July 19, 2018

Checking In On the Economy and Trade

“For the second month in a row, annual inflation fully offset workers’ average hourly wage growth.” (Wall Street Journal)

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The left is concerned that despite a booming economy, the average American is still unable to get ahead.

The right is generally optimistic about the economy, but worries that the US will be isolated on trade.

“How does it happen that there are major corporations in America where CEOs receive extravagant compensation packages, who pay their workers wages so low that many of them are forced to rely on food stamps, Medicaid and public housing – subsidized by taxpayers – to survive?”

The Guardian

“Even at a time of low unemployment, [workers’] bargaining power is feeble... Hostile institutions — the Trump administration, the courts, the corporate sector — are limiting their avenues for demanding higher pay.”

New York Times

Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund

IMF) estimates that “if all currently announced tariffs go into effect... global GDP could decrease by ½ percent—or roughly US$430 billion—below the current projection for 2020.”

IMF Blog

“President Trump is inciting a trade war, undermining NATO and painting Europe as a foe. It’s no wonder, then, that the European Union is looking elsewhere for friends.”

New York Times

“The real reason to worry about an intensification of U.S. trade protection... is that it has the potential of derailing both the U.S. and the global economic recoveries.”

The Hill

The right is generally optimistic about the economy, but worries that the US will be isolated on trade.

“Ever since President Donald J. Trump signed major tax reform legislation into law, the economy has been booming. Strong job growth, rising wages, and three million jobs created since Trump was sworn into office. There are now more jobs than there are job seekers.”

Townhall

While “wage growth is slower than we’d expect, and the reason is something of a mystery... This is good news, because it means that a healthy rate of wage growth is likely in the future.”

Bloomberg

Regarding the trade deal, “the latest batch of agreements demonstrate that Asia is rising to quickly fill the gaps left by current U.S. policy. For Americans, this is bad news as the U.S. will increasingly be left out of agreements and could be forced to cede power in organizations such as the WTO.”

Washington Examiner

“Mr. Trump picked fights with America’s largest economic partners because he assumes that, like him, they would focus on bilateral flows of finished goods and treat trade as a zero-sum game. That is proving wrong... The rest of the world will benefit from freer trade while American companies and consumers lose.”

Wall Street Journal

On the bright side...

Chicago is now spreading anti-ketchup propaganda on expressways.

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