The “Phase One” min-deal reached by the United States and China tamping down bilateral trade tensions for the moment, speaks volumes about the three major forces that are now driving President Trump’s China policy, and that will keep shaping it through the next U.S. election – though not always in consistent ways. They are: >the … Read more(What’s Left of) Our Economy: What the Mini-Deal Says About Trump’s China Policy
I’m pleased to report that the video is now on-line of my interview today on CNBC’s “Power Lunch” program on the fast-moving U.S.-China trade talks currently taking place in Washington, D.C. Click on this link to see a great discussion of the state of the negotiations – along with an examination of the key question … Read moreMaking News: CNBC China Trade Talks Video Now On-Line; Piscopo Show Appearance Tomorrow Morning
I’m pleased to announce that I’m scheduled to appear this afternoon on CNBC’s “Power Lunch” program in a segment focusing on the latest U.S.-China trade talks underway in Washington, D.C. The interview is slated for 2 PM EST and, as usual, I’ll post a link to the podcast as soon as one’s available. Speaking up … Read moreMaking News: CNBC Interview on China Trade Talks Set for this Afternoon, New Podcasts…& More!
I’m pleased to announce that I’m scheduled to be interviewed on two nationally syndicated radio programs today on the current, possibly crucial phase of the U.S.-China trade talks. I also suspect that both segments will at some point turn to the uproar over China’s efforts to censor a National Basketball Association executive for tweeting his … Read moreMaking News: Two China Trade War (& NBA?) National Radio Interviews Coming Up Today
Ever since Boeing ran into safety problems that early this year resulting in the widespread grounding of one of its most successful airliners, authoritative (as opposed to anecdotal) signs have been elusive that the aerospace giant’s woes have been contributing to the slowdown being experienced by domestic manufacturing. This matter matters because a sizable Boeing … Read more(What’s Left of) Our Economy: A Boeing Drag on US Manufacturing Unrelated to Trump’s Trade War
In recent years, the National Basketball Association (NBA) has worked hard to earn its reputation as the most socially conscious sports league in America and possibly the world – and certainly its owners and Commissioner Adam Silver have both permitted the players to speak out on various political and policy issues, and demonstrated a pretty … Read moreIm-Politic: The NBA’s Not Real Woke on Hong Kong
It’s lucky for President Trump that being stupid per se isn’t (yet?) grounds for impeachment, because if it was, his recent call for Beijing’s aid to investigate the Biden family’s possibly corrupt activities in China would surely qualify. In fact, it’s hard to think of a presidential action in recent memory that fails on so … Read moreIm-Politic: Why Trump’s Ukraine China Ask Was So (Needlessly) Stupid
This past week has been so crazy news-wise that I’d completely forgotten to post a link to a video of an interview I did for NewsmaxTV.com two Fridays ago. The subject: some recent economy-related developments in the current and intensifying presidential campaign! So click here for a great (and still timely!) discussion on the “Liquid … Read moreMaking News: Video of Presidential Campaign Economics Interview Now On-Line!
Today’s U.S. jobs report (for September) contained much better news for President Trump and his supporters in terms of the economy’s overall performance than it did in terms of his trade policies. American employment on net rose by a decent 136,000 sequentially last month, and the revisions (which boosted the July and August numbers by … Read more(What’s Left of) Our Economy: The Trade Wars’ Bite on Manufacturing Jobs Looks Deeper
Kurt Volker, who just resigned as special U.S. envoy to Ukraine, is testifying in closed session to Congress today, presumably to shed light on charges that President Trump improperly (and maybe impeach-ably) asked that country’s leader to investigate possible corruption by Democratic Presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. As … Read moreIm-Politic: Why Former Ukraine Envoy Kurt Volker Really Matters
The economics and investment worlds have plunged into near-panic mode over a report yesterday on American domestic manufacturing whose headline number was the worst since recessionary 2009. The September results from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) have been interpreted as a sign that a U.S. recession has just become much more likely, and an … Read more(What’s Left of) Our Economy: Is Trump’s Trade War Really Killing Manufacturing Exports?
As Americans continue debating the merits of remaining dependent on supplies of key products from China (including state-of-the-art 5G telecommunications technology), a great example of why self-sufficiency can be crucial – along with laying adequate groundwork – has just come from an economy much smaller than the United States’ and capable of standing on its … Read more(What’s Left of) Our Economy: A Vital Globalization Lesson from South Korea
Net change in U.S. immigrant population, 2017-18: -70 percent Change in U.S. real wages for all workers, 2017-18: +1.30 percent Best annual increase since: 2014 (1.82 percent) Improvement over 2016-17 wage change: 196.7 percent Change in U.S. real wages for blue-collar workers, 2017-18: 1.63 percent Best annual increase since: 2015 (2.23 percent) Improvement over 2016-2017 … Read moreThose Stubborn Facts: The Latest on Immigration and Wages
OK, it’s not a verifiably un-doctored recording (apparently, they’re never available) – even though nearly all the Democratic members of the House of Representatives and many of the party’s presidential candidates view it as more than enough to warrant President Trump’s impeachment. (Removal from office? We’ve heard much less on that related but separate matter.) … Read moreIm-Politic: Why the Impeachment Case Isn’t Even Remotely Serious Yet
On Sunday, I wrote about an Associated Press article dealing extensively with manufacturing that I said might not have been Fake News, but sure came close. Today, the Washington Post published an article about President Trump’s activities at the UN General Assembly meeting in New York City that unquestionably deserves that label. The theme of … Read moreIm-Politic: The Washington Post Goes All Fake News on Trump, Biden, and the UN
Like so many of us, I’ve followed the career of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez with unusual interest. But lately it seems that I haven’t been reading or hearing as much about her as I had for most of her first months in Congress, when the first-term New York City House Member clearly established herself as one of … Read moreIm-Politic: Have We Hit Peak AOC?
The Associated Press (AP) is a ginormous global news organization, and its reach is especially widespread here in the United States (although I couldn’t find figures breaking out its American clientele specifically). So it’s a big deal when one of its highest profile writers spreads the kind of utter claptrap about domestic U.S. manufacturing that … Read more(What’s Left of) Our Economy: The AP’s Manufactured Nonsense About Manufacturing
Even if the Cato Institute’s Ted Galen Carpenter wasn’t one of my closest friends, I’d still be writing this post highlighting his op-ed piece earlier this week for the Washington Post. Because it absolutely decimates the claim that all that ails the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), America’s oldest national security alliance, is recklessly mindless … Read moreOur So-Called Foreign Policy: Why a Real America First European Security Policy is More Urgent than Ever
I’m pleased to announce that the podcast is now on-line of my interview Wednesday night on John Batchelor’s nationally syndicated radio show. So if you missed it this timely conversation (with co-host Gordon G. Chang, too) about the threat posed to Americans by China’s totalitarian social credit system, or would like to hear it again, … Read moreMaking News: Podcast Now On-Line of National Radio Interview on a New China Threat
Another trade war myth bites the dust! And its demise is especially big news, given that its killers are some of the leading myth-makers. Specifically, as reported by CNBC,com, top officials of a major lobbying campaign aimed at forcing President Trump to overturn his tariff-heavy trade policies, and in particular, to make nice with China, … Read more(What’s Left of) Our Economy: The Offshoring Lobby Admits Americans are Standing Tall in the China Trade War
I’m pleased to announce that I’m scheduled to return to John Batchelor’s nationally syndicated radio show tonight. Our likely topic: China’s totalitarian practice of “social rating” – and how it can turn American businesses into agents of China’s dictators. The segment is slated to begin at 9:15 PM EST and you can listen live on-line … Read moreMaking News: On National Radio Tonight on the Threat (to Americans) of China’s Social Ratings
Is U.S. domestic manufacturing emerging from its recent funk? This morning’s Federal Reserve industrial production figures (for August) certainly supply some compelling evidence. And some of the nation’s major metals-using industries – widely portrayed as major victims of Trump administration tariffs that have been in place since early 2018 on steel and aluminum – led … Read more(What’s Left of) Our Economy: Some Manufacturing Pushback Versus Tariff Gloom-Mongering
Since psychology and emotions can affect how much individuals and companies spend and invest, and since U.S. economic growth does show signs of slowing from a solid but less-than-torrid pace, surveys purporting to track levels of consumer and business confidence understandably have attracted much more attention than usual. One big possible problem, though: This era’s … Read more(What’s Left of) Our Economy: The Case for Confidence in the Consumer Confidence Surveys May be Weakening
I’m pleased to announce that the podcast is now on-line of my Tuesday night interview on Breitbart News Tonight on evidence that many of President Trump’s opponents have launched a politically inspired campaign to talk the U.S. economy into a recession. To listen, click here and scroll all the way down until you see the … Read moreMaking News: Breitbart Podcast of Recession Gloom-Mongering Interview Now On-Line…& More!
Given the on-again-off-again nature of President Trump’s tariff policies (which against China went partly off again yesterday in the form of an announced short delay in the imposition of $250 billion worth of levies originally set for October 1), I figured there was no sense in performing my now-standard analysis of this morning’s new monthly … Read moreIm-Politic: Has Trump’s Record on Real Wages Been Good Enough Politically?
With John Bolton now out as President Trump’s national security adviser, it’s a great time to review the Trump foreign policy record so far. My grade? Though disappointing in some important respects, it’s been pretty good. Moreover, Bolton’s departure signals that performance could improve significantly, at least from the kind of America First perspective on … Read moreOur So-Called Foreign Policy: Trump’s Record and the Bolton Effect
I’m pleased to announce that I’m scheduled to return to Breitbart News Tonight to talk about evidence that President Trump’s opponents are trying to talk the U.S. economy into recession. The segment is slated to begin at 9:40 PM EST, and if you’re not already a SiriusXM Patriot radio subscriber, you can get a free trial … Read moreMaking News: Talking Recession Gloom-Mongering on Breitbart Radio Tonight…& More!
Can a national economy be talked into recession? And is this a danger for the American economy today? As known by anyone with even basic knowledge about economics, because psychology (and especially optimism and pessimism) so crucial determines business and consumer decisions, the answer to the first question unmistakably is “Yes,” at least in theory. … Read more(What’s Left of) Our Economy: Why Media Recession Cheerleading May Be a Thing
It’s U.S. labor productivity data time – in other words, the point at which all Americans interested in their economy and its future should be examining the latest news about a major measure of economic efficiency that speaks volumes about the nation’s chances of boosting living standards on a healthy, sustainable, rather than bubble-ized and … Read more(What’s Left of) Our Economy: Economic and Political Productivity Puzzles
The latest U.S. government report on the nation’s employment picture (for August) produced unusually mixed jobs results. (See, e.g., this report.) Maybe that’s why analysts seem to have missed one of its more encouraging takeaways: Hourly wages in the manufacturing sector, which have remained weak throughout the current economic expansion and into the Trump era, … Read more(What’s Left of) Our Economy: The New Jobs Report’s Wage Details are Mixed, Too – Economically and Politically
I’m pleased to announce that a link to the video of my last appearance on i24News is now available. It’s from two Fridays ago, but if you click on it, and press the download button, you’ll still be able to see a very timely conversation about the U.S.-China trade conflict. And don’t forget: It will … Read moreMaking News: China Trade War Video Now Available!
This morning’s August jobs report from the U.S. Labor Department was mediocre news for the American economy as a whole, but it finally brought some good news for opponents of President Trump’s trade policies. For the new monthly numbers, plus the latest set of benchmark revisions, finally revealed some notable damage to hiring in U.S. … Read more(What’s Left of) Our Economy: A Good U.S. Manufacturing Jobs Report – for Trump Trade War Critics
That was some Twitter exchange Monday between Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz and new Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot! Not only was it scorching (especially on Lightfoot’s part), but it was crucially important for clarifying a major problem with how Americans have been debating the issue of gun violence and what to do about it. The … Read moreIm-Politic: Gun Sense Urgently Needed in Chicago
The outlook remains murky because of all the twists and turns of the Sino-American trade conflict and attendant tariffs and tariff front-running. All the same, this morning’s U.S. government monthly trade report (for July) adds to the evidence that under President Trump’s administration, America’s economic fortunes are steadily being decoupled from those of hostile, protectionist, … Read more(What’s Left of) Our Economy: New U.S. Trade Figures Show More Decoupling – of Growth from Soaring Deficits
I’m pleased to announce the publication of my newest freelance article. Posted last night by The American Conservative, it uses recent, and usually overlooked, U.S. government data to debunk the claim that President Trump’s working- and middle-class voters were duped by the promises of a fake populist who proceeded to shaft them once he entered … Read moreIm-Politic: New Article Shreds Trump-as-Fake-Populist Claims
“The consumer will save us,” or some variation thereof, has become a rallying cry for those believing that the U.S. economy will avoid recession, at least for the foreseeable future. For RealityChek regulars, however, it’s a red flag, possibly revealing that too many economy watchers have forgotten, or never learned, the most important lesson of … Read more(What’s Left of) Our Economy: Is Growth’s Quality Again Turning for the Worse?
As a firm believer that healthy democracies and vibrant economies need strong, independent labor unions, I’m happy to celebrate Labor Day each year, and pleased that Americans have been doing so now for 125 years. (Whether particular unions today are playing constructive roles is another matter entirely.) And that’s why I’m also concerned that a … Read moreIm-Politic: A Good News/Bad News Labor Day Poll for U.S. Labor Unions
By all accounts, General George S. Patton was one of America’s greatest battlefield leaders during World War II. And by nearly all of those same accounts, he had no qualifications to advise Presidents on the grand strategies that would serve the country best in world affairs. I couldn’t help but think of Patton while reading … Read moreOur So-Called Foreign Policy: Why Mattis Isn’t the Last Word on “America First”
I’m pleased to announce that I’ll be returning to the U.S.-Israeli TV network i24News tonight. The subject: How the new tariffs on goods from China slated to be imposed this Sunday will affect American consumers and the broader economy. The network’s programs are normally available only to paying subscribers, but you can watch the segment, slated … Read moreMaking News: Back on i24News Tonight to Talk About This Sunday’s China Tariffs
“Decoupling” is a word that’s started to pervade news reports and commentary about the U.S.-China trade war. And it’s even at long last been mentioned as a possible goal by President Trump. So this seems like a good time to explain what it really means, and why it’s strongly in both American economic and security … Read more(What’s Left of) Our Economy: The Real Deal with that U.S.-China Decoupling