The Nixon episode shows, says Mr. Cogan, that entitlements have been the main cause of America’s rising national debt since the early 1970s. Mr. Trump’s pact with the Democrats is part of a pattern: “The debt ceiling has to be raised this year because elected representatives have again failed to take action to control entitlement spending.” . . . Can an entitlement expansion, once granted, ever be taken back? Mr. Cogan refuses to say “never,” but says such rescindments “occur under rather extraordinary circumstances.” He offers a remarkable example: “You might ask, ‘Who achieved the largest reduction in any entitlement in the history of the country?’ Well, surprisingly, it was FDR, a person whom we normally associate with launching the modern era of entitlements.”
Female college students aren’t more likely than male students to take bad grades as a sign they should switch their majors – unless they’re studying male-dominated STEM subjects like computer science and physics, according to a new study. Three Georgetown University researchers – economists Adriana Kugler and Olga Ukhaneva and management professor Catherine Tinsley – wrote in a recent working paper that receiving low grades in a stereotypical male discipline where men already are overrepresented may present a potent combination of disincentives for women to continue their studies in that field.
The brick-and-mortar retail swoon has been accompanied by a less headline-grabbing e-commerce boom that has created more jobs in the U.S. than traditional stores have cut. Those jobs, in turn, pay better, because its workers are so much more productive. This demonstrates something routinely overlooked in the anxiety about the job-destroying potential of robots, artificial intelligence and other forms of automation. Throughout history, automation commonly creates more, and better-paying, jobs than it destroys. The reason: Companies don’t use automation simply to produce the same thing more cheaply. Instead, they find ways to offer entirely new, improved products. As customers flock to these new offerings, companies have to hire more people.
The pace of hiring slowed in August, while the U.S. unemployment rate edged up.
Nonfarm payrolls rose by a seasonally adjusted 156,000 in August from the prior month, the Labor Department said. The unemployment rate rose to 4.4% from 4.3%, though the level remains historically low. Wages maintained a modest growth rate.
Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected 179,000 new jobs and a 4.3% unemployment rate last month.
U.S. new-home sales fell sharply in July, providing fresh evidence that a shortage of housing inventory is depleting activity across all segments of the market.