This week, the presidential race began to resemble 19 Kids and Counting -- fitting, since they're both reality shows many would like to see taken off the air. On Tuesday, Bernie Sanders jumped in. On Wednesday, it was Rick Santorum. Thursday brought us George Pataki. (Talk about your Throwback Thursday!) Yesterday, Martin O'Malley tossed in his hat and next week, Lindsey Graham and Rick Perry are expected to do the same. Not to be out-shined by the new entrants, on Thursday "senior campaign officials" for Hillary Clinton gave a briefing about a rally to be held next month. Can't you feel the excitement? Just another year and a half -- and 241 debates -- left and it'll be over. If only the oncoming flood of clichés, bromides and platitudes could be monetized and exported, our economy, which this week was revealed to have shrunk by 0.7 percent last quarter, would be a juggernaut.
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Given the gridlock in Washington, is America going the way of the Roman Empire? Some analysts argue that the costs of exercising power overseas weakens domestic economies and contributes to their decline because of "imperial overstretch." But America does not fit that theory because defense and foreign affairs expenditures have actually declined as a share of GDP over the past several decades.
Economic growth dynamics vary across the region, broadly along North-South lines. While spring may be in the air for Mexico, Central America, and parts of the Caribbean, the economic climate remains decidedly chilly in much of South America. What is behind these divergent prospects, and how can a sunnier outlook be restored to the entire region?