By Erica Alini - Monday, January 7, 2013 - 0 Comments
How long will it take until unemployment hits 6.5 per cent?
Last month, the U.S. Federal Reserve announced it would keep borrowing costs at rock bottom until unemployment drops to 6.5 per cent, provided inflation doesn’t rise past 2.5 per cent. It was a revolutionary statement. America’s monetary policy is now explicitly tied to the jobless rate, rather than just price levels. The Fed was administering the U.S. economy the equivalent of “a new drug that is yet to go through clinical testing,” wrote Mohamed El-Erian, the CEO of PIMCO, which runs the world’s largest bond fund.
The move raises a tough question: how long will it take to reach 6.5 per cent unemployment? It could happen as early as next year or as late as 2018, according to Michael Greenstone and Adam Looney at the Brookings Institution, a think tank based in Washington. Some observers are asking what Fed chairman Ben Bernanke will do if the jobless rate falls simply because more Americans give up looking for jobs, thus taking themselves out of the unemployment head count. Continue…
By Jaime Weinman - Wednesday, December 1, 2010 at 9:40 AM - 11 Comments
It depends who you ask. But even if it isn’t racist, that doesn’t mean it’s enlightened.
From the reaction to Outsourced, you’d think it was the most offensive portrayal of India since Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. The half-hour comedy, which airs on Global at 9:30 p.m. on Thursdays, is about an American (Ben Rappaport) who is forced to take over a call centre in India—or at least a Hollywood sound-stage version of it. Rizwan Manji, the Canadian actor who plays the hero’s scheming assistant Rajiv, says he thought the show would be criticized for making light of outsourcing and “the unemployment rate in the United States.” Instead, critical reaction to the pilot mostly ignored economic issues and focused on racial ones; Joshua Ostroff in the Toronto alternative newspaper Eye Weekly wrote that it “pushes the offensive line toward out-and-out racism,” while zap2it.com declared that the jokes about “timid women” and Indian food are familiar to “people with senile, racist grandparents.”
Most of the complaints have been about the mocking of Indian customs and names. There are jokes about the name “Manmeet,” and Manji’s character tricks his boss into thinking that vindaloo is a god as well as a food. In response, the writers have argued that comedy is based on exaggeration, and that the Americans are also treated stereotypically. “It’s a comedy first,” Manji says, while head writer Robert Borden told the Kansas City Star that “we have to have the right to make the Indian characters out to be as silly as the white ones.”