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How politics and marketing ploys have manipulated Hispanics to shell out a ton of (gingerbread) dough for the holidays, and how Hispanics can budget better to start the new year strong.

 

[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]: Trump hits the debt ceiling

 08/16/2017 - 09:40
La pregunta fundamental que enfrenta Trump es si apoyará un aumento limpio del techo de deuda--es decir un aumento sin otras medidas de gastos, que probablemente sería aprobado fácilmente con apoyo demócrata--o si coqueteará con un incumplimiento para obtener alguna ventaja política o programática.

The crucial question about raising the federal debt ceiling is: What happens if Congress doesn’t? That is, what happens if Congress defaults? When President Trump returns from his “working vacation” later this month, this promises to be one of the major issues he’ll face, because the Treasury is expected to run out of cash in early or mid-October, according to projections by the Congressional Budget Office.

[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.

Open Your Eyes: A South Philly Gallery Celebrates Latin American Art for Nearly 50 Years

 08/04/2017 - 15:53
One of the many multihued and adorned walls of Eye's Gallery. Photographed by Mónica Marie Zorrilla. 

If the cliché rings true and the eyes really are the window to the soul, then "Eye's Gallery" on 402 South Street has been the enchanting window to Latin American, Moroccan, and Indian folklore since 1968. The love child of Julia and her husband, the renowned "Magic Gardens" creator Isaiah, the gallery's origins are wondrous like its contents. 

[OP-ED]: Trump is but the latest politician to serenade Youngstown

 08/04/2017 - 08:03
It’s no surprise that Trump returned to the familiar theme of demonizing Latino immigrants. The surprise is that he chose to do it in Youngstown of all places -- a city with a minuscule immigrant population, located in a state where the Latino population is just 3.7 percent. EFE

Youngstown again? As an avid spectator of politics, I’ve been hearing about that city in the Mahoning Valley of northeast Ohio for decades. Although it’s home to just 64,000 people, Youngstown gets more than its share of attention from politicians, media, filmmakers, and even a poetic singer/songwriter from Freehold, New Jersey.

[OP-ED]: Can we die in peace?

 07/28/2017 - 08:38
Just whether the persistence of high-cost care reflects good medicine, a deep human craving to cling to life, or both is unclear. But the rhetoric about “end-of-life” care has changed more than the reality. To the question -- Can we die in peace and with dignity? -- the answer is “not yet.”

For those of us who had hoped that American attitudes toward death were shifting in ways that would promote a wider reconstruction of the health care system, there’s discouraging news from Health Affairs, the pre-eminent journal of health policy. It devotes its latest issue to “end-of-life” care and finds that -- at least so far -- the power to make health care more compassionate and cost-effective is limited.

[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]: 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.

Bricks and Mortar: Trump's $1T infrastructure plan to rebuild America

 06/08/2017 - 04:32
Trump has proposed a plan to make US once again a nation of builders. US President Donald J. Trump applauds in front of a US Marine while walking across the South Lawn after returning to the White House by Marine One, in Washington, DC, USA, 07 June 2017. Trump returns from Cincinnati, Ohio. EPA/MICHAEL REYNOLDS

President Donald Trump on Wednesday in Cincinnati presented his plan to improve the nation's infrastructure and once again make the country a nation of "builders," giving state and local authorities more freedom of action, fewer environmental regulations and more private support.

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EFE