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When French President Emmanuel Macron denounced populist nationalism this week and called on world leaders to support institutions such as the United Nations that defend “the common good of the world,” liberal elites cheered. The speech was seen as a rebuke of President Trump, whose opposition to “globalism” and embrace of “nationalism” are held up as signs of the decay of American conservatism and U.S. global leadership. Sorry, but American conservatives were opposing the globalist project long before Trump arrived on the scene. Back in the early 1990s, President Bill Clinton's soon-to-be deputy secretary of state, Strobe Talbott, said openly that “all Read More >>
Wed, Nov 14, 2018
Source: Marc Thiessen Category: MARC THIESSEN
AEIIs faster economic growth important for American workers? It's an odd time to downplay the importance of boosting long-term economic growth. The expert consensus seems to be that American economic growth has, in all likelihood, permanently downshifted. Productivity growth has been moribund for more than a decade, and demographics suggest historically slow labor-force expansion is destiny. For instance: The Federal Reserve's long-term, real GDP forecast stands at 1.8 percent, about half the average pace from 1947 to the start of the Great Recession. Via Twenty20 And that's bad for workers. For instance: In “Productivity and Pay: Is the link broken?” Harvard's Anna Stansbury Read More >>
Wed, Nov 14, 2018
Source: James Pethokoukis Category: JAMES PETHOKOUKIS
There are over 435,000 kids in foster care in the United States and, after a period of several years in which that number seemed to be stable, it has started to rise again. This increase, many speculate, is the result of the opioid epidemic. There is clear evidence now (perhaps not surprisingly) that areas with higher rates of overdoses are seeing a rise in the number of kids taken into care. The response to this crisis from child welfare workers (both government and nonprofit), academics, and the media has been almost uniform. As JooYeun Chang, the managing director of public policy Read More >>
Wed, Nov 14, 2018
Source: Marc Thiessen Category: MARC THIESSEN
As Amazon boss and founder Jeff Bezos has put it, “In the end, we are our choices.” And neither New York nor Virginia should already regret their gamble to pull out the financial stops to attract the retail and cloud computing giant's second and third headquarters. They should enjoy the win and celebrate the 25,000 jobs headed to each. Of course, there is no guarantee the bet will pay off over the longer term. And the short-term impact surely means tighter housing and worse traffic. Citizens in both places should ask hard questions about whether officials overbid, especially given Amazon splitting Read More >>
Wed, Nov 14, 2018
Source: Marc Thiessen Category: MARC THIESSEN
For decades, educators have invested heavily in developing skills associated with science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Although STEM skills are seen as the key to individual and national economic success, employers have increasingly expressed concern over workers lacking social or noncognitive (soft) skills such as character, motivation, perseverance, integrity, self-control, professionalism, team work, communication, and dependability. Brent Orrell, a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute who focuses on workforce development issues, points out in a just-released report that focusing on STEM credentials overlooks deeper problems in the U.S. labor market. Among his key points: In our rapidly changing economy, employers increasingly Read More >>
Wed, Nov 14, 2018
Source: Marc Thiessen Category: MARC THIESSEN
President Trump appointed Matt Whitaker as acting attorney general last week, despite the fact that he cannot legally hold the office. While the president could fix his mistake with any lesser official in any normal time, the attorney general is no lesser official and this is no normal time. Whitaker takes office during a time of extreme constitutional conflict involving investigations of the president, claims of abuse of law-enforcement and national-security powers, and combat between the executive and legislative branches. In order to prevent a breakdown of federal law enforcement, the White House should hurry to select a permanent attorney Read More >>
Tue, Nov 13, 2018
Source: Marc Thiessen Category: MARC THIESSEN
AEIWhat's really happening with the Trump tax cuts? I'm certainly interested in whether or not 2017's Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is working. Specifically, I am interested in whether it's working the way many economists predicted it would if it did. As far as how politicians sold the plan, not so much. Of course the media and voters should hold their elected representives responsible for the claims they make. And that's just what The New York Times does in “Trump's Tax Cut Was Supposed to Change Corporate Behavior. Here's What Happened” by reporter Jim Tankersley. From the piece (bold by me): The Read More >>
Tue, Nov 13, 2018
Source: James Pethokoukis Category: JAMES PETHOKOUKIS
Using the National Election Pool exit poll data of voters leaving the polls and the 2018 AP VoteCast, a national survey of voters, public opinion expert Karlyn Bowman examines voters views' on key issues in the midterm elections. In the November issue of AEI's Political Report, she analyzes which issues mattered to voters and how the preferences of different groups of voters have changed over time. Key takeaways from the report: Health care was the top issue for voters, followed by immigration, the economy, and gun policy. Voters who supported Democratic House candidates in 2018 gave top priority to health care; those who Read More >>
Tue, Nov 13, 2018
Source: Marc Thiessen Category: MARC THIESSEN
To what extent should we hold mothers responsible for their children's welfare? And what sorts of mechanisms should our legal system use in order to do so? These are the questions at the heart of a recent New Yorker article titled “Separated.” As the subtitle explains, “Sending a mother to prison can have catastrophic effects on her children. Why, then, does America lock so many women up?” Pace the New Yorker, there is little question that when women cannot protect their children from harm, “separation” is reasonable. Image via Twenty20 It is true that the number of women in prison has increased dramatically Read More >>
Tue, Nov 13, 2018
Source: Marc Thiessen Category: MARC THIESSEN
5G infrastructure
New wireless technologies, including 5G, are poised to expand the reach and robustness of mobile connectivity and boost broadband choices for tens of millions of consumers across the country. We've been talking about the potential of 5G the past few years, and now we are starting to see the reality. In a number of cities, thousands of small cells are going up on lampposts, utility poles, and building tops. I've discussed our own progress here in Indiana. Via REUTERS The project will take many years, but it's happening. And the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) just gave this massive infrastructure effort a lift Read More >>
Tue, Nov 13, 2018
Source: Marc Thiessen Category: MARC THIESSEN
Exit polls on Tuesday's midterm elections included the question “Have you ever served in the US military?” Fourteen percent of voters checked the box saying they had. That group voted 41 percent for Democratic candidates and 58 percent for Republicans. Read More >>
Mon, Nov 12, 2018
Source: Marc Thiessen Category: MARC THIESSEN
We've heard a lot of criticism over the last several years, especially from President Trump and many of his economic advisers and supporters, about US firms outsourcing factory jobs overseas, along with accusations that countries like Mexico, China, and Japan are “stealing US jobs” (see more than 20,000 Google search results for “Trump” + “stealing jobs”). Further, Trump warned after he was elected that his administration would punish US companies seeking to move operations and jobs overseas with “consequences.” What we don't hear very much about from Team Trump are the jobs that are “insourced” into every US state by foreign Read More >>
Fri, Nov 09, 2018
Source: Marc Thiessen Category: MARC THIESSEN
AEIThese 4 charts might change what you think you know about the American economy The Congressional Budget Office has just released some great charts on what's been happening to American living standards over the past four decades. And based on what the Twitterverse frequently informs me about the US economy, some priors may need to be updated. I mean, are Americans really no better off than they were during the late 1970s? I hear that stated quite frequently. But this chart of real income growth tells a different story. Please note that all the lines have been headed higher. Also note Read More >>
Fri, Nov 09, 2018
Source: James Pethokoukis Category: JAMES PETHOKOUKIS
AEIHere's exactly why some economists are skeptical of the Trump boomlet Many economists doubt the staying power of the recent upturn in US economic growth, 4.2 percent in the second quarter and 3.5 percent in the third. As I note in my new The Week column, the median Federal Reserve forecast for 2020 is 2.0 percent growth. Wall Street is right there, too, with some investment firms expecting a deceleration closer to 1.5 percent. And the growth bears have a decent argument, one outlined in a new report by JPMorgan economist Michael Feroli. Basically this: Tax cuts and higher government spending have Read More >>
Fri, Nov 09, 2018
Source: James Pethokoukis Category: JAMES PETHOKOUKIS
AEIYes, it matters if China is ripping off American tech Over at the FT's Alphaville blog, Jamie Powell expresses some impatience with criticism of Huawei and its new Flypod earphones, which look suspiciously like Apple's EarPods. Powell: “Yet should we be concerned about flagrant copying? Looking back in history, stealing ideas from others has been crucial to economic development. Just ask America.” Powell then recounts the story of how the new American nation swiped the blueprints of the Arkwright water-powered spinning frame and thus kick-started the American cotton boom via industrial espionage. So China, still a poor nation on a per capita Read More >>
Wed, Nov 07, 2018
Source: James Pethokoukis Category: JAMES PETHOKOUKIS
AEI5 questions for Adrian Wooldridge on ‘Capitalism in America: A History' Imagine the elites of China, Turkey, Britain, and all the other great powers of the day meeting in Davos in 1620 to discuss who among them would emerge as the world's greatest economic power over the next few centuries. None would have even considered North America, and yet it is the United States that today produces the plurality of world GDP with less than 5 percent of the world's population. How did that happen? In the excellent new book “Capitalism in America: A History” Alan Greenspan and Adrian Wooldridge provide Read More >>
Wed, Nov 07, 2018
Source: James Pethokoukis Category: JAMES PETHOKOUKIS
AEIWhat Marvin the Martian would say about the US economy “Where's the kaboom? There was supposed to be an earth-shattering kaboom!” The good kind, of course. A productivity boom. That is what's so far really missing from the current economic expansion. Or at least the sort of increased business investment that might eventually lead to higher productivity growth and higher sustained economic growth. On an annualized basis, productivity growth is still only 1.3 percent, little better than the post-crisis average of less than 1 percent. And weak labor force growth as the retirement of Baby Boomers continues means faster productivity growth Read More >>
Tue, Nov 06, 2018
Source: James Pethokoukis Category: JAMES PETHOKOUKIS
AEICredit entrepreneurial genius, not protectionism, for making America great I've written several posts mythbusting the idea that protectionism deserves the credit for America becoming the world's leading industrial power. This topic is also adressed in my recent podcast chat with The Economist columnist Adrian Wooldridge about his excellent new book “Capitalism in America: A History,” co-authored with Alan Greenspan. From our conversation: Pethokoukis: It's a very popular theory. I can tell you that whenever I approach this topic, if I'm writing about it on social media, that is the number one response. I either get a response saying it was basically Read More >>
Tue, Nov 06, 2018
Source: James Pethokoukis Category: JAMES PETHOKOUKIS
AEIWhat made the American economy great? A long-read Q&A with author Adrian Wooldridge Imagine the elites of China, Turkey, Britain, and all the other great powers of the day meeting in Davos in 1620 to discuss who among them would emerge as the world's greatest economic power over the next few centuries. None would have even considered North America, and yet it is the United States that today produces the plurality of world GDP with less than 5 percent of the world's population. How did that happen? In the excellent new book “Capitalism in America: A History” Alan Greenspan and Adrian Read More >>
Fri, Nov 02, 2018
Source: James Pethokoukis Category: JAMES PETHOKOUKIS
AEIHigher wages are great. But what we really also want is faster productivity growth The good news on take-home pay isn't limited to faster wage growth, though that is certainly welcome. The new Employment Cost Index report for the third quarter showed private-sector wages and salaries rose 3.1 percent from a year earlier, the best pace since 2008. I mean, who doesn't like nominal wage growth? But real wages — wages adjusted for inflation — are growing, too. The PCE price index (the Fed's favorite inflation gauge that measures a broader swath of personal consumption than the CPI) for Q3 Read More >>
Thu, Nov 01, 2018
Source: James Pethokoukis Category: JAMES PETHOKOUKIS