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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]: 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]: 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]: 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]: Should the Fed run the economy ‘hot’?

 03/14/2017 - 17:44
The recovery, though encouraging, is certainly no economic panacea. Mounting inequality remains a big issue. From 2000 to 2016, the best-paid 5 percent of men achieved a 30 percent wage increase, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data analyzed by Gould. For women, the comparable gain was 24 percent.

Toward the end of 1942, Winston Churchill, in announcing a rare victory over the German army, uttered one of his more memorable phrases: “This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” The same might be said today of the American economic recovery. Progress, though real, is incomplete.

Plain Text Author: 
Robert J. Samuelson

[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]: 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

Funny-guy John Leguizamo gets serious, talking politics and Perros

 09/25/2016 - 21:45
John Leguizamo. Photo: Peter Fitzpatrick/AL DÍA News

On Sunday, September 25th 2016, Leguizamo came to Philadelphia with the Campaign for Hillary for America, in which he frantically zig-zagged through four events across the city that celebrated hispanidad to promote voter registration and the official launch of IWillVote.com. But, before he got to The Puerto Rican Day Parade, Festival El Coqui, Boricuafest, and Pennsylvania Victory, he spoke with AL DÍA, bluntly effusing about his political interests and his experience as a Latino in Hollywood.

Germany's Merkel says multiculti is dead; US melting pot is where it's at

 10/23/2010 - 06:46
Germany's Merkel says multiculti is dead; US melting pot is where it's at

Chancellor Angela Merkel declared the death of German multiculturalism at a conference of her political party, the Christian Democratic Union, last weekend. She said the very idea that guest workers who immigrated to Germany to fill a labor shortage during the 1960s could "live happily side by side" with native-born Germans was an illusion and suggested a hard line for those who refuse to assimilate.

Plain Text Author: 
Esther Cepeda

May brings high risk of suicide among high school and college students

 05/31/2010 - 16:59
May brings high risk of suicide among high school and college students

It's that time of the year. The time of the year when the pressures of grades, final papers, home stresses and uncertainty about the future combine with youthful angst to create life-threatening hazardous conditions.

The time of year when my teacher and professor friends are happy the school year is almost over but lamenting the number of students in their classes who are missing finals because they've been hospitalized with stress-related ailments or full-blown depression.

Plain Text Author: 
Esther Cepeda