Economy

Are Low Oil Prices Good or Bad? Yes

Featured image There’s just no pleasing some people. When oil and gasoline prices at the pump are high, liberals (and Bill O’Reilly) complain that the oil companies are gouging us, even though certified enlightened opinion among environmentalists is that cheap oil and fuel prices are bad because it encourages consumption and makes it harder for their (subsidized) renewable energy unicorns to compete in the marketplace. I still have somewhere the New York »

The Economy: Don’t Look Now, But. . .

Featured image So the stock market fell 1,000 points last week, the worst first week performance of the stock market ever. This occurs amidst a decent jobs report on Friday, though as many observers noted that a lot of the jobs were on the lower end of the skill level, and several news outlets noted that wages continue to be stagnant. Everyone is pointing to China, whose economy is possibly slipping by »

The Big Snort

Featured image Scott rightly scores The Big Short for its, um, shortcomings. John Goodman lays out ten lessons that ought to be understood about the whole story, including these two key lessons completely omitted from the film: Lesson 5: It is also a movie about a massive failure of government. As the movie makes clear, government regulators had no interest prosecuting fraud, even when the protagonists put the evidence right in front »

The Bottomless Economic Ignorance of Liberalism

Featured image We’ve commented before on the bottomless economic ignorance of Bernie Sanders, and only with some effort do we not make this a daily feature. But The Bern outdid himself with this recent tweet: Apparently Bernie has never been told the difference between a secured loan and an unsecured loan, let alone the higher lending risk involved in making a student loan to a gender studies major. Maybe this parody picture »

Power Line’s Chart of the Week: The Achievement of Capitalism

Featured image Herewith a new Power Line feature: Chart of the Week. Because data. Also innovation. Scheduled to appear on Monday or Tuesday each week. I have been looking forward for a long time to the last in Deirdre McCloskey’s trilogy about capitalism (a term she dislikes) that began with Bourgeois Virtues: Ethics for an Age of Commerce, and Bourgeois Dignity: Why Economics Can’t Explain the Modern World. The third volume, coming »

Inflation Just Around the Corner?

Featured image The stock market has opened down slightly this morning after a brutal pounding at the end of last week. The conventional wisdom is that collapsing oil prices and the prospect of a Fed interest rate hike this week are the causes, but that’s just a herd of independent minds reinforcing their collective ignorance. Let me add to the collective ignorance with a nod to J.K. Galbraith’s remark that economic forecasting »

Bibi brings it (2)

Featured image Following Prime Minister Netanyahu’s meeting with President Obama in the White House on Monday, AEI hosted its 2015 annual dinner at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC. AEI presented its 2015 Irving Kristol Award to Netanyahu. In lieu of a speech Prime Minister Netanyahu responded to questions put to him by AEI’s Danielle Pletka. The video is below. The Israeli Foreign Ministry has posted excerpts of Netanyahu’s remarks here. »

Don’t Look Now, But. . .

Featured image Is the U.S. economy unexpectedly slipping toward a downturn? From today’s Wall Street Journal: U.S. Companies Warn of Slowing Economy By THEO FRANCIS and KATE LINEBAUGH Quarterly profits and revenue at big American companies are poised to decline for the first time since the recession, as some industrial firms warn of a pullback in spending. From railroads to manufacturers to energy producers, businesses say they are facing a protracted slowdown in production, sales »

Minnesota vs. Wisconsin: Does the Progressive Paradise Win?

Featured image Democrats have become fond of contrasting the economies of Minnesota, ruled with an iron fist by the Democratic Farmer Labor party, and Wisconsin, home of Scott Walker’s reforms. President Obama and many other progressives have claimed that Minnesota’s economy is doing better than Wisconsin’s, thereby demonstrating the superiority of liberal policies. In a post at the Center of the American Experiment’s web site, Peter Nelson notes how common this theme »

How Dodd-Frank explains our weak recovery

Featured image Yesterday, John noted how weak the Obama economic “recovery” has been. As he put it, “the Obama economy has been, in a word, lousy, and its lousiness is most evident in the fact that full-time jobs have been so scarce that tens of millions have quit looking. . . .” Why, though, hasn’t the economy taken off under Obama, as it did in the past following recessions? Democrats attribute the »

After Seven Recovery Summers…

Featured image The last recession officially ended, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research, in June 2009. By now, September 2015, we should be in the middle, or perhaps the later stages, of an economic boom, having enjoyed years of strong economic growth, job creation and rising private sector incomes. Instead, our economy has never exited the recovery stage, and we have just concluded the seventh “recovery summer” of the Obama »

Why Socialism Can’t Make a Sandwich

Featured image Last month I took note of the curious fact that many people find Friedrich Hayek’s classic 1945 essay “The Use of Knowledge in Society” difficult or opaque at first, including even economic geniuses like Thomas Sowell and Russ Roberts. This month happens to be the 70th anniversary of the publication of that essay, and our friends at the Fraser Institute in Canada have begun a video series starring Don Boudreaux »

Black Income Decline in Minnesota Termed “Disgraceful”

Featured image As I noted here, just-released Census Bureau data show that real median household income declined slightly in 2014, while the poverty rate increased slightly. Median incomes for all racial groups except whites were stable, while white median household income declined by 1.7%. I have seen no comment on this fact; certainly no suggestion that the federal government is responsible for the decline or has pursued policies inimical to the interests »

Census: Economy Is Going Nowhere

Featured image The Census Bureau released its income and poverty numbers for 2014 today. The poverty rate was up slightly and median family income, inflation-adjusted, was down slightly, but both numbers were essentially flat. U.S. News goes out on a limb: The numbers may explain some of the political furor going on in the country, said Lawrence Mishel, president and CEO of the liberal Economic Policy Institute. “Anyone wondering why people in »

A word from the Club for Growth

Featured image David McIntosh is the president of the Club for Growth. He was a three-term Congressman from Indiana and is a co-founder of the Federalist Society. The Club for Growth is a well-known advocacy group that is dedicated to limited government and the belief that prosperity and opportunity come from economic freedom. These beliefs put the Club at odds with Donald Trump. McIntosh explains the clash in a letter to Club »

Democrats See No Irony In Running Against Themselves

Featured image Today Joe Biden delivered a populist oration on the occasion of Labor Day. Biden ripped the stagnant American economy of recent years: “I’m mad, I’m angry,” Biden thundered, attacking the U.S. economy as “devastating for workers.” That’s what we’ve been saying for the last 6 1/2 years. Where has Biden been all this time? Oh yeah, that’s right–he’s been the vice president. The economy is lousy for most workers because »

The Socialist Dream Will Never Die

Featured image Not long ago I was listening to one of Russ Roberts’s archived “EconTalk” podcasts with the great Thomas Sowell (and if you don’t listen to EconTalk you’re missing one of the top podcast artists of our time—subscribe for free here), and was completely stunned by something Sowell said. When he was assigned Friedrich Hayek’s seminal essay “The Use of Knowledge in Society” as a graduate student, he didn’t get it. »