Economy

By Its Own Criteria, the Obama Administration Is An Economic Failure

Featured image Lately there has been a fair amount of happy talk from liberal pundits about our supposedly robust economy. Such optimistic evaluations have been guarded, since everyone knows that the jobs picture is still bleak, largely because of runaway legal and illegal immigration. But there is an even more fundamental measure by which the Obama administration is an economic failure. The 2014 numbers are now in on America’s gross domestic product, »

Democrats shouldn’t pop the champagne over sub-3 percent economic growth

Featured image Washington Post reporters Chico Harlan and Jim Tankersley spike the ball on behalf of the Democrats in an article called “Healthy economy forces Republicans to rethink Obama-skewering strategy.” Their talking point is that our “robust economy. . .is threatening the longtime Republican strategy of criticizing President Obama for holding back growth and hiring, forcing the GOP to overhaul its messaging at the beginnings of a presidential campaign.” Harlan and Tankersley »

Speaking of Underinflated Balls. . .

Featured image Did you catch the economic news yesterday? The U.S. economy hit “speed bumps,” according to the Wall Street Journal’s lede story, but it would appear that those berms may be quicksand traps. Fourth quarter economic growth came in at only 2.6 percent, well below the summer’s 5 percent pace. Given that the middling economic growth we have enjoyed has been largely consumer driven, it suggests a fragile economy that could »

Lame Duck Obama Gets Old-time Left-Wing Religion

Featured image White House officials have leaked a preview of President Obama’s State of the Union speech. ABC News described the centerpiece of the president’s wish list: “Obama to Propose Capital Gains Tax Hikes to to Benefit Middle Class.” Specifically, Obama will propose raising the top capital gains rate from 20% to 28%. This would be paired with increasing inheritance taxes and imposing new taxes on banks. How will all of this »

Fight! Fight! Sachs Versus Krugman!

Featured image Wasn’t it Henry Kissinger who said of the Iran-Iraq war back in the 1980s that it was too bad both sides couldn’t lose? That’s how you feel when Jeffrey Sachs, the thuggish Columbia University economist (er, “professor of sustainable development” according to his bio) whose bad advice arguably paved the way for the rise of Russia’s post-Cold War crony capitalist oligarchs, delivers some smack on Paul Krugman. But that’s exactly »

France Joins the Supply Side: Paul Krugman Hardest Hit

Featured image With lefty nostalgists like Paul Krugman pining away for a return to the punitive income tax rates of up to 90 percent in the 1950s, it is worth taking in what just happened in France. France’s unreconstructed socialist president Francois Hollande made a big splash upon taking office of instituting a 75 percent income tax on all incomes over 1 million Euros. So how’d that work out? From Yahoo news »

About that 5% GDP Growth Rate…

Featured image Just before Christmas, the Commerce Department announced that third quarter GDP growth came in at an upwardly-revised 5% annual rate. Nearly everyone hailed this as wonderful economic news. The New York Times celebrated the apparent return to rapid growth: [H]ere, for the holidays, is the festive news: The economy roared ahead at a 5 percent annual growth rate in the July through September quarter, the fastest quarterly growth since 2003. »

Where Did the Jobs Go?

Featured image Somewhat remarkably, given that it has presided over the worst recovery–by far–of the post-war era, the Obama administration tries to slice and dice employment numbers to portray itself as a champion of job creation. There are, indeed, a few more jobs today than there were six years ago. Yet for most Americans, the employment scene has gotten worse, not better. Why is that? Senate Budget Committee staff offer data in »

Minimum Wage, Maximum Ignorance

Featured image It was the University of Chicago’s John Cochrane, one of the celebrated members of the Power Line 100, who wrote that “Once upon a time, the minimum wage, like free trade, was a basic test of whether you were awake in the first week of econ 1. We put a horizontal line in a supply and demand graph. Minimum wages increase unemployment of poor people.” But a higher minimum wage »

Why the Gallup Poll Means Deep Trouble for Hillary

Featured image Gallup headlines: Obama Approval Drops Among Working-Class Whites. Here, “working class” includes all non-college graduates, some 60-65% of the adult white population. Gallup’s chart shows President Obama’s approval rating among white college graduates and non-college graduates from the beginning of his administration to the end of October. His 27% approval rating among non-college graduates is indeed striking: But perhaps more important is Obama’s steep decline within that demographic. Since he »

Yes—Let Liberals Bail Out Detroit

Featured image Back in May I suggested, less than half facetiously, that if we are indeed to consider paying reparations for slavery, the Democratic Party should have to pick up the entire tab, for all of the obvious reasons. I was reminded of that idea when stumbling across the most interesting story on the front page of today’s New York Times: “Finding $816 Million, and Fast, to Save Detroit.” The details are »

In defense of QE

Featured image A long-time reader and professional investor responded both to the critical if tentative substance as well as the spirit of inquiry in which I posted “The Age of QE” yesterday. Our reader’s company is devoted to private equity investment and he has asked me to withhold his name for professional reasons; I thought readers interested in the subject would appreciate his response. He writes: I want to offer some perspective »

The Age of QE

Featured image We are approaching the end of year six of the regime of Quantitative Easing (QE) engineered by the Federal Reserve under Fed chairmen Ben Bernanke and now Janet Yellen. In place of responsible economic policy to revive economic growth and employment, we have had QE and the explosive growth of job-killing regulations (including Obamacare). In a recent look back at QE, New York Post columnist John Crudele credits QE with »

Another Shining Example of Liberal Open-Mindedness

Featured image Writing about this year’s winner of the Nobel Prize for economics, Frenchman Jean Tirole, the New Yorker’s John Cassidy let’s fly with typical condescension right at the beginning: In general, I’m not a fan of the economics Nobel. Too often, since it was first given, in 1969, it has been used to reward free-market orthodoxy, as evidenced by the plethora of prizes awarded to scholars at the University of Chicago. Apparently »

Stocks: Look Out Below!

Featured image At last! A stock market I can like! There’s no shortage of opinions on why the market is suddenly swooning—take a sampling of the commentary over at RealClearMarkets if you’d like to take in the waterfront—but of most immediate interest is what the political impact might be if the market continues to fall, or even crash, before election day in three weeks. One more thing Obama doesn’t need right now. »

AFP Stands Up For Millenials

Featured image Americans For Prosperity has launched a new initiative aimed at millenials. The campaign, focused particularly on Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana and North Carolina, emphasizes youth unemployment. It includes a web site called Defend Their Dream, as well as this short but effective ad: Unemployment and underemployment among young adults should be a huge issue for conservatives. Europe has chronically high–astronomical, in some cases–levels of youth unemployment. The reason is »

Will Yesterday’s Jobs Report Boost Democrats?

Featured image Democrats are touting yesterday’s jobs report–248,000 net new jobs were added in September, and the unemployment rate fell to 5.9%–as a victory for the administration that should improve the party’s prospects in November. Thus, to cite just one example, President Obama boasted in a speech yesterday that by any measure, the economy today is better than when he took office. I should hope so! Obama took office shortly after the »