Robert J. Samuelson / Politics

Partners in Posturing

WASHINGTON -- When it comes to the federal budget, what consistently unites Democrats and Republicans is their common capacity to lie to themselves, lie to the public and postpone any serious discussion of the central issues of government spending...

Remember the 1937-38 Recession!

WASHINGTON -- How fast should the Federal Reserve tighten monetary policy? Should it tighten at all? I recently wrote about these issues but didn't have the space to explore a fascinating aspect of the debate: the mostly forgotten 1937-38 ...

The Fed's Reckoning

WASHINGTON -- The Federal Reserve is at a crossroads, and it doesn't know where it's going. After holding short-term interest rates near zero for six years, Fed policymakers, led by chair Janet Yellen, are prepared to raise them -- but when, how ...

Shareholder Capitalism on Trial

WASHINGTON -- The latest rap against big corporations is that they're returning too much money to shareholders through dividends and stock repurchases. What they should be doing, the complaint goes, is using that money to build new factories, ...

Who's Afraid of Robots?

WASHINGTON -- For some time, I've been collecting news stories about robots and jobs. By robots, I mean almost any automated process that substitutes machines for people. Here are some examples:

--The restaurant chain Chili's installed 45,000 ...

Good Wage Increases -- and Bad

WASHINGTON -- Wages are among our most scrutinized economic indicators. It's no secret why. We'd all like a pay raise. But there's a second, less-recognized reason. Wages are considered a precursor to higher inflation. If they rise sharply, prices...