brumberg, Cambridge: Harvard Middle East Papers
, 1987

The Political Elite of Iran.
Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1976
 

Press


Chicago Tribune
"Russian Protests Will Keep Haunting Putin"
April 3, 2017
 
Chicago Tribune
"Mission Creep and the Islamic State"
September 30, 2014
 
Chicago Tribune
"Plenty of Reasons for Ukraine's Grim Future"
March 5, 2014
 
Chicago Tribune
"Iran's New Leaders and the American Response"
August 5, 2013
 
EconoMonitor
"A Beheading in London; A Bombing in Boston: The Transformations of the al-Qaeda Threat"
May 24th, 2013
 
Chicago Tribune
"Realistic Optimism on Nuclear Talks with Iran"
May 22, 2012
 
International Business Times
"Austerity Push in Greece Leaves Citizens Hungry for Alternatives"
February 23, 2012
 
Advisor.ca
"US Economy Poised for Growth"
February 3, 2012
 
Chicago Tribune
"Will Israel Bomb Iran?"
November 13, 2011
 
Chicago Tribune
"MidEast Rulers of a Certain Age" [PDF]
March 6, 2011
 
Chicago Tribune
"Are We Going to Miss Mubarak?"
[PDF]
February 4, 2011
 
 
Archive

Les Echos
"Washington Risque de Regretter Le Depart d'Hosni Moubarak"
[PDF]
February 2, 2011
(French version)
 
Les Echos
"Washington Risque de Regretter Le Depart d'Hosni Moubarak"
 [PDF]
February 2, 2011
(English version)

Credit Suisse
"Middle East and Africa - Regulation Will Influence the
Future of Banking"
[PDF]
June 1, 2010

ROOZ, 1116
"The Iranian People Are Entitled to More Freedom"
[PDF]
February, 2010

The Wall Street Journal
"Russian Ripples Hit U.S. Firms - Sharp Slowdown in Consumer
Spending Is Felt From Cigarettes to Copier"
[PDF]
August 2009

The Mind of a Mullah
June 17, 2009

Focus Trends (Dutch)
"Obama Is Jezus Christus"
[PDF]
February 2009

GSB Magazine
"Faculty Smackdown with Marvin Zonis: From HBS Dropout
to Iran, Nightline, and the GSB"
Part One [PDF]
Part Two [PDF]
January, 2006