Archive

Reuters blog archive

from Breakingviews:

Review: Stockman polemic gloomily convincing

By Martin Hutchinson

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

David Stockman is a polemicist. “The Great Deformation: The Corruption of Capitalism in America”, the new book by the former adviser to President Ronald Reagan and private equity magnate, is a tirade, arguing over more than 700 pages that crony capitalism and central planning have increasingly corrupted U.S. policy since the Franklin Roosevelt administration.

Stockman has a clear intellectual starting point - the Austrian school which holds that loose monetary policy encourages the build-up of “malinvestment”, inevitably followed by the major economic downturn needed to liquidate assets and operations with no long-term economic value. Stockman sees a long history of politically motivated easy money, with the fiscal deficits and inflation that followed President Richard Nixon’s abandonment of the Bretton Woods gold peg as the key misstep.

The book has flaws. Some of the material, for example about financial misbehaviour in recent years, has been presented well elsewhere. And some judgments are doubtful. For example, the denunciation of Reagan’s defense build-up is ill-considered, as it was relatively modest and peaked at a lower proportion of GDP than was managed under President Dwight Eisenhower, whom Stockman praises.

from Tales from the Trail:

Election shines light on long path to post-racial America

So much for post-racial.

Supporters watch as U.S. President Barack Obama celebrates his re-election during his election night rally in Chicago, Nov. 7, 2012. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Supporters watch as U.S. President Barack Obama celebrates his re-election during his election night rally in Chicago, Nov. 7, 2012. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

When President Barack Obama won his historic bid for the U.S. presidency in 2008 as the nation's first black president, there was a lot of talk about a new era for America.

from Edward Hadas:

Welcome the U.S. relative decline

Whoever wins the U.S. presidential election will preside over a relative decline in the country’s global economic position. He should, but probably will not, accept the inevitable.

There was a time when almost everything about the American economy set the world standard. In 1960, The United States was the world’s largest market. It had by far the most developed infrastructure, easily the best educational system and undoubtedly the most business-friendly government. It was the source of most innovations, from safe highways and comfortable suburban houses to computers and advanced pharmaceuticals.

from Tales from the Trail:

Obama takes a break from debate prep – at the Hoover Dam

U.S. President Barack Obama took a break from preparing for Wednesday night's debate with a quick visit to the Hoover Dam.

Wearing a gingham shirt, khaki trousers and sunglasses, according to a White House press pool report, the president asked some questions of a dam manager and a staffer from the U.S. Department of the Interior. He learned that most of the power generated from the dam - in Nevada, not far from Las Vegas - goes to Southern California, and that some of the 28,ooo people who built the dam were killed, but "fewer than you can imagine."

from Tales from the Trail:

Romney’s problems with minority voters extend to Asians, study shows

Republican Mitt Romney's problems appealing to minority voters extends beyond blacks and Hispanics, with Asian-Americans also heavily favoring Democratic President Barack Obama's re-election on Nov. 6.

Among likely voters who are Asian American, 43 percent back Obama, compared with 24 percent for Romney. But there are still many out there to be won over, because a third - 32 percent - of those who are judged likely to cast ballots on Nov. 6 have not yet made up their minds, according to the National Asian American Survey, which organizers said was  the largest such study of Asian American and Pacific Islanders' public opinion ever done in the United States.

from Tales from the Trail:

This election, abortion rights activists are looking for just a few good women

This fall, there is going to be a relatively small group of women voters who may be very, very sick of hearing from NARAL Pro-Choice America by Election Day on Nov. 6.

Like most of those involved in politics this election year, the abortion rights advocacy group says that women will determine the outcome of the contest on Nov. 6 between Democratic President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney.

from Tales from the Trail:

Union leader sees opportunity in Romney’s dismissal of the “47 percent”

Democrats have reacted gleefully to the release of Mitt Romney's secretly videotaped dismissal of 47 percent of American voters - whom he identified as supporters of President Barack Obama - as victims who do not pay their share or "care for their lives."

But few have reacted with as much glee as union leaders who have spent the past two years waging big fights over labor rules with Republican-controlled state governments - and the past week facing fallout from a bitter Chicago teachers' strike.

from Tales from the Trail:

Non-retired Baby Boomers anxious about more than jobs

The Baby Boomers have come a long way from Flower Power. Retirement savings, Social Security and Medicare are weighing heavily on their minds this election season, even if they are still in the workforce.

The AARP surveyed Americans aged 50-64 who are still working, and found that they share younger voters' worries about the economy ahead of the Nov. 6 election, but their economic concerns extend well beyond jobs. These members of the "Baby Boom" generation worry about rising prices, healthcare costs, financial security when they retire and taxes.

from Tales from the Trail:

2012 Election? In hot summer, it’s leaving Americans cold

A long spell of brutally hot weather is not the only thing making Americans cranky this summer.

With four months still to go before the presidential election on Nov. 6, Americans seem to be experiencing the 2012 campaign more like studying for a big math test than watching an exciting neck-and-neck horse race, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. More Republicans in particular are bored with the campaign.

from Tales from the Trail:

This time, some Democrats are embracing “Obamacare”

 

Fierce opposition to President Barack Obama's healthcare bill helped propel Republicans to big victories in the 2010 mid-term elections, when they won a majority of seats in the House of Representatives and cut into the Democratic majority in the Senate.

But this year, at least some Democrats are embracing the healthcare plan - touting their support for its popular provisions and attacking Republicans for opposing measures that polls show big majorities of Americans supporting.

  •