Economic System – Avance Economico http://avanceeconomico.com/ Fri, 01 Jul 2022 04:53:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://avanceeconomico.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/icon-7.png Economic System – Avance Economico http://avanceeconomico.com/ 32 32 Xi visits a Hong Kong transformed by repression: live updates https://avanceeconomico.com/xi-visits-a-hong-kong-transformed-by-repression-live-updates/ Fri, 01 Jul 2022 04:36:26 +0000 https://avanceeconomico.com/xi-visits-a-hong-kong-transformed-by-repression-live-updates/ President Xi Jinping speaking at a press conference, broadcast on a television screen in Hong Kong on Thursday.Credit…Anthony Kwan/Getty Images As Chinese leader Xi Jinping travels to Hong Kong to mark the 25th anniversary of Britain’s handover, he arrives in a city that has been dramatically transformed over the past three years, when millions of […]]]>
Credit…Anthony Kwan/Getty Images

As Chinese leader Xi Jinping travels to Hong Kong to mark the 25th anniversary of Britain’s handover, he arrives in a city that has been dramatically transformed over the past three years, when millions of people took to the streets in Beijing’s biggest challenge to power in decades.

Mr. Xi’s ruling Communist Party quashed that challenge by tightening its grip. Authorities arrested thousands of protesters and activists, imposed a national security law that silenced dissent and rewrote election rules to exclude criticism of Beijing.

“This is an important trip for him,” said John P. Burns, emeritus professor of politics at the University of Hong Kong. “Of course it’s about celebrating the 25th anniversary and all that, but it also declares victory over the pan-democrat opposition and its supporters.”

On Friday, Xi installed a handpicked former security official as the city’s next leader. He had previously met lawmakers selected after Beijing’s election overhaul, ensuring only “patriots” could take office in Hong Kong.

“Political power must be in the hands of patriots,” Xi said in a speech Friday after overseeing the new government’s swearing-in ceremony. “No country or region in the world will allow unpatriotic, or even treacherous or treacherous, forces and figures to take power.”

Hong Kong and Chinese officials attended a brief ceremony on Friday morning in which a police honor guard raised the flags of China and Hong Kong to mark the anniversary. A strong wind blew, and the sky was overcast and the rain threatening. A government helicopter with a large Chinese flag, followed by another with a smaller Hong Kong flag, flew over Victoria Harbor as the ceremony was held at 8 a.m., followed by a fireboat spraying water from its pipes.

But the pomp and ceremony contrasted sharply with the relative calm on the streets under a pronounced security presence. Squads of police patrolled neighborhoods near the ceremony venue, and rows of police vans lined the entrances to several subway stations. For many Hong Kong residents, the anniversary of the handover and Xi’s visit had little significance apart from a day off.

“The central government has little to do for Hong Kong. Let Hong Kong sort things out on its own. It’s a free economy, isn’t it? There wasn’t much governance before,” said Joeson Kwak, a 33-year-old interior design entrepreneur who was in the Wanchai district for breakfast. “I don’t feel anything special today. I’m glad I don’t have to go to work today.

Xi’s visit is as much a message to reinforce Beijing’s dominance over Hong Kong to the city’s 7.5 million people as it is a message of defiance to Western governments who have denounced its crackdown. The United States, Britain and other countries have accused China of breaking promises to allow Hong Kong to preserve its individual rights protections for 50 years under an arrangement known as the one country, two systems.

Subjugating Hong Kong also has personal significance for Xi. It will help him improve his standing among the Communist Party elite at a key time as he pursues a third five-year term, which he is expected to get later this year.

“We can expect the party congress in October, it will highlight the success of one country, two systems,” said Sonny Lo, a political commentator from Hong Kong.

For local activists, July 1 was an anniversary of crucial protests. But a combination of pandemic restrictions and political repression has largely eliminated such gatherings. A left-leaning group, the League of Social Democrats, had continued to mark important dates with small protests of just four people, which is technically allowed under social distancing rules.

But after visits from national security police, the group announced this week that it would not hold a protest on Friday. Members of the group have been under constant surveillance and their organization has been threatened with closure if they attempt to protest, said Avery Ng, the group’s general secretary.

“It’s like China,” he said.

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Colombian Truth Commission Report: Live Updates https://avanceeconomico.com/colombian-truth-commission-report-live-updates/ Tue, 28 Jun 2022 12:53:58 +0000 https://avanceeconomico.com/colombian-truth-commission-report-live-updates/ A rebel group reacts to a plane overflying while on patrol in 2016.Credit…Federico Rios The United States believed the Colombian military was behind a wave of assassinations of left-wing activists and yet spent the next two decades deepening its relationship with the Colombian armed forces, according to newly released documents. . The Central Intelligence Agency […]]]>
Credit…Federico Rios

The United States believed the Colombian military was behind a wave of assassinations of left-wing activists and yet spent the next two decades deepening its relationship with the Colombian armed forces, according to newly released documents. .

The Central Intelligence Agency had evidence that the Colombian military provided a list of targets to the paramilitaries who killed 20 banana plantation workers in a high-profile massacre, the documents say, but then sent billions of dollars in aid to the Colombian government.

On Tuesday, a truth commission in Colombia will release a long-awaited report that attempts to build a detailed history of the nation’s decades-long internal conflict, in which at least 260,000 people have died.

The report, written following the country’s 2016 peace accord with its largest insurgent group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, is intended to be used by Colombia’s next government to create policies that bring the country towards lasting peace. This could help shape Colombia’s future relationship with the United States.

Among the themes explored in the report is the role of the US government, which has spent decades funding and training the Colombian military in its fight against the FARC and the drug economy that has funded their insurgency.

And among the evidence used to write Tuesday’s report are thousands of declassified US documents collected and organized by the National Security Archive, a Washington-based nongovernmental organization that specializes in supporting post-conflict truth commissions.

A digital library of documents will be published in August. But the National Security Archive provided the New York Times with some documents in advance. They reveal that the United States had decades of knowledge about alleged crimes committed by the Colombian military – “and yet the relationship continued to grow”, said Michael Evans, director of the Colombia project of the archives.

Particularly demonstrative, he said, are a series of CIA operational reports that are not normally available to the public, even after a request for recording.

A report, written in 1988 during a period when leftist activists were regularly killed, found that a wave of killings against “suspected leftists and communists” was the result of a “joint effort” between the intelligence chief of the Colombian Army’s Fourth Brigade and members of the Medellín drug trafficking cartel.

Many of those killed were associated with a party called the Patriotic Union. The report said it was “unlikely” that this had taken place “without the knowledge of the commander of the fourth brigade”.

Later in the document, a CIA officer talks about a 1988 massacre in which 20 farm workers, many of them union members, were killed. The CIA officer said the US government believed the assassins “obtained the names of the targets they were aiming for” from the intelligence unit of the Colombian army’s 10th brigade.

Other documents show that the United States knew that the oil companies were paying paramilitaries for their protection, and that at least one company was collecting intelligence for the Colombian army.

One company was “actively providing intelligence on guerrilla activity directly to the military,” according to the CIA, “using an airborne surveillance system along the pipeline to expose guerrilla encampments and intercept guerrilla communications “.

The Colombian army “successfully exploited this information and inflicted around 100 casualties in an operation against the guerrillas” in 1997, according to the report.

Another document, written in 2003, hints at one of the darkest chapters of the war, called the false positive scandal. In this case, the Colombian army is accused of having killed thousands of civilians during the presidency of Álvaro Uribe and of having tried to pass them off as dead in action, with the aim of showing that it was winning the war.

In recent court testimony in Colombia, former soldiers said they felt pressured to kill their fellow Colombians by superiors.

A July 2003 memo to then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld from the Pentagon’s Deputy Principal for Special Operations celebrates a significant rise in the number of combat deaths since Mr. Uribe took office – 543 in only six months, compared to 780 in the last two years of the previous government.

The document is titled “Recent successes against the Colombian FARC”.

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Immigration Minister Sean Fraser discusses Express Entry reforms https://avanceeconomico.com/immigration-minister-sean-fraser-discusses-express-entry-reforms/ Fri, 24 Jun 2022 12:00:00 +0000 https://avanceeconomico.com/immigration-minister-sean-fraser-discusses-express-entry-reforms/ The Canadian government is on track to pass a bill that would allow the Minister of Immigration to invite candidates for Express Entry based on an economic objective. Bill C-19 is currently before the Senate. If passed, it will give the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) the authority to invite candidates for […]]]>


The Canadian government is on track to pass a bill that would allow the Minister of Immigration to invite candidates for Express Entry based on an economic objective.

Bill C-19 is currently before the Senate. If passed, it will give the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) the authority to invite candidates for Express Entry by occupation, language proficiency, intended destination or any other group that supports Canada’s economic objectives.

Find out if you qualify for Canadian immigration

Immigration Minister Sean Fraser said CIC News in a face-to-face interview that he hopes it will go through the Senate and the new authorities will be implemented soon. The minister said that while Express Entry gives Canada a competitive advantage, there is room for improvement.

“Where [the Express Entry system] could be improved is at this time if there are any particular challenges your economy is facing it may face in the long term we do not have the ability to tailor invitations to apply to the Express Entry system for meet those in-demand skills or qualifications,” Fraser said.

“If you’re in a situation where you have an abundance of applications that are all in a particular sector, and that sector doesn’t have a great need in Canada, the Express Entry system as it exists today is likely to attract people who may not be perfectly suited to the needs of the Canadian economy.

The new authorities would allow IRCC to include selection factors that would meet Canada’s labor needs based on sector, region and language skills. The Minister said that by doing so, Canada would be able to select more immigrants who are already poised to succeed in the job market.

“The goal is really to maximize the contribution that a newcomer can make to their community so that they are ready to succeed when they arrive, but also meet the needs of the community where they will reside.”, Fraser said. “I think we’re going to see a potential increase in retention rates opening up because people come to where they know they have opportunities because that was the basis of their invitation to apply.”

Critics of the bill say the new authorities could allow special interest groups to lobby for a certain type of candidate. Changes were made in earlier versions of the bill to reflect the need for a transparent selection process. Fraser acknowledged this concern.

“If I sat down at my desk in Ottawa and started making decisions about which regions and sectors should benefit from this new policy, I would be walking down a very dangerous path,” Fraser said. “I need to engage with people at the local community level. I have to dialogue with my provincial and territorial counterparts. I have to engage with business councils and sectors that have high needs so that we can understand what their needs are. »

The Express Entry reforms contained in Bill C-19 will not become law until they receive Royal Assent from the Governor General of Canada.

Special Interview Series with Minister Fraser

CIC News met with the Minister on June 21, 2022 to discuss the future of Canadian immigration.

Over the next few weeks, CIC News publishes a special series of articles on the interview with Minister Fraser on topics such as:

  • Part 1: Draws for all Express Entry programs tentatively resume July 6
  • improve the processing of applications and the customer experience
  • Canadian citizenship fees
  • legalize undocumented workers in canada
  • the 2023-2025 Immigration Levels Plan
  • creating more immigration pathways for foreign workers and students, and
  • how his life has changed since he became a minister

Minister Fraser was in Toronto to speak at Collision, one of the largest technology conferences in the world.

Find out if you qualify for Canadian immigration

© CIC News All rights reserved. Visit CanadaVisa.com to discover your options for immigrating to Canada.

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One of the oldest examples of non-native olive cultivation discovered in Jordan https://avanceeconomico.com/one-of-the-oldest-examples-of-non-native-olive-cultivation-discovered-in-jordan/ Wed, 22 Jun 2022 19:12:45 +0000 https://avanceeconomico.com/one-of-the-oldest-examples-of-non-native-olive-cultivation-discovered-in-jordan/ New evidence has emerged from cultivated olive groves dating back 7,000 years in the central Jordan Valley, about 32 kilometers north of the Sea of ​​Galilee. A new study has investigated ancient settlements and their remnants in an area known as Tel Tsaf, finding that there was a prosperous and thriving society at the time […]]]>

New evidence has emerged from cultivated olive groves dating back 7,000 years in the central Jordan Valley, about 32 kilometers north of the Sea of ​​Galilee.

A new study has investigated ancient settlements and their remnants in an area known as Tel Tsaf, finding that there was a prosperous and thriving society at the time dedicated to the cultivation of wheat, barley and olives.

This is the earliest known evidence of olives being grown outside of their native range.– Dafna Langgout, researcher, Tel Aviv University at the Institute of Archeology

According to archaeologists who worked on research published by Scientific Report, this is one of the earliest examples of humans cultivating olives.

To describe it, [we can say] that this is the earliest known evidence of olives being grown outside of their natural range,” said Dafna Langgout, from the Institute of Archeology at Tel Aviv University and co-author of the ‘study. Olive Oil Times.

See also:2,300-year-old olive oil lamp discovered in West Bank

Among the hundred samples of charred wood collected on the site, archaeologists have identified many remains of olive trees.

While the seeds and fruits found in a specific location may have come from other regions, the salvage of wood remains is thought to mean the plant must have grown nearby, the researchers explain in the paper.

Tellingly, the central Jordan Valley is located outside the natural distribution area of ​​wild olives,” they wrote. Therefore, the recovery of charred olive wood remains at Tel Tsaf provides strong evidence of olive groves near the site. A few remains of olive charcoal as well as a few olive pits have also been reported in previous studies.

In the neighboring regions, wild olive trees once coexisted with many other species, such as oaks, tamarisks, white acacia and pistachio trees. In Tel Tsaf, however, the olive trees were imported by the local people, a phenomenon which also shows that the knowledge of olive planting was established.

The study focuses on archaeological and botanical evidence, which suggests that olive cultivation began in northern Israel (Carmel Coast and Galilee) nearly 8,000 years ago.

Scientists believe these were mostly wild olive species.

A few centuries later, at the beginning of the Middle Chalcolithic period… the settlers of Tel Tsaf engaged in the cultivation of olive trees in their own right, indicated by their location outside Olea Europaeas natural distribution,” the researchers wrote. To accomplish this geographic shift, a transfer of olive knowledge and genetic material from northern Israel to the central Jordan Valley had to take place.

The research revealed that the local people were deeply involved in agriculture, having built large structures to store food, mainly grain. The study authors explained that each building in the settlements had four to five rounded silos, or a storage capacity of 20 to 30 tons.

They far exceeded the needs of the inhabitants, indicating the operation of a complex economic system of accumulation of surplus and wealth,” the researchers wrote.

See also:North Africans ate olives 100,000 years ago, evidence shows

Such complexity is due to a sophisticated production system, possibly including fertilizers, irrigation systems and field management practices, such as incorporating fallow periods into crop rotations,” they added.

It also shows a society that could plant new crops, like olive trees, whose yields would have taken years to develop.

According to Langgout, the Tel Tsaf society was exceptionally wealthy compared to others, live in a survival mode.

They had time to invest in something with a long-term investment with a relatively delayed return,” the researchers wrote. It is possible that a fruit tree plantation would not reach its full yield potential during the short adult life of the planter 7000 years ago, due to the long juvenile period of some tree types. fruit trees.

Scholars believe that olives were a luxury item that may have played a role in trade with other populations.

Cultivated olive and fig trees have produced products with a long shelf life, such as table olives, olive oil and dried figs and, therefore, are well suited for long-distance trade and taxation, leading ultimately to the accumulation of wealth and a more complex society. economic organization,” Langgout said.

Even though previous studies conducted in adjacent areas of the region have shown the existence of ancient oil mills at the time, researchers cannot say whether olive presses were present at Tel Tsaf.

While olive oil production would then have been possible at Tel Tsaf, there is no certainty or indication of how the product would have been stored.

We have no evidence at the Tel Tsaf site of olive oil production,” Langgout said, noting that archaeologists did not find any olive waste or olive oil presses at the time.



Olive Oil Times Video Series

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A great banker says: “An economic hurricane is coming” – Workers of the world, it is time to prepare to fight! – working world https://avanceeconomico.com/a-great-banker-says-an-economic-hurricane-is-coming-workers-of-the-world-it-is-time-to-prepare-to-fight-working-world/ Tue, 21 Jun 2022 00:17:25 +0000 https://avanceeconomico.com/a-great-banker-says-an-economic-hurricane-is-coming-workers-of-the-world-it-is-time-to-prepare-to-fight-working-world/ This slightly edited lecture was given by WWP First Secretary Larry Holmes at a June 16 New York branch meeting. The unfolding economic crisis is by far the most important development at the moment. Bigger than anything I can think of, and a lot of big things are happening. One of the things that makes […]]]>

This slightly edited lecture was given by WWP First Secretary Larry Holmes at a June 16 New York branch meeting.

The unfolding economic crisis is by far the most important development at the moment. Bigger than anything I can think of, and a lot of big things are happening.

One of the things that makes it more dangerous, more combustible for capitalism and also for the working class, is that a number of other crises are developing at the same time, and they all influence each other. others. There is the war crisis, which has a definite impact on the economy. I won’t name all the crises, but there is a political crisis in this country with the ruling class, and the Jan. 6 ratings now on television reflect this.

It’s no exaggeration to say that right now, unlike a few weeks ago, Wall Street is in the throes of panic. Listening to these bankers and “talking heads” and reading what they say, they try to quell the demoralization and panic as if the end of the world is coming to an end. That seems to be the mood, at least from many bankers and investors – and many people associated with finance capital, not just in this country but around the world.

I am not going to talk now about its impact on the working class, which is far more important to us than its impact on the capitalist system. But it’s important to look at how they see it and also to step back and see how a capitalist crisis develops. The past is a prologue. Virtually all capitalist crises are never really fixed but are somehow passed on, on the backs of workers and the oppressed. It’s not really going away. It’s not resolved. And that tends to make the next capitalist crisis even bigger and potentially more explosive.

How Capitalist Crises Evolve

In the 1980s, the working class was too weak to stop globalization, reindustrialization, job-killing technology – what the ruling class calls liberalism – austerity and factory closures. When the 2008 financial crisis hit, it was first precipitated by a credit crunch in the housing market. But a crisis in one area of ​​the economy may just be a catalyst to open the floodgates, letting everyone see the extent of the general crisis below.

The capitalists faced the financial crisis, after it nearly collapsed the financial markets. It’s been called the Great Recession, because of the jobs it destroyed and the austerity it brought, and it particularly awoke young workers. There has been a change in mood, in expectations, on the part of young workers. Perhaps the first expression of this was Occupy Wall Street.

The ruling class dealt with it in two ways. One was that they sided with Barack Obama, a very attractive first African-American president. It was a kind of concession to the working class. We all know how it turned out. He was not a leftist but a protector of the interests of capitalism, right to the end.

And the other was to start with so-called quantitative easing – and that was a number of things. Most important was that the Federal Reserve printed a lot of money. And in fact, central banks around the world have been printing a lot of money and funneling it into the financial system, to the tune of trillions and trillions of dollars. Moreover, keeping interest rates close to zero was part of quantitative easing. The problem with that is that it couldn’t go on forever.

This creates inflation, in part, and creates a gigantic bubble of debt, [where] all that money is basically worthless because it’s not based on workers producing something. It’s just bogus, like Monopoly money. Try to imagine tens of trillions of dollars on top of the huge debt that already exists.

As Lenin explained in “Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism”, at a certain point, finance capital, the banks – which, at the very beginning of capitalist development, were in a way the intermediary person who ensured that corporations big and small got the capital, so they could create the means of production and exploit the workers – got bigger and bigger in relation to the economy. Today, finance capital has become dominant on the productive side of the capitalist economy, essentially turning it into a giant Ponzi scheme.

This is the situation in which the world capitalist economy currently finds itself, and it has created this huge bubble. And when there’s a crisis like this, and the capitalists run out of ways to deal with it, that bubble, to one degree or another, starts to burst, and the economy can become a house of cards. . Before long, companies, banks, even countries, will go bankrupt, collapse.

What the bankers say

Jamie Dimon, [Chief Executive Officer] of JP Morgan, is the most powerful banker in the United States and the imperialist world. Try googling “the most important banker” or “the greatest banker in the United States” and you will get Jamie Dimon. This does not mean that all other bankers are not important. The head of the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, is also an investment banker. But the bankers who manage billions and trillions of dollars, they listen to JP Morgan.

About two weeks ago, an article quoted Jamie Dimon saying, “We are headed for a hurricane. Other investment bankers have said similar things. They don’t appear on TV, perhaps trying not to panic the financial community around the world. Another well-known popular investor, Michael Novogratz, said today after the last reading of the stock market, which was down, that the economy “is going to collapse”.

In theory, it is possible that the capitalists will find a genie or a rabbit in a hat somewhere to ward off this crisis, to do some version of what they did 12 or 13 years ago, or during the crisis of dotcoms from the 1990s, or in the 1980s. But it’s going to be much, much harder now, because they’re out of ammunition. And the thing is, they’re making it clear that they don’t know what they’re going to do if this thing gets out of control.

The only thing we can be sure of is the class struggle. The capitalists will do their best to ensure that the working class and the oppressed – not only of this country but of the world, especially the global South – bear the brunt of this new crisis.

Larry Holmes speaks during a protest outside the New York residence of Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz on June 9. WW Photo: Brenda Ryan

This is the situation we are facing, but good things are happening. There’s the worker upsurge and organizing drives, not just at Amazon and Starbucks, but in many other places. This is the sign of a long-awaited awakening of mainly young workers.

This leftist coalition in France, comprising remnants of the Communist Party, some socialists and others, virtually won the first round of recent legislative elections there. This is very important because, as many of you know, politics in France has long been dominated by neo-fascists.

As for the role of the labor assembly movement here, an economic hurricane is brewing. The job of the workers’ assembly movement is to help as much as possible to prepare the working class to defend itself – and then go on the offensive. And this usually suggests not only gains, but even at some point on the road to going on the revolutionary offensive.

The fight against fragmentation is essential

Our class is always fragmented to some extent. But when the workers’ movement, when the revolutionary forces, or even the progressive forces of the workers’ movement are weak and not a strong force of gravity bringing the workers together, then the forces of fragmentation and bourgeois ideology are all the more powerful. And in an economic crisis, fragmentation tends to go one way or the other. Fragmentation can be exacerbated in a way contrary to the coming together of the working class.

But if struggle sets in and class consciousness prevails, fragmentation can be lessened. Class solidarity and class struggle can prevail.

Amazon is now in Phoenix, Arizona, with its well-paid lawyers. They dragged Amazon union leadership to Phoenix, demanding that the [National Labor Relations Board] hearing that they did not want to stand in New York. They thought New York was biased in favor of working people. And so they wanted to take him down south, where they thought it would be better for them.

This hearing seeks to overturn the results of the historic April 1 election, when the union won at Amazon’s Staten Island offices. Amazon has sworn to crush this. And they are very serious about it.

I have no idea if they are able to do this. I know the Amazon Labor Union feels it can defend itself. But they are alone there.

In the meantime, the AFL-CIO held a big convention in Philadelphia, and one of the workshops was on Amazon. But they didn’t even invite the leadership of the Amazon Labor Union or, for that matter, anyone from Starbucks’ organizing campaign to speak.

Look how strange. Biden invites the [ALU] leadership coming to the White House, but the AFL-CIO is not inviting them to speak. They could have easily met someone from Starbucks. Someone from this union, wherever they come from, could have spoken.

This is an example of fragmentation. Everyone who follows this says, “That win was historic, because it can bring more wins.” Moreover, what workers at Amazon, Starbucks and others are doing will help transform the working class in a progressive and revolutionary way. It doesn’t just affect Amazon workers and Starbuck workers, it affects the whole class.

It would be a good thing if labor assemblies could call days of action to demand that Amazon recognize the union. The question is: are we able to do this? If we did that, it wouldn’t just be a place where people who wanted to be with the workers could hang out. It would also open a fight, a healthy and absolutely necessary fight, with the union bureaucracy.

Our trade unionists at all levels could put pressure on them: “What are you doing? How come you don’t do that? How come the central labor councils, Jobs Without Justice, aren’t calling for big protests in support of the under attack Amazon workers, Stop & Shop workers, immigrant workers and all workers?

I would say that as communists we need to open our eyes and see more clearly than anyone what is really going on. It is a global capitalist crisis. When the US central bank, the Fed, lowers or raises interest rates, virtually all central banks in the world do the same. It is a global crisis.

We have to dig deep. Be very objective, be sober and ask yourself how we can transform ourselves to serve the working class in the midst of what looks like a historic economic crisis.

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Opinion: How an arrogant, pathological America could lose the New Cold War https://avanceeconomico.com/opinion-how-an-arrogant-pathological-america-could-lose-the-new-cold-war/ Fri, 17 Jun 2022 16:34:00 +0000 https://avanceeconomico.com/opinion-how-an-arrogant-pathological-america-could-lose-the-new-cold-war/ NEW YORK (Project Syndicate)—The United States appears to have entered a new Cold War with China and Russia. And US leaders’ depiction of the confrontation between democracy and authoritarianism fails the test of smell, especially at a time when the same leaders are actively courting a systematic human rights abuser like Saudi Arabia. saudi. Such […]]]>

NEW YORK (Project Syndicate)—The United States appears to have entered a new Cold War with China and Russia. And US leaders’ depiction of the confrontation between democracy and authoritarianism fails the test of smell, especially at a time when the same leaders are actively courting a systematic human rights abuser like Saudi Arabia. saudi.

Such hypocrisy suggests that it is at least partly global hegemony, not values, that is really at stake.

For two decades after the fall of the Iron Curtain, the United States was clearly number one. But then came the disastrous and misguided wars in the Middle East, the financial crash of 2008, rising inequality, the opioid epidemic and other crises that seemed to cast doubt on the superiority of the American economic model.

Cold wars are ultimately won with the soft power of attraction and persuasion. To emerge victorious, we must convince the rest of the world to buy not only our products, but also the social, political and economic system that we sell.

Deeply pathological

Moreover, between the election of Donald Trump, the attempted coup in the United States Capitol, numerous mass shootings, a Republican Party bent on voter suppression, and the rise of conspiracy cults like QAnon, he There is more than enough evidence to suggest that certain aspects of American politics and social life have become deeply pathological.

Of course, America does not want to be dethroned. But it is simply inevitable that China will outperform the United States economically, regardless of the official indicator used. Not only is its population four times larger than that of America; its economy has also grown three times as fast for many years (indeed, it already surpassed the United States in purchasing power parity in 2015).

The West must once again make our economic, social and political systems the envy of the world.

While China has done nothing to declare itself a strategic threat to America, the writing is on the wall. In Washington, there is a bipartisan consensus that China could pose a strategic threat and that the least the United States should do to mitigate the risk is to stop helping China’s economy grow. According to this view, preemptive action is warranted, even if it means violating the World Trade Organization rules that the United States itself so drafted and promoted.

This New Cold War front opened long before Russia invaded Ukraine. And senior US officials have since warned that the war in Ukraine must not distract from the real long-term threat: China. Given that Russia’s economy is roughly the same size as Spain’s, its “limitless” partnership with China seems to have little economic significance (although its willingness to engage in disruptive activities in the world could prove useful to its larger neighbor to the south).

Pierre Morici: Instead of standing up to Russia and China, Biden appeases them

Winning hearts and minds

But a country at “war” needs a strategy, and the United States alone cannot win a new great power contest; he needs friends. Its natural allies are Europe and the other developed democracies in the world. But Trump has done all he can to alienate those countries, and Republicans – still entirely indebted to him – have provided plenty of reason to question whether the United States is a reliable partner.

Moreover, the United States must also win the hearts and minds of billions of people in developing countries and emerging markets around the world, not only to have numbers on its side, but also to ensure access to essential resources.

In currying favor with the world, the United States will have to make up a lot of lost ground. His long history of exploiting other countries doesn’t help, nor does his deep-rooted racism — a force Trump expertly and cynically channels. More recently, American policymakers contributed to global “vaccine apartheid,” in which rich countries received all the vaccines they needed while people in poorer countries were left to fend for themselves. Meanwhile, America’s new opponents of the Cold War made their vaccines readily available to others at lower or lower cost, while helping countries develop their own vaccine production facilities.

Opinion: Millions are dying needlessly from COVID due to selfishness, greed and a perverse misunderstanding of human freedom

Credibility gap

The credibility gap is even greater when it comes to climate change, which disproportionately affects those in the Global South with the least capacity to cope. While major emerging markets have become the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions today, cumulative emissions from the United States are still by far the largest. Developed countries continue to contribute and, even worse, have not even delivered on their meager promises to help poor countries deal with the effects of the climate crisis caused by the rich world.

Instead, US banks are contributing to looming debt crises in many countries, often revealing a depraved indifference to the resulting suffering.

Do as I say, not as I do

Europe and America excel at lecturing others on what is morally right and economically sensible. But the message that usually gets through – as the persistence of US and European farm subsidies clearly shows – is “do as I say, not as I do”.

Especially after the Trump years, America no longer has any claim to moral superiority, nor the credibility to dispense advice. Neoliberalism and trickle-down economics were never widely embraced in the Global South, and now they are out of fashion everywhere.

At the same time, China has excelled not in delivering conferences, but in providing physical infrastructure to poor countries. Yes, these countries are often heavily indebted; but, given the behavior of Western banks as creditors in the developing world, the United States and others are hardly in a position to point fingers.

I could go on, but the point must be clear: if the United States is going to embark on a new Cold War, it had better understand what it will take to win. Cold wars are ultimately won with the soft power of attraction and persuasion. To emerge victorious, we must convince the rest of the world to buy not only our products, but also the social, political and economic system that we sell.

The United States may know how to make the best bombers and missile systems in the world, but it will not help us here. Instead, we must offer real help to developing countries and emerging markets, starting with a waiver on all COVID-related intellectual property so they can produce vaccines and treatments themselves.

Equally important, the West must once again make our economic, social and political systems the envy of the world. In the United States, this begins with reducing gun violence, improving environmental regulations, addressing inequality and racism, and protecting women’s reproductive rights. Until we have proven ourselves worthy to lead, we cannot expect others to march to our drum.

This commentary is courtesy of Project Syndicate—How the United States Could Lose the New Cold War

Joseph E. Stiglitz, Nobel laureate in economics and professor at Columbia University, is a former chief economist of the World Bank (1997-2000), chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers and co-chairman of the Committee on high-level Carbon Pricing Commission. He is a member of the Independent Commission for the Reform of International Corporate Taxation and was lead author of the IPCC Climate Assessment in 1995.

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Analysis: Europe is fueling up but the race to replace Russia is far from over https://avanceeconomico.com/analysis-europe-is-fueling-up-but-the-race-to-replace-russia-is-far-from-over/ Tue, 14 Jun 2022 23:18:00 +0000 https://avanceeconomico.com/analysis-europe-is-fueling-up-but-the-race-to-replace-russia-is-far-from-over/ No respite for households facing rising energy bills Europe aims to phase out Russian fuel consumption by 2027 Russia has already cut gas to some European buyers Europe cannot rely on LNG alone to fill the void left by Russia LONDON, June 14 (Reuters) – Even if Europe can fill its gas storage, Europe faces […]]]>
  • No respite for households facing rising energy bills
  • Europe aims to phase out Russian fuel consumption by 2027
  • Russia has already cut gas to some European buyers
  • Europe cannot rely on LNG alone to fill the void left by Russia

LONDON, June 14 (Reuters) – Even if Europe can fill its gas storage, Europe faces a perilous winter and governments will have to keep rationing plans handy as they rush to get more liquefied natural gas (LNG) to keep pace with rapid growth. move away from reliance on Russian fuel.

For European households, meanwhile, there is little respite from exorbitant fuel prices that have weighed on budgets, squeezed disposable income and weighed on economic prospects.

The European Union aims to end dependence on Russian fossil fuels by 2027. But Moscow has already cut gas flows to Bulgaria, Poland, Finland, Danish supplier Orsted, Dutch company Gasterra and Shell for its German contracts, after they all rejected a request from the Kremlin to switch to ruble payments. Read more

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The 27-member European Union, which has traditionally depended on Russia for 40% of its gas needs, aims to have its gas storage 80% full by November, up from about half now to see it through winter, when stored gas typically meets about a quarter of demand. Analysts say it’s on the right track. Read more

But there is still a big gap to fill from other sources, such as LNG, and it will be even bigger if Russia cuts flows to more European buyers, although Moscow says it is meeting its obligations. and sees no need to stop deliveries to other customers. .

Reuters Charts

HIGH DEMAND

“A complete shutdown of Russian flows would undoubtedly be Europe’s worst-case scenario for this winter, as the continent is unlikely to be able to source enough from other producers to compensate for a supply disruption. important,” said Leon Izbicki, European Natural Gas Partner. to Energy Aspects.

Even before Russia invaded Ukraine in February, triggering an energy crisis in Europe, demand for gas had skyrocketed in the post-pandemic recovery. The LNG market, dominated by long-term contracts, was already tight as a drum.

The EU has increased its LNG purchases, with imports up around 58% in the first five months of 2022 compared to 2021 levels, according to Refinitiv data, as more capacity entered in service in the United States and that high prices in Europe attracted the cargoes.

EU LNG imports to key hubs by country

LNG DISRUPTIONS

The United States, a major LNG producer, has promised to help Europe with more shipments.

But Europe has limited capacity to receive LNG and, adding to the uncertainty, Freeport LNG, operator of one of the largest US export plants, said on Tuesday it would take at least 90 days to resume. partial operations after an explosion last week. Read more

“If Europe goes through the winter relying solely on LNG supplies, things could get tricky,” said Evangeline Cookson, research analyst and meteorologist at commodity broker Marex.

Unlike piped gas which can be ramped up quickly, shipping LNG can take weeks and can be disrupted by weather conditions.

The U.S. National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration said last month there was a 65% chance of an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season, including six to 10 hurricanes. Read more

Energy Aspects’ Izbicki said the stored gas could see Europe through 2022, even without Russian supplies, but that would leave it struggling when winter hits at the end of 2023, so governments won’t could not yet suspend their rationing plans.

Germany, which historically depended on Russia for about half of its gas needs, has already launched plans for an auction system to help ration gas to energy-intensive industries if supplies are cut. Read more

France has implemented measures to limit the supply of gas to large consumers in the event of a shortage. Read more

Poland, already cut off from Russian gas, has increased its LNG imports, opened a gas link with Lithuania in May and aims to open a new gas pipeline to Norway this year. But it still has plans in place to limit gas to heavy industry in a crisis so it can keep homes and utilities supplied. Read more

Yet rationing would have a heavy economic toll. Berenberg chief economist Holger Schmieding estimated that EU economic output would be 2% lower by the end of 2022 if Russian supplies were cut off now.

Gas accounts for more than 20% of EU energy consumption, being used for heating homes, generating electricity and making vital products such as fertiliser. Meanwhile, soaring fuel prices are already having a ripple effect.

“Even without an embargo, high gas prices weigh heavily on consumers, leaving them with less money to spend on other goods and services,” Schmieding said.

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Reporting by Susanna Twidale in London; Additional reporting by Nora Buli in Olso, Bozorgmehr Sharafedin in London, Forrest Crellin in Paris and Marek Strzelecki in Warsaw; Editing by Veronica Brown and Edmund Blair

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Here’s why Sensex fell over 1,400 points and the rupee hit an all-time low today https://avanceeconomico.com/heres-why-sensex-fell-over-1400-points-and-the-rupee-hit-an-all-time-low-today/ Mon, 13 Jun 2022 08:39:53 +0000 https://avanceeconomico.com/heres-why-sensex-fell-over-1400-points-and-the-rupee-hit-an-all-time-low-today/ Indian stock markets opened in the red on Monday, with the S&P Sensex BSE tumbling over 1,400 points to the 52,860 level, and on the other hand, the rupee also hit an all-time low of 78.15 rupees against the US dollar, on stronger demand for the latter. But the bad news is not over. According […]]]>

Indian stock markets opened in the red on Monday, with the S&P Sensex BSE tumbling over 1,400 points to the 52,860 level, and on the other hand, the rupee also hit an all-time low of 78.15 rupees against the US dollar, on stronger demand for the latter. But the bad news is not over. According to analysts from UBS AG, Nomura Holdings, etc., the Indian currency could fall further between Rs 79 and Rs 81 per dollar in the coming months. According to many experts, India’s decline in foreign exchange reserves by Rs 30.6 crore in June could also have been a major reason for the national currency’s depreciation.

“Currently, global forces are probably pushing the rupee to depreciate. So I think we ourselves are looking at rupee close to 79 by the end of this fiscal year, and it very much depends on where we see the crisis. politics and geopolitics take shape,” said Yuvika Singhal, economist at QuantEco Research.

Additionally, the Monday morning bloodbath seen in Dalal Street, along with the falling Rupee, have various other contributing factors. The first being US inflation, which accelerated to 8.6%, the highest in 40 years. This inflation data made it clear that the US Fed will opt for more aggressive rate hikes to bring inflation under control, weighing on markets and investors alike.

According to Pronab Sen, the former chief statistician of India, one should not worry too much about the depreciation of the rupee. Instead, he says, tame market volatility immediately.

“Rupee depreciation is not a big concern at the moment; we should mentally prepare for the rupee to depreciate. I think the Rupee should be allowed to depreciate, but volatility needs to be curbed because volatility creates uncertainty. And uncertainty is bad for any economic system. Thus, RBI should not focus on managing the value of the rupee but should focus on managing the volatility,” Sen emphasized.

According to a Reuters poll, the US Fed is expected to raise its key rate by 50 basis points in June and July. In addition, according to many experts, another important factor contributing to the current weakness in market sentiment is the continued volatility in the oil market. Brent Crude and WTI Crude both fell 1.4% to trade at $120 per barrel and $118 per barrel, respectively. Additionally, India’s retail price inflation, which is also above the RBI target, is spooking investors in the market.

India will release May retail inflation figures today. According to a Reuters poll, economists expect the consumer price index (CPI) to slip 7.10% in May from 7.7% in April. They expect the CPI for May to be between 6.7% and 8.3%. After the central bank raised interest rates by 50 basis points last week, it expects inflation to remain above its upper tolerance band of 6% until December this year.

“Investment in oil exploration has not taken place, that’s why we see a structural deficit and that’s one of the main reasons for the increase in oil prices. In my opinion, if the Russian-Ukrainian crisis is under control, the price of crude oil will stabilize for a while and go down to $90-95 per barrel, but if the situation does not improve, prices will increase in the medium to long term,” said Naresh Taneja, a leading Indian energy expert.

Many economists and pundits also say that there is no possibility that inflation will slow down now, and according to them, inflation in India will reach 8% and then start to decline. But amid daily changing economic dynamics, it is hard to predict anything, only time will tell where the global and Indian economy is heading.

Also read: Monday blues: Sensex tank more than 1,500 pts; what should investors do?

Also Read: NCLAT Upholds TCC Order Against Amazon; orders him to pay Rs 200 cr

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Ukraine-Russia War Breaking News: Live Updates https://avanceeconomico.com/ukraine-russia-war-breaking-news-live-updates/ Sat, 11 Jun 2022 16:06:55 +0000 https://avanceeconomico.com/ukraine-russia-war-breaking-news-live-updates/ Yevgeny Shumilkin returns to work on Sunday. To prepare, he removed the familiar “M” from what had been his McDonald’s shirt and covered the “M” of his McDonald’s jacket with a Russian flag patch. “It will be the same buns,” promised Mr. Shumilkin, who maintains equipment for a restaurant in Moscow. “Just under a different […]]]>

Yevgeny Shumilkin returns to work on Sunday. To prepare, he removed the familiar “M” from what had been his McDonald’s shirt and covered the “M” of his McDonald’s jacket with a Russian flag patch.

“It will be the same buns,” promised Mr. Shumilkin, who maintains equipment for a restaurant in Moscow. “Just under a different name.”

McDonald’s restaurants are reopening in Russia this weekend, but without the Golden Arches. After the US fast-food giant pulled out this spring to protest President Vladimir V. Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, a Siberian oil tycoon bought its 840 Russian stores. Because almost all of the ingredients came from inland, he said, restaurants could continue to serve much of the same food.

The bet could work out well – underscoring the surprising resilience of the Russian economy in the face of one of the most intense sanctions barrages ever inflicted by the West. Three and a half months into the war, it has become clear that the sanctions – and the torrent of Western companies voluntarily leaving Russia – have failed to completely dismantle the economy or spark a popular backlash against M . Cheese fries.

Russia has spent much of Mr Putin’s 22 years in power integrating into the global economy. It turns out that it is not easy to disentangle such vast and intertwined trade links.

It is certain that the effects of the sanctions will be deep and widespread, with the consequences only beginning to be felt. Economists and businessmen say the standard of living in Russia is already falling, and the situation is likely to get worse as import stocks run out and more companies announce layoffs.

Some of Russia’s DIY efforts might not live up to Western standards. When the first post-sanctions model of the Lada Granta – a Russian hatchback co-produced by Renault before the French automaker pulled out this spring – rolled off an assembly line at a factory near the Volga on Wednesday, it lacked airbags, modern pollution controls or anti-lock brakes.

Credit…Maxim Shipenkov/EPA, via Shutterstock

But the economic decline is not as precipitous as some experts predicted after the February 24 invasion. Inflation is still high, around 17% on an annual basis, but has come down from a 20-year high in April. A closely watched measure of factory activity, the S&P Global Purchasing Managers Index, showed Russian manufacturing expanded in May for the first time since the start of the war.

Behind the positive news lies a combination of factors working to Mr. Putin’s advantage. Chief among them: high energy prices, which allow the Kremlin to continue funding the war while raising pensions and salaries to appease ordinary Russians. The country’s oil revenues have increased by 50% this year.

Moreover, the skillful work of the Central Bank prevented a panic in the financial markets after the invasion and helped the ruble to recover from its initial crash. Store shelves, for the most part, remain stocked, thanks to large stocks and alternative import routes established via countries such as Turkey and Kazakhstan – and Russian consumers buying less.

Even the new Lada Granta is less clumsy than observers predicted: despite the shortage of foreign components, it will still come with power steering and power windows.

“Not everything is as bad as expected,” proclaimed a Russian automotive website.

The survival of the Russian economy strengthens Mr. Putin’s hand by reinforcing his narrative that Russia will stand tall in the face of the West’s determination to destroy it. He met with young entrepreneurs at a town hall-style event on Thursday, his latest effort to show that even though he was waging war, he was keen on keeping the economy functioning and foreign trade functioning. Although the West will not do business with Russia, he insisted, the rest of the world will.

Credit…Pool photo by Mikhail Metzel

“We’re not going to have a closed economy,” Putin told a woman wondering about the effects of the sanctions. “If someone tries to limit us in something, he limits himself.”

For the wealthy, luxuries and iPhones are still widely available, but more expensive, transported to Russia from the Middle East and Central Asia. The poor have been hit by rising prices, but they will benefit from a 10% increase in pensions and the minimum wage announced by Mr Putin last month.

Those most affected by the economic upheaval belong to the urban middle class. Foreign goods and services are now harder to find, Western employers are pulling out, and travel abroad is becoming difficult and prohibitively expensive.

But Natalya V. Zubarevich, an expert in social and political geography at Moscow State University, notes that many middle-class Russians have no choice but to adapt to a lower standard of living: At least half of the Russian middle class, she estimates, works for the state or for public companies.

“Sanctions are not going to stop the war,” Zubarevich said in a phone interview. “The Russian public will put up with it and adapt because they understand that they have no means of influencing the state.”

Chris Weafer, a macro consultant who has long focused on Russia, issued a note to clients last week, saying “some of our previous assumptions were wrong.” Inflation and the contraction of the economy proved less severe than expected, according to the note. His firm, Macro-Advisory Eurasia Strategic Consulting, revised its forecast to show a smaller decline in gross domestic product this year – 5.8% instead of 7% – while also forecasting a recession that will last until April. next year.

In a phone interview, Weafer described Russia’s economic future as “duller, more debilitating”, with lower incomes, but basic goods and services still available. A major juice company, for example, warned customers that its boxes would soon be all white due to a shortage of imported paint.

Credit…Natalia Kolesnikova/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

“The economy is now entering an almost stagnant phase where it can avoid a collapse,” he said. “It’s a more basic level of economic existence, which Russia can continue for a while.”

On Friday, as inflation stabilized, the Central Bank of Russia cut its key rate to 9.5%, the level before the invasion. On February 28, the bank raised it to 20% in an attempt to avoid a financial crisis. The rouble, after plummeting in value in the days following the invasion, is now trading at four-year highs.

One of the reasons for the ruble’s unexpected strength is that global energy demand has surged in the wake of the pandemic. In June alone, the Russian government expects a windfall of more than $6 billion due to higher-than-expected energy prices, the finance ministry said last week.

At the same time, Russian consumers spent less, which further supported the ruble and gave Russian companies time to set up new import routes.

Russian officials, however, acknowledge that the toughest times for the economy may still be ahead. Elvira Nabiullina, the central bank’s chief, said on Friday that while “the effect of the sanctions has not been as acute as we initially feared”, it would be “premature to say that the full effect of the sanctions is over. is manifested”.

For example, it remains unclear how Russian companies will be able to obtain microchips used in a wide variety of products. During Mr. Putin’s meeting with contractors, one developer said he was “very concerned about our microelectronics”.

Mr. Putin cut: “Me too. Honest.”

Credit…Maxim Shemetov/Reuters

The ties that unite the Russian economy to the West, today in the process of unraveling, go back decades, sometimes more than a century. Aeroflot, the national carrier, has acquired dozens of new Boeing and Airbus planes and promoted itself as a convenient transit airline for people traveling between Europe and Asia. In the Ural Mountains, a factory has worked with Siemens, the German manufacturing giant, to produce modern trains to replace rusting Soviet equipment.

Banned from using European airspace, Aeroflot is now focusing on domestic routes and working to switch to Russian planes – a process that will take years. Siemens, which built telegraph lines across the Russian Empire in the 1850s and helped usher the country into the industrial age, announced last month it was pulling out of Russia.

“Sanctions are suffocating the economy, which doesn’t happen all at once,” said Ivan Fedyakov, who runs Infoline, a Russian market consultancy that advises businesses on how to survive under the current restrictions. “We only felt 10-15% of their effect.”

But when it comes to food, at least Russia is better prepared. When McDonald’s opened in the Soviet Union in 1990, Americans had to bring everything. Soviet potatoes were too small to make fries, so they had to acquire their own russet seed potatoes; Soviet apples didn’t work for the pie, so the company imported them from Bulgaria.

Credit…via Reuters

But by the time McDonald’s pulled out this year, its Russian stores were getting almost all of their ingredients from Russian suppliers. So when McDonald’s, which employed 62,000 workers in Russia, announced in March that it was suspending operations because it could not “ignore the needless human suffering taking place in Ukraine”, one of its Siberian franchisees, Aleksandr Govor was able to keep his 25 restaurants. open. Last month, he bought all of McDonald’s Russian operations for an undisclosed sum.

On Sunday – Russia Day, a patriotic holiday – it will reopen 15 stores, including the former flagship McDonald’s in Moscow’s Pushkin Square, the place where in 1990 thousands of Soviets lined up for a taste of the West . The chain will operate under a new yet-to-be-disclosed brand, although the new logo has been unveiled, which is meant to feature a burger and fries.

The hash browns will have a Russian name, according to a menu leaked to a Russian tabloid. And, since the secret sauce is exclusive, there won’t be a Big Mac on offer.

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Pessimism about the economy is about both partisanship and prices https://avanceeconomico.com/pessimism-about-the-economy-is-about-both-partisanship-and-prices/ Wed, 08 Jun 2022 00:24:00 +0000 https://avanceeconomico.com/pessimism-about-the-economy-is-about-both-partisanship-and-prices/ Placeholder while loading article actions In many ways, the US economy is doing well. Unemployment is near the lowest levels and employment near the highest levels. Competition for workers has helped drive up wages. Drop a 2009 or mid-2020 American into the 2022 job market and they’d probably be thrilled. But those higher wages are […]]]>
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In many ways, the US economy is doing well. Unemployment is near the lowest levels and employment near the highest levels. Competition for workers has helped drive up wages. Drop a 2009 or mid-2020 American into the 2022 job market and they’d probably be thrilled.

But those higher wages are less helpful when gasoline prices are at an all-time high. Earning more each week is mitigated by paying more for food and other commodities, especially things that are downstream of fuel costs.

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It’s no wonder, then, that a YouGov poll for The Economist last month found that 58% of Americans think the economy is getting worse. This pessimism matches (and, in recent weeks, has surpassed) the pessimism at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Prior to that, the highest measured pessimism had emerged early in Barack Obama’s presidency, as the country recovered from the Great Recession.

You can see the change below. The effect of the pandemic on Donald Trump’s three-quarters term in office is evident; confidence in the economy has collapsed. He recovered a bit before coming back down. Then, shortly after President Biden took office — and as the pandemic appeared to be receding for good — optimism returned. Until it doesn’t.

An inextricable part of this is partisanship. If we separate the parties in the YouGov poll, you can see how much opinions on the economy depend on party. During Obama’s presidency, Democrats were quite confident in the economy while Republicans were extremely pessimistic. Then Trump took office and positions quickly changed.

The pandemic made everyone more pessimistic, but Republican confidence quickly recovered…until Trump lost re-election. Republican pessimism quickly returned.

Part of the challenge for Biden is that Republicans are less likely to offer a grudging assessment that things are “about the same” — essentially a win for a Democratic president. But also part of it is that Democrats themselves are less likely to be uniformly positive about how things are going. There was no YouGov poll taken during Obama’s second term in which Democrats were more pessimistic than optimistic about the economy. There have been 13 such polls for Biden this year.

Despite the media’s focus on various economic indicators, these partisan views are often disconnected from actual economic data. For example, there is no strong correlation between the change in stock prices in a month and the number of Americans saying they are positive about the direction of the economy. On the charts below, showing the sharp views of the economy (those who think things are improving less those who think things are getting worse) fell early in the pandemic along with stock prices. Otherwise, the movement is not clearly related (visually or mathematically).

One of the challenges here is that the pandemic has been such a shock to the system that it tends to break the scale of things like job change. But note the subtle drop in jobs on the far left of the “jobs trend” chart below and how that correlates to pessimism about the economy. Except for the pandemic period, there is no other obvious connection.

If we look only at the time Biden was president, the correlation between stock prices and positivity about the economy is slightly stronger. The correlation between job growth and views on the economy ranges from non-existent to slight.

Then we come to inflation, measured with the consumer price index. The CPI has risen every month since the pandemic hit, with increases during Biden’s tenure being significantly larger. And increases in the CPI have been more correlated than any other factor to the overall view of the economy since the start of 2021, albeit in reverse. (In other words, inflation increases, optimism decreases.)

Biden supporters will likely point out that the focus on inflation is helping push views on the economy south. It’s hard to disentangle real increases in inflation from inflation hedging, for obvious reasons, which makes this theory both appealing and hard to refute. I will note, however, that while Fox News has reported more on inflation than CNN or MSNBC, monthly cable inflation mentions are no more strongly correlated with views on the economy than actual inflation numbers. (For what it’s worth, which admittedly isn’t much.)

Unfortunately for the president, inflation has a tangibility that employment does not. If you have a job, you are probably less aware of fluctuations in the job market. But almost everyone notices that food and gas are more expensive, even Democrats.

Partisanship is part of what drives pessimism. As you’d expect, prices are clearly part of that too.

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