Archive of Articles in the "Economics" Category

Friday Talking Points -- Staggering GOP Hypocrisy On Full Display

[ Posted Friday, January 26th, 2024 – 19:00 UTC ]

A staggering amount of Republican hypocrisy is now on full display in Washington. Pretty much ever since Joe Biden took office, Republicans have been screaming: "Border crisis! It's a crisis! This crisis needs immediate action!" This has been reinforced in an enormous way by the rightwing media echo chamber, who features the "Border Crisis!" storyline on a nightly basis for its audience. Scary images of border-crossers are shown, the word "invasion" is tossed about willy-nilly, and the fearmongering of immigrants is paramount.

Read Complete Article »

The Birth Of The Modern World

[ Posted Wednesday, January 24th, 2024 – 15:48 UTC ]

Few people will actually celebrate it, but today is the 40th birthday of the modern world. Because on this day, back in 1984, Apple Computers began selling the first Macintosh model. And thus 1984 was not like Nineteen Eighty-Four.

That's what the ad promised, at any rate. The television ad that introduced the Mac only ran nationally once (during the Super Bowl, no less), but it's still one of the most memorable ads of all time (which it should be, seeing as how it was directed by none other than Ridley Scott). This all seems entirely appropriate for the revolutionary product it was promoting. In the timeline of technological advancement in average people's lives, there was "before Mac," and then there was "after Mac" -- which is the world we all live in today. And it all started forty years ago.

Read Complete Article »

Other Things To Write About

[ Posted Tuesday, January 23rd, 2024 – 18:45 UTC ]

As I sit here watching the New Hampshire primary election results roll in, there don't seem to be any huge surprises developing yet -- most of the votes aren't in yet, so I suppose there's still time... but the chances are the headlines are soon going to be reading something along the lines of: "It's Over Almost Before It Began," as both Donald Trump and Joe Biden wrap up their respective nominations.

Read Complete Article »

Friday Talking Points -- The Changing Of The Vibes

[ Posted Friday, January 19th, 2024 – 17:54 UTC ]

President Joe Biden got some excellent news today: the "vibecession" seems to be over. For those unfamiliar with this neologism, the term was coined by an educator a while back to explain the disconnect between the economic reality (measured by all the economic indicators) and how people actually felt about the economy. The economy has been doing amazingly well in recovering from the COVID pandemic slump, while at the same time public perception has remained a lot gloomier.

Read Complete Article »

No Reason To Celebrate

[ Posted Thursday, January 18th, 2024 – 17:35 UTC ]

Breaking news from Washington: budgetary disaster has been averted, once again! The government will not partially shut down tomorrow at midnight, as Congress just successfully passed a continuing resolution through both houses which will keep funding the government until at least the first of March. And they even accomplished this feat one day early!

You'll have to forgive me if I'm not impressed. In the first place, they got it done a day early for an entirely self-serving reason: so they wouldn't be trapped in Washington by a giant snowstorm (scheduled to hit tomorrow). It's an open secret that Congress can indeed get things done very quickly when they really want to. However, they only ever really want to when their own free time is at risk, which is rather pathetic when you think about it.

Read Complete Article »

A Chance For Congress To Get Something Done

[ Posted Wednesday, January 17th, 2024 – 16:44 UTC ]

It's mostly been lost in the fray of yet another government shutdown crisis, but there was actually some good news out of Washington this week. Congress (are you sitting down?) could actually be on the brink of doing something. No, really! And even more surprising: they could be on the brink of doing something good.

Read Complete Article »

Friday Talking Points -- It'll Be A Cold Day In Iowa...

[ Posted Friday, January 12th, 2024 – 18:50 UTC ]

It is shocking (it always is), but here we are on the brink of the 2024 presidential election cycle's official start. The Iowa caucuses will be held Monday. Most of us, thankfully, will have a few more months to go before being faced with the prospect of going to the polls for our state's primary, when (hopefully) the weather will be a lot better than it is predicted to be in the Hawkeye State three days from now. They may be heading to their polls in the midst of a blizzard, with the temperature forecast to be: "Oh CRAP it is cold!" with windchill factors being as low as: "I can't feel my toes... or my face... just leave me here in this snowbank for the wolves to find...."

Read Complete Article »

Speaker Johnson Versus The Chaos Caucus

[ Posted Thursday, January 11th, 2024 – 16:11 UTC ]

The speaker may have changed, but the underlying dynamics of the Republican-led House have not. Kevin McCarthy was ousted -- the first House speaker in American history to lose his job this way -- because he had to work within the reality that having a slim GOP majority in the House simply did not mean that the hardliners in his caucus got to dictate terms to everyone else in Washington. The Democrats hold the Senate and the White House, and they're never going to knuckle under to the MAGA hardliners and just give them everything they want. Now Mike Johnson is in charge and is facing exactly the same demands from exactly the same members of the GOP's "Chaos Caucus," who still refuse to admit any reality outside of their own warped view of how Washington should work. And Johnson may wind up facing the same fate as McCarthy before all of the dust settles.

Read Complete Article »

Friday Talking Points -- Biden's First Campaign Speech

[ Posted Friday, January 5th, 2024 – 18:15 UTC ]

Happy new year, everyone! It is indeed a brand new year, and an election year to boot. The presidential election isn't some faraway thing anymore, as the Republican Iowa caucuses are now less than two weeks away. Then it'll be on to New Hampshire and South Carolina and eventually Super Tuesday, which is quite likely the point where Donald Trump will have functionally wrapped up the GOP nomination.

Read Complete Article »

The 2024 Economy, Stupid?

[ Posted Thursday, January 4th, 2024 – 17:48 UTC ]

In 1992, James Carville defined the focus of Bill Clinton's presidential campaign as: "It's the economy, stupid." For better or worse, the American people (led by the American mainstream media) generally give the sitting president either a whole lot of credit or they assign a whole lot of blame for whatever the current state of the economy happens to be. So no matter what else is going on, the fate of President Joe Biden in the upcoming election is going to be tied in a big way to how people feel about the economy.

Read Complete Article »