Markets work. That’s the message from Walmart’s decision to raise its starting wage for 500,000 of its 1.3 million US employees to $10 per hour starting next year. That’s 37% above the statutory minimum of $7.25.Read more
Just weeks after announcing a program to make two years of community college free to all, President Obama has doubled down on "free" by introducing a plan to give all fourth-graders and their families a year of free access to all national parks.Read more
Listen to the president, his staff, and his supporters and you might be ready to believe that the economy is on a rocket ride to prosperity. More jobs, lower gas prices, increased consumer spending. So now, at last, we can afford to do away with sequestration and other implements of austerity. Time to grow and spend and prosper.Read more
The White House launched a new campaign this week to build support for President Obama's executive action on immigration.Read more
What should be a recovery on steroids – after all, it has had six years to get in shape – is still not up to speed. If there were as many people in the labor force now, as there were when President Obama came into office, the unemployment rate would be close to 10%. And the spirit of entrepreneurship has dimmed to the point that, as Gallup finds:Read more
The president is proposing more higher education (at the community college level) as a cure for our economic woes. Along with some substantial tax increases, of course. But is more college the answer?Read more
President Obama is in a good mood. He believes the country, under his leadership, is heading in the right direction.
"About a year ago, I promised that 2014 would be a breakthrough year for America. And this week, we got more evidence to back that up," the president begins his weekly address.Read more
It’s us against them—an American economy on the upswing vs. a global economy that definitely is not. Last year the U.S. economy added almost 3 million jobs, the largest number in fifteen years. The headline unemployment rate is down to 5.6 percent, and the so-called U-6 unemployment rate, which includes workers involuntarily working short hours and those too discouraged to look for work, although still too high at 11.2 percent, is at its lowest level since 2008.Read more
We’re hearing from all over just how good things are – and are becoming ever more so – and how on top of the game the president is. There is that 5 percent GDP growth last quarter and an unemployment rate that has dropped below 6 percent (the bar has, obviously, been lowered) and the stock market is burning it up.Read more
An estimated 90 million of us will drive 50 miles or more during this holiday season, and recent years’ gnashings of teeth at the pump are being replaced with smiles. The price of gasoline is down 36 percent since April, to a national average of around $2.40 per gallon, with some cities reporting prices of below $2.Read more
Not that long ago, the world’s central bankers rushed to rescue a small nation with a colorful history and a very troubled economy. How everything, but everything, came to depend on the survival of Greece’s economy was never quite clear but the crisis went away.Read more
The new dawn didn’t. There was to be no more sturm und drang, no more brinkmanship, no more government shutdowns, no more threats of default on America’s debt. Just routine passage of a $1,100,000,000,000 spending bill to keep the government running until next September when the current fiscal year ends. In the event, it was only hours before midnight on Thursday, when funding of most government activities was scheduled to end, that the House of Representatives, by a vote of 219-to-206 passed the so-called continuing resolution that will keep all of the functions of government, both the necessary and the wasteful, in operation. No, it was not a split in the Republican party that brought us once again to the brink of shutdown, although some Republicans, eager to show their distaste for the president’s unilateral action in freeing millions of illegal immigrants from the threat of deportation did cause, did defect. It was the Democrats who almost succeeded in shutting down the government and President Obama, not House speaker John Boehner, who had to struggle to get this resolution passed. The battle will have important consequences for the shape of American political life during the two years remaining of his term, and perhaps far into the future. Here’s why.Read more
The European Parliament has called for the dismemberment of Google, the French want “les Gafa,” as they call Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon, reined in, EU regulators are under pressure to get tough with the Americans. And the leaders of Silicon Valley’s non-tax-paying, privacy-invading, dominant tech firms, to use EU descriptives, are surprised. They shouldn’t be.Read more
The economy added more than 320,000 jobs last month. Against a forecast of 230,000. The unemployment rate holds at 5.8 percent, indicating that many who had previously given up are again seeking employment.
Experts will be going under the hood this morning and fine tuning their reporting. But this is undeniably good news and points, as the Wall Street Journal reports, to the strongest annual job growth in 15 years.Read more
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