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Customers shop in the vegetables section of a store in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 09 March 2016. EPA/MARCELO SAYAO
EFE

The International Monetary Fund estimates that Latin America and the Caribbean will grow 1 percent in 2017 and 1.9 percent in 2018, further deterioration of conditions in Venezuela.

[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.

[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]: 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.

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: 

A Latino Justin Bieber?

 06/26/2017 - 05:53
Spanish teen pop star Abraham Mateo has growth spurt with reggaeton, beard, big muscles. Photo: EFE/Pablo Ramon

In "Loco Enamorado," Abraham Mateo is accompanied by urban icon Farruko from Puerto Rico in shaping a song the Spaniard defines as "reggaepop," a fusion of the pop that has been his signature music for all his young lifetime, and a reggaeton that is gaining world popularity thanks to the "Despacito" phenom.

Plain Text Author: 
EFE

[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]: Trump’s radical doctrine of retreat

 06/06/2017 - 16:54
Las consecuencias de la postura y de las acciones de Trump son difíciles de prever. Podrían resultar en el lento deterioro del orden internacional liberal. Podrían significar el auge de un orden nuevo y no tan liberal, promovido por China e India, ambos países mercantilistas y nacionalistas. EFE

We now have a Trump Doctrine, and it is, in its conception at least, the most radical departure from a bipartisan American foreign policy since 1945. In an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal, National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn and national security adviser H.R. McMaster explain that President Trump has “a clear-eyed outlook that the world is not a ‘global community’ but an arena where nations, nongovernmental actors and businesses engage and compete for advantage.”