Federal Reserve officials agree that they must retool their guidance on when to consider raising interest rates. Chair Janet Yellen’s task is to forge a consensus on the new message from their disparate views.
The U.S. has been in a jobs emergency since at least 2008. The cause of the crisis -- too little demand -- isn’t mysterious, and neither are the solutions. We could invest in infrastructure to create construction jobs. We could give tax breaks to employers who hire new workers. We could restore the payroll tax cut to workers so they have more money to spend. We could help state and local governments hire back some of the employees they laid off during the recession. Macroeconomic Advisers, an economic consulting firm, found that the American Jobs Act, which contained many of these policies, would have created 2 million jobs.
A shutdown of the U.S. government would reduce fourth-quarter economic growth by as much as 1.4 percentage points depending on its length, economists say, as government workers from park rangers to telephone receptionists are furloughed.
Gum Tong owns a diner in Washington, D.C., and Matt Bellinger charters fishing boats in the Florida Everglades. They have this in common: The shutdown of the U.S. government cost them money they will never get back.