Economy

Can Trump deliver to his base on economics?

Featured image Donald Trump cracked the Democrats’ “blue wall” by narrowly winning Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. He accomplished this by attracting non-upscale white voters. He also took advantage, it seems, of lack of enthusiasm for Hillary Clinton among black voters in cities such as Philadelphia, Detroit, and Milwaukee. Has Trump thereby transformed the electoral landscape? The answer probably depends on the extent to which his policies improve, or will be perceived as »

Schumer identifies common ground with Trump

Featured image While Democrats around the country try to “process” what happened last week, wily Chuck Schumer is planning what will happen next year. The soon-to-be Senate Minority Leader announced that, unlike Republicans during the Obama years, the Democrats won’t reflexively oppose whatever the president proposes. Instead, they will consider each proposal on its merits and work with President Trump when they consider his proposals meritorious. Schumer isn’t just saying this to »

Early Returns on Trump’s Appointments Are Good

Featured image Donald Trump has been appointing members of his transition team, appointments that presumably foreshadow the ultimate composition of his administration. So far, I have been impressed by his choices. A case in point is Myron Ebell, who will lead Trump’s EPA transition team. The headline says it all: “Trump Picks Top Climate Skeptic to Lead EPA Transition.” Donald Trump has selected one of the best-known climate skeptics to lead his »

The Obama Years in One Chart

Featured image Obama’s approval ratings are doing fairly well these days—comfortably and consistently over 50 percent. This, while the number of Americans who say the country is on the “wrong track” is at or near an all-time high. One polling guru I know says that Obama’s good numbers owe to the fact that he looks good in comparison to Hillary and Trump, which makes sense. And also that the “wrong track” number »

A Manufacturing Catastrophe?

Featured image One of Donald Trump’s main campaign themes is that American manufacturing is in free fall, because of liberalized trade and foreign nations taking unfair advantage of us. There is something to the point about currency manipulation by China, and lower wage rates in Asia and Mexico are certainly a factor for some companies moving out of the country. And Trump is also correct to be targeting our highest-in-the-world corporate tax »

Don’t Look Now But. . .

Featured image Further to our recent posts here and here on the weakness of the Obama economy, here are two stories of note from this morning: Profit Slump for S&P 500 Heads for a Sixth Straight Quarter Companies in the S&P 500 are now expected to report an earnings decline for the sixth consecutive quarter in the coming weeks, according to analysts polled by FactSet. That slump would be the longest since »

The Economy in Pictures

Featured image Paul helpfully noted here Friday the Josh Barro article about why the economic recovery under Obama has been the weakest on record. (Shorter Barro” “It’s the Obama, stupid!”) The good folks at The Daily Shot offer some interesting charts that help visualize the story. Usually after a recession the housing sector contributes significantly to an economic rebound. This did not happen after the crash of ’08, and as you can »

Why the Obama recovery was so weak

Featured image Why has the economic recovery since 2009 been so weak? President Obama and his supporters claim that the weak recovery is due to the recession’s severity and the fact that it was accompanied by a major financial crisis. However, Harvard economist Robert Barro, writing in the Wall Street Journal, finds these excuses unpersuasive. Barro’s view is based on a study he and Tao Jin performed of economic downturns in the »

Forget the 3 am Phone Call: Watch Midnight Regs Instead

Featured image There’s a phenomenon going back to the Carter-Reagan transition or before that is well known among K Street lawyers and what is called the “regulated community” (a perfectly Orwellian term for private sector business under the visible foot of government): outgoing Democratic administrations enact a number of new rule-makings on the last day of the administration, often very controversial and costly rules that the outgoing administration has sat on for »

Economic Macroaggression

Featured image James Grant, the founder of the indispensable Grant’s Interest Rate Observer and one of my favorite financial writers, likes to describe macroeconomics as “politics disguised with differential calculus.” Boom! Because of course macroeconomics is the cornerstone of Keynesianism, the convenient doctrine that provides politicians with the excuse to spend as much money as they can. Supposedly it works on a “multiplier” effect, but the only thing it seems to multiply »

No, Incomes Didn’t Soar In 2015

Featured image On Tuesday, the Census Bureau released its annual report on income and poverty in the United States, based on the Current Population Survey. The report found that median household income increased by an inflation-adjusted 5.2% in 2015. President Obama and Hillary Clinton hailed this finding as a vindication of eight years of stagnation, and newspapers played up the 5.2% increase as the best economic news in a long time. Of »

Blue State Exodus

Featured image Which do better, blue states or red states? There is a veritable cottage industry devoted to obscure means of proving the superiority of the liberal tax-and-spend model, but when citizens vote with their feet, the result is clear: Americans are deserting blue states and moving to red states. Joel Kotkin and Wendell Cox have analyzed IRS data, which now allow us to track taxpayers moving from state to state, with »

Do Liberal Policies Produce Economic Growth? No

Featured image That might seem obvious. But liberals don’t admit that their policies are the path to poverty. Rather, they claim that the bluest states are the most prosperous. In that regard, Minnesota is often Exhibit A. Minnesota’s well-educated, healthy, socially conservative, hard-working population, combined with the state’s rich and diverse natural resources, have historically produced a strong economy. Liberals try to take credit for those good qualities, attributing whatever success the »

Why Isn’t the Economy the Issue?

Featured image At the New York Post, Carl Campanile and Danika Fears make a good point: “Hillary, Trump too busy insulting each other to focus on Obama’s weak economy.” Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are too busy trading barbs on hot-button topics like race and immigration to discuss the economy, which has slowed to a crawl under President Obama’s watch. “The numbers are bad. There should be a concern about the weakness »

Inadvertent Truth from Hillary

Featured image There’s a joke in the boutique wine industry out here on the Left Coast: How do you make a small fortune in the wine trade? Answer: Start with a large fortune. This parable comes to mind with respect to yesterday unintentionally revealing headline about Madam Hillary: Here is how Hillary Clinton hopes to be the ‘small business president’ Hillary Clinton wants to be the “small business president” and according to her »

Do Blue-State Policies Lead to Prosperity?

Featured image The New York Times publishes a lot of dumb stuff, but this article by Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson titled The Path to Prosperity Is Blue is a classic. It purports to show that liberal policies at the state level lead to “broad prosperity,” but the piece’s logic is laughable. To begin with, the authors purport to be measuring prosperity, but of the five statistics they try to relate to »

Charts That Make You Go, Hmmmm . . .

Featured image We’ve observed before that the economy is weak and looking weaker, and President Obama looks to be the only president in modern history not to have at least one year of 3 percent economic growth. I don’t think liberals care about growth any more (a point Joel Kotkin made over the weekend, observing that seeking economic growth was conspiciously missing from the Democratic platform this year). One of my first »