An analysis just released by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco concludes that most of what Americans spend on consumer goods, electronics, clothing, sneakers and the like, stays in America. Surprisingly little comes from China after all. Say the authors:
Goods and services from China accounted for only 2.7% of U.S. personal consumption expenditures (PCE) in 2010…Chinese imports make up only a small share of total U.S. consumer spending…
Athough globalization is widely recognized these days, the U.S. economy actually remains relatively closed. The vast majority of goods and services sold in the United States is produced here. In 2010, imports were about 16% of U.S. GDP. Imports from China amounted to 2.5% of GDP.
At a time when each day seems to bring more dire news regarding the economy, Americans have one silver lining: the price at the pump is going down. According to energy experts, gas prices should fall anywhere from 30 to 50 cents per gallon over the next several weeks.
Crude oil for September delivery dropped to $81.03 a barrel in New York futures trading, but later closed at $85.72 a barrel. Earlier in the week, oil was as low as $79.30 a barrel.
Should energy consumers pay extra taxes to fund government-mandated and subsidized renewable energy technologies? "Absolutely yes," says John Bryson, President Obama's nominee for Commerce Secretary. He made the remark at a meeting of the Commonwealth Club of California in 2009 and went on to extol the virtues of hidden rates in California, a state encumbered with some of the nation's highest electricity and unemployment rates.
Bryson, retired CEO of the electric utility Southern California Edison (SCE) and its parent company Edison International, excused the practice, saying, "That's been a part of the regulatory environment for the investor-owned utilities for as long as I've been close to it."
The two Minnesotans in the Republican presidential primary — former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty and U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann — took aim at each other in the August 11 debate in Ames, Iowa.
"It's an indisputable fact in Congress her record of accomplishment and results is nonexistent," Pawlenty said of his fellow Minnesota Republican. Bachmann replied: "Governor, when you were governor in Minnesota, you implemented cap and trade in our state. And you praised the unconstitutional individual mandate and you called for requiring all people in our state to purchase health insurance that government would mandate. Third, you said the era of small government was over. That sounds a lot more like Barack Obama, if you ask me."
The Little America Hotel in downtown Salt Lake City was abuzz with activity and excitement when your reporter arrived on July 14 for the opening of the U.S. & China Trade, Culture & Education Conference 2011. Throngs of Chinese delegates and journalists packed the lobby, while still more delegates from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) disembarked from limousines and tour buses at the hotel entrance. The scene was much the same across the street at the hotel’s pricier corporate sister, the Grand America Hotel, which served as the main venue for the National Governors Association Annual Meeting and U.S.-China Governors Forum.
My first order of business was to pick up my press credentials for the Trade, Culture & Education Conference, which was being sponsored by the American & Chinese Friendship Promotion Society. Unfortunately, I arrived at the credential room a few minutes too late; the man in charge had closed up and departed for the afternoon, taking the press badges with him. Mine would be available the next morning, in time for the main events, his assistant assured me. In the meantime, the assistant said, since he had seen my name on the list of officially approved journalists, I could use the press badge of Le Yeng, a Chinese journalist who had not shown up, to get into the afternoon’s remaining events.
On June 15, 1961, Walter Ulbricht, the communist ruler of East Germany (known officially as the German Democratic Republic) held a press conference in East Berlin to promote a cause he had long advocated: the signing of a treaty between the Soviet Union and Ulbricht’s German Democratic Republic (GDR) so that the East German government would control all land and air routes to Berlin, which would then be, in Ulbricht’s terms, a “Free City.” As Frederick Taylor noted in The Berlin Wall: A World Divided, 1961-1989, Ulbricht’s aides “went out of their way to invite the Western press corps.”
No one has ever accused Rick Santorum of being coy. The former Pennsylvania Representative and two-term Senator has built a reputation for being outspoken and unapologetic, a political point man for opinions that have become politically incorrect.
Born in 1958, he early became known as feisty and opinionated. In high school, he earned the nickname “Rooster,” in part because of hair that refused to stay combed, and in part because “he was dogged and determined like a rooster and never backed down,” according to an online June 2006 write-up by U.S. News & World Report.
Santorum got his first taste of politics as a junior at Penn State University, where he volunteered for Republican Senator John Heinz’s campaign in order to fulfill a requirement for a political science course.
Although I remain something of a talk radio junkie, it has been some time since I recognized that the “conservatism” of the air waves is really nothing of the kind. That is, much to my disappointment, it isn’t “conservatism” that “conservative” talk radio tends to promote but neoconservatism, or at least Republican Party politics (which is for all practical purposes the same thing). Still, I continue to listen to talk radio regularly, and just as regularly find it instructive. For the latest pearls, I have nationally syndicated host Mike Gallagher to thank. Gallagher expressed incredulity over the response of some “on the left” to the recent killing of Navy Seals in Afghanistan.
The Afghan war, being a decade old, is the longest war that America has ever waged. In spite of this, our military suffered more casualties in a single day this past weekend than it has suffered on any given day since this war began. Not surprisingly, these facts are being taken by an ever growing number of Americans as further confirmation of their skepticism toward this Middle Eastern adventure. Our mission in Afghanistan, they reason, if it ever had any coherence at all, has lost intelligibility: it is time to either radically revisit our objectives or, at long last, to bring the troops home.
The German government is considering banning the National Democratic Party (known as NPD, for "National Party of Deutschland," a political movement defined by the punditry as "far right." Gerhard Schröeder, the Social Democrat who preceded Angela Merkel as Chancellor of Germany, failed in his attempt to ban the small party in 2003.
Hajo Funke of the Free University of Berlin supports the ban: “The NPD is dangerous — its far-right, violent, and xenophobic ideology threatens the multi-ethnic fabric of German life,” he declares, adding that Germany is still home to “an active, dangerous and strong Neo-Nazi movement.” The NPD's foes claim that it does not deserve taxpayers' money. In Germany, all political parties receive tax dollars; in contrast, many Americans believe that taxpayer support for any political party compromises the integrity of the whole political system.
Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) schooled former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Penn.) and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) on foreign policy issues in the August 11 GOP presidential debate in Ames, Iowa.
Asked by Fox News channel anchor Chris Wallace why Paul was "soft" on Iran in his opposition to economic sanctions against the country, Paul told the debate audience that the threat from Iran was small when looked at through the lens of history: "Just think of what we went through in the Cold War when I was in the Air Force, after I was drafted into the Air Force, all through the Sixties. We were standing up against the Soviets. They had like 30,000 nuclear weapons with intercontinental missiles. Just think of the agitation and the worry about a country that might get a nuclear weapon some day."
Paul concluded of sanctions: "That makes it much worse.