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It's okay to be gloomy, because the economy's comatose. But it won't always be so.

Contrary to hopes, prayers and forecasts, the US economy has stalled. The economy lurches forward one step only to fall back a step, with the net gain being about 2% growth in real income, zero growth in employment and modest single-digit gains in corporate earnings. Had the upcoming war with Iraq not dominated hearts and minds for the past few months, consumers might have found rising incomes and low interest rates a compelling combination. And corporations might have been less jittery about investing in new people, new technologies and new facilities. And yet Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, in his mid-February testimony before Congress, reiterated his belief that the US economy is flexible enough to weather the current storm without additional stimulus. There is no other economy on the globe that can compare to the US economy.

Economy Seems Hot, But Where Are Jobs?

The US economy grew at a robust rate of 7% during the third quarter, yet growth in the job market still remains flat - almost stubbornly so - and that has left many employers puzzled about the true nature of the economic recovery. The signs have led some analysts to conclude that the persistently flat job market could signal a sea change in the US economy and that job growth may no longer be an accurate predictor of economic performance. Most employers and economists are having trouble accepting the idea of a jobless expansion, but technology, increasing productivity and the advent of a true global economy are altering the way the US job market responds to economic cycles. After making huge investments in technology, employers are restructuring and reducing staffing levels to meet performance goals. Unpredictable labor costs and an emphasis on improving productivity also have had an effect.

It's still the economy. . .

A conversation between four cousins, career women working in different fields, is discussed. Despite the victory in Iraq, they agreed the story of the year will most likely be the struggling US economy. One cousin works for a large pharmaceutical company, which recently merged with another firm. They are nervously awaiting word of what they expect will be sweeping layoffs. The second cousin is an officer in a major international financial services firm. Her company will be reducing its domestic work force by about 10%. The third cousin is the director of an inner-city daycare center. She has spent the last few weeks at State House hearings trying to prevent threatened cuts to the state's contribution to her already under-funded program. The fourth discusses signs that the economy is recovering from the downturn that occurred after September 11 and that companies are recommitting resources to important marketing efforts.

The dark side of office politics

Dark politics is fundamentally different from people leveraging influence networks to reach the organization's objectives. This is "light" politics. Playing dark politics belongs in the realm of unethical behavior. To succeed in the game of office politics, one must be willing to plant sharp knives in the back of one's opponents. A political culture also generates leaders who are, well, political. The bottom line is that dark politics spells trouble for the organization's leadership pipeline and its ability to attract ethical talent.

Beyond Mothering Earth - Ecological Citizenship and the Politics of Care

Only in this way will caring work be legitimized, valued, and shared regardless of gender, "...a cosmopolitan approach to ecological citizenship, with its emphasis on universal rights, responsibilities, and risks, is more in line with a feminist desire for a politicized and generalized ethics of care than eco-communitarian or individualist approaches to green virtue."

U.S. Credit and Banking Crisis

As much as the Administration has been trying to avoid using the word ‘recession’ to describe the state of our national economic crisis with euphemisms such as “a downturn,” “a slowdown,” and even “a period of uncertainty,” the majority of Americans who still believe in the Dream and who took financial risks to see big gains back in 2006 and before are not blind, deaf or dumb.

Book review: The End of Oil by Paul Roberts

Following in the footsteps of a long tradition of American social commentary and indictment, from Upton Sinclair and Theodore Dreiser to Barry Glassner and Eric Schlosser, Paul Roberts doesn’t disappoint with his book The End of Oil: On the Edge of a Perilous New World. The title has a certain apocalyptic timbre to it, but this tome is no wild eyed, fanatical survivalist rant. On the contrary, The End of Oil is not full of the usual doom and gloom.

Game Theory and the Global Economy

Who doesn’t like games? Board games, card games, video games, games of chance, games of leisure, games of sport, mind melding, what have you – if you can think it up, then there is a name for the game unless it is an entirely new game of course. Games are like theories; all you have to do is repackage an old theory and people will eat it up like candy.