Economy

Thinking About Liberal Presumptions

Featured image Thesis: the presumption of liberalism that they have absolute truth and perfect justice on their side—that theirs is “the side of history”—makes liberals intellectually lazy and unable to think seriously. Now for the evidence. Start with a sympathetic liberal witness, Geoffrey Kabaservice, author of a well-written if not entirely persuasive book a few years back entitled Rule or Ruin: The Downfall of Moderation and the Destruction of the Republican Party. »

CEO Pay Fails to Keep Pace With Average Workers

Featured image At American Thinker, Jack Hellner has an eye-opening piece about CEO pay. Start with the fact that there are quite a few CEOs: There are around 250,000 CEOs in the U.S., but somehow we hear about only the top few hundred. Good point! AEI points out: According to both the BLS and the Census Bureau, there are more than 7 million private firms in the US, so the samples of »

Annals of Economic Illiteracy

Featured image I have in previous posts lamented the trend of economics to turn increasingly toward a math-exclusive quantitative discipline, in which old fashioned instruction in political economy—the kind of inquiry that produced economists like Hayek, Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, etc—was being abandoned to our detriment. On top of which, I have also noted, many economics departments in major universities are moving to reclassify themselves as STEM fields, for a variety of reasons—the »

Hassett has it!

Featured image Listening to Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Kevin Hassett discuss the effects of the Trump administration’s tax, regulatory and economic policies, one might infer that rationality reigns in the White House. On Rosh Hashanah Hassett addressed the White House press briefing to review the ISM Purchasing Managers’ Index, durable goods, employment and other statistics to bolster the proposition that we need more Trump. I have posted the CNBC video below. »

Let’s Develop Our Resources!

Featured image As regular readers know, I retired from the law business at the end of 2015 and now am running America’s most dynamic think/action tank, Center of the American Experiment. We didn’t set out to be Trumpian, but we are aligned with the administration in advocating for the “real” economy. In my view, it is not enough to be a nation of app developers and investment bankers. If you look around, »

In America, It Is Reality vs. Fantasy

Featured image I spent the day in Washington yesterday. The city is roiled by the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearing, where the Democrats are disgracing themselves with fantastical assertions against a superb, mainstream jurist. Beyond the Kavanaugh hearing, the city’s main obsession is an anonymous op-ed in the New York Times by a person who may or may not exist and may or may not be a senior executive branch official. The gist »

Rising Tides and Sinking Democrats [With Comment By John]

Featured image Anyone remember that John F. Kennedy, in proposing income tax rate cuts, remarked that “a rising tide lifts all boats”? Back in those halcyon days of liberal confidence, one of the complaints liberals had about stodgy old President Eisenhower was that the economy was not growing anywhere near its potential. “Let’s get America moving again” was another of Kennedy’s slogans, and there was a whole doctrine associated with it that »

The News You Didn’t Hear This Week

Featured image So, President Trump had a terrible week. CNN, and the rest of the prestige press, told us so. It’s only a matter of time before Trump is brought down. A crisis of the regime is imminent. You can tell things are serious because the stock market . . . hit a record high! Strange how, aside from the Cheerleaders of the Tape at CNBC, we heard so little about this »

Employee Compensation Rising Sharply

Featured image What happens when the economy grows and companies need more workers? Wages rise, especially when the flow of legal and illegal immigrants competing for low- and middle-wage jobs declines. Not surprisingly, that is what we are currently seeing: American workers are finally reaping the benefits of the lowest unemployment rate and best jobs market in decades. I don’t know about “finally.” President Trump has only been in office for a »

GDP grew at 4.1% last quarter

Featured image The Commerce Department reports that U.S. gross domestic product rose at an annual rate of 4.1 percent in the second quarter, up from 2.2 percent in the first three months of the year. This represents the strongest quarter of growth since 2014. Two main factors appear to have driven this powerful growth. First, consumer spending rose 4 percent. Second, exports rose 9.3 percent. According to the New York Times, the »

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Gift That Keeps On Giving

Featured image Is it a coincidence that the new face of the Democratic Party, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, is a blithering idiot? I think not. The more we see of Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, the more we want her to be the Democrats’ standard-bearer. Here she explains her views on unemployment and the future of capitalism. The unemployment rate is low, she says, because “everyone has two jobs.” Socialist Ocasio-Cortez confronted with booming economy & low »

The Democrats Freak Out Over Jobs

Featured image The June jobs report was terrific. The economy added 213,000 jobs, more than forecasted, and the numbers for April and May were also revised upward. A record 155,576,000 are working, the tenth such record that has been set during the Trump administration. Wages also rose and labor force participation increased, sparking a slight uptick in the unemployment rate. A cause for celebration, no? No. Not for the Democrats. This tweet »

Thoughts on Trade

Featured image The Dow Jones has shed nearly 1,000 points over the last couple weeks, ostensibly over fears of an escalation of trade tensions between Trump and our major trading partners, some of whom have begun imposing retaliatory tariffs of their own. (Though who really can say exactly what moves the stock market on any given day or week—talk about fake news). Trade wars seldom work out very well, but if anyone »

Boom!

Featured image On top of yesterday’s jobs report–so good that it had Nancy Pelosi mumbling that “strong employment numbers mean little”–the Atlanta Fed now estimates 2nd quarter GDP growth at an annualized rate of 4.8%. This is based in part on private fixed investment growth rising at a 5.4% rate. As CNBC notes, “the biggest job gainers have been groups that have historically suffered from stubbornly high levels of unemployment, including younger »

It’s on: A trade war with our allies

Featured image Yesterday, President Trump imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum from Canada, Mexico, and the European Union. These U.S. allies promptly hit back. The EU said it would impose import taxes on, among other items, bourbon (this means you, Mitch McConnell). Mexico said it would levy tariffs on American farm products. Canada is set to impose tariffs on dozens of U.S. products including not just steel and aluminum products but also »

The Cost of “The Resistance”: For CA, It’s $12 Billion

Featured image If you’re an old-timer like me, cast your mind back to the tax reform of 1986, which was passed on a bipartisan basis, because Democrats understood the logic of tax simplification and cutting rates down to a lower level with a broader base. There’s one detail everyone has forgotten that is relevant today: President Reagan’s initial tax reform proposal included elimination the state and local income tax deduction. Pro-tax reform »

Real Trade War or Art of the Deal?

Featured image A trade war with China? As it happens, I spent some time early in the week with Steve Moore of the Heritage Foundation, who has been close to Trump and who, along with Trump’s new senior economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, helped fashion the tax reform bill recently enacted. He has shared with me a couple of times in recent months his private conversations with Trump on economic issues. Steve said »