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A truck travels on an overpass towards the World Trade Bridge, in Laredo, Texas. Photo: Eric Gay / AP

"The right way to help declining places: Time for fresh thinking about the changing economics of geography" — The Economist's lead editorial:

  • "Populism's wave has yet to crest. That is the sobering lesson of recent elections in Germany and Austria, where the success of anti-immigrant, anti-globalisation parties showed that a message of hostility to elites and outsiders resonates as strongly as ever among those fed up with the status quo."
  • "It is also the lesson from America, where Donald Trump is doubling down on gestures to his angry base, most recently by adopting a negotiating position on NAFTA that is more likely to wreck than remake the trade agreement."
  • Be smart: "The demise of NAFTA will disproportionately hurt the blue-collar workers who back Mr Trump."
  • "Welcome to the place age. ... Mainstream parties must offer voters who feel left behind a better vision of the future, one that takes greater account of the geographical reality behind the politics of anger."
  • Politicians need "to focus on speeding up the diffusion of technology and business practices from high-performing places. ... Bolder still would be to expand the mission of local colleges."

Go deeper

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
39 mins ago - Economy & Business

Why it's so hard to tax wealth

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The wealth tax that wasn't a wealth tax isn't even a tax, now. The Democrats had a meticulously constructed 107-page proposal to pay for a large chunk of their spending plans with a tax on billionaires, but it died ignobly on Wednesday, the same day it was unveiled.

Why it matters: The dream of a wealth tax will never die as it so neatly generates revenue by reducing inequality. But there are three main reasons why that dream is likely to remain just a dream for the foreseeable future.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
2 hours ago - Health

Public health messaging lessons for the next pandemic

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

"Be first, be right, be credible" is the mantra of public health experts in a crisis. It's difficult to argue that the health community has regularly managed to be any of those three during COVID-19.

Why it matters: A pandemic isn't just a medical emergency — it's also a communications emergency. The U.S. public health establishment, hamstrung by bad data and political interference, has struggled with the latter.

How Hertz is fighting to stay relevant

A Hertz car rental counter in the Miami International Airport. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

In the span of less than a week, Hertz has made three big strategic moves intended to keep the car rental giant from fading into oblivion.

Why it matters: Ride-hailing and other mobility innovations are rapidly changing the way people get from A to B, posing an existential threat to traditional car rental services.