Economy

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 »

Minimum Wage, Maximum Ignorance (2)

Featured image Regarding my item last Friday about the “expected” poor results from the higher minimum wage in Seattle, a perceptive reader offers the observation that the minimum wage should be better understood as a government ban on low-paying jobs: The term “minimum wage” does not serve us well. Only an employer can decide on a true ”minimum wage,” in the sense of a determination to pay no less than some level. »

Minimum Wage, Maximum Ignorance

Featured image William F. Buckley Jr. used to speak of the “invincible ignorance” of liberalism, and there’s hardly a better example than the minimum wage. Generally the first thing you learn on the first day of Econ 101 is that if you raise the price of something, you’ll reduce the demand for that something. Including labor. So it’s fun to notice this morning that the city of Seattle, which threw out both »

The economy is slumping at a bad time for Democrats

Featured image National conventions aren’t what they used to be. They have become highly choreographed and lacking in drama (though there was more drama than normal at both conventions this year). But the conventions still serve vital purposes. They enable the two parties and their candidates to make their case directly to the American people in a setting glitzy enough to attract viewers. And they enable voters to discern, albeit not infallibly, »

Can Reagan Save Another Clinton Presidency?

Featured image First of all, I’ll pause for a moment to let you get over the shudder at the thought of “another Clinton presidency” in this headline. Take a shot or two of whiskey if necessary. Or deep cleansing breaths. Whatever it takes. Now, to the main topic. I’ve been thinking for a while that there’s not much wrong with this country that a sustained period of 4 percent economic growth wouldn’t »

Job growth stalls

Featured image One of the reasons I have thought Hillary Clinton probably will be elected president, assuming she’s not indicted, is the state of the economy. It’s pretty good now, and Americans recognize this. The relatively good economy explains why President Obama’s approval rating his risen. It’s borderline decent now. This hasn’t seemed to help Hillary’s poll numbers, but likely would once we get to crunch time. Today, however, comes a new »

This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things, Part 3

Featured image In this 2:37 long video from two years ago, Patrick McLaughlin of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University does a terrific job of dramatizing just how immense federal regulation has grown over the last two generations. Actually this visualization understates the number of regulatory programs, as it only identifies major regulatory agencies, not not individual regulatory initiatives per se. Still, this is a highly useful piece of work: »

This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things, Part 2

Featured image Last week the Obama administration announced new regulations designed to raise the wages of hundreds of thousands of salaried employees by re-classifying them in ways that make them eligible for overtime. This is the same logic of supposing that you can lift yourself up by standing in a bucket and pulling up on the handle. Even the New York Times has noticed that this regulation is going to be counter-productive, »

This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

Featured image I’ve been meaning for a while to knock out an article on the theme, “there’s nothing wrong with America that 4 percent growth won’t solve.” That’s an exaggeration, of course, but not much of one. Faster economic growth will alleviate a number of our leading problems, especially stagnant wages, a sinking labor force participation rate, badly unbalanced budgets, adult children living in basements, ESPN’s sinking ratings, etc. One difficulty is »

Chart of the Week: Productivity and Police Action

Featured image Actually, here are two useful charts. With the first quarter’s economic growth being revised upward from the previous 0.5 percent annual rate to 0.8 percent annual rate, the Obama era continues its record as the weakest economic expansion in history. One reason is shown in this chart from the Financial Times, showing U.S. productivity growth turning negative in the first quarter: You can see that productivity growth has been slow »

Annals of Economic Illiteracy

Featured image My first mentor in journalism right out of college, the great M. Stanton Evans, liked to point to mainstream media coverage of inflation for examples of head-smackingly superficial grasp of the issues. Most stories about inflation would say something like, “The consumer price index rose 1 percent last month, led by increases in food, gasoline, and housing,” as though it is was the price increases themselves that caused inflation, rather »

Terrorist Economics

Featured image Everyone is having fun mocking the latest travesty of our airline security theater: the removal of a person described as “a 40-year-old man — with dark, curly hair, olive skin and an exotic foreign accent” from an American Airlines plane in Philadelphia because an adjacent passenger was alarmed at his ominous looking scribblings on a piece of paper. Turns out the man was doing math. Turns out the person was »