In the fall of 2007, when the U.S. economy first seemed in peril, I began answering reader queries here on the Business Desk. I still do so occasionally, but this page has expanded to include posts from eminent economists, "far-flung correspondents," and a variety of voices that have intriguing and/or useful things to say about economics, broadly defined. Please feel encouraged to respond to any and all of them.
German soldiers flog a Russian villager while fellow villagers are forced to watch. This photograph was found on a dead German soldier. Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images.
A new book by Peter Moskos is as provocative in name as in substance. " In Defense of Flogging " is just that: a spirited, albeit reluctant defense of the punishment already employed in Singapore and Malaysia. But why not offer prisoners an option to be buttock-caned instead of doing time, asks Professor Moskos, given how counterproductive, expensive and dehumanizing imprisonment generally is in America.