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US Economy

Trade Deals from Hell

Robert Kuttner | Posted 10.24.2014 | Politics
Robert Kuttner

The latest reports from Europe indicate that the continent is slipping back into recession. The U.S. is doing only slightly better, with positive economic growth but scant progress on the jobs front, and no growth in the earnings of the vast majority of Americans. Meanwhile, global climate change continues to worsen, producing unprecedented policy conundrums of how to reconcile the very survival of the planet with improved living standards for the world's impoverished billions and for most Americans, whose real incomes have declined since the year 2000. Amid all of these serious challenges, what common strategies are top U.S. and European leaders pursuing? Why, a new trade and investment deal modeled on NAFTA, to make it harder for governments to regulate capitalism.

Is the Era of Big Ideas Over?

Tom Silva | Posted 10.14.2014 | Media
Tom Silva

Literally, big ideas don't stand a chance in our media environment. According to a study by the University of California, San Diego, the amount of info we receive on our mobile devices and at homes everyday takes about 15 hours to consume.

U.S. Labor Force: Where Have All the Workers Gone?

Ravi Balakrishnan | Posted 10.12.2014 | Business
Ravi Balakrishnan

As the U.S. economy recovers, hirings increase and people are encouraged to look for jobs again. Instead, the ratio of the adult population with jobs, or looking for one -- what's called the labor force participation rate -- has been falling, standing at 62.9 percent in July 2014

How Youngstown, Ohio became a poster child for post-industrial America

The GroundTruth Project | Posted 10.12.2014 | Money
The GroundTruth Project

By Eleanor Stanford and Saila Huusko YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -- Ken Bowman joins the line for a free lunch in the Youngstown Salvation Army canteen, just li...

America Inc. Needs Attitude Adjustment to Reach Full Potential Abroad

Ryan McMunn | Posted 10.05.2014 | Business
Ryan McMunn

With the US economy finally growing at a faster pace globalization has also accelerated. As international trade continues to grow, America Inc. must s...

Goldilocks and the Bear Market

Robert Kuttner | Posted 10.03.2014 | Politics
Robert Kuttner

The economy grew at an impressive rate of four percent in the second quarter of this year, according to a government report released on Wednesday. But the stock market promptly tanked. The Dow lost more than 317 points Thursday and another 70 points Friday. What gives? Financial markets like it when the economy grows fast enough to signal that the recovery is continuing -- but not so fast that labor markets might tighten and workers get more bargaining power to get raises. Markets also worry that if the economy grows too fast, the Federal Reserve might pull back from its policy of low interest rates.

Add Horsepower to America's Economic Engine: Pass a Real Transportation Bill

Rep. John Garamendi | Posted 09.30.2014 | Politics
Rep. John Garamendi

We can provide Americans with economic opportunity, create jobs, and expand our businesses through a bipartisan multi-year transportation bill that rebuilds our crumbling infrastructure.

Children at the Border Are Not a Crisis for Americans

Benjamin Powell | Posted 09.28.2014 | Politics
Benjamin Powell

The unaccompanied children arriving on our Southwest border are not causing an immigration crisis for Americans. Politicians, as usual, are sensationalizing the facts for their own partisan agendas.

Start Early to Be an Entrepreneur

Jack Nadel | Posted 09.28.2014 | Small Business
Jack Nadel

In many ways, an entrepreneur's career is like a football game. Both combine a swift pace with a highly competitive atmosphere. The "game" is divided into four quarters. In the first quarter you assess the other team's strengths and weaknesses based on your scouting report.

Next Big Thing: Commercial Real Estate

Toni Haber | Posted 09.23.2014 | New York
Toni Haber

We've seen the influx of residential new developments rising around Manhattan for a few years, but now the commercial industry is taking the lead.

Obama and the World's Ills

Robert Kuttner | Posted 09.19.2014 | Politics
Robert Kuttner

It's hard to recall a time when the world presented more crises with fewer easy solutions. And for the Republicans, all of these woes have a common genesis: American weakness projected by Barack Obama. People in the Middle East, former Vice President Dick Cheney said recently, "are absolutely convinced that the American capacity to lead and influence in that part of the world has been dramatically reduced by this president." He added, "We've got a problem with weakness, and it's centered right in the White House." Really? It's instructive to ask: What exactly would a Republican president advised by Cheney do in each of these crises? Let's take them one at a time.

United States Big Business: Acting Local. Paying Global

Frank Islam | Posted 09.17.2014 | Business
Frank Islam

There's only one problem, as Walgreens has shown over the past few weeks, this faux patriotism is more about profits than dedication to country.

The World Financial Cup

Robert Kuttner | Posted 09.12.2014 | Politics
Robert Kuttner

Germany represents everything that's wrong with the world financial system. Argentina is the epic case of countries whose economies are screwed by policies championed by Germany -- and unfortunately by the United States as well.

Damaged Democrats: Can They Recover?

Robert Kuttner | Posted 09.05.2014 | Politics
Robert Kuttner

When you consider what has been happening to the average working person since the era of Ronald Reagan, it's amazing that the Republicans have fought the Democrats about to a draw. The recipe of Reagan and both Bushes has been to weaken government, undermine the regulation of market excesses, attack core social insurance programs, tilt the tax system away from the wealthy and towards the middle class, gut the safeguards that protect workers on the job, make college ever more unaffordable, and appoint judges who undermine democracy itself. That stuff is not exactly popular. Yet Democrats seem largely unable to convert Republican elitism to their advantage.

Obama Cheers Positive Jobs Report: 'We're Making Progress'

AP | DARLENE SUPERVILLE | Posted 07.03.2014 | Politics

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says job growth in June shows the recovery is taking hold, but the economy could still do better. Obama is...

Needed: A Drastic Economic Transition

Robert Kuttner | Posted 08.30.2014 | Politics
Robert Kuttner

Last month, President Obama belatedly decided that the global climate crisis necessitated action to reduce carbon emission caused by coal. He authorized the EPA to issue draft regulations requiring utilities to cut carbon dioxide emissions from existing coal plants by up to 30 percent by 2030. With climate change and coal's inherent dirtiness not exactly state secrets, I wondered why the president had waited until a difficult election year, when Democrats in coal states face difficult elections. But Obama's unerring sense of timing is a subject for another day. And these proposed regulations, though an improvement, only scratch the surface of what needs to be done. The thought occurred: Wouldn't the economic dislocations of a serious effort on climate change be more bearable if the economy were at full employment?

In Harm's Way in 2014

Stephen Herrington | Posted 09.07.2014 | Politics
Stephen Herrington

Why does anyone still believe that the GOP is the better party to deal with economic issues when it is at their hands that the economy was ruined in 2008 and it is by their obstructive hands that the economy remains deliberately unrepaired to this day?

5 Years After the Great Recession, Our Economy Still Far from Recovered

Andrew Fieldhouse | Posted 08.26.2014 | Politics
Andrew Fieldhouse

Five years after the end of the Great Recession, the economy is far from healthy. A tragic mix of budgetary blunders and congressional inaction deserve the lion's share of the blame for this.

America Can Still Lead the World -- With Coalitions Abroad and by Getting Our Own House in Order

Carla Seaquist | Posted 08.26.2014 | Politics
Carla Seaquist

Great nations decline and fall through a fatal combination of too many wars abroad and a hollowing-out of institutions at home. If America gets its own house in order while leading coalitions abroad, we will do the world great good

Whoa! Whassup with That Big Negative Q1 GDP Revision?

Jared Bernstein | Posted 08.25.2014 | Politics
Jared Bernstein

Real GDP contracted at a 2.9 percent rate according to revised data released on Wednesday. That's contracted, as in went down. So, are we back in recession?

Expanding Renewable Energies, Expanding Job Prospects?

Avi Yashchin | Posted 08.19.2014 | Green
Avi Yashchin

With the U.S. currently experiencing an economic slowdown, an unnerving unemployment rate and a national debt register expecting to reach $20.0 trillion by the end of this decade, something needs to change.

Listening to the OECD and IMF (!?#*!) on the EITC/Minimum Wage Connection

Jared Bernstein | Posted 08.18.2014 | Business
Jared Bernstein

OECD's report touts the virtues of the EITC as a wage subsidy for low-income workers that both encourages work and reduces poverty. They go on to emphasize an EITC reform that we too have gotten solidly behind.

Dear Baby Boomers, Step Aside

Taylor Brorby | Posted 08.17.2014 | Business
Taylor Brorby

Some of us were told to go to graduate school, taking on more debt, being advised that this would set us ahead of the competition. And after graduation we found -- and continue to find -- that the economy is still lagging.

Senior Entrepreneurs Play a Vital Role

Jack Nadel | Posted 11.17.2014 | Small Business
Jack Nadel

Over my nearly 70 years as an entrepreneur, I have sometimes been described as a visionary, but this is really a misnomer. The truth is that I am a tremendous opportunist.

America's Dying Factories Are Widening Income Inequality

AP | By MICHAEL RUBINKAM | Posted 08.15.2014 | Business

READING, Pa. (AP) — In August 2008, factory workers David and Barbara Ludwig treated themselves to new cars — David a Dodge pickup, Barbara a spor...