WASHINGTON -- In 1992, James Carville popularized the adage "It's the economy, stupid." If the economy is ailing, people tend to vote against the party in the White House. That happened in the 1992 election. A recession that started in 1990 was officially over, but it didn't seem over to millions of Americans. They sent President George H.W. ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Just how far have budget deficits drifted off the radar screen of presidential politics? Here's one indicator: Last week, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) issued its annual "Budget and Economic Outlook" report -- a detailed examination of White House and congressional policies -- and hardly anyone paid heed. The ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Here's some good -- and generally overlooked -- news about the U.S. economy: Among major ethnic and racial groups, African-Americans scored the biggest job advances in 2015. This conclusion comes from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), a left-leaning think tank and advocacy group. It reports that black Americans made "notable ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Capitalism has always been an epic struggle between risk and reward, and the easiest way to understand the present turmoil in world stock markets is to recognize that the two have reversed. Risk has gone up, and reward has come down. Investors have reacted by selling. Fear triumphs over greed. This, of course, increases risk and ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Just whether the sharp selloff of stocks signals an economic slowdown or recession is an open question. Most economists seem to think not. Strong job growth (2.7 million more payroll jobs in 2015) and low interest rates will sustain slow but steady growth. Still, the dramatic stock market decline raises other possibilities. In the ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- It's only January, but what may be the year's most important book on economics has already been published. Called "The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The U.S. Standard of Living Since the Civil War," it argues that we can't expect new technologies to rekindle rapid economic growth. Despite all the Internet hoopla, advances in ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- The China bubble has burst. No longer are the country's economic managers viewed as magicians who can orchestrate rapid growth whatever the obstacles. No one ever believed that China's economy would grow 10 percent annually forever, but the retreat from double-digit growth has been faster than expected and underlies the country's ...Read more
EDITORS: We will update the status of the stocks after the markets close today at 4 p.m. The updated data is usually available around 5 p.m.
WASHINGTON -- It's hard not to wonder: Is the stock market telling us something? True, the market's record in forecasting recessions is horrendous. Stocks often move according to whim or fad. But just ...Read more
Nothing More, Nothing Less [Kindle Edition]Ashley Dukart
When Brandon finds that his mother committed suicide, he blames himself for her decision. His guilt drives his young life into a downward spiral of drugs, drug-dealing, and violent repercussions when his “business partners” don’t get what they want. Haunted by the past that will never ...
WASHINGTON -- The Donald Trump phenomenon ranks as the great political story of 2015 -- and maybe 2016 -- but could it simply be a subplot of a bigger story: what commentator David Frum, once a speechwriter for President George W. Bush, calls the Republican party's "internal class war"? Yes, argues Frum. His thesis is laid out in engrossing ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- We'll be hearing a lot about the middle class in the coming months. That's one sure bet for 2016, as both parties compete for votes. What's less sure is whether we'll get an accurate assessment of the middle class' condition. By now, the conventional wisdom is familiar: The top 1 percent has skimmed most income gains for itself, ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- On climate change, curb your enthusiasm. It's not that the recent international conference in Paris didn't take significant steps to check global warming. It did. Nearly 200 countries committed to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. The goal of limiting warming to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) from preindustrial ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Should we fight the "war on poverty" all over again?
Well, yes. That's the recommendation of a group of liberal and conservative poverty scholars, who spent months discussing and arguing to see if they could find common ground. They did. Their new report -- "Opportunity, Responsibility and Security" -- lays out a plausible ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Welcome to what I've called "the politics of self-esteem." By this, I mean that increasing numbers of people, on both the right and left and most with good intentions, have become politically engaged because it makes them feel better. It raises their self-esteem. This phenomenon predates Donald Trump's candidacy, but it helps ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- There's more discouraging news about American business -- specifically about entrepreneurship.
We confidently assume that we have the world's most entrepreneurial nation, and the proof seems overwhelming. Google, Facebook and Twitter are but three (relatively) recent startups that have become corporate titans. Before them, there ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Comes now economist Gary Burtless of the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank, with another view of government spending on the elderly. People like me have complained for years that government is too generous, especially toward the affluent elderly. This largesse, we argue, shortchanges the young. Not so, says Burtless.
WASHINGTON -- When it comes to cyberwar and cyberterrorism, we need to think the unthinkable, says veteran TV journalist Ted Koppel. And for Koppel, the unthinkable is this: Someone hacks into the nation's electric power grid and causes large parts of it to crash for a prolonged period.
Anyone who has endured a blackout from a storm or ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Whoever wins the White House next year will have to deal with an issue of almost-impenetrable complexity and contentiousness: How to tax multinational companies? On the one hand, large global firms -- which have never been shy about minimizing their taxes through deft accounting maneuvers -- are becoming more aggressive. On the ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- An enduring puzzle of our politics is why there isn't more generational conflict. By all rights, younger Americans should be resentful. Not only have they been tossed into the worst economy since the 1930s, but there's an informal consensus that the government, whatever else it does, should protect every cent of Social Security and...Read more
WASHINGTON -- The horrific massacre in Paris reminds us of the Achilles' heel of American foreign policy. Ever since World War II, our foreign policy has rested on an oft-silent presumption that shared prosperity is a powerful and benevolent force for social stability, peace and (often) democracy. All the emphasis on free trade and globalization...Read more
WASHINGTON -- One of the most interesting and uncovered stories these days is the survival of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- the giant housing entities created by the government and known collectively as the GSEs (for Government-Sponsored Enterprises). On Sept. 6, 2008, nine days before the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy, Treasury Secretary Henry ...Read more