Excerpts from recent editorials in the United States and abroad: July 24 The Washington Post on The Federal Reserve is almost certainly going to lift the benchmark interest rate Wednesday to nearly 5.5$, a stunning rise in March 2022.
The Fed was too slow to recognize inflation´s painful bite, more than 9 percent year-over-year last summer, but the Fed´s credibility has been restored. The central bank acted aggressively, helping cool inflation to a . Now, the path is murkier.
As anyone alive in the 1970s knows, the biggest danger is to give up too soon. Fed Chair Jerome H. Powell has made this case repeatedly. „Is there a risk that we would go too far? Certainly, there is a risk, but I wouldn´t agree that it´s the biggest risk to the economy. The bigger mistake to make would be to fail to restore price stability,” last July.
That´s still true today. The Fed needs to project that it´s still in inflation-fighting mode. Congress gave the central bank two goals: maximum employment and price stability. With the unemployment rate at , jobs still easy to obtain and labor force participation of Americans ages 25 to 54 at the highest level , the Fed deserves an A grade on employment but a C on price stability.
Yes, there has been significant improvement, but inflation is still well above the 2% target. Even more troubling, the inflation gauge that strips out volatile food and energy prices is .
Inflation, like unabated mold, has a tendency to return, and spores of it are still lurking in the services side of the economy: restaurants, travel, entertainment, car insurance. Of course, Mr. Powell and mpoagen his fellow board members cannot be blind to what is going on in the rest of the economy.
There´s rightly concern about the Fed triggering an unnecessary recession by raising rates too high. But so far, the economy and labor market have been far more resilient than expected. In fact, . More and more economists and business leaders are starting to believe inflation can subside without substantial pain in which millions of workers have to lose their jobs and incomes.
This resilience gives the Fed leeway to hike more if needed. If the economy starts to deteriorate rapidly, Mr. Powell will likely reconsider. He has a proven knack for pivoting. He shows and a recognition that economic forecasts have a poor track record.
He reversed course , bringing rates down somewhat during the Trump trade wars, and took fast action in March 2020 when the pandemic began. Some have suggested reconsidering the 2% inflation target.
It is an arbitrary number that New Zealand policymakers . But this is not the moment to change it. The Fed´s credibility has been a major factor in helping inflation cool. The public now believes the Fed will win this fight.
Abandoning the target now risks undermining that hard-won confidence. Wall Street expects this to be the in this series. But what matters most is that the Fed do what´s needed to ensure inflation ´s talk about a wall and ´s chaos at the southern border, it´s hard to imagine any solutions from Congress before 2025.
But Ms. Zavodny identifies labor-force trends that will have damaging consequences if they aren´t addressed. Someone needs to make the case that admitting foreig that such an initiative is under consideration – congressional action is overdue. Unfortunately, enactment of such legislation is clouded by the same partisanship that has infected the selection of Supreme Court justices.
But that mustn´t deter Congress from pressing for reforms that would make the court more transparent and accountable. Although Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. that justices „consult” the Code of Conduct for United States Judges, justices aren´t formally covered by it.
Justices are subject to financial-disclosure requirements, but this year that and accepted travel from wealthy individuals without disclosing that largesse.
(Both justices said they didn´t believe they were obliged to disclose that information. Earlier this year the Judicial Conference of the United States to say that judges must disclose travel by private jet.) As for transparency, justices are not required to explain why they choose not to participate in some cases, though, according to a sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee, a justice „may provide a summary explanation of a recusal decision.” „May” should be „must.” The bill to be taken up on Thursday, the , would require the court to establish a code of conduct for its members; mandate public written explanations for all recusal decisions; and provide a mechanism for investigation of complaints that a justice had behaved unethically.
These are all important objectives. Ideally, improving judicial transparency would be a bipartisan cause. But the parties are mostly split on this issue. The bill is sponsored by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), of the current court, and has only Democratic co-sponsors.
Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has on the Judiciary Committee for „trying to tell a coequal branch of government how to manage its internal operations, ostensibly to clean up its `ethics.´” This criticism is rich coming from McConnell, who did more than anyone in recent memory to politicize the Supreme Court when he and his colleagues in 2016 shamefully refused to consider President Obama´s nomination of Merrick Garland to the court.
McConnell´s original rationale for leaving that seat open was that 2016 was an election year, and that „(t)he American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court justice.” Yet Donald Trump´s 2020 nomination of Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who was . Not all Republicans oppose court reform.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) has co-sponsored an ethics bill with Sen. Angus King of Maine, an independent who caucuses with Democrats. In some respects their proposal, the , is preferable to the Whitehouse bill.
For example, it provides that the court designate an individual, who could be a court employee, to process complaints against justices, with the possibility of an investigation commissioned by the marshal of the court. By contrast, the Whitehouse bill would have chief judges of federal appeals courts investigate. Questions about ethics aren´t the only or even the principal reason for dissatisfaction with the Supreme Court.
It has sullied its reputation for being above politics with a series of in which Republican appointees predictably lined up on one side and Democratic appointees on the other. The court´s image also has suffered, deservedly, because of its last year to overrule Roe vs.
Wade and dismantle nearly half a century´s judicial protection for abortion rights. Yet the lack of a binding ethics code and inadequate oversight of gifts and travel are also a blot on the court´s reputation. Congress must begin the process of enacting reforms that the?
Or worse, when do they start the United States´ best interests? These are important questions because, over the past two decades, economic sanctions have become a tool of first resort for U.S.
policymakers, used for , trying to and .
The number of names on the Treasury Department´s Office of Foreign Assets Control sanctions list has risen steadily, from 912 in 2000 to 9,421 in 2021, largely because of the growing use of banking sanctions against individuals. The Trump administration added to the list – a rate surpassed last year with the flurry of sanctions that President Biden announced after Russia´s invasion of Ukraine. Given their increasing use, then, it is useful to understand not only how sanctions can be a tool for successful diplomacy but also how, when not employed well, they can ultimately undermine American efforts to across the globe. The Invisible Costs of Sanctions Policymakers turn to sanctions so frequently – the United States accounts for 42 percent of sanctions imposed worldwide since 1950, according to Drexel University´s – in part because they are seen as being low cost, especially compared with military action. In reality, the costs are substantial.
They are borne by banks, businesses, civilians and humanitarian groups, which shoulder the burden of putting them into effect, complying with them and mitigating their effects. Sanctions can also take a – often poor and living under repressive governments, as academics are increasingly documenting. Officials rarely factor in such costs.
While sanctions are easy to impose – there are dozens of sanctions programs administered by multiple federal agencies – they are politically and bureaucratically difficult to lift, even when they no longer serve U.S. interests. What´s worse, sanctions also escape significant public scrutiny.
Few officials are held responsible for whether a particular sanction is working as intended rather than needlessly harming innocent people or undermining foreign policy goals. Mr. Biden came into office promising to rectif responsible for fulfilling sanctions.
Every one of them should conduct regular, data-driven analyses to ensure that the benefits of sanctions outweigh the costs and that sanctions are the right tool, not just the easiest one to reach for. It is also important that the results of such analyses are communicated to Congress and the public. Sanctions Need Clear, Achievable Outcomes What is already known is that sanctions are most effective when they have realistic objectives and are paired with promises of relief if those objectives are met.
Perhaps the best example is the 1986 law targeting apartheid-era South Africa, which laid out for sanctions relief, including the release of Nelson Mandela. Sanctions by the United States and other nations helped convince South Africa´s whites-only government that its policies mandating racial segregation were unsustainable. Sanctions on in response to the crushing of the Solidarity movement are another example of how this can work.
The United States and its allies gradually lifted sanctions with the release of most imprisoned – have so far achieved the opposite.
After he National Assembly in 2017 and was declared the winner of a in 2018, the Trump administration imposed on Venezuela´s state-owned oil company to cut off a crucial source of funds to the Maduro dictatorship. <p class="m.
Sanctions on the oil industry, which accounts for about 90 percent of the country´s exports, caused dramatic and significant increases in poverty, according last year by Francisco Rodríguez, a Venezuelan economist at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. The policy, meanwhile, failed to push Mr.
Maduro out of power. He instead consolidated his grip on Venezuela, blamed its economic misery on American s, recently . Since taking office, Mr.
Biden has taken steps to modify the sanctions against Venezuela to add specific, achievable objectives. His administration lifted , prompted by the spike in oil prices after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The White House has promised additional relief if Mr.
Maduro next year. Francisco Palmieri, the State Department´s chief of mission of the Venezuelan affairs unit in Bogotá, Colombia, recently released of what has to be done in order for sanctions to be lifted.
It includes setting a date for next year´s presidential election, reinstating candidates who have been arbitrarily arrested and releasing political prisoners. Mr. Maduro hasn´t complied so far. On June 30, he barred yet another figure from holding office.
Nevertheless, this more modest policy, which supports a gradual return to democracy rather than abrupt regime change, is a better approach. The Biden administration should be more explicit about which sanctions in Venezuela would be lifted and when, especially those on the state-owned oil company.
That would make American promises more credible. in November between Mr. Maduro and the opposition to use Venezuela´s frozen assets for humanitarian purposes was another promising step, but it is in limbo because the funds have yet to be released. The delay is causing Venezuelans to lose hope in a negotiated solution to the crisis, according to , the president and founder of Acción Solidaria, a nonprofit organization that procures supplies for public hospitals in Venezuela.
Although he has a special license to import supplies, he said he still had trouble obtaining what he needed. Some companies, he said, preferred not to sell to Venezuela rather than deal with the headache of making sure it was legal – a phenomenon known as overcompliance. „The situation internally is really dire,” Mr.
Reyna said. The loss of hope is, in part, why m from Venezuela because they worsen the economic conditions that push people to leave.
In response, a group of Democratic lawmakers – that should become standar of fomenting conspiracy theories and his nonsensical, anti-scientific views.
He has falsely linked childhood immunizations to autism and wifi to cancer and „leaky brain”, claimed that HIV does not cause Aids, and suggested that chemicals in drinking water could make children transgender. One of his sisters warned that his latest comments put people´s lives in danger. So much for the Kennedy legacy.
Nor does he look like much of a Democrat. He is being hyped by billionaires and rightwing broadcasters such as Sean Hannity, and has gained traction rather than Democrats. Some see his campaign primarily as a vehicle for his ego and brand, which may be less damaging to President Biden´s chances than by Democratic senator Joe Manchin and Republican former governor Jon Huntsman´s No Labels group.
A poll this month suggested that a „moderate, independent third-party candidate” could gain about 20% of the vote and result in a second term for Donald Trump. But talk up Mr. Kennedy enough and he might have a marginal effect in denting President Biden. Others suspect that Mr.
Kennedy wants the Republican vice-presidential slot. Steve Bannon and Roger Stone have both floated the idea of a Trump-Kennedy ticket. None of this has prevented him finding up to 20% support among Democrats in polls.
Camelot nostalgia and the celebrity factor have clearly played a large part in that. Mr. Kennedy has never run for any public office, still less held it, but boasts that he´s „been around” politics since he was a little boy. The for the sitting president is also potent: most Democrats , although they indicate that they would vote for him over Mr.
Trump. Voters, including independents, are for the improving the economy . That may not be fair. But it´s a fact. Mr. Kennedy´s appeal goes deeper, how.
But the political ambition that feeds upon and mutates them into more poisonous beliefs is unpalatable. Mr. Kennedy´s anti-vaccine conspiracy-mongering has caused enough damage. His latest remarks show how easily conspiracy theories blur into bigotry and scapegoating.
It may be farcical to hear a multimillionaire from the country´s most famous political dynasty , but there is nothing funny about this campaign. ONLINE: