The nation’s middle class, long a pillar of the U.S. economy and foundation of the American dream, has shrunk to the point where it no longer constitutes the majority of the adult population, according to a new major study.
The long, acrimonious legislative battle that gave President Barack Obama the power needed to complete trade agreements reflects both the steady march of globalization and also the nation’s deep ambivalence about the consequences of America’s widening economic engagement with the world.
Obama has staked his legacy as the self-proclaimed “first Pacific president” on completing the deal, even at the expense of alienating many Democrats who remain deeply suspicious of claims that free-trade deals are good for American workers.
Global economic growth is likely to remain modest and highly uneven, and the longer-term prospects are even more sobering, according to the International Monetary Fund.
By Don Lee, Tribune Washington Bureau WASHINGTON — When Kevin Smith and his partners started a solar energy firm in Santa Monica, California, in 2008, they expected to sell their technology to advanced economies in Europe and the United States. But much of the action has been in a part of the world Smith initially […]
By Don Lee, Tribune Washington Bureau WASHINGTON — U.S. employers added a robust 288,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate fell to a six-year low of 6.1 percent, the government reported Thursday. The net job growth in June exceeded analysts’ expectations and signaled a strengthening labor market as the economy moves past a weak […]
By Don Lee, Tribune Washington Bureau WASHINGTON — Stanley Fischer, the former Bank of Israel head picked by President Barack Obama for the No. 2 job at the Federal Reserve, won Senate confirmation Wednesday to become a member of the Fed’s board of governors. The 68-27 vote in favor of Fischer means he will have little […]
By Don Lee, Tribune Washington Bureau WASHINGTON — The U.S. made clear this past week that it wants the International Monetary Fund to be the emergency lender for countries like Ukraine, but American lawmakers have persistently refused to give the IMF the additional financial firepower that it has sought. That tension was evident in meetings concluding […]
By Don Lee, Tribune Washington Bureau WASHINGTON — The U.S. economy added a fairly solid number of new jobs in March as employers reverted to their average pace of hiring after the unusually harsh winter weather. The Labor Department said Friday that the economy created a net 192,000 new jobs last month, just about as many […]
By Don Lee, Los Angeles Times KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight intensified Monday as search crews reported more sightings of possible debris in the south Indian Ocean, including two objects that could be retrieved soon by an Australian vessel. Malaysia’s prime minister, Najib Razak, also announced an unscheduled […]
By Don Lee, Tribune Washington Bureau KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Despite better weather conditions Friday and the use of some of the world’s most advanced surveillance aircraft, an Australian-led search operation came up empty on its second day of scouring the south Indian Ocean for possible debris from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. Several military aircraft, […]
By Don Lee, Tribune Washington Bureau KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia—Investigators have found that some data were deleted from the flight simulator taken from the home of the pilot of the missing Malaysia Airlines plane, adding to the mystery surrounding the disappearance of the Boeing 777. Malaysian officials said Wednesday that experts were working to recover the deleted […]
By Don Lee, Tribune Washington Bureau WASHINGTON — Job growth was sluggish in January for the second straight month, the government said Friday in a report likely to heighten concerns that the economy and labor market recovery may be faltering again. The report could also give the Federal Reserve second thoughts about continuing to pull back […]