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Tag: Economy


Flickr / PetroleumJelliffe

The Rich Get Richer

According to the most recent data from the IRS, the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans took home a greater share of the nation’s income in 2006 than in any year of the previous 19. It’s possibly the biggest income disparity Americans have seen since the Great Depression. The average tax rate of the super-rich was at its lowest level in at least 18 years.

Posted on Jul 27, 2008 READ MORE


Six Little Words

History books teem with six-word phrases, from the comforting (“Nothing to fear but fear itself”) to the inspiring (“Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall”) to the embarrassing (“Read my lips, no new taxes”). But the six words “on the basis of union membership” could be more momentous than any of those.

Posted on Jul 24, 2008 READ MORE


Starbucks logo
Flickr / M@rcopako

The Starbucks Economy

In its own way, Starbucks has a lot in common with SUVs, hot tubs and television screens wide enough to fill a wall. That is, it represents the bit-by-bit extravagances that helped get us into the tight economic jam we find ourselves in today.

Posted on Jul 23, 2008 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
Wiki Commons

NBA Ballers Responding to Strong Euro

Last week it was Budweiser that was sold to the Europeans, this week it is the NBA that fell victim to a global economic shift that’s seen the dollar nose-dive vis-à-vis the euro. Respected young forward Josh Childress accepted a fatter offer from a Greek club than the one his U.S. team reportedly was making. He may not be the last.

Posted on Jul 23, 2008 READ MORE


There’s More to the Economy Than Taxes

Using taxes as the centerpiece of—or as a substitute for—a more comprehensive economic policy is the idea that has dominated Washington since the rise of Reaganism nearly three decades ago, but the global forces shaping the U.S. economy are more powerful than a mere tax cut, or tax hike.

Posted on Jul 21, 2008 READ MORE


Struggling Economy Deters Working Women

The percentage of women in their prime earning years who work has gone down, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The numbers cut across demographics, and have more to do with a sluggish economy and a lack of opportunity than a rekindled interest in child rearing. As one congressional economist told The New York Times, “A woman gets laid off and she stays home for six months with her kids. ... She doesn’t admit that she is staying home because she could not get another acceptable job.”

Posted on Jul 21, 2008 READ MORE


Gramm and McCain
momocrats.typepad.com

Gramm Quits McCain Campaign

The backlash following Phil Gramm’s comments about the “mental recession” he believed Americans were bringing upon themselves through negative thinking has evidently caused the former Texas senator to leave his position as a top adviser to John McCain’s presidential campaign.

Posted on Jul 18, 2008 READ MORE


book cover

William Pfaff on General Motors

Are workers to blame for the fix that General Motors (along with many other corporations) is in? A new book by Roger Lowenstein argues that they are. He couldn’t be more wrong.

Posted on Jul 18, 2008 READ MORE


The Democrats’ Visionary

On the issue of gasoline prices, Republicans think they have a winner in their call for new drilling and Democrats are playing defense. Democrats need—this is a technical term—a lot more oomph. Al Gore wants to help them.

Posted on Jul 17, 2008 READ MORE


Border Security

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Posted on Jul 17, 2008 READ MORE


Don’t Drink the Nuclear Kool-Aid

While the presidential candidates trade barbs and accuse each other of flip-flopping, they agree with President Bush on their enthusiastic support for nuclear power.

Posted on Jul 16, 2008 READ MORE


The Do-It-Yourself Economy

We are expected to interact with “labor-saving technology” without realizing that it’s labor-transferring technology. The job has not been “saved”; it’s been taken out of the paid sector, where employees have a nasty habit of expecting salaries, and put into the unpaid sector, where suckers ‘r’ us.

Posted on Jul 16, 2008 READ MORE


gas prices
AP photo / Lisa Poole

Inflation Runs at a 26-Year High

The once-mighty U.S. dollar is full of hot air, or at least the rate of inflation is at a 26-year high due to the recent economic toils and astronomical energy prices. Prices U.S. consumers pay shot up 1.1 percent in June—or more directly, your paycheck just got 1.1 percent smaller.

Posted on Jul 16, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / zoliblog

10 Troubled Banks

While depositors at IndyMac banks in California do battle for a chance to get their cash out, financial analysts have been crunching the numbers to identify other troubled lenders. ABC News snuck a peek to come up with this handy guide to banks with an unfortunate “Texas ratio.”

Posted on Jul 16, 2008 READ MORE


Foreclosure Karma

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Posted on Jul 15, 2008 READ MORE


Bush
AP photo / Ron Edmonds

Bush Angling to Help Fannie and Freddie

President Bush is still insisting that the U.S. economy is in generally good shape, even as he asks Congress to support legislation to help Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, while insisting in the same breath that he’s not proposing a “bailout” for the ailing mortgage companies. Hmmm.

Posted on Jul 15, 2008 READ MORE


The House That Gramm Built

Phil Gramm’s dismissal of America’s economic suffering has forced him to the political sidelines, but as one of the congressional architects of Republican economics, the mess he made will haunt Americans no matter who the next president is.

Posted on Jul 14, 2008 READ MORE


‘A Nation of Whiners’

How does someone go from being a trusted economic adviser to being a prospective ambassador to Belarus? Ask McCain fixture Phil Gramm, who dismissed America’s economic problems as a figment. Here with more, the nation’s finest talking heads.

Posted on Jul 14, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Hasan Sarbakhshian

Iran Shows Its Cards

Iran’s recent missile tests should remove all doubt that an attack by either the United States or Israel would be a terrible mistake.

Posted on Jul 14, 2008 READ MORE


Fannie Mae
foreclosurewearhouse.com

The Rise and Fall of Fannie and Freddie

Although certain Washington denizens from both sides of the aisle might have been thrown when the two government-backed mortgage finance companies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, hit the skids last week, several of their current and former colleagues had long seen the crisis coming.

Posted on Jul 12, 2008 READ MORE


Barnes on Fox

‘Mental Recession’ Is ‘Straight Talk’?

Next thing you know, they’re going to say unicorns are real, too. On an episode of Fox News’ “Special Report” late this week, Weekly Standard Editor Fred Barnes chimed in about McCain adviser Phil Gramm’s assessment that America was on the verge of a “mental recession,” calling Gramm’s statement “straight talk.”

Posted on Jul 12, 2008 READ MORE


Gramm and McCain
momocrats.typepad.com

McCain Adviser: Recession All in Our Minds

According to Phil Gramm, the former senator from Texas who’s now a key economic adviser to Sen. John McCain, America’s economic woes, insofar as they actually exist, are the product of some stinking thinking by “a nation of whiners” and doom-and-gloom headlines from the U.S. media.

Posted on Jul 10, 2008 READ MORE


The Death of Reaganomics

The biggest political story of 2008 is getting little coverage. It involves the collapse of assumptions that have dominated our economic debate for three decades.

Posted on Jul 10, 2008 READ MORE


Federal Reserve building
Flickr / wwarby

Fed Forecasts Economic Gloom

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke expects America’s economic struggles to continue well into next year and has asked Congress to expand his regulatory powers. Lawmakers are unlikely to fulfill his request any time soon. Bernanke also suggested that the Fed could continue to bail out investment banks.

Posted on Jul 9, 2008 READ MORE


John McCain ad

John McCain: A Fighter, Not a Summer-of-Love-r

What are we to make of this new John McCain campaign ad, in which colorful countercultural degenerates prance through the opening frames, and, near the end, a still of Noble Older McCain is superimposed over footage of Hunky Younger Ex-POW McCain?

Posted on Jul 8, 2008 READ MORE


Gorby doll
Flickr / h-angele

Gorbachev Scolds Obama and McCain

According to Mikhail Gorbachev, John McCain and Barack Obama have more in common than they’d like to admit. Both have refused to address their country’s unprecedented military spending, which the former Soviet leader blames for America’s economic woes. Writing in a Russian newspaper, Gorbachev argued that the U.S. behaves “as if the Cold War were not a thing of the past, and the country were surrounded by enemies.”

Posted on Jul 8, 2008 READ MORE


Prius
Flickr / jslander

Calif. Mandates Car Stickers With Global Warming Scores

Starting with 2009 models, new cars in California will sport a sticker that rates just how environmentally friendly they are, based on emissions and fuel economy. Not to be outdone, the European Union might require governments to monetize and budget for emissions.

Posted on Jul 7, 2008 READ MORE


A Loss of Transatlantic Harmony

The relationship among the three principal centers of world power of the past half-century is now at the edge of fundamental change.

Posted on Jul 6, 2008 READ MORE


Cold-Filtered Economics

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain unveiled details of his economic policy today, telling an audience in Ohio that if elected he would support a real-estate tax holiday for beer heiresses.

Posted on Jul 6, 2008 READ MORE


Starbucks cups
chasingthecool.wordpress.com

Starbucks Going From Venti to Grande

Fine, so the headline was a bit much, but this was one time we didn’t mind saying venti instead of large: Turns out that even the top bananas at Starbucks finally realized that they’ve overextended themselves, and due to the sagging economy, they’re closing 600 U.S. retail locations. Great—so that means there’ll be only eight Starbucks stores on every block instead of nine.

Posted on Jul 1, 2008 READ MORE


book cover

Doug Henwood on the Global Power Elite

Are we now ruled by an international “superclass” that hollows out traditional notions of national sovereignty, and whose loyalties are only to the bottom line and its own members?

Posted on Jun 27, 2008 READ MORE


‘Did I Mention He’s Black?’

The question isn’t whether race will be an issue in the general election campaign between Obama and McCain. Race is already an issue, even if largely confined to the shadow world of implication and coded language.

Posted on Jun 23, 2008 READ MORE



U.S. Air Force / Airman 1st Class Nadine Y. Barclay

The Clean-Energy State

The Guardian reports that New Mexico, with its thousands of square miles of sun-soaked, wind-swept land, is vying to become the epicenter of the new green economy. Given the right tax breaks and technological breakthroughs, the Land of Enchantment could become the Saudi Arabia of sun.

Posted on Jun 23, 2008 READ MORE


John McCain
Flickr / soggydan

John McCain Is Not Reading This

It turns out that the candidate who says he’s vetting his vice president with “a Google” may not actually know how to do so. Asked whether John McCain ever used a computer, his “deputy eCampaign director” replied, “You don’t need to use a computer to know how it shapes the country.”

Posted on Jun 23, 2008 READ MORE


Countering Race With Class

In our us-versus-them culture, every political campaign is a battle to define who exactly the “us” and “them” are. At their most effective, Democrats parry by defining the “us” as the majority of working people, and the “them” as the tiny group of plutocrats who control the country.

Posted on Jun 19, 2008 READ MORE


Taxes, Integrity and Character

Once upon a time, there was a fiscally and socially responsible senator named John McCain.

Posted on Jun 18, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / maveric2003

China Gives U.S. Some Economic Pointers

The United States has long enjoyed lecturing the communist government of China over the conduct of that nation’s economy. How times have changed. Chinese officials have recently criticized the United States’ “warped conception” of regulation, among other economic blunders.

Posted on Jun 17, 2008 READ MORE


Fiat Chief on the Global Finance Crisis

The Italian-Canadian chief executive of Fiat, the leading Italian industrial enterprise, Sergio Marchionne, speaking about the present economic crisis last weekend, mentioned the well-known argument first made by the Austrian-American economist Joseph Schumpeter about the function of “creative destruction” in modern capitalism.

Posted on Jun 16, 2008 READ MORE


John McCain
AP photo / LM Otero

John McCain’s Chilling Project for America

John McCain has long been a major player in a radical militaristic group driven by an ideology of global expansionism and dominance attained through perpetual, pre-emptive, unilateral, multiple wars. Over its two terms, the George W. Bush administration has planted the seeds for this geopolitical master plan, and now appears to be counting on the McCain administration, if one comes to power, to nurture it.

Posted on Jun 12, 2008 READ MORE


A Challenge Obama Should Accept

McCain has invited his rival to join him in a “town hall” tour. That would provide a forum for discussing the economy and for looking at just who has helped ease Americans’ pocketbook troubles in the past.

Posted on Jun 11, 2008 READ MORE


Getting Even

So is the glass half full or half empty after Clinton’s departure? Or to pick a better metaphor, is the “highest, hardest” glass ceiling now half shattered by the 18 million cracks or does it look as impermeable as ever after this unsuccessful battering?

Posted on Jun 11, 2008 READ MORE


Firing Congress

In 225 days, at least one high-ranking politician will become unemployed. How many will join President Bush in retirement?

Posted on Jun 9, 2008 READ MORE


Barack Obama
AP photo / Alex Brandon

The Iran Trap

The failure by Barack Obama to chart another course in the Middle East, to defy the Israel lobby and to denounce the Bush administration’s inexorable march toward a conflict with Iran is a failure to challenge the collective insanity that has gripped the political leadership in the United States and Israel.

Posted on Jun 8, 2008 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
howstuffworks.com

Unemployment Takes Its Biggest Jump Since 1986

In what one economist has called the “strongest evidence yet” that the U.S. is in recession, the country’s jobless rate has grown 0.5% since April, the largest monthly jump in more than 20 years. The unemployment rate has been steadily rising this year, with 324,000 jobs lost since January.

Posted on Jun 6, 2008 READ MORE


book cover

Nicholas von Hoffman on ‘The Big Squeeze’

A new book by New York Times reporter Steven Greenhouse argues that the plight of American workers, both white-collar and blue-collar, is growing worse, putting the American dream out of the reach of tens of millions of citizens.

Posted on Jun 6, 2008 READ MORE


The Populist Uprising

American history is the history of populist uprisings. From the Revolutionary War to the coalfield wars, from labor organizers to anti-tax crusaders, from the New Deal to the current conservative era, backlashes to the status quo have defined every major political era.

Posted on Jun 5, 2008 READ MORE


for sale sign
Flickr / sfadden

Housing Signs Point to More Market Woes

The housing market is continuing its descent into Slumpsville, judging by the way things have gone over the first quarter of 2008, and indicators don’t look good for the immediate future, either. American homeowners have been forced into foreclosure in record numbers this year and late payments have soared to a new high.

Posted on Jun 5, 2008 READ MORE



commons.wikimedia.org

Joseph Stiglitz on Recession

Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Prize-winning economist and co-author of “The Three Trillion Dollar War,” shares his insights into America’s economic woes and explains why things are probably going to get worse.

Posted on Jun 3, 2008 READ MORE



commons.wikimedia.org

Joseph Stiglitz on Recession

Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Prize-winning economist and co-author of “The Three Trillion Dollar War,” shares his insights into America’s economic woes and explains why things are probably going to get worse.

Posted on Jun 3, 2008 READ MORE


fighter plane
AP photo / LM Otero

Indefensible Spending

What should be the most important issue in this election is one that is rarely, if ever, addressed: Why is U.S. military spending at the highest point, in inflation-adjusted dollars, than at any time since the end of World War II?

Posted on Jun 1, 2008 READ MORE


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