China: Smart Intern, Stupid Question

A really smart student intern I’ve had the privilege of working with (Jonathan Flack, GWU 2010) asked a really stupid question. “Why,” he asked, “Do we give China everything it […]
Eric Lotke
  • 0

What Chinese Currency Manipulation Looks Like

As President Obama packs for China, I thought I’d show him a picture of how China is manipulating its currency. Source: Federal Reserve: Yuan, Broad dollar index. Graphic idea compliments […]
Eric Lotke
  • 0

New Unemployment, Old Solutions

Today’s unemployment data contain gloomy news. Gloomy, but expected. The interpretation of the data is even worse. First, the data. Unemployment rose to 10.2 percent last month, breaking the double […]
Eric Lotke
  • 0

Green Shoots. For Whom?

Today’s “Productivity and Costs” data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics contain what looks like good news. Productivity increased at a 9.5 percent annual rate during the third quarter of […]
Eric Lotke
  • 0

Building a Smart Grid, Smartly

President Barack Obama announced today $3.4 billion in government grants to help build a “smart” electric grid. Like many Obama initiatives, it’s a smart first step. But much more is […]
Eric Lotke
  • 0

Bernanke Solves The Wrong Deficit

Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke recognized today that America’s trade deficit played a central role in the global economic crisis. Then after he recognized the problem, he went on to […]
Eric Lotke
  • 0

Time to Take on the Banks

It’s time to take on the banks. 74% of American voters agree that “greed and risky decisions of banks and financial companies led to the financial crisis and recession, and […]
Eric Lotke
  • 0

The American People: Smarter Than They Look On TV

New public opinion research by the Economic Policy Institute contains reassuring findings. The American people are smarter than they sometimes look on TV. The survey of 802 registered voters in […]
Eric Lotke
  • 0

Deficit reduction: DOs and DON’Ts

The forum on American debt and deficit had it right. First, don’t panic. Don’t stop the stimulus spending or raise taxes with the economy still near the bottom. The Center […]
Eric Lotke
  • 0

G-20 Promises: What They Mean

The G-20 Summit is wrapping up today. We can compare its performance to promises made in advance. Leaders discussed financial markets, of course, but they also made promises about jobs […]
Eric Lotke
  • 0

G-20 Facts: Accounts out of Balance

Source: BEA Today is the first day of the G-20 summit in Pittsburgh. Because the G-20 nations represent 80 percent of world trade, it makes sense to look at America’s […]
Eric Lotke
  • 0

Steel City: Forgotten But Not Gone

In the lead up to the G-20 Summit in Pittsburgh, mainstream media are telling half a story. Everyone seems to agree that heavy industry is a thing of the past. […]
Eric Lotke
  • 0

Obama Immigration Policy: Record Arrests

New data just came in from the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University. In the first nine months of fiscal year 2009 the U.S. government reported 67,994 new […]
Eric Lotke
  • 0

The G-20: Lessons from Pittsburgh

The G-20 Summit is in Pittsburgh later this week. Leaders from the 20 countries that collectively represent two-thirds of the world’s population, 80 percent of world trade and 90 percent […]
Eric Lotke
  • 0

Succeeding at Failure: Republicans Drag Down Congress

The Republican strategy of obstruction is working. The latest Pew poll shows Congressional Favorability Falls to 24-Year Low Former Senate Republican Whip Trent Lott, R-Miss, didn’t hide his goals. “The […]
Eric Lotke
  • 0

Productivity Rose, Workers Didn’t

Today’s “Productivity and Costs” data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics contain what looks like good news. “Labor productivity increased at a 6.6 percent annual rate during the second quarter […]
Eric Lotke
  • 0

New Data, Same Story

Today’s data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis tell the same old story. National GDP is dropping and personal incomes are dropping along with it. These are troubled times. But […]
Eric Lotke
  • 0

The Deficit: More Perspective, Less Hysteria, Please.

The Congressional Budget Office published revised estimates about the deficit, and people are hyperventilating. “[B]urying our children and grandchildren under a mountain of unsustainable debt,” declared House minority leader John […]
Eric Lotke
  • 0

Hobbled, We’re Losing The Global Energy Race

When the U.S. added modest “Buy American” provisions to the February stimulus bill to help keep (some) U.S. assistance in the U.S. economy, people cried foul.   — “A classic protectionist […]
Eric Lotke
  • 0

Building a Clean Energy Economy: The IMPACT Act

The Waxman-Markey Clean Energy and Security Act squeaked through the House of Representatives late last week (219-212). Although some expressed doubts, many people consider the bill a terrific breakthrough and […]
Eric Lotke
  • 0

2044 on FireDogLake

I’ve blogged about my novel, 2044, here and here. 2044 is a future tale that starts where George Orwell’s 1984 left off. The problem in 2044 isn’t Big Brother and […]
Eric Lotke
  • 0

Madoff: Fall Guy or First of Many?

Bernard Madoff has been sentenced to 150 years in prison for one of the biggest investment frauds in Wall Street history. The punishment seems to fit the crime…. But there […]
Eric Lotke
  • 0

2044: The Novel Comes True

Remember a while ago I wrote about my new novel, 2044? 2044 starts where George Orwell’s 1984 left off. The problem isn’t Big Brother and the leviathan government. The problem […]
Eric Lotke
  • 0

The U.S. and India: Trading Jobs For Problems

I’m torn. On one hand, a wonderful event is taking place today, the annual U.S.-India Business Council “Synergies Summit” in Washington, DC. It is a high-powered business summit in the […]
Eric Lotke
  • 0

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce: Threat To Capitalism

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce launched yesterday “a sweeping national advocacy campaign … to defend and advance America’s free enterprise values in the face of rapid government growth and attacks […]
Eric Lotke
  • 0

Center-Left America

The wind is at our backs. The media still calls America a “center-right” nation, but “center-left” is closer to the truth. On issues ranging from health care to energy, the […]
Eric Lotke
  • 0

2044: Big Brother Inc.

I just finished a new novel, 2044. 2044 starts where George Orwell’s 1984 left off. The problem isn’t Big Brother and the leviathan government. The problem is Big Brother Inc., […]
Eric Lotke
  • 0

Good deficit, bad deficit.

Obama has introduced his budget, and people are hyperventilating about the deficit. Piling “debt on the backs of our kids and our grandkids,” declares House minority leader John Boehner (R-Ohio). […]
Eric Lotke
  • 0

April 15: The Issue Is Fairness, Not Taxes

Tax day is coming, and people are sad. But the problem isn’t taxes. The problem is fairness. Who pays taxes, and who gets the benefits. Today the Institute for America’s […]
Eric Lotke
  • 0

The Obama Budget: A Stick In The Eye For Banks

With all the fuss over Wall Street bailouts and AIG bonuses, one banking breakthrough is going unnoticed. Obama’s proposed budget completely eliminates an unnecessary, obsolete bank subsidy: College student loans […]
Eric Lotke
  • 0

Fixing the Economy. Seriously.

There were no theatrics. No single women came in to protest life’s travails, no displaced workers told of the factory shut down. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s Democratic Steering […]
Eric Lotke
  • 0

Don’t Fall For It

Don’t fall for it. The Republicans are attacking President-elect Barack Obama’s nomination of Eric Holder as attorney general. There are “red flags,” says Senator Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, starting with the […]
Eric Lotke
  • 0

Prisons. A stable and growing part of the economy.

Two things happened yesterday. First, I published this major post about the role prisons play in the U.S. economy. Later yesterday evening, the Bureau of Justice Statistics released new data […]
Eric Lotke
  • 0

Falling Apart, Falling Behind

Previous posts and our report have discussed how America is falling apart. Collapsing bridges, high unemployment, and so forth. In this post I discuss how we are falling behind. China […]
Eric Lotke
  • 0

A Consensus Emerges: Build, and Build Big

Everybody is saying the same thing. Stimulus plans don’t mean tax rebates worth a few tanks of gas and a restaurant dinner. Stimulus plans means new roads and bridges, aid […]
Eric Lotke
  • 0

Conservatives: Not even trying to be serious

The email came from GOPUSA, whose mission is to “spread the conservative message throughout America.” The editorial, “Barack Obama’s Dream Cabinet”, caught my attention. I’m curious and thought they might […]
Eric Lotke
  • 0

Sweeten the Deal

The bailout package failed. Republicans didn’t line up behind their leadership, unconvinced about the size, the urgency or even the rightness of rescuing tycoons from their own mistakes. Congress may […]
Eric Lotke
  • 0
1 2 3