Starbucks, charity and U.S. job creation
May 4th, 2012
08:21 AM ET

Starbucks, charity and U.S. job creation

Editor's Note: Edward Alden is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, where he writes the blog Renewing America. The following is reprinted with the permission of CFR.org.

By Edward Alden, CFR.org

I am rarely surprised when I go to Starbucks. The coffee is always about the same (good), and the menu of pastry items is thoroughly predictable (and not so good). But the other day, amidst the CDs and other miscellany at checkout, I noticed a small badge asking for a $5 donation. “Let’s Create JOBS forUSA” it implored, offering a snazzy red, white, and blue wristband in return.

I was taken aback.  I have donated to help poor children, to end famines,  to cure and prevent diseases, to help the homeless, to build bike trails, to save wild animals and wild places, and dozens of other causes. But it had never occurred to me to make a charitable contribution to “create JOBS.” Have we as a country really sunk this far? Must we now rely on charity to employ Americans? FULL POST

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Topics: Business • Jobs • United States
How to control the budget deficit? Do nothing
February 2nd, 2012
03:00 PM ET

How to control the budget deficit? Do nothing

Editor's Note: Edward Alden is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, where he writes the blog Renewing America. The following is reprinted with the permission of CFR.org. The views expressed in this article are solely those of Edward Alden.

By Edward Alden, CFR.org

What should Congress and the Obama administration do to bring the federal deficit under control? Well, according to the Congressional Budget Office’s annual Budget and Economic Outlook, the answer is quite simple: absolutely nothing at all.

For all the campaign talk of the United States facing a spiraling federal budget deficit leading to a crippling debt burden for future generations, the laws already passed by Congress and signed by the President are set to bring the budget under control surprisingly quickly. Under the so-called “baseline” assumptions, even with modest economic growth projections, the federal deficit is currently set to shrink from $1.3 trillion in 2011, or 8.7 percent of GDP, to just $196 billion, or 0.9 percent of GDP, by 2018. While the numbers will start creeping up slightly after that, and debt service costs will nearly double, the budget situation will remain entirely manageable and, barring an unexpected spike in interest rates, produce nothing close to a fiscal crisis. The debt-to-GDP ratio would fall from 75 percent to 62 percent by 2022. FULL POST

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Topics: Budget • Politics • United States
September 9th, 2011
11:02 AM ET

Obama's missed opportunity

Editor's Note: Edward Alden is the Bernard L. Schwartz Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. This is his First Take, reprinted with permission of the Council on Foreign Relations.

By Edward Alden, CFR.org

The result will be continued public frustration with yet another "stimulus" package that at best may keep the economy growing anemically rather than falling back into a double-dip recession.The latest White House effort to boost job growth was an opportunity missed. President Barack Obama chose the dramatic vehicle of a primetime address to Congress on September 8 to present modest proposals that left Americans no wiser about why the great jobs machine has stopped churning. FULL POST

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Topics: Jobs • President Obama • United States
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