Archive of Articles in the "Economics" Category

Friday Talking Points -- One-Third Of U.S. Economy Disappears

[ Posted Friday, July 31st, 2020 – 17:57 UTC ]

Let's all keep our eyes on the ball, shall we? The ball, in this case, being the fact that we just suffered the worst economic quarter ever. The gross domestic product dropped by 32.9 percent, or just shy (0.4 points) of one-third. This loss is three times bigger than the worst quarter ever previously measured. New unemployment claims were up again for the second week in a row, perhaps foreshadowing a "double-dip" recession, or even an actual depression.

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Rampant GOP Incompetence On Full Display

[ Posted Wednesday, July 29th, 2020 – 17:07 UTC ]

Rampant Republican incompetence is now on full display in Washington, once again taking center stage as multiple deadlines approach and measures meant to provide some sort of safety net during the most dire medical emergency in the past 100 years are running out. What's astonishing is that their very incompetence right now might just guarantee that the GOP loses control of the Senate in November -- the very chamber which cannot now get its legislative act together. In other words, it might be an entirely appropriate consequence.

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99 Days And Counting

[ Posted Monday, July 27th, 2020 – 16:03 UTC ]

In less than 100 days, America will vote. In other words, there is finally a light at the end of this long and dark tunnel we've all been going through. And unless things drastically change for the worse, that light might shine very bright indeed.

Pretty much every poll under the sun now shows Democrats with the upper hand in the campaign. Joe Biden is doing better -- at both the national level and the state level -- than either of Barack Obama's winning years, as well being better positioned than Hillary Clinton was the last time around. In fact, Biden's poll numbers across the Electoral College are now higher than Obama or Clinton ever reached at any point in their respective campaigns. Public opinion of the coronavirus and President Donald Trump's pitifully inadequate reaction to it has hardened like cement. No wonder he's trying a new tactic ("OK, I'll pretend like I care about it for a week, how's that?") and reversing course on his disastrously self-centered plan for his big convention speech. And it's now looking like he won't be able to hold any rallies at all for the foreseeable future, especially when you consider that the hardest-hit areas of the country right now are either solidly Republican or the battleground states Trump's going to need. No rallies means depriving Trump's massive ego of the attention it so desperately craves.

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Friday Talking Points -- Trump Forced To Reverse Course

[ Posted Friday, July 24th, 2020 – 18:10 UTC ]

President Donald Trump does not like being told what to do. To be fair, very few people ever do. But Trump usually goes his own way and blows off those telling him he must do this or mustn't do that, and things have generally worked out for him in the end anyway. This week, however, was markedly different.

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Republicans In Disarray

[ Posted Thursday, July 23rd, 2020 – 16:34 UTC ]

That's a fun headline to write, mostly because the flip side of: "Democrats In Disarray" has now become an actual cliché, due to its overuse by the media (especially when the facts don't actually justify its use). But at this point, even just calling what the Grand Old Party is going through "disarray" is being polite. "Meltdown" might come closer to the truth.

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Democrats Should Demand This Easy Fix

[ Posted Wednesday, July 22nd, 2020 – 16:45 UTC ]

New York's recent primary election uncovered a problem with mail-in voting that (thankfully) has a very easy fix. Democrats in Congress who are now just beginning negotiations with Senate Republicans and the White House over the next coronavirus relief bill should take note of this problem and proactively fix it -- not just for New York, but for all the states. Thankfully, unlike a lot of voting problems, the fix for this one comes relatively cheap. In a bill whose total cost will likely be between $1 trillion and $3 trillion, fixing this problem is no more than the equivalent of finding some spare change in the couch cushions. So it really shouldn't even be all that hard to achieve.

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One Man Could Guarantee A Biden Win

[ Posted Tuesday, July 21st, 2020 – 16:44 UTC ]

It's a bit early for one of my "summer daydream" columns, as I usually wait until the silly season in August when Congress decamps for the entire month (and political pundits are left with some mighty thin gruel to report on), but since Trump took office the silly season has really expanded to 365 days a year, when you think about it. So I'm going to engage in some pure blue-sky speculation today, because this one thought has been bouncing around the back of my brain for a few weeks now.

There is one man who might just be able to guarantee that Joe Biden wins the November election. Because I really think all it would take would be if Dr. Anthony Fauci were either fired or got so fed up with the political smear job the White House has actively been pursuing against him that he handed in his resignation. If Fauci then publicly announced his full-throated endorsement of Joe Biden for president, I think the race would be all but over.

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Friday Talking Points -- Is Trump Actually Trying To Lose?

[ Posted Friday, July 17th, 2020 – 17:58 UTC ]

At this point, one has to wonder: is President Donald Trump intentionally trying to commit political suicide?

This would certainly make a lot of sense, given his recent actions. Perhaps he's tired of attempting to do a job he is so obviously underqualified for, and perhaps he just wants to return to private life. To do so, Joe Biden has to win, meaning Trump has to guarantee this outcome. So he goes about actively destroying any possibility that he'll win re-election.

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Trump Gets Schooled

[ Posted Thursday, July 16th, 2020 – 16:36 UTC ]

That headline is meant in an ironic way, not a literal one -- since Donald Trump literally "getting schooled" on anything would be impossible, considering his almost-complete lack of the ability to learn new things. Instead, I refer to the president deciding to pick a battle on yet another losing field for him, this time fighting to force school districts to open up in-person classes in a few weeks. Trump would like to get all America's schools back to normal. That's a goal shared by just about everyone, but the problem with Trump's approach is that it comes with a rather large disclaimer at the end: "...whether it is safe to do so or not." This is the bridge that is proving to be too far for America's mothers and fathers.

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Friday Talking Points -- Doubling Down On The Stupid

[ Posted Friday, July 10th, 2020 – 17:02 UTC ]

The campaign to re-elect Donald Trump president has gone all-in on a remarkable strategy: they're going to double down on the stupid. Call it the greatest attempt at gaslighting ever, we suppose. The idea is to just pretend the coronavirus pandemic doesn't exist and continue to ignore any evidence to the contrary. And they actually expect this to be a big winner for them with the voters.

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