August 8, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - Ben Bernanke wants to know whether you are happy. The Federal Reserve chairman said Monday that gauging happiness can be as important for measuring economic progress as determining whether inflation is low or unemployment high. Economics isn't just about money and material benefits, Bernanke said. It is also about understanding and promoting "the enhancement of well-being. " Bernanke and Fed policymakers rely on reports on hiring, consumer spending, and other economic data when making high-stakes decisions about the $15 trillion U.S. economy.
July 15, 2012 |
Economic growth is not an issue normally associated with the Pentagon. But on Jan. 23, 2006, officials there handed the Defense Department's Distinguished Public Service Award to then-outgoing Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan. The reason for the award: He helped unleash tremendous economic growth that had strengthened the country, led to new advances in science and technology, and demonstrated the power of a free and open economic system. The importance of economic prosperity is hard to overstate.
May 23, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - Are Republican lawmakers deliberately stalling the economic recovery to hurt President Obama's reelection chances? Some top Democrats say yes, pointing to GOP stances on the debt limit and other issues, which they say are causing unnecessary economic anxiety and retarding growth. The latest Democratic complaint came after House Speaker John A. Boehner said last week that when Congress raises the nation's borrowing cap in early 2013, he will again insist on big spending cuts to offset the increase.
May 12, 2012 |
BRUSSELS - The European Union says that a recession brought on by a crippling debt crisis could give way to a modest recovery later this year - provided governments persevere on the tough austerity track. It suggested that more growth-enhancing measures can be pursued alongside strict budgetary controls, but only as long as they do not detract from acheiving deficit reduction targets. In its half-yearly economic projections, the European Commission, the executive arm of the EU, said Friday that the economy of the 17 countries that use the euro will shrink by 0.3 percent this year.
March 6, 2012 |
NEW YORK - Two signs of trouble elsewhere in the world pushed U.S. stocks lower Monday: slowing economic growth in China and a possible hitch in a deal to get Greece its bailout money. The Dow Jones industrial average closed the day down 14.76 points, or 0.1 percent, to 12,962.81. The Dow closed above 13,000 last week for the first time since May 2008. Much of the pessimism stemmed from China's premier, Wen Jiabao, who lowered China's target rate for economic growth to 7.5 percent from 8 percent, where it has stood for years.
February 24, 2012
YESTERDAY, Mayor Nutter heard from Cabinet members and others who painted a dire picture of the impact Gov. Corbett's budget will have on the city's more vulnerable populations. Testifying at a two-hour PhillyStat meeting were people on the front lines of those areas that will be affected by Corbett's proposal to consolidate seven state appropriations - including services for mental health, intellectual disabilities, county child welfare, behavioral health, homeless help, and drug and alcohol treatment - into a single block grant, while slashing the money for these by 20 percent.
February 1, 2012
Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia President Charles Plosser said he didn't support the central bank's decision last month to extend the time frame for low rates at least through late 2014. "Economic conditions have modestly improved since our December meeting, especially on the employment front," Plosser said today in a speech to the Main Line Chamber of Commerce in Gladwyne. "I saw little justification to further ease monetary policy. " The Federal Open Market Committee on Jan. 25 extended its commitment to keep rates low by at least 18 months as moderate rates of economic growth have failed to reduce unemployment below 8.5 percent since the 18-month recession ended in June 2009.
October 9, 2011 |
These are difficult times for the United States. Its post-2008 recovery has slowed, and some observers fear Europe's financial problems could tip the American and world economy into a second recession. American politics remain gridlocked over budget issues, and compromise will be even more difficult on the eve of the 2012 election. In these circumstances, many are predicting America's decline, especially relative to China. And it's not just pundits. A recent Pew poll found that in 15 of 22 countries surveyed, most people believe China will replace or has replaced America as the world's leading power.
September 28, 2011
With 'TRAIN' bill, people will die As a medical-school student and future physician, I'm disappointed with local U.S. Reps. Jim Gerlach, Patrick Meehan, and Mike Fitzpatrick for their recent votes to perpetuate the terrible myth that public-health safeguards are killing jobs. If it becomes law, H.R. 2401, also known as the TRAIN Act, which passed Friday in the House of Representatives, will yield 175,000 more asthma attacks and more than 25,000 premature deaths in the first year alone, due to smog, soot, and toxic air pollution.
September 19, 2011 |
ONE OF THE new barbers at the Baltimore Avenue barbershop where Sebastiano "Benny" Augello held court for 50 years has purple hair and plenty of tattoos and is a member of an all-female punk-rock band called Ovaryaction. "I love this place. It's a dream come true," said Heather DeForrest, who, with business partner Sabrina Anderson, opened Talking Headz, on Baltimore near 47th in West Philly, four months ago. Benny's Barber Shop, a longtime neighborhood fixture, once stood there.