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Tag: Economy

The Mystery Candidate

There’s a candidate in this presidential race who remains a mystery—hazy, undefined, so full of contradictions that voters may see electing him as an enormous risk. I’m referring to the cipher known as John McCain.

Posted on Aug 21, 2008 READ MORE


What Obama Could Learn From Clinton

The Obama folks will hate hearing this, but in planning for the next 10 weeks, their campaign would do well to learn from what Bill Clinton achieved in 1992.

Posted on Aug 21, 2008 READ MORE


Obama in Texas
AP photo / Rick Bowmer

Wake-Up Call for Team Obama

If Barack Obama thought he had a battle on his hands when he was vying for the Democratic presidential nomination, he’s in for an even bigger struggle now, if the latest Zogby poll represents an accurate read on American voters’ inclinations at this stage in the game.

Posted on Aug 21, 2008 READ MORE


The Missing Debate

I long for a candidate who would ‘‘focus like a laser beam’’ on the economy. That’s what voters are doing as they see their paychecks shrink from inflation, their jobs threatened and their middle-class dreams diminished.

Posted on Aug 21, 2008 READ MORE


McCain's Mansions

McCain’s Mansions

Courtesy of the Brave New Films team, here we have a property-by-property breakdown of John McCain’s many fancy domiciles, which provide ironic contrast to footage of the presumptive Republican nominee holding forth about how Americans with mortgage troubles can just scrimp ‘n’ save their way back to solvency.

Posted on Aug 20, 2008 READ MORE


McCain
AP photo / Gerald Herbert

McCain’s Warped Worldview

The world according to John McCain is one in which America is triumphant at home and abroad thanks to the Bush legacy, rolling to victory internationally and mastering its domestic economic problems. If daily news would seem to deny such a rosy scenario, then that only shows skeptics lack the courage that sustained McCain as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.

Posted on Aug 19, 2008 READ MORE



commons.wikimedia.org

Economy: ‘The Worst Is to Come’

Those words from the former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, who warns that the global economic malaise is only at its halfway point, if that. “The U.S. is not out of the woods,” says Ken Rogoff.

Posted on Aug 19, 2008 READ MORE


empty classroom
flickr.com/terrapin_flyer

Cutting Classes to Cut Costs

Although this might strike the kids involved as a good deal, it’s a definite sign of the times for the adults: A rural Minnesota school district has decided to strike Mondays from the calendar this fall in order to save money, making classes slightly longer on other days to make up the lost time.

Posted on Aug 18, 2008 READ MORE


book covers

Warren I. Cohen on China’s Charm Offensive

The Beijing Olympics are proof that the rule of China’s Communist Party has been validated. Yet human rights abuses continue. What’s really going on? What kind of country is China becoming? Two new books help provide answers.

Posted on Aug 15, 2008 READ MORE


Will Obama Wave Bayh-Bye to the White House?

If you believe the chatter, Barack Obama is desperately seeking a white guy—any white guy—to be his running mate. Hopefully, he doesn’t choose Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh, whose only major accomplishment is helping to bend his party to the will of corporations.

Posted on Aug 15, 2008 READ MORE


Inflation at 17-Year High

Stagflation: It’s always sounded like a dirty word, and is hopelessly tied to retro jokes about the ‘70s. But with GDP growth already, well, stagnant, the Labor Department announced Thursday that July saw the highest rate of inflation in 17 years, meaning you can now appropriately drop the word into water cooler convo without seeming like a potty-mouth or a retro hipster. On the downside, you are now paying 5.6 percent more for things than you did at this time last year.

Posted on Aug 14, 2008 READ MORE


Landing Fee

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Posted on Aug 10, 2008 READ MORE


A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Denver

Twenty-two Electoral College votes in the Rocky Mountain West are up for grabs, meaning this vast expanse is more pivotal than Ohio. And that’s only the beginning of the region’s burgeoning influence on energy, taxes, trade and health care.

Posted on Aug 7, 2008 READ MORE


His Drilling Plan Is Full of Holes

Touring America’s oil rigs and nuclear plants, John McCain sometimes sounds as if he’ll produce enough wind to power the nation all by himself.

Posted on Aug 6, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Alex Brandon

Playing the Economic Card

After enduring the silly debate over who injected race into the presidential campaign, let’s look at some recent numbers that indicate how Barack Obama could win this close election.

Posted on Aug 6, 2008 READ MORE


South Africa Strike
guardian.co.uk

2 Million South Africans on Strike

A national strike left South Africa’s streets largely deserted Wednesday as 2 million people refused to work in protest of soaring food and fuel prices. The action, led by a coalition of trade unions, was symbolic and precautionary, suggesting additional strikes if the government and business remained inept at managing the national economy.

Posted on Aug 6, 2008 READ MORE


Wall Street
AP photo / Richard Drew

Oil Prices Dip, Stocks Rise

Finally, some slightly better financial news has hit the wires after months of sobering reports: Oil prices dropped to a three-month low on Tuesday, which may be due to “the softening market,” as one analyst puts it in this NYT account, but whatever the reason it still means a slight reprieve from weeks of punishing prices. Stock markets had their biggest gains in four months.

Posted on Aug 5, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Hasan Sarbakhshian

A War of Self-Destruction

An attack on Iran, which Israeli and Bush administration officials appear set to carry out if Iranian uranium enrichment is not halted, would ignite a regional war in the Middle East and lead to economic collapse and political upheaval in the United States.

Posted on Aug 4, 2008 READ MORE


Elaine Chao
flickr.com

Unemployment at a Four-Year High

A government report released Friday signals worsening economic tides as the U.S. tries to navigate through its highest level of unemployment in four years. The seven-month-long trend of net job losses is likely to persist, with few signs of a turnaround on the horizon.

Posted on Aug 1, 2008 READ MORE


What Else Is New? Economy Slumps, Oil Profits Surge

Despite the massive federal stimulus package, national GDP only grew 1.9 percent from April to June, the Commerce Department has announced, and it actually shrank in the last quarter of 2007. Meanwhile, high gas prices, supposedly reflecting costs, spiked profits of oil companies, with Exxon recording its most profitable quarter ever. In fact, reports the NYT, “It was the highest quarterly profit ever for any American company, as Exxon made nearly $90,000 a minute.”

Posted on Jul 31, 2008 READ MORE


Pascal Quiet
boston.com

New World Trade Treaty Plowed Under

The World Trade Organization talks in Geneva finally imploded Wednesday, as negotiations over farm subsidies and labor standards collapsed into an immovable standstill between wealthy and poorer countries. The talks, defended heavily by the “developed world,” are seen by critics as an instrument to serve corporate interests.

Posted on Jul 30, 2008 READ MORE


Detroit Homeless Shelter
Detroit News / Ankur Dholakia

Chronically Homeless Numbers Down 30%, U.S. Claims

In the face of a U.S. housing crisis and a troubled economy, Bush administration officials claim that the past two years have seen a 30 percent drop in the levels of chronically homeless people, crediting the decrease to a strategy of finding permanent shelter for the long-ignored disabled and addicted.

Posted on Jul 30, 2008 READ MORE


Obama and economic advisers
AP photo / Jae C. Hong

Sucking Up to the Bankers: A Bipartisan Lovefest

This is a time to condemn the bankers, not to embrace them. They are the scoundrels who got us into the biggest economic mess since the Great Depression, lining their own pockets while destroying the life savings of those who trusted them.

Posted on Jul 29, 2008 READ MORE


George W. Bush
AP photo / Ron Edmonds

From Surplus to a Record Deficit

George W. Bush rode into office with a budget surplus, courtesy of his predecessor. When he leaves in January, he will not return the favor. The White House estimated the budget deficit for next year at a record $482 billion—and that doesn’t include the full cost of two wars, the potential bailout of Fannie and Freddie, the full stimulus package or the loss of tax revenue from an economy in the toilet.

Posted on Jul 28, 2008 READ MORE


Fannie Mae
foreclosurewearhouse.com

Bailout Time for Fannie and Freddie

Congress to the rescue! Mortgage lending giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are being propped up in their time of dire need, thanks to a bill passed Saturday that will lift the world’s two largest financial institutions out of immediate danger and help some homeowners handle mortgage crises.

Posted on Jul 28, 2008 READ MORE



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


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