Corporate news-gathering outlets do their best to repeat and amplify his every offbeat utterance. His accusation that Marco Rubio is a “disaster with his credit cards” has rippled through the press and forced Rubio to respond. Ditto for Trump’s mockery of Jeb’s energy, Carson’s religion, Carly’s face, Kasich’s poll numbers, Hillary’s marital relations (“If Hillary Clinton can’t satisfy her husband what makes her think she can satisfy America?”), Bernie’s mental health and the menstrual cycles of debate moderators.
The eagles won.
The prevalence of the mammone has long been thought to be a predominantly Italian phenomenon, with deep cultural roots. It has grown more pronounced with the country’s recent economic distress. Since 2008, a growing percentage of Italian men aged 25-54 have abandoned the labor force, no longer bothering even to look for work.
Italy’s workforce participation rate among men of prime working age is by far Europe’s lowest. But it is not the lowest in the developed world. Italy now shares that dubious distinction with the U.S.
That wouldn’t happen if Obama were President. Continue reading
To recover from his exertions, he and his family then “ventured to the white-sand beach at Bellows Air Force Station, which is on the windward side of the island of Oahu and features turquoise water and a stunning view of the Mokulua Islands,” the Washington Post reported.
That tranquil scene augured the best year for U.S. employment growth since 1999. According to the Labor Department, the economy added more than 3.1 million jobs in 2014. The topline unemployment rate was 5.6% in December, down from 6.7% the prior December and the lowest rate since June 2008.
And here is the surprising major reason for the resurgence in employment: Congress spurned the President’s entreaties and let extended unemployment benefits expire. Continue reading
The announcement will trigger an orgy of self-congratulation in Washington. The Administration will claim that its policies have been vindicated. Republicans also will take a bow, touting spending constraints they’ve imposed since winning the House majority.
But you’ll hear nothing from the Washingtonians who most deserve credit for reduced deficits: the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. By holding interest rates near zero and lending trillions in free money to the Treasury, the Fed has allowed the government to reduce deficits even as it gorged on debt. Continue reading
That recovery has in part been driven by a force that could be its undoing: debt. Nearly $46 trillion of it, or more than 2-1/2 times our annual economic output. Continue reading
Enrico didn’t press any olive oil this season. He wasn’t alone. Production in Enrico’s region of Umbria is off 45 percent, slightly worse than the nationwide 35 percent decline. La Repubblica has dubbed 2014 “the black year of Italian olive oil.” In a country where each inhabitant annually consumes an average of more than 26 pounds of the golden nectar, it is a seismic cultural event, one more reminder of the existential threats confronting Italian traditions. Continue reading
Democrats are still stinging from last month’s epic defeat at the polls. Some of them attribute that unhappy outcome to ideological temperance. The party would do better, some argue, if their candidates took a more strident tone, denouncing the rich, preaching that Washington governs in the service of Wall Street, and calling for more aggressive redistribution of income and wealth to dampen rising inequality.
But a new study published in the Southern Economic Journal pulls at a critical thread of that narrative. It found that, at least according to one measure of income, the gap between rich and poor actually narrowed between 1989 and 2007. Continue reading