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[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]: 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.

Republican health plan is a death sentence for US Latinos, Democrats say.

 06/29/2017 - 03:51
Spectators listen as US Democratic Senator from New Jersey Bob Menendez delivers remarks at a press conference in opposition to the Senate Republican health care bill on the US Capitol grounds in Washington, DC, USA, 28 June 2017. EPA/SHAWN THEW

The independent Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that under the bill drafted by Republican senators, roughly 22 million Americans would lose their health insurance by 2026.  That number includes some 6 million Latinos, 1 million of them children, according to La Raza.

Plain Text Author: 
EFE

[OP-ED]: Trump’s NAFTA delusion

 06/16/2017 - 08:41
El presidente mexicano, Enrique Peña Nieto agradeció la visita de la canciller alemana, Angela Merkel, en un "momento crucial" y destacó la visión compartida de ambos países en democracia, libre comercio, medio ambiente y derechos humanos. EFE

The Trump administration is determined to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) -- which created a single market from Mexico’s southern border to the Yukon -- but the main political appeal of this policy rests on a popular myth: that “fair” trade requires the United States to have a surplus or balanced trade with both Mexico and Canada.

[OP-ED]: Our Education, Born from Swamps

 05/15/2017 - 15:27
In lower income neighborhoods, students can struggle without access to proper educational materials, exposure, and parental poverty. 

The story of education in lower income neighborhoods is an all too familiar one. The struggle to obtain a stable education is a story of overcoming conditions that are less than favorable, much like the swamp plant. What is causing these students, especially Latinos, to fall behind? How can they grow from these meager and impoverished conditions?  

Author: 

[OP-ED]: The Sacking of Bill O’Reilly Reveals Ignored Corporate Prejudice

 04/28/2017 - 14:55
The termination of that talk show host known for his blunt talk (and his bigotry) followed a mass exodus of over fifty major advertisers from the evening time slot occupied by “The O’Reilly Factor” program. Photo: (Bill O'Reilly / Facebook)

Although the decision by FOX News to sack its ratings superstar Bill O’Reilly in the wake of revelations that FOX paid $13-million to settle multiple sexual harassment claims against O’Reilly sparked cheers in some circles, circumstances surrounding O’Reilly’s ouster do not merit a champagne celebration.

Philly Latino Food Revolution

 04/06/2017 - 16:29
Merliz Gomez is the chef of the Venezuelan restaurant Tartarepería 18.64, located in Fishtown. Photos: Eli Siegel.
 

Two new Venezuelan Restaurants, “Tartareperia 18.64,” and “Puyero Venezuelan Flavor”, mark the latest addition to the rich Latino cuisine of Philadelphia. They are part of a revolution in the city’s cuisine that traces its roots almost 30 years ago.

 

Plain Text Author: 
Eli Siegel

[OP-ED]: Why economists can’t forecast

 03/08/2017 - 19:06
Chevron Chief Executive John Sanders Watson during the company's executive and guest visit to celebrate the 95th anniversary of its entry into the financial market on the New York Stock Exchange. EFE

You knew it all along: Economists can’t forecast the economy worth a hoot. And now we have a scholarly study that confirms it. Better yet, the corroboration comes from an impeccable source: the Federal Reserve.

The study compared predictions of important economic indicators -- unemployment, inflation, interest rates, gross domestic product -- with the actual outcomes. There were widespread errors. The study concluded that “considerable uncertainty surrounds all macroeconomic projections.”

Plain Text Author: 
Robert J. Samuelson

[OP-ED]: Is your phone eavesdropping on your conversation about cannibalism? Mine may have.

 03/08/2017 - 18:41

Schutt investigates -- with dark humor -- how cannibalism works within different animal species and how it’s understood by humans of different nations, cultures and religions. Somehow he makes the subject fascinating, rather than gruesome.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

If you were to read biology professor Bill Schutt’s new book “Cannibalism: A Perfectly Natural History,” you’d have lots to talk about at the dinner table.

There are, for instance, sections on how cannibalism is portrayed in popular culture, news stories and historical texts. Schutt investigates -- with dark humor -- how cannibalism works within different animal species and how it’s understood by humans of different nations, cultures and religions. Somehow he makes the subject fascinating, rather than gruesome.

Plain Text Author: 
Esther Cepeda

[OP-ED]: Has America gone complacent?

 03/03/2017 - 10:10
Photograph provided by the New York Stock Exchange that shows the president of Santander Consumer Finance, the Group's consumer finance unit, Jason Kulas (C) along with other colleagues after opening the session of the New York park in the United States. EFE

”We have met the enemy and he is us.”

- the comic-strip character Pogo by Walt Kelly, 1970

The same may be true of the economy. So says Tyler Cowen, author of the new book “The Complacent Class: The Self-Defeating Quest for the American Dream.”

Although we’ve recovered from the Great Recession, there are widespread fears that the economy will stagnate or grow only slowly. Government won’t be able to handle the next crisis, whether a war, financial meltdown or pandemic.

Plain Text Author: 
Robert J. Samuelson

[OP-ED]: The Age of Disbelief

 02/28/2017 - 16:14
There are plenty of skeptics -- including me -- who think Trump’s agenda is largely impractical or undesirable. To take one example: Since at least John F. Kennedy, presidents have pledged to increase economic growth.

We live in an age of disbelief. Many of the ideas and institutions that have underpinned Americans’ thinking since the early years after World War II are besieged. There is an intellectual and political vacuum into which rush new figures (Donald Trump) and different ideas (America First). These new ideas and leaders may be no better than the ones they displace -- they may, in fact, be worse -- but they have the virtue of being new.

Plain Text Author: 
Robert J. Samuelson