Less is more.

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Discontent, Drive Time and Democracy

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Better Roads, Grumpier Drivers and the Logic of Discontent

Here’s a California paradox for you: A highway expansion improved traffic flow on the 405 — rush hour now lasts two hours less than it used to — but residents are still miserable about their commutes. It may seem irrational, but Tyler Cowen sees an underlying logic that explains a lot of dissatisfaction in Western democracies.

Trump’s 180-Degree Turn on China Policy

The Bush and Obama administrations let China grow, but were wary of its military. For Trump, it’s the other way around. Noah Feldman warns that domestic pressures on both sides all but guarantee a conflict.

Obama’s Betrayal of Israel at the UN Must Not Stand

Given the choice between peace and terror, there’s no room for abstention. The Bloomberg View editorial board condemns the U.S. abandoning an ally at the United Nations last week — but hopes that Democrats and Republicans will take the opportunity to rally around a more constructive policy. 

Why Low Rates Failed to Boost Business Investment

Business investment has declining for more than 30 years, even though it’s also getting cheaper. What gives? Noah Smith says many companies face hidden costs that make capital more expensive than it appears.

The Free-Market Case for Climate Science

Paul J. Ferraro argues that scientific ideas thrive or perish in a marketplace of their own, one that wouldn’t seem out of place in an Econ 101 textbook. The theory of climate change is just stronger than its competitors.

This Democrat Tiptoes Through Trumpworld

Margaret Carlson speaks with North Dakota’s Heidi Heitkamp — one of five Democratic senators up for re-election in states that went overwhelmingly for Trump — about being a blue lawmaker in a deep-red world. 

Ritholtz’s Reads

(Read Barry Ritholtz’s full daily news roundup.)

Bloomberg Gadfly 

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This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.