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Brazilian Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles Dec. 14, 2017
EFE

Brazil's government on Thursday upwardly revised its economic growth forecasts for this year and next, saying it projects the nation"s gross domestic product (GDP) will increase by 1.1 percent in 2017 and 3 percent in 2018.

[OP-ED]:DACA Opponents Are American Dream Killers

 08/22/2017 - 10:14
Prudence Powell (right) with his sons Jalen Latiner (left) and Bryana Nunes (center). Photo: Edwin López Moya AL DÍA News

Among the persons that provided poignant testimonials on positive benefits from DACA during the recent ceremony in Philadelphia’s City Hall commemorating the fifth anniversary of that fair-minded initiative instituted by former President Obama were two persons from countries that few ever connect with the controversy around undocumented immigrants in the United States.

[OP-ED]: The curse of middle-aged capitalism -- for Trump and all of us

 08/21/2017 - 13:57
In 1995, the largest five firms by market “capitalization” (the value of a company’s shares) were old-line businesses: Exxon, AT&T, Coca Cola, General Electric and Merck. By 2015, only Exxon (now Exxon Mobil) remained.

 A persisting puzzle about the U.S. economy is how it can seem both strong and weak. On the one hand, it remains a citadel of innovation, producing new companies like Uber. On the other, the economy is expanding at a snail’s pace of 2 percent annually since 2010. How could both be true? Why isn’t innovation translating into faster growth? The answer -- or part of the answer -- is that American businesses are running on two separate tracks. Call them the “youthful” and “middle-aged” tracks.

Mexicans Protest Against NAFTA talks, as Their Government Fights to Save It

 08/17/2017 - 06:11
Civil organizations demonstrate to protest the start of NAFTA renegotiations, in the streets of Mexico City, Mexico, 16 August 2017. EPA/Jose Mendez

While Mexican government negotiators fight to save the North American Free Trade Agreement during talks in Washington, thousands of members of social and trade unions on Wednesday protested in Mexico City against the deal, claiming it marginalizes local farmers and hurts the country.

Plain Text Author: 
Andrea Rodés/ EFE

[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]: Amid Trump’s chaos, a post-American world emerges

 08/01/2017 - 09:10
In 2008, I wrote a book about the emerging “Post-American World,” which was, I noted at the start, not about the decline of America but rather the rise of the rest. Amid the parochialism, ineptitude and sheer disarray of the Trump presidency, the post-American world is coming to fruition much faster than I ever expected.

 In London last week, I met a Nigerian man who succinctly expressed the reaction of much of the world to America these days. “Your country has gone crazy,” he said, with a mixture of outrage and amusement. “I’m from Africa. I know crazy, but I didn’t ever think I would see this in America!”

[OP-ED]: Hispanics’ sunny spirit is a reminder of what made America great

 07/31/2017 - 08:28
A group of people perform a vigil, in El Paso, Texas, in honor of the Guatemalan immigrants who died this week trying to cross the Rio Grande, also known as the Rio Bravo, which serves as the border between the United States and the United States. And MexicoEFE

 News headlines are screaming about how fearful Latinos are due to moves the Trump administration is making toward stepping up deportations. These are valid concerns for many Hispanics, a majority of whom have acquaintances or family members who could be at risk.

[OP-ED]: Deficits forever?

 07/20/2017 - 12:15
The federal budget remains badly out of whack, even though we are near or at “full employment” (June unemployment rate: 4.4 percent). We cannot afford tax cuts; we need tax increases.

House Republicans, who are now deliberating the government’s 2018 budget, pledge to eliminate deficits within a decade. Well, good luck with that. It must be obvious that chronic deficits reflect a basic political impasse that can be broken only if majorities in Congress do things they’ve refused to do: trim Social Security benefits; raise taxes significantly; control health spending. There is a giant mismatch between what Americans want from government and what they’ll pay for with taxes.

[OP-ED]: Why robots won’t steal all our jobs

 07/14/2017 - 08:43
En un mundo ideal, los robots realizarían la mayoría de los trabajos repetitivos y monótonos, mientras que la fuerza de trabajo mejor educada y mejor paga se concentraría en trabajos que no pueden ser realizados por máquinas. Archivo

Don’t worry, the robots won’t destroy all our jobs. History suggests just the opposite -- that new technologies inspire new jobs. So concludes a study from leading labor economists. It’s a useful antidote to widespread fears that robots and “artificial intelligence” will displace millions of workers and lead to permanently high joblessness.

[OP-ED]: Trump’s trade trap

 07/11/2017 - 15:30
Trump may believe that trade and environmental issues can be kept separate from geopolitical matters, such as North Korea’s nuclear program. On the contrary, history suggests that trade and geopolitics go hand in hand. EFE

Donald Trump’s foreign policy, such as it is, rests on a massive and apparently indestructible contradiction. Trump wants the United States to remain the “essential” nation, the best embodiment of Western ideals of freedom and democracy, while at the same time deliberately alienating many of our traditional “allies,” whose support the United States desperately needs. American leadership becomes difficult, if not impossible.

[OP-ED]: Postponing the next recession?

 06/30/2017 - 08:37
Economists from the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) in Basel, Switzerland -- a bank for government central banks -- find that the pass-through from wage increases to price increases has weakened. If this is confirmed and continues, it implies that inflation will remain tame for some time even if the economy continues to grow. EFE

This is not your father’s inflation -- and that’s good news. Business cycles often end when higher inflation causes a country’s central bank (the Federal Reserve in the United States) to raise interest rates, slowing the economy and, perhaps, triggering a recession. The good news: The next recession may be delayed, because the Phillips Curve has shifted.

[OP-ED]: By all means, take issue with ‘The Bell Curve.’ But read it first

 06/23/2017 - 08:47
t’s a shame that the controversy regarding “The Bell Curve” centered on the book’s delineation of the differences in measured intelligence between blacks and whites

When “The Bell Curve” by Charles A. Murray and Richard Herrnstein was published in 1994, I was a junior in college and didn’t know anything about the book except that it had my white literature professors in an uproar. A few of them inveighed against the book’s premise -- the very notion of intelligence as something people possess in varying degrees -- and then the whole controversy eventually died out.