Originally published in The New York Times. The United Auto Workers has taken to the picket lines in a particularly acrimonious strike, targeting, for the first time, all three of the big Detroit automakers simultaneously. Popular opinion appears to lie firmly on the union side. And I’m all for the auto workers getting paid more […]
Originally published in the New York Times. The workers were furious. Believing that new mechanical looms threatened their jobs, they broke into factories, seized machinery, brought it into the street and set it afire, all with widespread public support, even tacitly from the authorities. That was in 1675. And those English textile workers were neither first […]
Originally published in the New York Times. On my first trip to China in more than three years, I awoke to an uncharacteristically brilliant blue Beijing sky. The forsythia and cherry trees were in full bloom, and the city was sparkling. That, for me, proved to be a metaphor for at least part of my […]
Originally published in The Washington Post Last August, after heroic efforts by a bipartisan group of senators, critical legislation aimed at addressing the United States’ woeful weakness in producing high-performance semiconductors became law. An A-team led by Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and Michael Schmidt, an economic policy veteran, was given responsibility to dispense $39 billion to […]
Originally published in The New York Times Quiet quitting. Working from home. The Great Resignation. Whatever you want to call it, the attitude of many Americans toward work appears to have changed during the long pandemic — and, generally speaking, not for the better. This new approach threatens to do long-lasting damage to economic growth and […]
Originally published in the New York Times. Intent on reversing America’s decline in the world’s production of cutting-edge semiconductors, the federal government has begun what is arguably the government’s largest foray into the private sector since World War II. That’s just one piece of a larger, more muscular approach to industrial policy. It’s a road […]
After a couple of tough years, 2022 felt like a step back from the brink. The terror of Covid receded. A new president who had seemed on the precipice of failure basked in a fistful of legislative successes. And perhaps most important, Donald Trump’s grip on a large segment of the country showed signs of finally beginning to loosen.
But let’s not uncork the champagne just yet. Inflation continued to bedevil the economy, leading to large interest rate increases and stock market declines. International issues — from the stalemate in Ukraine to rising tensions with China — intensified. The belligerent voices of the extreme right seemed to only get louder.
Originally published in The New York Times. The Treasury Department reported last month that the nation closed its fiscal year with the national debt having reached a record $31 trillion, a stunning rise from a comparatively modest $20 trillion just six years earlier. The announcement elicited little notice. Given the rate at which our obligations are […]
Originally published in the New York Times. Early in my deal-making career, a Wall Street veteran counseled me to “never let the perfect be the enemy of the good.” The Senate majority leader, Chuck Schumer, may have had similar advice in his head as he relentlessly corralled his 49 Democratic colleagues into passing the Inflation Reduction […]
Originally published in the New York Times. Even in Washington, miracles sometimes happen. Less than a week ago, any tax and spending deal in Congress — let alone a meritorious one — seemed utterly implausible. But the new package announced on Wednesday is a step in the right direction on several of our pressing economic challenges. While substantially […]