Economy

The pivot that isn’t

Featured image Charles Lane writes about President Obama’s “pivot” to economic inequality. Like other commentators, Lane misses the fact that there is no pivot. Addressing inequality has been the organizing theme of the Obama administration — from the stimulus to Obamacare to “regionalism.” Until now, Obama has tried to conceal his redistributionist agenda. Indeed, when a congressman told Michelle Obama that the stimulus plan was the best anti-poverty program in a generation, »

Who Are the “Rich”? We Are

Featured image The Associated Press discovers something that Scott and I pointed out quite a few years ago in our paper, “The Truth About Income Inequality”: the “rich” are all around us: Fully 20 percent of U.S. adults become rich for parts of their lives, wielding extensive influence over America’s economy and politics, according to new survey data. These “new rich,” made up largely of older professionals, working married couples and more »

About That Jobs Report [Updated]

Featured image Last week’s jobs report was hailed by some as good news, and, with a net gain of 203,000 jobs (pending correction), it could have been worse, even with 41% of those jobs in the public sector [UPDATE: See clarification below]. But in the larger perspective, the jobs picture remains bleak. James Pethokoukis of the American Enterprise Institute provides this sobering context: 1. There are still 1.1 million fewer employed Americans »

The Minimum Wage and Obamacare: A Common Denominator

Featured image Liberals are again campaigning to raise the minimum wage. The know-nothingism behind their position is appalling; not too many years ago, both the New York Times and the Washington Post editorialized that the minimum wage should be repealed. That was in the 1980s, before partisanship overcame everything else. Here’s the thing about the minimum wage: it doesn’t do much damage, as long as you set it safely below the amount »

Obama Pivots to Income Inequality

Featured image Today President Obama announced to an audience at the far-left Center for American Progress that he will spend the remainder of his term in office focusing on income inequality. He began by saying that middle-class Americans are struggling, and the American Dream is threatened. He is right. Statistics on the White House’s own web site indicate that since Obama took office, median family income has fallen, per capita income has »

Confessions of a quantitative easer

Featured image The Wall Street Journal publishes an important column by Andrew Huszar. Huszar had worked at the Fed for seven years, until early 2008, when he left for Wall Street. He was recruited in the spring of 2009 to return to the Fed from Wall Street to execute what turned out to be “an unprecedented shopping spree.” He took the job “managing what was at the heart of QE’s bond-buying spree–a »

Oh Yeah, Record Poverty Levels, Too

Featured image Thank goodness we don’t have a Republican in the White House! If we did, the country would be in awful shape. Not only would millions of people be out of work with millions more losing their health care coverage, we would also be experiencing record levels of poverty. By one measure, California has the nation’s highest poverty rate, with the District of Columbia in second place. Go figure! I guess »

Year of the Unemployed Woman

Featured image Via Drudge, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that women are dropping out of the labor force in droves. And, no, it’s not because times are so good they can stay home and bake: American women participated in the nation’s labor force in September at a rate that matched the lowest level in 24 years, according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. At the same time, »

The wealth of Washington

Featured image During the tourist season here in Washington, D.C., it sometimes occurs to me that if our tourists drove around the many wealthy neighbors in the D.C. area, the reaction would cause the Tea Party movement of 2010 to look like an ordinary tea party. Such is the wealth of Washington. I had the same thought when I read this post by John Gabriel at Ricochet called “D.C. Incomes Boom While »

Jeff Sessions Blasts Obamanomics

Featured image Regular readers of this site know that I am a big fan of Senator Jeff Sessions. Sessions has been the most effective opponent of the Senate Gang’s immigration bill; his opposition is based primarily on the damage that a massive influx of new, low-skill immigrants would do to America’s working men and women. Sessions has now embarked on a series of speeches on the economy, and how it has been »

Why such a pathetic recovery?

Featured image The “Age of Obama,” as John noted yesterday, is marked by record poverty, declining incomes, unprecedented numbers depending on federal poverty programs, and millions leaving the labor force in despair. To be sure, Obama inherited a deep recession. But economists John Taylor and Lee Ohanian (both of the Hoover Institution) remind us that “nearly all recoveries following severe U.S. recessions have featured robust economic recoveries that rapidly restored real income, »

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, »