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[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.

Trump lambastes London mayor for asking Brits to remain calm after attack

 06/05/2017 - 04:03
President Donald Trump on Sunday criticized London Mayor Sadiq Khan for asking the British public to remain calm after the weekend terrorist attack, adding that it is time to "stop being politically correct.". Archive photo. EFE

The Saturday evening attack, in which three attackers in a van mowed down a number of pedestrians on London Bridge and then stabbed many more at nearby Borough Market before being gunned down by police, comes just four days before Britain's national election on Thursday.

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EFE

Suicide Attack on Ariana Grande Concert Kills 22 in Manchester, U.K.

 05/23/2017 - 04:45
The Manchester police suspect terrorism after a deadly explosion at an arena in Manchester, where the American pop star Ariana Grande had been performing.  GOODMAN/LNP/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK/AP

The Manchester police suspect terrorism after a deadly explosion at an arena in Manchester, where the American pop star Ariana Grande had been performing. Children are among the 22 dead, and at least 59 people were injured when an explosion ripped into the crowd made basically by teenager fans.

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[OP-ED]: Voter Participation – Dismal Indicator of Democracy

 05/19/2017 - 10:31
Somalis hold demonstration in London on May 18, 2017 across from the Downing Street residence of the British Prime Minister seeking better respect through exercising their democratic right to protest. LBWPhoto

The same week that America’s federal government plunged deeper into a governance crisis from misconduct by President Trump and members of his professed Law-&-Order administration, many Philadelphians took a big step towards restoring the vitality of democracy with their participation in the primary election.

 

[OP-ED]: On immigration, conservatives premiere a new office of political theater

 05/17/2017 - 09:26
The data confirms it. Studies show that illegal immigrants commit crimes at lower levels than the native-born. The FBI reports that cities with high numbers of illegal immigrants are among the safest in the country.

 When they criticize laws against hate crimes, conservatives claim we shouldn’t create special classes of victims. 

Well, forget all that. It turns out that they feel differently when they can get political mileage from exploiting the public’s fear of illegal immigrants. Then they’re all in.

[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]: 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

[OP-ED]: The real Dodd-Frank scandal

 02/14/2017 - 09:53
Like many others, Geithner -- a critical player in containing the breakdown -- doubts the United States faces “a major financial crisis anytime soon.” To justify this, he offers both statistics and common sense. Foto: today.com
 
 

Comes now Timothy Geithner, treasury secretary from 2009 to 2013, to tell you that much of what you “know” about Dodd-Frank -- Congress’ response to the 2008-09 financial crisis -- is wrong. It’s a timely review because the Trump administration is promising to overhaul the law. The title of Geithner’s essay, carried in the current issue of Foreign Affairs, is simple: “Are We Safe Yet?” The answer is not so simple.

Plain Text Author: 
Robert J. Samuelson