1. One of the main shackles on the economy over the past four years has been stagnant wages. Hourly earnings have risen an average of 2% annually — just two-thirds of the long-term U.S. average.
2. Letizia Battaglia chronicled Palermo’s Mafia wars in the 1970s and ’80s for a local newspaper. Now, her images appear in museums and retrospectives.
3. 9. Ambrose Akinmusire “the imagined savior is far easier to paint” (Blue Note) The trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire imbued his second Blue Note album with the searching, genre-fluid sound of today, enlisting singer-singers and a string quartet. His social commentary feels even more urgent and stinging now than it did when the album was released.
4. Yes. In 2018 President Trump will deliver on some of his protectionist campaign rhetoric by taking punitive actions against China. The most likely triggers for action will be official reports that the Trump administration has commissioned into China’s alleged theft of intellectual property, and its subsidised production of steel and aluminium. The president, spurred on by his trade team, is likely to order retaliatory measures, including tariffs. Whether that marks the first shot in a trade war will depend on how China reacts. A Chinese decision to impose retaliatory tariffs, or to take America to the World Trade Organization, will signal the opening of hostilities.