For China, It’s All About America
More workers joined the federal government’s disability program in June than got new jobs, according to two new government reports, a clear indicator of how bleak the nation’s jobs picture is after three full years of economic recovery.
Kids, you may not believe this, but there was a time in America when we didn’t all spend the first Friday of the month watching CNBC and groaning at the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics report on unemployment.
After a while, an undertone creeps into discussions with Chinese counterparts on regional and global issues. Whether meeting with Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials, academics and policy analysts, or the media, an American soon begins to sense that part of the conversation is missing. What’s absent is not boilerplate about values, opportunities, or common interests, but rather a sense of China’s broader set of relationships. Ultimately, as one European diplomat put it to me, when it comes to China’s foreign policy, it’s all about the United States. This monofocus on America tells us a great deal about China’s worldview, but it also reveals the degree to which Washington is hampered in forging a better working relationship with Beijing.
Chesapeake Is Making It Uncomfortable For Other Oil Companies To Pay Low Taxes Just Because They Take In Negative Money
Our Least Christian President
Stephen Prothero, USA Today
During a recent trip to Washington, I took in two exhibits on Thomas Jefferson at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History: one on slaves at Monticello and the other on the cut-and-paste version of the Gospels known… more ››
June 23, 2012
Are Religious Studies on the Chopping Block?
Marie Griffith, R&P
The forced resignation of University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan, announced June 10, did not go as planned. Pushed out by a faction of the university’s governing body, the Board of Visitors, Sullivan was said… more ››
July 5, 2012
Losing Our Religion: Doubt By Numbers
Christopher Lane, HuffPo
When the Pew Research Center polled young Americans in April about the strength of their religious beliefs, as Huff Post and other media reported last week, 31 percent of respondents (almost one in three) under the age of 30… more ››
Do We Need a Steve Jobs of Religion?
Philip Goldberg, Huffington Post
I recently came across an essay by journalist Eric Weiner, the author of “Man Seeks God: My Flirtations with the Divine,” in which he says, “We need a Steve Jobs of religion.” In the piece, published last December in theNew York… more ››
Posted by Daniel J. Mitchell
Remember back in 2009, when President Obama and his team told us that we needed to spend $800 billion on a so-called stimulus package?
The crowd in Washington was quite confident that Keynesian spending was going to save the day, even though similar efforts had failed for Hoover and Roosevelt in the 1930s, for Japan in the 1990s, and for Bush in 2008.
Nonetheless, we were assured that the stimulus was needed to keep unemployment from rising above 8 percent.
Well, that claim has turned out to be hollow. Not that we needed additional evidence, but the new numbers from the Labor Department re-confirm that the White House prediction was wildly inaccurate. The 8.2 percent unemployment rate is 2.5 percentage points above the administration’s prediction.
Defenders of the Obama administration sometimes respond by saying that the downturn was more serious than anyone predicted. That’s a legitimate point, so I don’t put too much blame on the White House for the initial spike in joblessness.
But I do blame them for the fact that the labor market has remained weak for such a long time. The chart below, which I generated this morning using the Minneapolis Fed’s interactive website, shows employment data for all the post-World War II recessions. The current business cycle is the red line. As you can see, some recessions were deeper in the beginning and some were milder. But the one thing that is unambiguous is that we’ve never had a jobs recovery as anemic as the one we’re experiencing now.
Job creation has been extraordinarily weak. Indeed, the current 8.2 percent unemployment rate understates the bad news because it doesn’t capture all the people who have given up and dropped out of the labor force.
By the way, I don’t think the so-called stimulus is the main cause of today’s poor employment data. Rather, the vast majority of that money was simply wasted.
Today’s weak job market is affected by factors such as the threat of higher taxes in 2013 (when the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts are scheduled to expire), the costly impact of Obamacare, and the harsh regulatory environment. This cartoon shows, in an amusing fashion, the effect these policies have on entrepreneurs and investors.
Postscript: Click on this link if you want to compare Obamanomics and Reaganomics. The difference is astounding.
Post-postscript: The president will probably continue to blame “headwinds” for the dismal job numbers, so this cartoon is definitely worth sharing.
Post-post-postscript: Since I’m sharing cartoons, I can’t resist recycling this classic about Keynesian stimulus.
By Roger F. Noriega Monday, July 2, 2012
Hugo Chávez admitted on June 13 that Venezuela is manufacturing Iranian drones and that Iran has built several explosives and chemical facilities in his country. However, Chávez is trying to throw international observers off his scent by acknowledging an unmanned aerial vehicle program for “peaceful purposes.” What he did not disclose are the many other troubling aspects of the extensive military cooperation between the two rabidly anti-U.S. regimes—not the least of which is that Venezuela secretly shipped an F-16 to Iran in 2006 that could be used today to test the air defenses around Teheran’s illicit nuclear facilities.
Bob Diamond’s departure from Barclays Bank signals the start of a decline in Britain’s financial power\
OSLO — The international institutional structure has remained largely static since the mid-20th century rather than evolving with the changing power realities and challenges. Reforming and restructuring the international system poses the single biggest challenge to preserving global peace, stability and continued economic growth. A 21st-century world cannot remain indefinitely saddled with 20th-century institutions and rules.
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05 Jul 20123
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From the scientists on the ground to stunning views from space, a look at man’s continuing exploration into the final frontier. Slideshow
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