In Praise of Disconnects

Jay Powell continues to show his independence from Donald Trump. Thank goodness for disconnects. For three, to be precise. The first is the disconnect between Donald Trump and Jay Powell, the man he appointed to chair the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. It wasn’t too long ago that they seemed joined at […]

Trump’s Economy Might Not Be Enough to Save the House

With the November congressional elections only 87 days away, Donald Trump has added to his revolutionary use of tweets what might prove to be an outdated reliance on two old-fashioned electoral winners to pull Republican candidates through tough elections: a booming economy and promise-keeping. Most presidents attempt to expand their political base once in office. […]

Is the Trump Economy Sustainable?

Growth trumps decline. That’s what President Trump is gambling on to hand him victory if the trade skirmish morphs into a trade war. The U.S. economy is growing at an annual rate of 4.1 percent and continues to create jobs. According to yesterday’s jobs report, the economy added 157,000 new jobs in June. That was […]

The Limits of Prosperity?

Lots of good news last week. “The economy is as good as it’s ever been, ever. . . . People can’t believe what’s happening,” says President Trump, abandoning his usual preference for understatement. Economic growth “may be 4 percent for a quarter or two” Larry Kudlow, the president’s economic advisor, announced. CNBC analyst Jim Cramer […]

‘Just Let It Rip’

The American economic expansion, heading into its tenth year, still has room to run. So say some of the best regarded pundits. The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta estimates that in the second quarter the economy has grown at an annual rate of 3.8 percent. Too gloomy a guess for forecasters at Macroeconomic Advisers. They […]

The Anywheres vs. the Somewheres

We have British intellectual-founder of think tanks, editor-David Goodhart, to thank for the distinction between “Anywheres” and “Somewheres,” the replacement for the more traditional left-right or class-based distinctions which were, until recently, used to describe democratic politics. Anywheres “have portable, ‘achieved’ identities, based on educational and career success which makes them generally comfortable and confident […]

Could Emerging Market Economies Be a Drag on U.S. Growth?

Economy watchers can’t seem to find anything to worry about, with the possible exception of a trade war that few believe will happen. The economy is growing, unemployment is down, labor force participation is up, inflation is hitting Fed targets, the stock market shrugs at bad news and embraces the good. As Fed chairman Jay […]

Trumpenomics for Dummies

Understanding the economics of MAGA. If you find yourself confused by our president’s economic policy this might help. The policy starts with a promise to Make America Great Again. Don’t underestimate the importance of “Again” in this. We were great in the day in which thousands of miners dug coal-many dying in the process-to send […]

The Trump Jobs Machine Is Roaring

The great American job-creating machine, already in high gear, picked up in May, when the economy added 223,000 jobs-over 50,000 more than experts had predicted. That news took second place to a 7:21 a.m. Trump tweet, “Looking forward to seeing the employment numbers at 8:30 this morning.” In fact, his economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, had […]

Trump’s Economy in a Time of Scandal

How much will the economy matter to voters in November? The congressional leaders of his Republican party want President Trump to stop his-and now is indeed his as much or more than theirs-incontinent tweeting, arguing that it unsettles independent voters. They want him to restrict his campaigning to scripted speeches extolling the virtues of his […]