.. The current unrest looks different. So far, the middle class and the highly educated have been more witnesses than participants. Nonviolence is not a sacred principle. The protests first intensified in small religious towns all over the country, where the government used to take its support for granted. Metropolitan areas have so far lagged behind.
.. they all mention unemployment, inflation and the looting of national wealth: A woman asks President Hassan Rouhani to live on only her salary of $300 a month
.. The chants are also different this time. “Where is my vote?” and “Free political prisoners!” dominated in 2009. Today they have been replaced with “No to inflation!” and “Down with embezzlers!” and “Leave the country alone, mullahs.”
.. emerged as a resonant, nationwide cry for justice and equality.
Speaker Paul D. Ryan, for example, said in a recent speech that “fixing the business side of our tax code is really all about helping families and workers,” adding that “cutting the corporate tax rate means more jobs here in the United States. It will foster increased competition, which will directly drive up wages for our workers.”
Yet few American companies have offered specific plans that support those promises. While many chief executives broadly praise Republicans’ efforts to cut taxes, few have detailed how they would deploy the savings from a corporate tax cut or put more money back in workers’ pockets.
The lack of pledges to create jobs has not been lost on President Trump’s top economic adviser, Gary D. Cohn, who seemed perplexed last week about the lack of corporate enthusiasm for a tax cut.
Mr. Cohn asked his audience of chief executives how many of them would invest more if the tax cut were passed. When only a few attendees raised their hands, Mr. Cohn asked: “Why aren’t the other hands up?”
.. Communications Workers of America asked several companies that employ its members to promise to give workers a pay increase if the cut in the corporate tax rate goes through.
.. growth in China, the eurozone and Japan this year has exceeded both economists’ expectations and those countries’ long-term potential growth rates.
.. Blue chip shares are up 21% in the U.S. since election day last year, 22% in France, 28% in Germany, 34% in Japan and 26% in emerging markets.
.. So why is the market up so much? The overall economy “was better than markets realized this time last year,” says Charles Himmelberg, Goldman’s co-chief markets economist. “It was a little bit of a happy coincidence that markets started to fully price the strength of that macro data when Trump got elected.”
.. The problem is that pace of growth isn’t sustainable. It required employers to add so many more workers that the unemployment rate dropped 0.4 percentage point. Keep that up and the labor market is going to run out of people.
That would finally make the Fed nervous enough about inflationary pressure to pick up the pace of interest rate increases, withdrawing the monetary medicine that got the current global upswing started.
But central banks are beginning to raise interest rates anyway.. Turkey, perhaps the only big economy that is obviously overheating, the central bank—which has been browbeaten by the president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who believes high interest rates cause inflation—opted on October 26th to keep interest rates on hold... three elements: the price of imports; the public’s expectations; and capacity pressures (or “slack”) in the domestic economy. Start with imported inflation, which is determined by the balance of supply and demand in globally traded goods, such as commodities, as well as shifts in exchange rates. Commodity prices have picked up smartly from their nadir in early 2016. The oil price, which fell below $30 a barrel then, has risen above $60... Leave aside the transient effects of import prices, and inflation becomes a tug-of-war between expectations and a third big influence, the amount of slack in the economy... As the economy approaches full employment, the scarcity of workers ought to put upward pressure on wages, which companies then pass on in higher prices. On some measures, Japan’s labour market is as tight as it has been since the 1970s. America’s jobless rate, at 4.2%, is the lowest for over 16 years. Inflation has nevertheless been surprisingly weak... the trade-off between unemployment and inflation, known as the Phillips curve, has become less steep... a drop in the unemployment rate in America has less than a third as much power to raise inflation as it did in the mid-1970s... the flatter Phillips curve suggests that the cost for central banks in higher inflation of delaying interest-rate rises is rather low.