The potential long-term cost of political dysfunction – Axios

“Americans should understand that there will be a significant, long-term economic cost to our polarized politics and dysfunctional government,” Washington Post economics columnist Steve Pearlstein writes on the Sunday Business cover. The backdrop: House impeachment managers are arguing that the constitutional powers of Congress to indict a president will never function if Trump isn’t found guilty of obstruction, while Trump’s defense team is arguing that impeaching Trump would revoke voters’ ability to judge the president for his actions. “In the modern era, there are few if any examples of a country with a healthy, thriving economy and a broken political ... Read more

America’s local economy keeps shrinking – Axios

What’s happening: The Yelp Economic Average had its largest quarter-over-quarter decline in a year in Q4, “fueled by slumps in retail and services businesses.” The fourth quarter of 2019 marked the fifth straight quarter the measure has shown a level of economic strength weaker than in 2016, when the metric debuted. Why it matters: “Yelp has information not only on millions of U.S. brick-and-mortar businesses but on the consumer demand expressed by the millions of consumers who view, review, and post photos of businesses on Yelp every day,” the company said in a release accompanying the analysis. Yelp says its ... Read more

Texas oil and gas industry could see a major slowdown in 2020

The oil and natural gas industry paid a record-setting $16.3 billion in taxes and royalties to local governments and the state in 2019, the Texas Oil and Gas Association announced Tuesday. It is the highest sum since the 100-year-old association began tracking payments in 2007 — an indicator of the historic nature of the oil and gas boom that’s gripped the state in recent years. The frenzy has driven U.S. fossil fuel production — and exports — to record levels. But the announcement comes as the industry appears on the precipice of a major slowdown as high production rates, softened ... Read more

Flourishing Trump Economy Lifts More Than 6 Million Off Food Stamps

Even before new rules proposed by the Trump administration have taken effect, the number of people enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program has been falling, according to new data. Department of Agriculture data shows that 6.4 million fewer Americans received food stamps in September, at the end of the 2019 fiscal year, than in January 2017, when President Donald Trump took office. Roughly 42.7 million people were enrolled in SNAP in January 2017, compared to 36.3 million last September. That 15 percent drop has also meant that SNAP, which is administered by states but funded by the federal government, ... Read more

Trump Economy Blazes as Gen. Motors, Ford Surprise 1,500 Temps with Full-Time Promotions & More To Come

Commentary Bill Pugliano / Getty ImagesA Ford Motor Company worker works on a Ford F-150 truck on the assembly line at the Ford Dearborn Truck Plant on Sept. 27, 2018, in Dearborn, Michigan. (Bill Pugliano / Getty Images) Though Democrats and the predominately liberal establishment media are loath to admit it, the U.S. economy under President Donald Trump has been on fire for three years and shows little signs of a significant slowdown any time soon. Those who tout Trump’s robust economy often point to the soaring stock market, the historically low unemployment rate and rising wages across the board ... Read more

Myanmar Military Shrugs Off Western Union Decision to Cut Ties With Army-owned Bank

Myanmar’s armed forces on Thursday said a decision by money transfer company Western Union to cut ties to a military-owned bank over army atrocities against the Muslim Rohingya ethnic minority violates the rights of military families. U.S.-based Western Union terminated its agent contract with Myawaddy Bank, becoming the latest foreign firm to sever connections to a military-operated company following calls by human rights groups to do so over alleged genocide and war crimes committed against Myanmar civilians. A Western Union spokesperson said that in Myanmar and other countries where it provides services, the company uses local agents remunerated by a ... Read more

Trump Economy Continues Winning as US Companies Add 202K Workers in December: Report

News Nicholas Kamm / AFP via Getty ImagesPresident Donald Trump speaks at a “Make America Great Again” rally in Phoenix, Arizona, on Aug. 22, 2017. (Nicholas Kamm / AFP via Getty Images) The jobs market finished 2019 on a high note, adding 202,000 new positions to the private sector payrolls in December. According to an ADP and Moody’s Analytics report released on Wednesday, the service sector provided 173,000 of those positions. Meanwhile, small and medium sized companies made up a bulk of the hiring, with small businesses (1-49 employees) adding 69,000 new jobs, while midsized employers (50-499 workers) brought on ... Read more

Dallas historically black neighborhood Tenth Street history preservation

From Swiss Avenue to the West End, Dallas has many dutifully preserved historic districts. That status is meant to protect the look and feel of some of the city’s oldest neighborhoods, but that hasn’t been the case for Tenth Street, a historically black neighborhood just south of downtown. Despite its status as a historic district, the neighborhood’s history is fading. The National Trust for Historic Preservation even named Tenth Street one of the most endangered places in the country in 2019. Empty lots dot the streets on the pie-shaped piece of land. Many homes are abandoned, boarded up and smeared ... Read more

Vietnam Shipbuilding Capabilities in the Headlines With Patrol Vessel Deliveries to Nigeria – The Diplomat

Asia Defense | Economy | Security | Southeast Asia The developments highlight Hanoi’s ongoing ambitions to increase the global reach of its shipbuilding capabilities. Advertisement Earlier this month, reports surfaced regarding Vietnam’s building of patrol vessels for Nigeria. The development spotlighted Hanoi’s ongoing ambitions to increase the global reach of its shipbuilding capabilities amid the opportunities and challenges that this objective continues to present for the country. Vietnam’s maritime industry continues has continued to experience notable growth over the years, and its shipbuilding sector includes a series of shipyards in the south, central, and northern areas of the country including state-owned and foreign-linked firms. Despite ongoing ... Read more

Why U.S. manufacturing and services are moving further apart – Axios

Data: Institute for Supply Management; Chart: Axios Visuals While U.S. manufacturing has fallen into its deepest hole in a decade, the all-important services sector keeps chugging along. What’s happening: The Institute for Supply Management’s gauge of the U.S. services sector yesterday produced a reading solidly in expansionary territory and above expectations. That was a far cry from the company’s manufacturing index, which last week hit its weakest level since June 2009. The gap between the two indexes in December was the largest since November 2015 and the third largest differential in a decade, ISM data show. Why it matters: The ... Read more