The American Economy
The final Labor Department unemployment report showed the American economy added 171,000 jobs, but the unemployment rate itself also ticked up to 7.9 percent. What does it mean? It means what many workers already know – the economy remains in a period of stagnant wage growth.
As the respective political parties place their respective spins on the jobs report, economists are growing more concerned that the situation for the long-term unemployed is moving from a crisis to – potentially – a permanent, structural reality.
“Economists warned that long-term unemployment could be transformed in the next few years into structural unemployment, meaning that the problem is not just too few jobs and too many job seekers, but a large group of workers who no longer match employers’ needs or are no longer considered employable,” reports The New York Times.
Nationalism In Asia
The recent conflict between Japan and China over islands in the South China Sea may be just one case of where the US is not prepared to deal with the rise of nationalism in Asia.
Will Elections Change US-China Relationship?
American voters will choose a president next week, but they are not the only superpower facing an electoral change. In China it will not be the people, but a small group of powerful politicians, who select their new leader. Will the decisions made by either nation have an impact on the paths these nations take in the coming decade? Charles Foran, a columnist for Canada’s Globe and Mail, contends there will be little change for either nation.
Bernhard Zand, however, writes in Der Speigel that China’s new leaders are likely to face growing resistance to their autocratic rule.
“China’s economic growth, though still impressive at 7 percent, is slowly plateauing, while the demands of the Chinese have increased with prosperity. But above all, the once clear-cut balance of power between the leadership and the people has changed. For decades it was the people who feared the government, but now it is increasingly the case that the government fears the people,” he asserts.
Treasury officials will travel to Mexico City to discuss a range of issues and to reassure foreign finance ministers that a solution to the fiscal cliff will be achieved. The broader agenda of the G-20 will be focused on the worsening financial crisis in Europe. Without Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner or European Central Bank President Mario Draghi in attendance, some are skeptical that any progress will or can be made.