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1970s

[OP-ED]: El gran debate de Trump sobre el crecimiento económico

 08/15/2017 - 10:01
No hay suficiente dinero para satisfacer todas nuestras demandas, incluso a tasas más altas de crecimiento económico. Habrá conflictos entre gastos privados y gubernamentales; entre gastos nacionales y locales; entre gastos de salud y gastos de no-salud; y entre gastos dedicados a los ancianos versus los jóvenes. El presente es polémico; el futuro quizás sea peor.

La discusión entre el gobierno de Trump y sus críticos sobre una tasa de crecimiento económico sostenible suscita profundas preguntas sobre el futuro de Estados Unidos. ¿Ingresamos en un período prolongado de crecimiento económico lento? Si es así, ¿cómo altera eso la sociedad y la política? ¿O acaso las medidas “correctas” elevarán el crecimiento económico a niveles del pasado?

[OP-ED]: Trump’s great growth debate

 08/09/2017 - 08:58
There isn’t enough money to satisfy all our demands, even at higher rates of economic growth. There will be conflicts between private and governmental spending; between national and local spending; between health spending and non-health spending; and between spending on the old versus the young. The present is contentious; the future may be worse.

The argument between the Trump administration and its critics over a sustainable rate of economic growth raises profound questions about America’s future. Have we entered a prolonged period of slow growth? If so, how does that alter society and politics? Or will the “right” policies raise growth to past levels? 

If you haven’t paid attention, here’s a brief overview of the debate.

[OP-ED]: Trump is but the latest politician to serenade Youngstown

 08/04/2017 - 08:03
It’s no surprise that Trump returned to the familiar theme of demonizing Latino immigrants. The surprise is that he chose to do it in Youngstown of all places -- a city with a minuscule immigrant population, located in a state where the Latino population is just 3.7 percent. EFE

Youngstown again? As an avid spectator of politics, I’ve been hearing about that city in the Mahoning Valley of northeast Ohio for decades. Although it’s home to just 64,000 people, Youngstown gets more than its share of attention from politicians, media, filmmakers, and even a poetic singer/songwriter from Freehold, New Jersey.

[OP-ED]: Mad at everyone

 07/03/2017 - 17:41
Not surprisingly, the system has become self-perpetuating. It feeds on mutual recriminations. On this July 4, the Founders -- who had deep disagreements, but compromised -- would doubtlessly disapprove.

This is the summer of our discontent. As Americans celebrate July 4, they are mad at their leaders, mad at their government and mad at each other. A recent Pew poll finds that “public trust in government remains near historic lows.” Just 20 percent of Americans trust the government to “do the right thing just about always or most of the time.” The comparable figures were 40 percent in 2000 and almost 80 percent in the early 1960s. There has been a long-term loss of trust.

In Search of the Maya World: From Central America to Philadelphia

 06/27/2017 - 14:26
Gallery of archaeological pieces of Mayan culture exhibited at the Museum of Archeology and Anthropology of the University of Pennsylvania. Photo: Supplied UPEnn

One of the most intriguing mysteries of Latin American culture is what happened to the Maya civilization. How come after over 3,000 years of history, from about 2, 500 BC to 950 AD, most of the glorious Maya centers in Mesoamerica were abandoned? Before the arrival of the Europeans in the 1500’s magnificent cities like Tikal in Guatemala and Copán in Honduras had all but disappeared; left uninhabited, they were covered by thick jungle growth, hidden throughout the mountains and the lowlands. 

Author: 

[OP-ED]: America’s postindustrial blues

 06/22/2017 - 09:43
Says Richard Reeves of the Brookings Institution in his new book “Dream Hoarders.” We should not be surprised that 58 percent of whites and 67 percent of whites without a college degree voted for Trump.

Ever since Donald Trump’s election, a cottage industry of politicians, journalists, scholars and commentators has sought to understand what motivates Trump supporters. Theories have ranged from globalization to a rebellion against Washington elitism to racism. But the true cause may have been overlooked: the “postindustrial society.”

[OP-ED]: Trump isn’t destiny

 06/13/2017 - 15:17
To some extent, the future of America depends on Donald Trump. But it depends even more on how these social and economic trends evolve -- how we cope with them and whether we become a more cohesive society or a more contentious one. EFE

 It’s time to take a brief break from Donald Trump. Whatever you think of him, there’s no denying that he dominates the news cycle. We seem to assume that the nation’s future depends on Trump’s fate, for better or worse. The reality is otherwise: The nation’s future also hangs on larger economic and social trends that no president can shape.

[OP-ED]: What really happened to coal?

 06/12/2017 - 08:58
Even if environmental regulation and climate change didn’t exist, the coal industry would have faced intense pressures to change and adapt. Government isn’t killing the coal industry. “Progress is the culprit,” concludes Kolstad’s study.

 The coal-mining jobs that President Trump thinks were destroyed by government regulation -- adopted to combat air pollution and global warming -- were actually lost to old-fashioned competition from other American firms and workers. Eastern coal mines lost market share to Western coal, which was cheaper. And natural gas grew at coal’s expense because it had low costs and lower greenhouse gas emissions.

[OP-ED]: Will robots dis-employ us all?

 05/11/2017 - 10:11
The robots won’t steal all our jobs, because their efficiencies will create more purchasing power for other spending or new products that require human involvement and oversight. For proof, consider smartphones. In 2012, they had created nearly 500,000 jobs for “mobile apps,” up from zero in 2007.

 We have yet another study that debunks the widespread notion that robots -- and other forms of automation, including “artificial intelligence” -- will destroy our jobs and lead to a future of permanently high unemployment. According to the study, that would completely rewrite history, which has shown job creation to be an enduring strength of the U.S. economy.

Plain Text Author: 
Robert J. Samuelson

[OP-ED]: The bumpy road to adulthood

 04/27/2017 - 14:43
The Great Recession’s high unemployment surely drove many young people back to their parents. The actual number of 18- to 34-year-olds living at home totaled 24 million in 2015. Two-thirds say they’re happy with their home life. The fact that more Americans go to college and graduate school than in the past has also delayed marriage, living independently and having children.

Growing up isn’t what it used to be. There’s a yawning gap between the end of adolescence and the beginning of adulthood: a period when millions of 20-somethings and 30-somethings have many adult freedoms without all the responsibilities. Social scientists have tried -- so far in vain -- to name this new life-stage, but no one should question its significance.

Plain Text Author: 
Robert J. Samuelson

[OP-ED]: Is the American dream on a ‘self-defeating quest’?

 04/04/2017 - 15:06
 La mayor parte del nuevo libro del economista Tyler Cowen, titulado “The Complacent Class: The Self-Defeating Quest for the American Dream”, es una lectura mega-deprimente.

Inequality is rising. Segregation by socioeconomic class, educational attainment and race is skyrocketing. The country is generally less dynamic and more risk-averse -- when people have the opportunity to move for a better quality of life or more rewarding job, they tend to settle for staying put.

Plain Text Author: 
Esther Cepeda

Philly Grows Into Its Anarchist Shoe

 03/29/2017 - 09:18
Wooden Shoe es una librería que encierra una atmósfera distinta a la de otros establecimientos dedicados a la venta de libros, aquí el enfoque es colaborativo y político. La librería está ubicada en el 704 South Street.  Foto Archivo Particular.

Past a chalkboard that says, “Come inside to read a good book,” on one side and “Don’t be an asshole!” on the other, you come across a tattered SEPTA Union Strike poster from the early twentieth century, preserved underneath an equally withered-away lamination. A few cautious inches deep inside of this surreal time machine, a pillar manages to stand from the 1890s home of an anarchist feminist writer and speaker who lived near Drexel University.