Technological Unemployment To Hit Service Sector

By: Wednesday March 27, 2013 9:34 am

The story of robotics replacing workers in manufacturing is nothing new but now it seems that robots are moving into the once unthinkable sector of service jobs. The kind of work some previously thought only humans could do. If you meet Baxter, the latest humanoid robot from Rethink Robotics – you should get comfortable with [...]

Economic Indicators Still Point to Weak 2013

By: Tuesday November 20, 2012 7:02 am

Morgan Stanley continues to predict a weak 1.4% growth for the US in 2013. I assume some of this pessimism has to do with the potential for a nasty fiscal slope. But this forecast mirrors their previous forecast in September, so nothing has changed in their analysis in the two months where policymakers crept closer [...]

Yes, Overvalued Currency Remains a Huge Economic Problem for the US

By: Tuesday October 30, 2012 11:41 am

After Mitt Romney put the issue of Chinese currency manipulation into the Presidential race, economists and analysts rushed to explain that such manipulation isn’t happening, and anyway Romney is dishonest, and his policies, if carried out, would start a trade war. I responded that, even if you accept that China has stopped manipulating their currency, [...]

Debate Odds and Ends

By: Wednesday October 17, 2012 3:18 pm

A few more comments on last night’s debate: • I don’t think the college student worried about his job prospects was looking for the answer Obama gave about the budding rise of manufacturing. He’s not looking for a factory job. I think high-skill manufacturing should absolutely be part of the mix of the 21st-century job [...]

Commerce Department Puts Tariffs on Chinese Solar Panels, But Loophole May Render That Irrelevant

By: Thursday October 11, 2012 10:45 am

The Commerce Department imposed slightly lower but still robust tariffs on Chinese solar panels, alleging that subsidies undercut US prices and violate international trade laws. The Commerce Department issued its final ruling Wednesday in a long-simmering trade dispute with China, imposing tariffs ranging from about 24 to nearly 36 percent on most solar panels imported [...]

China-Japan Dispute Over South China Sea Islands Grows Violent

By: Monday September 17, 2012 9:08 am

The war of wordsbetween China and Japan over a chain of uninhabited islands has the potential to escalate in disturbing ways, and destabilize a region that is central to the world’s economic performance. Some major Japanese brandname firms announced factory shutdowns in China on Monday and urged expatriates to stay indoors ahead of what could [...]

European Economic Indicators Sharply Down

By: Monday July 2, 2012 6:55 am

  Everyone was supposed to go home happy after an EU summit that beat expectations. However, if you look at the crux of what Europe did at the summit, you would get the impression that Wolfgang Münchau got, that they really just played around with a European bailout fund that has no additional cash in [...]

Romney Asking GOP Governors to Downplay Economy in Their Swing States

By: Thursday June 21, 2012 12:23 pm

The big story today comes from Bloomberg, which tells a tale of the Romney campaign asking Florida Governor Rick Scott to downplay stories about economic recovery in his crucial swing state. Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign asked Florida Governor Rick Scott to tone down his statements heralding improvements in the state’s economy because they clash with [...]

Spring Optimism/Summer Stall Dynamic Creeping Back Into Economic Forecasts

By: Thursday May 31, 2012 8:55 am

In both 2010 and 2011, promising economic indicators in the late winter and early spring have led to a downturn by the summer, dashing those hopes. I find it amusing in a time of a warming planet that this has, in every single year, been partially attributed to an “unusually warm winter.” Maybe that warmth [...]

Manufacturing Job Growth, But Flat Wages

By: Tuesday May 29, 2012 7:42 am

The last four years have seen a comeback in manufacturing. As that relates to the auto rescue, the Obama Administration never tires of telling the story. But one part of that story is often left out of the telling. Because it turns out that the expansion in manufacturing has accompanied flat wages (WSJ subscription required) [...]

Mike Daisey, Apple, and Why Inquiry of Factory Conditions Everywhere Matters

By: Wednesday March 21, 2012 12:18 pm

We’re finally getting over the hoopla of the This American Life retraction of Mike Daisey’s Apple claims, which has led to a new emerging trend that wouldn’t be possible without the false claims Daisey made. I think Daisey did significant damage to raising awareness on labor standards around the world, particularly in China, for political [...]

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