China’s growth problem is an inequality problem

China’s economic growth rate has been slowing down for the last decade. This Monday marked a new low, with news of just 6.2 percent year-over-year growth for the second quarter. Of course, if a major western nation like the United States posted 6.2 percent growth, champagne corks would be popping. But for China, that’s a big come down from a peak of 12 percent in the late 2000s. President Trump was eager to take credit, crowing that “United States tariffs are having a major effect on companies wanting to leave China for non-tariffed countries.” If Trump’s trade war were actually responsible for China’s downshift, that would hardly be something to… Read More

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The Fed’s monetary policy prison

At the end of this month, the Federal Reserve will decide once again what to do about interest rates. Virtually everyone thinks it will cut. But while the expectation is nearly unanimous, it certainly isn’t uncontroversial. Speaking for many mainstream analysts, Mohamed A. El-Erian, a former economic adviser to President Obama, pointed out that an interest rate cut will come with real trade-offs: It will leave the central bank less prepared for the next recession, or possibly exacerbate the next financial bubble. That does not mean the Fed shouldn’t cut. It does mean the Fed is stuck in a policy prison where it has very little room to maneuver, and… Read More

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Kamala Harris is introducing the first-ever bill of rights for domestic workers

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) wants to shake up the current state of U.S. labor law, which often overlooks a crucial part of the country’s workforce. The 2020 Democratic presidential candidate announced on Monday that she is introducing the National Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, a first-of-its-kind piece of legislation that, if passed, would provide legal protections and benefits to millions of people who work as nannies, house cleaners, and home care workers, who are often immigrants and women of color. Currently, these professions have few federal protections and benefit guarantees. It’s time we changed the way we value domestic work in America. Today I’m introducing the first ever National Domestic… Read More

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China’s economic growth slows to lowest level in decades

Amid rising trade tensions with the United States, China’s economy continued to slow down in the second quarter, with growth dropping to its lowest level in 27 years, Chinese officials announced Monday. The economy grew 6.2 percent between April and June compared to a year earlier, matching estimates. In June, retail sales went up 9.8. percent and factory output rose 6.3 percent, while investment gained 5.8 percent during the first half of the year. Following President Trump’s decision to impose more tariffs on Chinese goods, exports to the U.S. fell 7.8 percent in June compared to a year ago. Representatives from the U.S. and China are still trying to craft… Read More

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Debate blooms over whether mammoth ivory ‘gold rush’ in Russia is ethical alternative or another form of poaching

Activists and officials in Russia are warning of a “gold rush” for mammoth ivory in the country as permafrost thaws in the Yakutia region in the eastern half of the country, The Guardian reports. The melting permafrost, induced by climate change, has made it easier for prospectors to find and dig up woolly mammoth tusks and other remains that can then be sold to China, where they are fashioned into jewelry and other decorations, for a small fortune. Woolly mammoth ivory preserved in permafrost in Yakutia reportedly makes up 80 percent of Russia’s trade in what is largely an unregulated market worth tens of millions each year. But it’s become… Read More

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