The surreal magic of the annual gadget extravaganza in Las Vegas
At the annual gadget-industry trade show, Lydia DePillis finds blink-controlled TVs, angry tech bloggers, and a World’s Fair for an age when brands are more important than countries.
Holland, Michigan, is a city of about 34,000 people in the state's southwestern corner, right on the lakeshore and close enough to Chicago to receive its radio broadcasts. Dutch immigrants established the city, as the name suggests, and many of their descendants remain. Lots of people go by the name Vander-something and the annual tulip festival attracts thousands visitors every May, helping to buoy an upscale downtown shopping area that, at least on Thursday, was bustling with activity. But the appearance is misleading.
Do a thought experiment: Think back a year ago to what most analysts were predicting for the financial sector and for the state of the economy. In his newspaper column, Paul Krugman repeatedly warned that the policies adopted by the Bush and Obama administrations would have dire consequences. There was talk in other corners about no new business lending, slumping retail sales, and rising unemployment with no end in sight. But here we are—in the midst of a rebound. Each week over the last year, a number of positive and negative economic indicators were announced.
That we seem to have avoided another Great Depression doesn’t mean our economy is anywhere near as strong as it should be. In fact, most indicators—from unemployment to private investment—prove quite the opposite. What can be done? How can we ensure the U.S. enjoys not merely a modest recovery but the kind of buoyant prosperity we saw in the decades after World War II and briefly in the 1990s? We put the question to few political economists and will run their thoughts over the next couple weeks.
On Tuesday, Intel CEO Paul Otellini delivered a speech at Brookings on long-term economic competitiveness.
It’s now widely believed that the global recession is coming to an end, but the path out has been far from typical: This time around, China, not the U.S. has led the global recovery. With its $600 billion stimulus package and with banks lending with abandon, China has become the engine of global manufacturing and industrial activity.
MAIL FRAUD: If you pay income taxes, sometime in the next few weeks you'll receive a letter touting the recently passed tax cut: "We are pleased to inform you that the United States Congress passed--and President George W. Bush signed into law--the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001." The letter will further inform you that, thanks to this law, a rebate check (up to $300 for individuals, $600 for couples) is in the mail. ("You will be receiving a check," the letter states. "You need to take no additional steps.") Agitprop paid for by the Republican National Committee?