The Great Debate

Why reports of the death of the salesman are greatly exaggerated

By Frank Cespedes
November 6, 2014

To match Feature CHINA-AUTOS/SUV

Perhaps it’s time for a re-think of “Death of a Salesman.” After two decades of talk about the “new economy” and the “disruption” of certain professions by the Internet, you might think that sales as we know it is as stale and outdated as Willy Loman — a function that has been “disintermediated” by the digital revolution.

from Edward Hadas:

Fear no robot overlords. They can become our best friends.

By Edward Hadas
October 30, 2014

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The “konditorei” in Sankt Florian, Austria offers fine pastries and wonderful hot chocolate. It was the perfect location to interrupt a holiday for a bit of work. Over a slice of strudel, I spent a few minutes last week contemplating my colleague Andy Mukherjee’s well argued article about the danger robots pose for the modern economy. Looking around the bakery-cafe, I saw why Andy should be proven wrong.

from Edward Hadas:

Why the global recovery is so slow

By Edward Hadas
August 6, 2014

By Edward Hadas

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

Creating an upscale service economy

By Robert Kuttner
November 29, 2012

The American economy is irrevocably shifting from manufacturing to services. Our workforce has gone from 28 percent factory workers and 72 percent service workers in 1978 to 14 percent factory workers and 86 percent service workers today.

The unequal reality of Friday’s jobs report

By Zachary Karabell
November 2, 2012

Today’s U.S. Labor Department report on jobs confirms what we’ve known for more than a year: We have entered a new normal for jobs, with marginal gains, marginal losses and higher levels of unemployment becoming the unfortunate norm.

What women want is political key

By Anne Taylor Fleming
October 18, 2012

No matter how artificial and canned the candidates can seem at a presidential debate, no matter how competent or ineffectual the moderator — the nominee’s true self will peak out at some point.

Who knew jobs data could be so exciting?

By Douglas Holtz-Eakin
October 8, 2012

The September jobs report ignited a firestorm when Jack Welch, former General Electric chief executive officer and Reuters contributor, asserted (or implied, or wondered if) the unemployment rate had been politically doctored to give President Barack Obama an electoral advantage. After all, how can the unemployment rate drop a full 0.3 percentage points to 7.8 percent when the economy is creating only 114,000 jobs?

from David Rohde:

Yes, we’re creating jobs, but how’s the pay?

By David Rohde
January 5, 2012

Update: The December job numbers released this morning continued the same trend described in yesterday’s column. Of the 200,000 new jobs created last month, 78,000 – or nearly 40 percent -- were in transportation, warehousing and retail, sectors known for low pay and seasonal hiring. In a far more positive sign, manufacturing gained 23,000 workers in December after four months of little change. A vast expansion of that trend would benefit the middle class tremendously.

The income mobility myth

By David Callahan
October 27, 2011

By David Callahan
The opinions expressed are his own.

Top Republicans have a simple answer to surging public concern about America’s vast wealth divide: More income mobility. “We want success for everybody,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said last week, adding that Americans shouldn’t “excoriate some who have been successful.” This remedy for economic unfairness taps into the popular American belief that public policy should ensure equality of opportunity, not outcome.

What happens after Obama’s jobs bill dies?

By Nicholas Wapshott
October 26, 2011

By Nicholas Wapshott
The opinions expressed are his own.

You can add to the list of hollow cries from history–such as “Ban the Bomb!” and “Bring the Troops Home!”–the president’s favorite refrain, “Pass the Jobs Bill Now!” Like the rest, Obama’s oft repeated demand is a sham, a mere slogan. Neither he nor his party, and certainly no Republican, believes Congress is going to pass even a small part of the bill, for it combines two elements his opponents detest the most: public works and higher taxes on the rich.