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Retired business editor Jack Markowitz writes Thursdays. Jack Markowitz can be reached via e-mail or at 412-380-8551

China picks up the balls the United States drops

By Jack Markowitz
Leave it to China. Concerned a few years ago that the so-called “Arab spring” might shut down the Suez Canal, the Chinese looked for ways to get around the Middle East’s blue water pinch-point. It found one hidden in plain …

America’s still best in first-class health care

By Jack Markowitz
We keep getting told the United States has fallen behind in this or that measure of health; that we don’t rank first in life expectancy or access to doctors and medicines. Yet at some deep level of national pride, don’t …

America needs to shed some weight

By Jack Markowitz
Here’s to tomorrow — another July Fourth in the most exceptional of countries! But the United States economy at age 238 really ought to be running faster and freer. Here are 10 reasons why it’s not: • Too much debt. …

An honest man finds value in hard work

By Jack Markowitz
Robert (not his real name) has to work at not feeling sorry for himself. “The worst thing,” he says, “would be to become a whiner.” Robert, who wanted to remain anonymous and worried that using even his first name would …

Celebrity riches can lead to poorhouse

By Jack Markowitz
Being a celebrity has one glaring downside. All your stupidities show up in print or on the tube. Especially where money is concerned. Think of the Hollywood starlet with a tendency to shoplift. The business genius who loses half his …

Shale gas key to liberty in energy

By Jack Markowitz
Shale has entered the language — and the income stream — of Western Pennsylvanians. But whatever the regional payoff, shale is the best reason for national optimism to come along in a generation. It should mean goodbye to OPEC’s 40-year …

CEOs cornered into pulling  in big bucks

By Jack Markowitz
It would be too easy to jump all over the country’s chief executive officers for getting paid too much. But has it occurred to anyone they might not be able to help themselves? The median pay package for CEOs of …

Lessons now clear in tumult of Enron

By Jack Markowitz
Larry R. Katzen had to pick up his life after a “business world massacre,” as he calls it. So did 85,000 other employees and partners of Arthur Andersen, the country’s biggest accounting firm. Andersen was put out of business in …

Thomas Piketty: Socialism’s new rising star

By Jack Markowitz 9:40 a.m.
Hold onto your safe deposit boxes, rich folks. The left has found a new hero professor. Thomas Piketty has figured out why the rich get richer and everybody else stands still. Capitalism makes them do it. Investments pay off for …

Annual shareholder meetings become perfunctory exercises

By Jack Markowitz
What a dud last week’s Consol Energy Inc.’s annual shareholder meeting turned out to be: short and uninspiring. And that’s the pattern of shareholder meetings nowadays, with the noble exception of Berkshire Hathaway’s yearly spectacular in Omaha, where Warren Buffett …

It’s hard road for single mothers

By Jack Markowitz
Amidst the candy and flowers for Mother this Sunday, let’s not forget her economic power. What a mover of goods and services she is. Consumer spending, it’s said, accounts for 70 percent of the economy. But who does 70 percent …

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