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Robert J. Samuelson

Robert J. Samuelson
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Robert J. Samuelson writes a weekly economics column that usually runs in The Washington Post on Mondays. He was a columnist for Newsweek magazine from 1984 to 2011. He began his journalism career as a reporter on The Post business desk, from 1969 to 1973. He was an economics reporter and columnist for National Journal magazine from 1976 to 1984 — when he joined Newsweek. Samuelson is the author of “The Great Inflation and Its Aftermath: The Past and Future of American Affluence” (2008) and “The Good Life and Its Discontents” (1995). He grew up in White Plains, N.Y. and attended Harvard College. He lives in Bethesda with his wife and their three children.

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[OP-ED]: Give South Korea a break

 09/08/2017 - 10:45
North Korean deserters and activists shout slogans during a demonstration against North Korea's sixth nuclear test in central Seoul, South Korea. EFE

How do they come up with this stuff?

According to press reports, the Trump administration is considering withdrawing from the U.S.-South Korea Free Trade Agreement, which was implemented in 2012 and lowered most tariffs between the two countries. Now South Korea and the United States are caught up in the most serious military threat from North Korea since the Korean War. The last thing we ought to do is sow conflict and distrust between the two allies. Yet, this is what Trump has done.

[OP-ED]: Dar un respiro a Corea del Sur

 09/08/2017 - 10:42
Desertores de Corea del Norte y activistas gritan eslóganes  durante una manifestación contra la sexta prueba nuclear de Corea del Norte, en el centro de Seúl (Corea del Sur). EFE

¿Cómo se les puede ocurrir esto? 

Según informes de prensa, el gobierno de Trump está considerando retirarse del Acuerdo de Libre Comercio EE.UU.-Corea del Sur, que se implementó en 2012 y que redujo la mayoría de los aranceles entre los dos países. Ahora Corea del Sur y Estados Unidos están involucrados en la amenaza militar más seria proveniente de Corea del Norte desde la Guerra de Corea. Lo último que debemos hacer es crear un conflicto y desconfianza entre los dos aliados. Sin embargo, eso es lo que ha hecho Trump.

[OP-ED]: The middle-class comeback is real

 09/06/2017 - 12:29
Para que Estados Unidos tenga éxito se requiere una clase media grande—y mayormente exitosa. El renacimiento de la clase media es prueba de optimismo. La pregunta persistente en este Día del Trabajo es si ese renacimiento perdurará. ¿O volverán los recuerdos de la Gran Recesión a perseguirnos?

On this Labor Day, the American middle class survives. Indeed, it’s expanding. That’s not the conclusion of some arcane scholarly study. It’s the judgment of Americans themselves, though it hasn’t received much attention from politicians or the media. Most Americans have moved beyond the fears bred by the Great Recession. The middle-class comeback may be the year’s most underreported story.

[OP-ED]: El resurgimiento de la clase media es real

 09/06/2017 - 12:27
Para que Estados Unidos tenga éxito se requiere una clase media grande—y mayormente exitosa. El renacimiento de la clase media es prueba de optimismo. La pregunta persistente en este Día del Trabajo es si ese renacimiento perdurará. ¿O volverán los recuerdos de la Gran Recesión a perseguirnos?

Este año, en el Día del Trabajo, la clase media norteamericana sobrevive. En verdad, se está expandiendo. Ésa no es la conclusión de algún arcano estudio académico. Es la opinión de los mismos norteamericanos, aunque no recibió demasiada atención de políticos ni medios. La mayoría de los norteamericanos ha superado los temores que infundiera la Gran Recesión. El resurgimiento de la clase media quizás sea la noticia menos reportada de este año.

[OP-ED]: The curse of middle-aged capitalism -- for Trump and all of us

 08/21/2017 - 13:57
In 1995, the largest five firms by market “capitalization” (the value of a company’s shares) were old-line businesses: Exxon, AT&T, Coca Cola, General Electric and Merck. By 2015, only Exxon (now Exxon Mobil) remained.

 A persisting puzzle about the U.S. economy is how it can seem both strong and weak. On the one hand, it remains a citadel of innovation, producing new companies like Uber. On the other, the economy is expanding at a snail’s pace of 2 percent annually since 2010. How could both be true? Why isn’t innovation translating into faster growth? The answer -- or part of the answer -- is that American businesses are running on two separate tracks. Call them the “youthful” and “middle-aged” tracks.

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