11:43 AM, Jul 11, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The weekly news on initial claims – up 16,000 to a two-month high of 360,000 – is one part of the economic picture and may be a short term glitch. Still, the overall employment picture is not reassuring. Such jobs as are available tend to be part time. Far too many people have simply dropped out of the work force and quit even looking for jobs.
And if the jobs picture is not encouraging, the news on wages isn't any better. As Tyler Cowen writes at Marginal Revolution:
Averaged across all occupations ... real median wages declined by 2.8 percent from 2009 to 2012. This is a striking decline, given that productivity increased by 4.5 percent over this same time period ...
The demoralization of the workforce and the spitefulness of the political conversation are not unrelated. A little economic growth (say 3 percent in GDP) and improvement in the unemployment numbers (unexpected of course) would make the other difficulties, like immigration and health care, seems so much more surmountable.
11:11 AM, Jul 4, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The hot dog is in decline in America, writes Paul Lukas at Bloomberg, and one thinks, "What isn't?" What institution, anyway. If everything were not in decline, then what would there be for journalists to write about (see Andrew Ferguson on George Packer and Haynes Johnson) and what would politicians have to campaign about?
How to lose friends and influence.Apr 22, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 30 • By FRED BARNES
With President Obama, there’s always a catch. In the 2014 budget he announced last week, Obama proposed a more accurate way of calculating the inflation rate for annual cost-of-living increases in Social Security. It’s a technical change in pursuit of honesty and good government. And if adopted, it would cause benefits to grow more slowly, though almost imperceptibly so. Republican leaders in Congress ought to be delighted since they had “championed”—Obama’s word—the idea in the first place.
California is not too big to fail.Mar 11, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 25 • By K.E. GRUBBS JR. and SHAWN STEEL
One early December morning, Las Vegas police moved in on the Silverton Hotel and Casino, just off the Strip and known for its 117,000-gallon aquarium. There, having located a getaway black Audi with no license plates, they arrested 31-year-old Ka Pasasouk—a Laotian immigrant with a violent history who had eluded deportation as well as imprisonment. The Dragnet-style work came less than 24 hours after police back in Northridge, a Los Angeles suburb known for a state university campus, discovered what they called a “very grisly tableau.”
9:45 PM, Oct 17, 2012 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
When The Decline and Fall of the American Republic is written centuries hence, the date October 17, 2012, will occupy a prominent place in the narrative. On this day, a playoff game between the Yankees and the Tigers in Detroit was called not because of rain, but because of ... the threat of rain. Just as today's "liberalism has become hardly more than a trembling in the presence of illiberalism," so, in Obama's America, Major League Baseball cancels games not because of rain but because of trembling in the presence of the threat of rain.
10:00 PM, Mar 27, 2012 • By JAMIE M. FLY
President Obama’s budget cuts defense by $487 billion over the next ten years.
4:24 PM, Feb 16, 2012 • By RICHARD CLEARY and THOMAS DONNELLY
The $489 billion cut to defense budgets engineered by Barack Obama — as well as the played-for-fool Republican accomplices on Capitol Hill — won't just mean less American military power. These cuts have significant consequences for America's allies, as well.
12:34 PM, Aug 1, 2011 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
Here’s the situation with respect to defense spending, which Speaker Boehner fought for yesterday, with some (very limited) success:
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