March 7th, 2013
09:34 PM ET

What we're reading

By Fareed Zakaria

U.S. wages have fallen from 53 percent of GDP in 1970 to less than 44 percent last year, notes Michael Hiltzik in the Los Angeles Times

“The most succinct way to measure how corporate earnings have fared vs. workers' wages is to examine their share of the U.S. economy — that is, gross domestic product. From 1950 through the 1970s, corporate profits hovered in the range of 5 percent to 7 percent of GDP. They dipped as low as 3 percent in 1986, but since then have staged a long-term ascent that has brought them to 11 percent today, their highest level since World War II. (That's as far back as Federal Reserve figures go.)”

“China’s large pool of surplus labor has fueled its rapid industrial growth. Now this demographic dividend may be almost exhausted,” argue Yukon Huang and Clare Lynch in Bloomberg.

“College graduates are four times as likely to be unemployed as urban residents of the same age with only basic education, even as factories go begging for semi-skilled workers. Given the underdeveloped service sector and still-large roles of manufacturing and construction, China has created a serious mismatch between skills of the labor force and available jobs.”

The map of who sells and who buys oil and natural gas is being radically redrawn, writes Vince Beiser in Pacific Standard.

“The new world oil economy could bring dramatic changes to the entire Middle East. The Persian Gulf States still have unmatched resources – Saudi Arabia alone holds one-fifth of all the world’s known oil reserves – but we don’t need them like we used to. American imports from the gulf have plummeted in recent years; our top two fossil fuel providers are now Canada and Mexico. That’s partly because of increased U.S. production, and also because of a surge in imports of another recently unlocked resource – the oil sands of northern Alberta. Meanwhile, all the new oil and gas coming online worldwide will likely bring prices down. That could mean a serious cash crunch for the kings and emirs who have long depended on government handouts to keep their citizens from demanding greater freedoms, Arab Spring-style.”

soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Muche

    What we are reading? No nice news. Reported numbers are not realistic, sometimes counter-productive, false and non-trustworthy. When good times are over, truth is alive and failure is visible. Not acting now in right manner, for future success for our generations, is simply not acceptable anymore. No one knows the right moves, but USA cannot afford losing in global markets.

    March 8, 2013 at 7:43 am | Reply
  2. ✠ RZ ✠

    The stock market is clearly soaring hitting record highs, despite more or less defying much of the economic reality. Many say the two are no longer connected, and some analysts are even advising the public that chasing these tops could be financial suicide. Maybe true. So perhaps a major correction (crash) is in order. Or perhaps an upcoming major war.

    What's the big money being put on?

    March 8, 2013 at 7:52 am | Reply
  3. rightospeak

    A good book on world's economy is "The Failure of Laissez Faire Capital and Economic Dissolution of the West" by Paul Craig Roberts . Offshoring of jobs from the US companies imposed social costs on our society. Read all about it.

    March 8, 2013 at 1:41 pm | Reply
    • ✠ RZ ✠

      Hail to Dr. Roberts! It is not likely possible that anyone could either be so utterly mentally incompetent as to even make an attempt at refuting his reason and logic, or so impossibly loathsome as to show him even a hint of disrespect. With exception of course to those who actually run the country and control the main stream media.

      March 8, 2013 at 9:07 pm | Reply
  4. rightospeak

    What is unfortunate is the fact that we are neither reading nor hearing in our media about Deppe Grillo, a 64 comedian in Italy that got more votes than the other clowns. His 5 Star Movement is something that we could learn from . Are you people in American media going to keep it under the hat or is it news to you ? Contact the Italian press for more info.

    March 9, 2013 at 5:58 pm | Reply

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