Custom «“Private Sector Up, Government Down” by David Leonhardt» Essay Paper Sample
David Leonhardt discusses the changes that have happened in the last 12 months in the economy of the USA. He compares the situation in the private sector with the situation in government institutions. The author mentions a considerable difference between those two sectors. According to the article, private sector has increased the number of jobs offered over the past 12 months. The rate of its growth is in fact faster than the growth of the population. While the private sector has grown by 1.7 per cent, the population has grown by approximately 1 per cent. Contrary to that, governmental institutions, especially local and state governments, have been cutting the number of job systematically, which caused the decrease of the number of working adults. Therefore, there is paradox – while the private sector is growing the amount of working adults decreases.
Reflecting on the article one can say that it is an important and valuable topic that is relevant to the vast audience. It is rather helpful and easy to comprehend, especially due to the graphs that the author uses. His every thought is backed up by a relevant graph that vividly illustrates the tendency in private and government sector. These graphs show that both government employment as well as employment-population ratio have both been declining in the last 12 months. It was an uneven decrease with sudden plunges and periods of relevant stability. On the contrary, private-sector job growth graph shows an exemplary steady increase in the percentage. This is a comforting knowledge as it brings a sense of stability to people seeking jobs. All in all, the private sector has had a remarkable growth and development that would attract even more potential employees and lure some prospective workers away from government institutions.
The article discusses the current problems of the popular TV show “The Simpsons” that has now reached its 23rd season. The problem has arisen because of the dispute between the actors whose voices are used for the characters on the one side and the production studio of the show on the other side. Those actors are protesting against the salary cut, which was proposed by the studio. “The Simpsons” is going through tough times as its popularity and the number of viewers has plunged dramatically. Joe Flint uses statistics to back his point up: the current season gathered around 7.1 million viewers, which is almost 19% decrease in comparison with five years ago. Also, the percentage of viewers has dropped by 17% in the main target audience of the age 18 to 49. In order to remedy the situation there has been some discussion going among the members of 20th Century Fox Television and News Corp. One of the options suggested was to close the show and continue making profit form reruns.
There seems to be quite a dilemma around the TV show. On the one hand, the actors are an essential part of the show and their voices are deeply integrated into the viewers’ conscience. On the other hand, according to the 20th Century For Television, the show won’t be able to function under current financial model. The problem is that the desired raise in salary coincided with the decline in the show’s popularity. Without a doubt, the show makers will be faced with some serious tradeoffs. They will need to decide whether risk another season and raise the salaries of the actors or stop the production and focus on rerunning the episodes on local television. I think that the statistics cannot be ignored because the figures speak quite clearly on the subject at hand. The truth is that the popularity of the show gradually decreases. Therefore, it is most likely that American and other people around the world will soon have to enjoy some other TV show or watch over the existing episodes of “The Simpsons”.
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In his article the journalist Charles Riley analyzes the possible effects of the recent tax reform suggested by the President Barak Obama. The author states the points of view of both the proponents of the reform and its opponents. The dispute arose on the basis of two proposed tax rates. While one group wants them to be 33% and 35% the other group believes 36% and 39.6% to be more appropriate. The group that wants to keep the tax rates on the lower level argues that an increase in taxes would put small businesses at risk and create high uncertainly among the workforce. However, the proponents of higher taxes argue that the increase will affect only 2.5% to 3.5% of small businesses. The fact is that the majority of the small businesses do not fall into this particular tax category and because of that they will be affected only in the lowest respect. The increase in the tax will be more visible for bigger companies who fall into this category. Riley claims that a slight increase in taxes would stimulate the economy more than tax cuts. As for the job market, the author doesn’t perceive that much damage would be done. In the long run, according to the article, there will be little negative impact on the creation of new jobs or the state of the economy.
The article is sometimes a bit difficult to follow as the author makes sudden jumps from one point to another. He uses a lot of questions in the text and then answers them. Undoubtedly, his topic is an important one. The changes in tax systems always excite lots of discussions and speculations. There are always people who aren’t satisfied with reforms and those who welcome them. Therefore, it is very hard to tell whether the current tax reform will bring positive results or not at the present time.
The author Jennifer Liberto gives an objective overview of the trade deals suggested by the President Barak Obama and the discussion caused by them. The three trade deals – with South Korea, Panama, and Colombia – were proposed by the president because of the troubling state of the agricultural sector of the US economy. The reasoning behind these deals was as follows. The passing of the deals helps create more jobs, as the income from the deals would be estimated at $13 billion. If the deals are passed, they will provide access to new international markets of high-quality soybeans, beef, and wheat. Moreover, this would be beneficial for the automotive industry as the tariffs would decrease. It is anticipated, that the Congress will pass all three of the deals (as mentioned by the House Majority Leader Eric Cantor). Some of the Unions and Democrats doubt that the passing of the deals will indeed create more jobs for American people. In fact, the unions claim that there is no connection between he deals and the increased job market.
Prior to Obama’s suggestion of the deals, the White House wants the Congress to pass another motion called Trade Adjustment Assistance that is designed for helping the workers whose employers transferred their operations overseas. This program is likely to have a cost of approximately $900 million over the next three years. In a sense, this program has prepared the groundwork for the three proposed deals. If ratified, the deals would be added to the small list of legislations that the government has managed to pass over the last 12 months.
With all the problems that American economy experiences nowadays, it is clear that some changes have to be done. While the Trade Adjustment Assistance program looks like an important step, it surely costs a lot of money that have to be acquired somehow. I really hope that the passing of the deals with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama will open new possibilities for the American businesses. As of now, it seems like a far cry because of all the time it would take to gain real advantage from the reforms. In order to help the economy there must be swift and precise changes that would help businesses develop in a favorable environment.
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The article by Tami Luhby confronts a burning issue for many families. The topic of the article is extremely important and close to a lot of people. The mortgage assistance for the unemployed people is discussed. The author relates how a theoretically beneficial initiative has changed into the program that does not meet the people’s needs.
Emergency Homeowners' Loan Program, a part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform bill, was passed last year and was aimed at helping those citizens who lost their jobs due to their health condition or the economic instability. The program had good intentions as it targeted the part of population that was not assisted by any other program or discount system. Moreover, it was designed based on the successful similar program in Pennsylvania, which functioned well starting from 1983 and stopped recently because of the budget cuts. However, the present program turned out to be less successful than expected. The initial overflow of the applicants was drowned by the strict eligibility criteria. All in all, only half of the money aimed for the program will be probably spent. The Housing Department that oversees the program expects only around 15,000 eligible applicants out of the 100,000 that initially applied. Those who do qualify will receive between $35,000 and $45,000 of aid.
The difference between the present program and the Pennsylvania program is the fact that the later allowed for more hardships and as a result met more needs of the people. One of the most common problems with the present program is that a large number of the applicant has lost their jobs more than a year ago while the program admits only those who became unemployed within the last 12 months.
In my opinion, such programs are extremely important for the society. They help create a sense of protection among people and increase the trust of people toward the government. However, this particular program has not probably become the kind of help that it was designed to be. The inability of the program to meet the needs of broad range of unemployed people has probably increased the level of their anxiety and devastation. Tami Luhby does a good job describing the drawbacks of the program and comparing it to the similar one in Pennsylvania. She uses lots of experts’ opinions to carry her massage and make her story as vivid as it can be.
The present article has for its object the discussion of the current euro crisis and the possible outcomes of it. As it is well-known, Greece experiences some tough economic situation at present. The struggle is also felt in Italy, Spain, and Portugal. In the present situation, the shared currency imposes additional problems rather than helping to solve the existing one. Normally, in a case like Greece’s a country could devalue its national currency in order to make the goods more attractive for exports. This would be a chance to stabilize the economy and decrease the national debt. However, the European Union does not allow its members using this method of stabilizing economy. There’s no doubt that this step is logical for the union a s a whole as it prevents it from the unnecessary fluctuations of the currency. Yet, for individual countries this policy may well be devastating as it is seen in Greece today.
The survey was carried out by CNNmoney among the economists around the country. The majority of them agree that the euro will hold for now but that Greece will most likely default on its debt by the end of the year. As it is now, the Greece seems to be trapped between the rock and the hard place. On the one hand, it is not able to use the strategies that other countries not in the European Union would employ. On the other hand, the damage o f leaving the EU is too big for it to be a real option. The author mentions that the barriers for leaving the Union are too high for any country and that is why it is safe to assume that the other countries will help the struggling ones in order to secure their own position. Among the economists surveyed, two thirds believe that the impact of the Grecian crisis will have a severe or significant impact on the US economy. Only one-third believes that it will have a mild impact.
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The present crisis in Greece and the economic struggle of Spain, Portugal, and Italy is a concerning issue for the world community. In the interconnected world of ours a condition of one country is bound to have its toll on the world economy and other countries no matter how geographically distant they could be. The article by Chris Isidore is quite informative and touches upon important issues. It is valuable primarily for economists and people working in the international field but it also is of some interest to the general public. People nowadays have to be more culturally aware; and this article helps achieve this awareness at least to some extent.
In her article the journalist Marina Landis focuses on the controversial issue of the Keystone XL pipeline. The much-discussed project is expected to have a longed-for decision as the discussion week draws near the end. There are two opposing points of view in this issue; and the author gives an account of both of them.
On the one hand, the Keystone XL pipeline project is expected to yield lots of positive results. The project that is to be carried out by a Canadian energy infrastructure company TransCanada. The project has in its essence the building of the oil pipeline from the Alberta, Canada, to the Gulf of Mexico. The pipeline is expected to be 1,700-mile long and to go through Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. The Canadian company has declared that the project would create approximately 20,000 temporary jobs during the construction period and around 118,000 spin-off jobs after the construction is done. These are comforting numbers, as the economy of the U.S. could largely benefit from the additional working places. On top of that, Keystone XL pipeline project would bring $20 billion into the economy of the country and increase personal income of its people.
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However, the journalist also highlights the existing downsides of the project. To start with, all of the state officials (the states that the pipeline will go through) have to give their consent to the project. All of the states agreed to this except for the Nebraska officials. Dave Heineman, the representative of the state mentioned that the pipeline would pass over an important water source that supplies farmers and ranchers with water. He even wrote a letter to the President describing the situation and asking to reroute the pipeline. Environmentalists around the country are alarmed by the project and stand against it. They claim that oil from Canada oil sands requires creates more greenhouse gases than the average oil. This is because the Canadian oil is thicker and therefore needs to be diluted with natural gas. It is more corrosive than other types of oil and creates more danger of pipeline spills. Finally, the Cornell University Global Labor Institute has issued a document refuting the TransCanada’s estimations concerning the jobs created by the project. According to Cornell’s research, the construction process lasting two years will only employ 2,500-4,650 people. Here is also evidence that a portion of the steel pipeline will not be produced within the United States. Although TransCanada didn’t agree to these results, there is no certainty as to which of the sources is correct.
Analyzing the article, one can reach the conclusion that the issue is far from being resolved. There are too many questions unanswered and too many organizations unsatisfied. It is quite difficult to tell whether the project will proceed or not. The discussion of it has renewed again; and the decision has to be made sometime by the end of the year. The State Department will be responsible for evaluating the situation and deciding whether the Keystone pipeline project is in the interest of the state.
Another article by Charles Riley discusses the CNN/ORC International Poll, conducted among 1,010 adult American respondents over the phone in the period of September 23-25 this year. The poll was about the present state of the economy and the results of it turned out to be alarming. 90% of the Americans think that the economy of their country is in the poor state. This is a 9% increase from the results of the similar survey conducted in Lune when 81% of the respondents had such opinion. Indeed, the author mentions couple of problems that are serious and worth paying attention to. The housing market is in a mess, the economic growth is almost unnoticeable, and the high unemployment rate (9.1%) are some of the issues faced by the U.S. economy nowadays. Remarkably enough, more people tend to blame the previous administration for the current problems and only about 30% are convinced that the current administration is to blame.
While there is a general agreement among the respondents that the economy experiences tough times, there is little agreement about the two it largest actors – the chief of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke and Warren Buffett who invests billions of dollars onto the economy. As for Bernanke, only 42% of respondents have an opinion about him and his activity. This seems to be strange, taking into consideration the fact that he is one of the most influential personalities in the economy. His fellow politicians, however, have controversial views about him, with Republicans being less appreciative of this political figure. Warren Buffet enjoys more publicity and more positive feedback. More than 40% of Americans involved in the survey have favorable view of him.
The article is a good source of the public opinion and gives information on the burning problems of the American society. I find it quite interesting that the general public tends to blame the previous presidential administration for the present problems. Despite the fact that it has been already three years since the beginning of the recession the Obama’s administration doesn’t take as much critique from the public as it probably should.
One of the most prevailing issues in today’s economy of the U.S. – the problem of creating new jobs – is discussed by the journalist Chris Isidore. He relates the results of the survey conducted by CNNmoney among the economists of the country. The question was to determine the kind of action needed for the immediate help to the economy. The survey yielded highly mixed results. There were 24 economist questioned; and 16 of those believed that some kind of a stimulative action has to be taken. The action, however, is under a lot of discussion and there is no agreement as to what exactly this should be.
One of the most popular suggestions was an extension of the payroll tax holiday and the implementation of the new holiday designed to benefit the small businesses. Another option proposed was to repeal the Obama’s health care program and to stop the financial benefit program under the Dodd-Frank bill passed last year. Yet other options were reducing the burden of the regulations on the businesses to promote their hiring abilities, federal and state financial aid, and a direct write-off to the businesses. But none of these suggestions was accepted unanimously and all of them were met with split evaluations.
Looking at all these options one can’t help but notice that there is a considerable degree of uncertainty among the economists. It can’t but have its impact on the general public. Such unsure views as to what has to be done create high anxiety in people’s minds and decreases their trust to the governmental institutions. Moreover, I think that such vast array of the methods proposed may have negative effects. There has to be a manageable number of options so that they can be worked on thoroughly. This is a positive thing that the Obama’s administration has come up with several ways of how to overcome the difficulties in the economy. The task now is to narrow them down to those that will most likely bring the best results and focus on their implementation. All in all, it will most probably be a trail-and-error way out of the economic crisis. Everybody has to gather a lot of patience and prepare for a long and tiresome journey towards economic stability.
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The given article is a very short discussion of the stock plunge that FedEx experienced in September 2011. The plunge has been the lowest since the economic crisis of 2008. The value of the shares has dropped almost 9%, and the stock was down to $66.19 per share. Such a drastic decline was preceded by the announcement of this package delivery company that the earning of this year would be less than expected, majorly because of the slow economic activity this year, especially in Asia. The chief financial officer and FedEx Corp. executive vice president Alan B. Graf, Jr. admitted that the economy grew at a slower rate in the current year than was anticipated by the company’s experts.
Deborah Brunswick gives a truthful account of the FedEx stock situation. The article provokes much thought on the given issue. This information, especially as seen through the prism of the overall economic situation, encourages thinking about the general state of the U.S. economy. There are lots of alarming signals, and this one is not an exception. If such a big and financially stable company as FedEx experienced a drop of stock activity of nearly 9% in such a short time period, there is no knowing of what might happen to the smaller companies who cannot boast such stability.
Overall, reviewing all these articles gave me an invaluable insight into the present state of the U.S. economy. Reading extensively in the given subject I was able to better understand the underlying principles that govern domestic and international relationships. It was helpful to find out that echoes of several stories were found in other stories as well. For example, the article “Mortgage help for unemployed disappears” and its Dodd-Frank bill was also mentioned in the article “How to create jobs” by Chris Isidore. Some of the articles are really powerful pieces of writing that with the help of vivid imagery and wonderful choice of words help the readers walk in other people’s shoes and empathize with them.
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It was not difficult to notice that the majority of the articles had an overarching theme – the problem of creating new jobs for American people. Examples of such articles are “How to create jobs”, “U.S. to decide the Keystone XL pipeline's fate”, “Obama sends trade deals to Congress”, “Private Sector Up, Government Down”, “Salary dispute could end 'The Simpsons'”, and “Tax hikes and jobs: The whole story”. Although the topic of the articles might not be directly related to the job market, there is always a discussion of it in the text.
As the articles touch upon domestic as well as international issue they are extremely helpful in keeping up-to-date in the area of economics. Moreover, even the issues in other countries are related to domestic economy in one way or the other. The globalized economy of the present is in need of the joint actions of different countries to function better. Drawing the conclusion of this economic journal, I strongly believe that I have learned a lot of information that is helpful in my field. Moreover, the articles pushed me to analyze the issues deeply and reach my own conclusions about the issues discussed.
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