Does Size Matter?
Even if they club together, for example, it is hard for other countries to match China’s clout in Asia. And there is no real substitute for America’s overall influence and power. The country spends more on defence than the next seven countries combined, produces 23% of global GDP (measured at market exchange rates) and has the world’s dominant currency. Still [some are hoping] that a joint effort can make a difference while Mr Trump is president. “A group of midsized and wealthy democracies could join forces and protect the rules-based world order.”
Workers are happier than they’ve been for a long time.
“For the first time since data began to be collected in 2000, there are more job openings than there are unemployed workers.” By the Economist’s telling, “Fully 5.8m more Americans are in work than in December of 2015.”
Workers may be happy, but not businesses.
Big and small, business is nattering about labor shortages. “Ninety percent of small businesses who are hiring or trying to hire workers report that there are few or no qualified applicants, according to the National Federation of Independent Business.”
The shortage is reaching a “critical point”, read one recent CNBC headline. A lack of applicants for blue-collar jobs such as trucking and construction has received particular scrutiny, as have states like Iowa where the unemployment rate is especially low (it is just 2.7% in the Hawkeye state).
But portraying widespread labour shortages as an economic problem is misguided. While they may be bad for firms, they are a boon for society—so long as inflation remains contained. In fact, a labour market in which firms must compete for workers, rather than workers competing for jobs should help resolve three of America’s biggest economic problems.
* Inadequate wage growth.
* “Faster productivity growth, which has been disappointing in America—and in other rich countries—since the financial crisis. If less profitable firms have to fold because they cannot pay enough to attract workers, their labour and capital can be put to better use.”
* Wage gains accrued “to the poorest workers. Full-time employees at the 10th percentile of the income distribution are earning almost 4% more than a year ago.”
Stephen Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies, history, and politics at New York University and Princeton University, to Tucker Carlson:
“I want my president to do what every other president has done. Meet with the head of the Kremlin to avoid an existential crisis—war—between the two nuclear superpowers. Sit with the other side and walk back the conflict. The Trump hunters, however, prefer trying to impeach Trump to averting nuclear disaster.
“Why the hostility to Russia AFTER the collapse of the Soviet Union?”
Why do Deep Staters dislike Putin, “president of post-Communist Russia, more than they disliked the leaders of communist Russia?”