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Archives by Tag 'Economy'
Does It Matter Where the Factories Are?
GÉRARD DUMÉNIL and DOMINIQUE LÉVY
The crisis that began in 2008 has brought the deindustrialization of the US and Europe, at the center of the global economic system, to the forefront of the debate. President Barack Obama has made it a key issue of his re-election campaign. There is a new word, “insourc...
The United States as Number 2
DEAN BAKER
Politicians in the United States must ritualistically assert that the United States is and always will be the world’s leading economic, military and political power. This chant may help win elections in a country where respectable people deny global warming and evolutio...
White House Burning
DEAN BAKER
I have enormous respect for Simon Johnson. I first recall seeing him one late evening on a Bill Moyers segment in the middle of the financial crisis. I couldn’t quite believe that the former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund was complaining about th...
How Long Will Stock Prices Remain Disconnected From Reality?
MIKE WHITNEY
Last week, the experts were sure that, “The recovery is finally here”. This week, not so much. The optimists pointed to manufacturing, retail sales and employment as signs of a strengthening economy, but what they were really jazzed about were the moves...
When the Rich Jump Ship
DAVID MACARAY
In the wake of the 2008 financial meltdown, one of the arguments you heard Republican economists and Wall Street executives repeatedly use to defend the amounts of money being paid investment bankers and hedge fund managers was that if these guys didn’t receive exorbita...
Despair You Can Believe In
ROB URIE
In ways that will have long-term consequences for most Americans, the policies of economic and political subjugation of the last forty years, particularly of the 2000s, are being carried forward into this decade by an economic and political elite protected and supported b...
The Myth of the Rational Market
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
One of the great economic myths is that markets are rational. Not a day passes without this myth being disproved scores of times, but the myth persists. For example, on March 14 Bank of America/Merrill Lynch reported that “yesterday US markets started the day off...
The Parasites of Big Finance
RALPH NADER
Morning after morning, New York City based casino capitalists trade with Greece and the latest rumors from Western Europe on their minds. What will affluent Germany do to bail out the collapsing, debt-ridden country of Greece? Will France go along with those plans?...
Rediscovering Poverty
BARBARA EHRENREICH
It’s been exactly 50 years since Americans, or at least the non-poor among them, “discovered” poverty, thanks to Michael Harrington’s engaging book ...
What Could Have Happened in Spain
VICENTE NAVARRO
There are some misconceptions that exist about Spain among large sectors of the progressive community in the United States.  Partially this is a result of the very poor coverage that exists about Europe in general and about Spain in particular in the press in the U.S.  ...
The Icelandic Follies
DEAN BAKER
Those who thought we have seen as much financial craziness as possible from this small island-country are in for a big surprise. The nuttiness is just beginning. Iceland is apparently considering adopting the Canadian dollar as its official currency.It is hard to know w...
Mom and Pop Investors Call It Quits
MIKE WHITNEY
Last Tuesday, the Dow Jones finished above 13,000 for the first time since 2008. The DJIA has nearly doubled since March 9, 2009 when it touched bottom at 6,547. The index is now (roughly) 1,200 points from its all time high of 14,164. (The S&P 500 is presently 102...
The Foreclosure-to-Rental Boondoggle
MIKE WHITNEY
“The national housing market took a hit in the latter half of 2011, falling to new lows not seen since the housing crisis began six years ago, according to data out Tuesday by S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices……The index is down 33.6 pe...
Unemployment Mumbo Jumbo
DAVE LINDORFF
The US stock market jumped up today on word that the number of new unemployment applications fell to the lowest level in four years. Sounds good, right? It’s meant to sound good, but if you look at the number, and if you think about what it really means, it&#...
The Hucksters of Empire
THOMAS H. NAYLOR
With the publication of his courageous new book, Why America Failed (John Wiley, 2012), Mo...
Two Bubbles That Went Pop
PAUL STREET
Long after its leading encampments have been torn down – often with brute force and (educationally enough) by predominantly by Democratic mayors and with the approval and involvement of a Democratic White House – the populist Occupy Movement deserves major credit for ...
The Benefits of Work Sharing
DEAN BAKER
This week, Congress passed the Middle Class Tax Relief a...
Revisiting the Second Great Depression
DEAN BAKER
As President Obama’s re-election campaign heats up, there are several new accounts of his track record finding their way into print. One item for which he is undeservedly given credit is saving the country from a second Great Depression. The political elites beli...
From “Man-cession” to “Man-covery”
LAURA FLANDERS
The January jobs numbers brought joy and cork popping, but official unemployment’s fall to 8.3 per cent from 9.1 per cent a year earlier seems a bit over-celebrated, especially if you happen to be young, old, a person of color or a woman. First, on those official...
Obama’s Refinancing Swindle
MIKE WHITNEY
Barack Obama’s new housing refinance plan has nothing to do with “lowering monthly mortgage payments so responsible borrowers can stay in their homes”. That’s all public relations bunkum. The truth is the banks want to off...
Demands for the 99%
ROBERT ROTH
In a helpful review and constructive critique of the current status of the Occupy movement, Ismael Hossein-Zadeh makes several good suggestions.  And I’ve seen some other comments more recently that seem worth sharing with you, in case you haven’t seen them.  Hossei...
Bernanke’s Low-Rate Crapshoot
MIKE WHITNEY
The US economy has been out of recession for more than 2 years. Last week, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) announced that real gross domestic product (GDP) had increased at a rate of 2.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011. Also, unem...
A Social Justice Quiz
BILL QUIGLEY and SAM SCHMITT
Question One.  The combined pay of the 299 highest paid CEOs in the US is enough to support how many median salary jobs? 45,000?  83,000?  102,325? Two.  The median net worth of black households in the US is $2,200.  What is the median net worth of whit...
Capitalism’s Barren Landscape
DEEPAK TRIPATHI
A few days before the annual gathering of business and political elites at the World Economic Forum at Davos, the British prime minister David Cameron set out his vision of capitalism that is popular and responsible. At a time of acute crisis, Cameron put up a staunch def...
Banks Weren’t Meant to Be Like This
MICHAEL HUDSON
In medieval times, wealthy bankers lent to kings and princes as their major customers. But now it is the banks that are needy, relying on governments for funding – capped by the post-2008 bailouts to save them from going bankrupt from their bad private-sector loans and ...
War Abroad; Austerity at Home
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
The US government is so full of self-righteousness that it has become a caricature of hypocrisy.  Leon Panetta, a former congressman who Obama appointed CIA director and now head of the Pentagon, just told the sailors on the USS Enterprise, an aircraft carrier, that the ...
Attack of the Invisible Bond Market Vigilantes
DEAN BAKER
Those still wondering why the Obama Administration surrendered so quickly on the drive for stimulus and joined the deficit reduction crusade, got the smoking gun in an ...
Beyond Loser Liberalism
DEAN BAKER
Last week Thomas Edsall had a column in th...
The Next Housing Bailout
MIKE WHITNEY
Why are housing prices falling when the number of houses on the market continues to decline? Usually, when supply shrinks, then prices rise, right? So, why isn’t that happening now? The reason is that housing market never completely cleared, which is to say t...
The Jobless Recovery
MARK WEISBROT
The U.S. recession officially ended in June of 2009, but most Americans don’t feel like we are in a recovery. That’s because it’s been a weak recovery, with the ...
Congress Needs to Get to Work
RALPH NADER
The editor of “The Hill”, a newspaper exclusively covering Congress, said that Congress was not going to do very much in 2012, except for “the big bill” which is extending the payroll tax cut and unemployment compensation, which expire in late February. Th...
Follies at the Fed
DEAN BAKER
In keeping with its policy of releasing transcripts with a five-year lag, the Federal Reserve Board just released the ...
The Foreclosure-to-Rental Screwjob
MIKE WHITNEY
Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke wants US taxpayers to purchase more of the garbage loans and mortgage-backed securities (MBS) that the big banks still have on their books. (Cash for trash) That’s the impetus behind the Fed’s 26-page white paper that ...
What Greenspan Should Have Done
DEAN BAKER
In Washington policy circles, money and influence can be used to make even the most simple and obvious things complicated and confusing. This is certainly the case with the housing bubble and its aftermath. Four years into the housing bubble downturn, much of the country ...
The Eurozone’s Looming Credit Crunch
MIKE WHITNEY
While EU policymakers make arrangements for their 14th summit in the last two years, Europe’s flagging economy continues to slip deeper into recession. On Monday, the Eurozone’s Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) reported that production and ...
What Equality?
ANDREW LEVINE
2011 was not a good year for the public image of ruling classes around the world; even Time Magazine named their nemesis, “the protester,” person of the year.  But the pillars of the ancien régime still feel secure.  Why shouldn’t they?  They o...
Dream Big
MISSY BEATTIE
I resolve to run.  I will not be forming an exploratory committee, because when I say, “run,” I mean speeding along, catch me if you can, as I leap a crack that might break my mother’s back, in my New Balancers that skim pavement and dirt. My son suggested w...
A Green New Deal?
STEVEN HIGGS
Seven weeks before Jill Stein declared her candidacy for president, the Lexington, Mass., physician outlined her priorities in a plan she called the “Green New Deal” – jobs, climate change, universal health care and peace. When she announced her bid fo...
Failure to Reflate
MIKE WHITNEY
For the second time in three years, the banking system has collapsed, which means that the banks are no longer able to fund themselves through the normal means, the wholesale markets. This same thing happened in July 2007 when two Bear Stearns hedge funds defaulted and tr...
Half of America in Poverty?
PAUL BUCHHEIT
Recent reports suggest that almost 50% of Americans are in poverty or at a “low income” level. The claim is based on a new supplemental measure by the Census Bureau that includes health care, transportation, and other essential living expenses in the poverty c...
Christmas Gifts for a Collapsing America
LINH DINH
Homelessness Starter Kit, $29.99. For the myriad who were hustled by a bank into an impossible mortgage, then foreclosed upon. For the long-retired yet taxed right out of their own homes. For recent college grads who are jobless, of course, and too dispir...
The Phony Payroll Tax Battle
DEAN BAKER
The economy badly needs stimulus. The collapse of the housing bubble caused us to lose more than $1.2 trillion in annual demand. Residential construction collapsed when the bubble burst, falling by more than 4 percentage points of GDP, which translates into approximately ...
What’s So Great About Efficiency?
ROB URIE
Early in the last century the Italian political theorist Antonio Gramsci developed the idea of hegemony as a hidden ideology behind political, economic and cultural domination. What is understood by dominant cultures as straightforward explanation of the natural world, co...
The Colossal Muddle
MIKE WHITNEY
“Today we have involved ourselves in a colossal muddle, having blundered in the control of a delicate machine, the working of which we do not understand. The result is that our possibilities of wealth may run to waste for a time—perhaps for a long time...
The Making of the American 99%
BARBARA EHRENREICH AND JOHN EHRENREICH
“Class happens when some men, as a result of common experiences (inherited or shared), feel and articulate the identity of their interests as between themselves, and as against other men whose interests are different from (and usually opposed to) theirs.”...
Omission in Osawatomie
JACK RANDOM
Like the sirens to Odysseus, President Obama’s address at Osawatomie, Kansas, was pleasing to the progressive ear but if you allow its seductive tone to capture you, it could well prove fatal to the cause. We have heard this song before.  It takes us back to the...
The Economy is the Number One Issue in Canada
MURRAY DOBBIN
The NDP leadership race suddenly seems like a very long, drawn-out affair. Initially, there was much outrage, especially from Thomas Mulcair, at the suggestion that the party go along with what Jack Layton seemed to want: an earlier leadership convention in January. But n...
Austerity and Social Unrest
DAVID ROSEN
Whatever the long-term fate of the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement, it has made two major contributions to the warming 2012 political climate. First, OWS put the concept of economic and social (in)equity, of the haves and have-nots, the 99%-ers, of class...
Wrecking the World Economy
DEAN BAKER
The world is eagerly waiting to see if the European Central Bank (ECB) will take the steps needed to save the euro. Specifically, is the ECB prepared to act as a central bank and guarantee the sovereign debt of the countries in the eurozone as the lender of last resort or...
America’s Conscience is on the Streets
MARK WEISBROT
The Occupy Wall Street movement that has spread to ...