Politics, Moderate



Trump's no-win trade war

WASHINGTON -- When all is said and done, President Trump's trade war may be fated to fail. There are many reasons why. One is that the target countries -- prominently, China, Japan and Germany -- won't accede to his demands. This is already happening. Another threat is a backlash among U.S. firms, hurt by tariffs that raise their products' ...Read more

The Age of Malware

WASHINGTON -- Welcome to the Age of Malware. It promises to be a huge downer and, possibly, a great tragedy.

For years, we have regarded personal computers, the internet, smartphones and various digital devices as evidence that America continues to dominate the central new technology of our time. Just last week, Apple attained a stock market ...Read more

The triumph of downward mobility

WASHINGTON -- It's an axiom among many Americans that each future generation will live better than its predecessor. New technologies, greater efficiencies and a can-do spirit will reward us with higher living standards. There might be periodic stumbles, but the long-term trajectory is up. And the people most guaranteed to enjoy this bountiful ...Read more

Think there's been a productivity boom? Think again.

WASHINGTON -- Let's travel back in time to 1995. Most Americans still remembered the calamitous inflation of the late 1970s (prices rose 13 percent in 1979). Many federal benefits, including Social Security, were (and are) tied to inflation. But was the inflation overstated, as many economists thought? If so, the economy might be doing better ...Read more

The Fed's strange "independence"

"The Federal Reserve is meant to be independent of parochial political interests. But it's got to operate -- I think of this as a kind of band, sometimes wide, sometimes narrow -- within the range of understanding of the public and the political system. You just can't go do something that is just outside the bounds of what people can ...Read more

Understanding the ETF debate

WASHINGTON -- Can we make sense of ETFs?

If you're in the investing class, you doubtlessly know that ETF stands for "exchange-traded fund." Along with index mutual funds, they track a given stock or bond index. The best-known ETFs mirror the Standard and Poor's 500 stock index. If the S&P 500 goes up, so do various ETFs tied to the S&P 500 ...Read more


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