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Charles Hughes: Corporate "Freeloader" Fee Would Do Nothing to Help Low-Wage Workers
Posted: May 24, 2018 at 07:41 AM (Thursday)

At the recent 2018 Ideas Conference hosted by the Center for American Progress, Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) called attention to his earlier proposal for a Corporate Freeloader Fee. In his remarks, Senator Brown explained “it’s simple – if you choose to pay your workers so little that they are disproportionately forced onto government ...


Peter Morici: Stuck on doubt over the Trump economy
Posted: May 23, 2018 at 09:21 PM (Wednesday)

Thomas the Doubter must have been an economist. Those dismal scientists mostly greeted Donald Trump’s ascent skeptically and some with horror — remember Paul Krugman predicting the apocalypse. And now look at how most assess his time in office. Faced by an economy clipping along at nearly 3 percent growth, they are gravitating en masse to a ...


ObamaCare, Uninsured Rate Hasn't Budged In Three Years, CDC Report Says
Posted: May 23, 2018 at 05:27 PM (Wednesday)

Health Reform: For three years running, the uninsured rate has remained unchanged, new government data show. That means, despite massive taxpayer costs, ObamaCare is tapped out. It's time to try something better. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the overall uninsured rate last year was 9.1%, the same as it was in 2015. If you take ...


Caroline Baum: Deal or no deal, the bilateral trade deficit with China is a phony issue
Posted: May 23, 2018 at 10:43 AM (Wednesday)

Selling more American soybeans to China could mean selling fewer to another country. The U.S. trade war with China, with each country threatening the other with tens of billions of dollars in tariffs, “is on hold,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced on the May 20 edition of “Fox News Sunday.” Thank goodness for that. Trade wars a ...


Todd Hitt: Millennial Generation's Faith In Free Enterprise Can Be Restored
Posted: May 23, 2018 at 09:47 AM (Wednesday)

The last class of the millennial generation will graduate from college this month. These graduates enter the workforce deeply skeptical of the free enterprise system, and more likely than previous generations to embrace socialism. It's up to us in the business community to lead by example and to prove the values that younger Americans prize ...


Stephen Roach: A Bilateral Foil for America’s Multilateral Dilemma
Posted: May 23, 2018 at 08:21 AM (Wednesday)

NEW HAVEN – The May 19 deal between the US and China seems to have reduced tensions between the two countries. But, given the global nature of America's trade deficit, any effort to impose a solution focusing on one country will likely backfire. The good news is that the United States and China appear to have backed away from the precipice of ...


Ross Marchand: New NAFTA Needs Intellectual Property Protections
Posted: May 23, 2018 at 08:17 AM (Wednesday)

The North American Free Trade Agreement may soon be in for an update, as the United States, Mexico, and Canada seek to update the treaty. One important area needing more attention from negotiators is intellectual property (IP) protection for companies doing business up and down the continent. Since the inauguration of President Trump, ...


Michael Tanner: Farm Bill: Let It Stay Dead
Posted: May 23, 2018 at 06:30 AM (Wednesday)

Welfare for farmers is every bit as destructive as welfare for poor people — and even less justifiable. On Friday, as the Republican-controlled House of Representatives continued its descent into chaos and irrelevance, the farm bill went down to defeat amidst dueling immigration proposals. Yet while this latest snafu makes the Republicans ...


Mick Mulvaney: Democrats’ complaints about CHIP funding are hypocrisy in its purest form
Posted: May 22, 2018 at 06:17 PM (Tuesday)

Just last month, Democratic Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer stated on the House floor, “I wouldn’t irrationally oppose a rescission which said we’ve had money lying in an account that has not been spent for one, two, three years; we shouldn’t just have it sitting in that account.” About that same time, Hoyer (Md.) — along with House Minority ...


Chuck DeVore: Texas Laps California In Job And Population Growth
Posted: May 22, 2018 at 05:45 PM (Tuesday)

California’s bigger, population-wise, but Texas delivers the growth. California, with 39.5 million people, is some 40 percent more populous than Texas, at 28.3 million. Yet, in spite of California’s large advantage in residents, the Golden State generated 356,800 new nonfarm jobs in the past 12 months through April, a rate of 2.1 percent, ...


Household Income Hits All-Time High Under Trump, And He's Getting Credit For It
Posted: May 22, 2018 at 05:28 PM (Tuesday)

Growth: A new report shows that the median household income has climbed 3% since President Trump took office. It's another sign of a strong economy, and at least one poll shows the public credits Trump for the good news. Should Democrats wave bye to the Blue Wave? Median household income has been steadily increasing under Trump, rising ...


Andrew McCarthy: Donald Trump Russia Investigation, Obama Administration Originated Probe
Posted: May 22, 2018 at 05:12 PM (Tuesday)

The Trump-Russia investigation did not originate with Carter Page or George Papadopoulos. It originated with the Obama administration. Exactly when is the “late Spring”? Of all the questions that have been asked about what we’ve called the “Origination Story” of the Trump-Russia investigation, that may be the most important one. It may be the ...


Review & Outlook: When Carter Page Met Stefan Halper
Posted: May 22, 2018 at 12:06 PM (Tuesday)

A timeline that contradicts claims by Justice and the FBI. Multiple media sources have now confirmed that American academic Stefan Halper is the “top secret” informant the FBI asked to sidle up to Trump campaign officials in 2016. Some questions follow: Who asked Mr. Halper to keep tabs on the Trump officials, and when ...


Matt Levine: The Volcker Rule Doesn’t Ban Trading
Posted: May 22, 2018 at 10:55 AM (Tuesday)

Volcker. Here’s some stuff that banks do. They call up a big investor and say: “Hey I have an idea. What if I sold you a product that gives you exposure to XYZ stock, but your upside is capped at 120 percent of today’s price, and your downside is floored at 80 percent of today’s price? Also I will lend you most of the money to do this thing.” ...


John Goodman: Can The Market Really Work In Health Care?
Posted: May 22, 2018 at 07:18 AM (Tuesday)

For as long as I have been in the field, health economics has been dominated by the idea that the free market can’t work in health care. Being a contrarian, I’m prepared to ask: What if the free market could work? What would it look like? Say you need a knee replacement. You would upload your x-rays and other medical information to a secure ...


Peter Orszag: Why You Should Read Those Boring 10-K Filings
Posted: May 22, 2018 at 07:00 AM (Tuesday)

Differences from one year to another contain useful information for predicting future earnings. What happens when publicly traded companies issue their annual 10-K reports? Empirical evidence suggests that the stock market pays immediate attention to the tables, but less to the text. Yet the information in the text eventually is reflected in ...


Charles Hughes: Satellites to Authoritarian Regimes: Your GDP Is Inflated
Posted: May 22, 2018 at 06:53 AM (Tuesday)

Access to high-quality data on economic growth, employment, and other indicators is vital when evaluating the effectiveness of different public policies. Gross Domestic Product growth rates are often used as metrics to compare broader economic performances of different countries. Because of its prevalence in these comparisons, some leaders have ...


Greg Ip: In Trade War With U.S., China Gets the Upper Hand
Posted: May 22, 2018 at 05:30 AM (Tuesday)

So far, Beijing hasn’t had to give up much to avoid the most punitive U.S. measures. Among all the trade fights that President Donald Trump has picked, his hand against China is the strongest. That fight has economic, strategic and political logic that his confrontations with Canada, Mexico, Western Europe and Japan lack. Yet China, ...


Neel Kashkari: How the Unfettered Fed Flattened the Phillips Curve
Posted: May 21, 2018 at 06:34 PM (Monday)

Insulating the central bank from politics made it possible to keep inflation and unemployment low Economists seem to have a puzzle on their hands: As the job market recovers, why hasn’t inflation picked up? Known as the Phillips curve, the inverse relationship between unemployment and inflation was first posited in 1958. Until the early 1980s ...


Brian Barnier: Inflation, a villain found, and a circular game
Posted: May 21, 2018 at 05:11 PM (Monday)

Financial services and insurance have been the big drivers of "inflation" beyond energy. The Fed strongly influences financial product prices. If the Fed fears overheating, rather than hiking the Federal Funds rate, it could reconsider its own influence. Is the Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) Implicit Price Deflator the best measure ...


Loni Stark: Artificial Intelligence Will Bring Mass Personalization
Posted: May 21, 2018 at 03:30 PM (Monday)

The robots are coming for our jobs! At least, that's what many people fear. They worry that artificial intelligence — the technology that enables machines to learn and evolve by rewriting their own computer code — will one day displace human workers. These concerns are widespread. Fortunately, they're overblown. Past technological ...


James Robbins: FBI investigation into Trump campaign soon to be unveiled as political
Posted: May 21, 2018 at 02:52 PM (Monday)

The FBI surveilled Trump's campaign. Only the motive and who gave the orders remains a mystery, but it won't remain for long. President Trump is ordering the Justice Department formally to examine whether the Obama administration used the FBI to attempt a political hit on his 2016 campaign. It’s about time. On Sunday the president tweeted that ...


Adam Millsap: Is Seattle Doomed?
Posted: May 21, 2018 at 08:39 AM (Monday)

The big news out of Seattle is that its city council recently passed a $275 annual per-employee tax on companies with at least $20 million in yearly revenue. According to the Seattle Times, the tax will affect 585 companies, but many observers believe its primary target is online retailer Amazon. The Seattle metro area has been one of the ...


Komal Sri-Kumar: Markets Are Wrongly Discounting Trade Risks
Posted: May 21, 2018 at 07:00 AM (Monday)

The time to shift to a more defensive stance is now. U.S. financial markets seem unfazed by a sequence of negative developments on the trade front. The May 17 date set by Paul Ryan, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, for Congress to approve a revised North American Free Trade Agreement has passed with no resolution. The European ...


Jared Bernstein: The future of work through the lens of Uber looks a lot like the past
Posted: May 21, 2018 at 06:00 AM (Monday)

There are many who think the structure of work is rapidly changing. The “gig economy,” they argue, is replacing the old economy; robots and artificial intelligence are displacing workers faster than ever. “The Future of Work” has become an angst-prone staple at conferences across the globe. It’s always possible that this time is different, and, ...


Peter Morici: Planning for retirement should begin in college
Posted: May 21, 2018 at 06:00 AM (Monday)

Living to 100 will take some money, and some advance planning. Most colleges offer capstone seminars and at least considerable support on finding a job. It’s a shame those don’t include considerable discussion of retirement planning, because early money grows the most and postponing retirement saving to age 40 usually has quite ...


Robert Shiller: The Old Allure of New Money
Posted: May 21, 2018 at 04:39 AM (Monday)

NEW HAVEN – Practically no one, outside of computer science departments, can explain how cryptocurrencies work, and that mystery creates an aura of exclusivity, gives the new money glamour, and fills devotees with revolutionary zeal. None of this is new, and, as with past monetary innovations, a seemingly compelling story may not be enough. ...


Mohamed El-Erian: IMF and Argentina Put Credibility on the Line
Posted: May 21, 2018 at 02:00 AM (Monday)

A long history of mistrust prevents a straightforward solution to the latest crisis. Last week, the International Monetary Fund's executive board convened “an informal meeting” in anticipation of what Managing Director Christine Lagarde called "the Argentine authorities' intention to request an exceptional Stand-By Arrangement." The May ...


Newton Minow and Ajit Pai: In rural America, digital divide slows a vital path for telemedicine
Posted: May 21, 2018 at 01:07 AM (Monday)

KENTUCKY'S ALLEN COUNTY has 20,000 residents. Its school system serves about 3,100 students — but it has no pediatrician. The nearest one is 28 miles away. For years, when a child in the county seat of Scottsville became sick in school, parents and teachers didn't have any good options. But that's now changed because of high-speed Internet ...


Jorge González-Gallarza: As Deadline Looms, GDPR Faces Massive Compliance Tab
Posted: May 21, 2018 at 12:06 AM (Monday)

MADRID—As the European Union enters the homestretch to implementation of its new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on May 25, regulatory cost estimates are sprouting up from all corners of industry. And yet no one knows the number of people who will be affected by the EU’s tightened privacy regime. This lack of a single, ...


Robert Samuelson: The old capitalism returns
Posted: May 20, 2018 at 07:12 PM (Sunday)

We flatter ourselves into thinking that we live in a time of exceptional economic upheaval. The truth is that the present resembles the past. What we learned — and forget — is that a dynamic economy is inherently destructive. But the periodic convulsions often create long-term benefits. That has been true for most of our history. To be ...


John Fund: Media See Only Trump Russia Collusion Story, Ignore DOJ, FBI, Hillary Collusion
Posted: May 20, 2018 at 06:57 PM (Sunday)

Anyone examining FBI and Justice Department abuses is smeared and ridiculed. President Trump is opening a whole new chapter in the war between him and the investigators pursuing him. Today, he tweeted: “I hereby demand, and will do so officially tomorrow, that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or ...


Review & Outlook: The FBI Informant Who Wasn’t Spying
Posted: May 20, 2018 at 06:13 PM (Sunday)

A secret source insinuated himself with Trump campaign officials. Ho hum. Well, what do you know. The Federal Bureau of Investigation really did task an “informant” to insinuate himself with Trump campaign advisers in 2016. Our Kimberley Strassel reported this two weeks ago without disclosing a name. We now have all but official ...


Michael Pettis: Even $200 Billion Isn’t Enough
Posted: May 20, 2018 at 05:00 PM (Sunday)

Selling more to China won’t solve America’s larger problem. Questions remain about just how many more U.S. exports China’s promised to buy to avert a trade war: U.S. officials have floated the figure of $200 billion annually, which would cut the bilateral trade deficit in half. Even if that were true, however – and Chinese officials have denied ...


Chris Conover: Solving The Mystery Of American Health Spending After 1980, Part 1--Out-Of-Pocket Spending
Posted: May 20, 2018 at 03:40 PM (Sunday)

In a recent New York Times column, Austin Frakt nicely articulated a medical mystery: when compared to other countries, "something happened to U.S. health spending after 1980." Like Agatha Christie's whodunnit, The Orient Express, unraveling this mystery will reveal no single culprit. In the next four posts, I will examine four possible ...


Stephen Moore and Steve Forbes: Trade deals must protect intellectual property rights
Posted: May 20, 2018 at 03:16 PM (Sunday)

President Trump is now hot and heavy in the trade negotiations with China, as well as Canada and Mexico in negotiating NAFTA 2.0. We are strong free traders, but we also believe that Mr. Trump's plans to negotiate better trade agreements that reduce trade barriers abroad are right on the mark. He also has to make sure those deals fully ...


Jason Furman: Don’t Get Distracted by the Trade Deficit With China
Posted: May 20, 2018 at 02:35 PM (Sunday)

Its external imbalances have been declining for a decade. The U.S. should seek more of the same. Trade negotiations with China are grinding forward, but Beijing now appears to have rebuffed the Trump administration’s top demand. The White House has pushed the Chinese to reduce their bilateral trade surplus with the U.S. by $200 billion. ...


John Tamny: Collapsing Iran and Venezuela Mock the Fed's Definition of Inflation
Posted: May 20, 2018 at 09:00 AM (Sunday)

It changes by the day, but Iran’s currency - the rial - is falling. This is inflation. The value of money declines such that holders of it can exchange it for fewer and fewer goods and services. Something similar, but exponentially worse, is happening in Venezuela. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal indicated inflation of 13,000% due to ...


Andrew McCarthy: Clinton-Email v. Trump-Russia, Tale of Two Investigations & Double Standard
Posted: May 19, 2018 at 06:00 AM (Saturday)

FBI director Comey and the Obama Justice Department applied a double standard in their handling of the Clinton-email and Trump–Russia investigations. We wuz robbed. That’s the theme Democrats and their media allies are working hard to cement into conventional wisdom. And robbed in a very specific way: The 2016 presidential election, we’re ...


Ron Dermer: Stop demonizing Israel for defending itself
Posted: May 18, 2018 at 08:06 PM (Friday)

Hand it to Hamas. As this last week’s events in Gaza showed, the terrorist organization committed to Israel’s destruction can still manipulate the media into demonizing Israel for the legitimate actions it takes to defend itself. Hamas’s four-step formula for success is by now familiar. First, get a media that is largely hostile toward ...


Adam Goldman, Mark Mazzetti and Matthew Rosenberg: FBI Used Informant to Investigate Russia Ties to Campaign, Not to Spy, as Trump Claims
Posted: May 18, 2018 at 07:48 PM (Friday)

WASHINGTON — President Trump accused the F.B.I. on Friday, without evidence, of sending a spy to secretly infiltrate his 2016 campaign "for political purposes" even before the bureau had any inkling of the "phony Russia hoax." In fact, F.B.I. agents sent an informant to talk to two campaign advisers only after they received evidence that the ...


Orrin Hatch: Identity Politics Threatens the American Experiment
Posted: May 18, 2018 at 05:49 PM (Friday)

Increasingly we sort each other into groups, making sweeping assumptions based on binary labels. Kanye West, ever the iconoclast, set social media ablaze last month when he donned a red “Make America Great Again” hat in support of President Trump. Whether a genuine expression of political belief or a publicity stunt, Mr. West’s selfie sparked ...


GOP Tax Cuts, States Are Getting A Windfall In Revenues, But Will They Return The Money To Taxpayers?
Posted: May 18, 2018 at 04:48 PM (Friday)

Tax Cuts: When Republicans were putting together their tax reform plan last year, a chorus of critics warned that it would devastate state budgets. Like so many other claims, this turned out to be false. The New York Times reported in November, for example, that "state and local officials in high-tax states like New York, New Jersey and ...


Bruce Mehlman: Prioritizing Traffic On The Internet: Why Change What Works?
Posted: May 18, 2018 at 03:51 PM (Friday)

One of the great things about the internet is that most Americans don't need to spend too much time thinking about how it actually works. Most of the time, barring some technical issues or weather damage to infrastructure, it just ... works. It's not like those early 20th-century cars where motorists had to be auto mechanics as well as ...


Peter Ferrara: Immigrant Investors Create Jobs For American Workers
Posted: May 18, 2018 at 02:40 PM (Friday)

President Trump has advocated reforming America's immigration laws to focus on "merit-based" immigration. Merit-based means immigration for those who will benefit America and its economy. That contrasts with "chain migration," granting immigration visas to those with relatives already living in the Unites States, or the "diversity lottery," ...


Matt Levine: Nothing Is Free (Unless You Sign Up)
Posted: May 18, 2018 at 02:00 PM (Friday)

This capitalism is so refined that it consists of giving people free stuff in exchange for their willingness to take it. We talked last month about the weirdly common Silicon Valley business model of “rapidly growing a business by selling its products below cost, subsidized by huge venture-capital investments, in the hopes of one day flipping ...


John Cochrane: Alexander Hamilton's solar panels
Posted: May 18, 2018 at 09:29 AM (Friday)

I think I finally have figured out why California is mandating solar panels on top of houses. (WSJ story here.) As energy, environmental, or housing policy, it borders on the absurd, as pretty much everyone quickly figured out. Just to recap, remember that most rooftop solar does not power the house underneath it. The energy goes out to the ...


Jeffrey Dorfman: Punishing Employers For Low Wage Workers Will Stigmatize Workers On Welfare
Posted: May 18, 2018 at 09:00 AM (Friday)

Democrats on Capitol Hill want to follow Seattle’s lead and tax large employersfor the costs with which they allegedly burden taxpayers. The basic idea is if your jobs don’t pay workers enough to get them off all government benefits, then you are freeloading on the system and government should tax you to get the rest of your “fair share” of ...


Mark Mills: The Policymaker's Dilemma, Believe Economists or Innovators?
Posted: May 18, 2018 at 08:30 AM (Friday)

The economy is picking up a little steam. But it's still a far cry from the go-go growth fondly remembered from the Reagan and Clinton eras. And when it comes to forging policies intended to accelerate the economy, we have a clear division between two camps. On one side are the optimists, who believe much faster growth is possible. On the ...


Heather Wilhelm: The Glorious Misery of Camping
Posted: May 18, 2018 at 06:30 AM (Friday)

Free camping for novices in New York State parks might not be such a bad idea. The first time I ever went camping was in the Himalayas, in the heart of Bhutan. Over the course of a five-day trek, we crossed through foggy mountains and hidden monasteries and occasional herds of jangling yaks at elevations ranging from 10,000 to 14,000 feet. It ...


Jonathan Ellis: Food stamp mystery, Washington swamp's swallowing taxpayers' info
Posted: May 18, 2018 at 06:00 AM (Friday)

Washington's swamp gets swampier with new farm bill. The government isn't letting the public know where food stamp payments go. We ought to, since we're paying for it. Raise your hand if you’ve heard this story before: A mammoth piece of legislation gets introduced in Congress. It weighs in at hundreds of pages. Buried within those pages is ...


Jared Bernstein: Is King Dollar really under threat? I (sort of) hope so.
Posted: May 18, 2018 at 06:00 AM (Friday)

There’s a new field of academic research — or if there isn’t, there should be — that attempts to predict the longer-term impacts of the Trump presidency on basic norms. The Wall Street Journal recently posted a nice entry in the field relating to the heating up of the NAFTA renegotiation: “Retreat from Trade Deals Poses a New Threat to ...


Peter Morici: Trump's foreign policy is sound, but the economy gets shorted
Posted: May 17, 2018 at 09:35 PM (Thursday)

President Trump recognizes U.S. foreign policy has for too long sacrificed economic interests and the livelihoods of ordinary working Americans for other important goals — spreading democracy, human rights and alliance building. And we are not getting our money’s worth — our allies expect Americans to bear disproportionate shares of the costs ...


Robert Bryce: Bad news for green energy lovers: US Oil & Gas are booming
Posted: May 17, 2018 at 08:40 PM (Thursday)

Another day, another spate of headlines about the growing mess at Tesla. Last week, the electric carmaker announced that its head of engineering, Doug Field, was taking a leave of absence to “spend time with his family.” That news came just a few days after the company announced dreadful first-quarter financial results. As usual, the ...


Socialism's Growing Popularity Is An Ominous Sign For The Democratic Party — And For The Country
Posted: May 17, 2018 at 07:59 PM (Thursday)

Big Left Turn: Are socialists becoming the new Democratic Party mainstream? After candidates endorsed by the socialist party won nomination battles for state legislative seats in Pennsylvania and far-left progressives triumphed over moderates elsewhere, the answer seems to be yes. Four — count 'em, four — candidates backed by the ...


Joe Lieberman: A Holiday for the Rule of Law
Posted: May 17, 2018 at 07:12 PM (Thursday)

Whereas Passover celebrates freedom, Shavuot honors the Ten Commandments. A doctor, an engineer, and a lawyer get into a debate about whose profession is the oldest. The doctor argues that it’s medicine: “There must have been a doctor in the Garden of Eden to help God transform Adam’s rib ...


Ike Brannon: A Tipped Minimum Wage for DC Waiters Is Opposed by DC Waiters--For Good Reason
Posted: May 17, 2018 at 05:37 PM (Thursday)

Paternalistic governments all too often discover that the citizens they are saving often do not want to be saved. The City Council of my adopted hometown, Washington DC, witnessed this phenomenon recently when a planned ballot initiative that would end the lower, $5 tipped minimum wage for restaurant workers was met with fierce objections from ...


Clyde Wayne Crews: Next-Level Prosperity: Explaining And Reversing Declining Entrepreneurship Rates
Posted: May 17, 2018 at 01:55 PM (Thursday)

One of the consequences of aging populations in the West that may sometimes not befully incorporated into public policy is that the pool of folks inclined to take entrepreneurial risks declines as a share of the population. That "sweet spot" for business adventuring appears to be around the ages of 25-49, according to a new book edited by ...


Andrew McCarthy: 'Crossfire Hurricane' New York Times Report Buries Ledes
Posted: May 17, 2018 at 12:22 PM (Thursday)

The paper buries more than one lede. If you’re a fading Baby Boomer, you’re faintly amused that the FBI code-named its Trump-Russia investigation “Crossfire Hurricane.” It’s an homage to the Rolling Stones golden oldie “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” — which, come to think of it, might just be a perfect handle for John Brennan, the former Obama CIA ...


Ross Marchand: EPA Shows Flawed Obsession with Paint Stripper
Posted: May 17, 2018 at 12:08 PM (Thursday)

In the struggle to balance environmental protection with prosperity and convenience, federal bureaucrats, businesses, and customers often have an adversarial relationship. Everyone can look at the smoggy skies of Beijing and agree that some limits on pollution are prudent. In America, the decision to phase out and outlaw lead in gasoline has ...