Economy

The Age of Obama, By the Numbers

Featured image The Census Bureau reported today that a record 46.5 million Americans are currently living in poverty, more than at any time in our history. That is fewer people, however, than the 23,116,928 households now receiving food stamps, more than the entire Northeastern United States (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania). Let’s add one more: during President Obama’s first term, median income of »

Winter for Summers; Yellen Springtime!

Featured image So Larry Summers has withdrawn his candidacy to be the next chair of the Federal Reserve, presumably paving the way for Janet Yellen to be nominated.  We surveyed this controversy last month, noting how liberalism’s obsession with gender and identity politics, and not economic views, was driving the matter.  Beyond this being a victory for the identity-politics mindset at the center of liberalism today (not-so-idle question: will a Democratic president »

Krugman: Obamanomics “an Astonishing, Horrifying Failure”

Featured image Better late than never, I suppose: Paul Krugman now says that the five years of the Obama administration have been “years of tragic waste,” and that the nation’s economic policies during that time have been “an astonishing, horrifying failure.” One wonders: what took Krugman so long to figure that out? Of course, Krugman thinks the problem with Obama’s policies is that the stimulus was too small, the United States isn’t »

Labor Force Participation Hits 34-Year Low

Featured image A comprehensive disaster like the Obama administration can’t be summed up in one statistic, but the one that comes closest is labor force participation. The combined effect of many misguided policies–Obamacare, ballooning spending, massive debt, tax increases, subsidizing of inefficient energy, anti-growth regulation, encouragement of food stamp fraud, and many more–has been to drive many millions of Americans out of the labor force. Express Employment Professionals has produced a white »

If This is Recovery, God Save Us from a Slowdown

Featured image Is the economy heading for another recession?  Heck if I know. What we can tell, however, is how weak the current “recovery” is.  Investors Business Daily runs down the dismal numbers in “Obama’s Economy–Help, We’ve Fallen and Can’t Get Up“: Household incomes are still down 4.4% since the recession ended four years ago. Meanwhile, the unemployment picture may be even worse than we think. The Obama “recovery” continues to impress. According »

Buy American, Or Buy Union?

Featured image Old habits die hard. When people talk about the U.S. auto industry, they often think it still means G.M., Ford and Chrysler. In fact, more than a dozen automobile manufacturers make cars in the United States. The “big three” are different not because they make automobiles here, but because their work forces are unionized. Thus, when people talk about buying American cars, what they really mean, much of the time, »

How Franklin Roosevelt Devastated Black Sharecroppers

Featured image In the annals of disastrous liberal economic policies, Franklin Roosevelt’s Agricultural Adjustment Act, which paid landowners not to grow crops, ranks very high. It violated what David Henderson calls “Pillar of Economic Wisdom #9: The only way to increase a nation’s real income is to increase its real output.” Deliberately reducing output, as Roosevelt did on this and other occasions, is profoundly stupid. Henderson explains: The government’s goal was to »

One More Strike and Summers Is Done

Featured image It has been fun to sit back and watch the liberal obsession with identity and gender politics intrude on the selection of the next chair of the Federal Reserve.  The two leading candidates are Janet Yellen, currently at the San Francisco Fed, and Lawrence Summers, the liberal renaissance man who has been Treasury Secretary, president of Harvard, and lots of other things.  Conservatives do not really have a dog in »

Recovery Over; Was It Good for You?

Featured image Is it possible that the U.S. economic recovery is currently, at this very moment, moving at the fastest pace at which it will ever move? The BEA GDP growth figure for 2Q13 was +1.7%, meaning that the United States economy grew 0.425% over that period. That is about half of what we might like. Bill Gross at PIMCO, among others, has been advancing the proposition that this low-or-no growth is »

The Saddest Chart: Young Americans Are Simply Dropping Out

Featured image How might we describe, in general terms, American young adulthood? For anyone inclined to despair of humanity’s future in the postwar period, Americans 25 to 35 have proved the great savior. In Greece, they’re eating mother’s moussaka. In France, they are in les rues wearing tight t-shirts and protesting unfair tuition prices. In Russia, they are drunk. In America, they’re working incredibly hard to get ahead. As though ahead were »

How Bad Was It?

Featured image The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas has always produced superior—and often iconoclastic—analytical work, chiefly because of the inspired leadership of its governor, Richard W. Fisher.  (Among other things, Fisher has been a vocal skeptic of quantitative easing, and also thinks we should consider breaking up the big banks.  This does not make him popular with Obamaworld.) The latest piece of research worth taking in is the new report entitled “How »

The Sequester, “Austerity,” and Obama’s Attempt at a Comeback

Featured image On Thursday, the Congressional Budget Office wrote a letter to Democratic Congressman Chris Van Hollen, responding to Van Hollen’s questions about the effect of canceling the sequester of a modest amount of federal spending for the rest of 2013, and 2014. CBO director Douglas Elmendorf wrote, in part: In total, by CBO’s estimates, canceling the automatic spending reductions effective August 1 would increase outlays relative to those under current law »

The Developing States of America?

Featured image Telegraph columnist Nile Gardiner jumps all over President Obama today for his latest embarrassing gaffe, calling the United States and Europe “developing” countries: You can imagine the derision that would have flowed from the liberal “mainstream media” if George W. Bush had referred to the United States as well as its European allies as “developing countries.” This is exactly the term he used in an interview with The New York »

The Economy Wouldn’t Be So Rotten If Barack Obama Were President!

Featured image Today President Obama “pivoted” back to the economy for something like the 11th time. Paul set out the embarrassing history of Obama’s pirouettes here: “Obama Pivots to Jobs Tour at End of Scandal Filled Week” (ABC News, 5/18/13) “Obama’s Texas Trip An Attempt To Refocus On Jobs, Economy” (Washington Times, 5/8/13) “Obama: State Of The Union To Focus On Jobs” (USA Today, 2/8/13) “Obama Turns To Congress For Jobs Help” »

Which Economic Platform for the GOP?

Featured image With the trending Sean Trende and others arguing sensibly that Republicans need something better than the joys of investment banking and entrepreneurship to attract the white working class voters who somehow lacked enthusiasm for a car-elevator-owning candidate in 2012, attention is rightly turning to what kind of “populist” economic message Republicans might be able to embrace that is consistent with their principles. Tim Carney says it is “libertarian populism”: When »

Poll finds Obama’s approval rating down to 41 percent

Featured image A new McClatchy-Marist poll finds President Obama’s approval rating to be only 41 percent, a sharp drop from April when his rating was 50 percent. Forty-eight percent disapprove of Obama’s performance, up from 46 percent in April. The McClatchy-Marist result is less favorable to Obama than the RCP average, which stands at 45.8 approval and 48.2 disapproval. However, McClatchy-Marist isn’t an outlier. Of the six most recent polls cited by »

If Obama Had a City…

Featured image …it would look like Detroit. That’s what one wag tweeted a couple of days ago. Michael Ramirez makes the point graphically: what is the destination of Obamanomics? We saw it last week in Detroit’s bankruptcy filing: Don’t worry, the Democrats tell us: the feds just haven’t printed enough money yet… »