Is There an Honest Government Agency?

Featured image Pretty much everyone has figured out that the Department of Justice, the CIA and the FBI are run by partisan hacks who cannot be trusted. But what about the colorless, worker bee federal agencies that just turn out data? Like, say, the Bureau of Labor Statistics? Have they been corrupted by the Democrats, too? ZeroHedge has been covering the Biden Department of Labor’s press releases on payroll jobs. For an »

Down With College

Featured image For the last 50 years or so, public policy in the U.S. has trended toward the view that everyone, more or less, should go to college. This was a sharp departure from the historical norm, when higher education really was higher, and only a small minority obtained four-year degrees. It has become increasingly evident that the payoff for sending most kids to college is minimal, both for them and for »

Why Silicon Valley Bank Failed

Featured image Economist John Phelan offers this succinct explanation of how government policies contributed to the collapse of SVB: On Friday regulators shuttered Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and seized its deposits in the largest U.S. banking failure since the 2008 financial crisis and the second-largest ever. We shouldn’t be surprised. Neither should we relax. To recap: Between June 2006 and December 2008, the Federal Reserve’s target for the federal funds rate was »

Get those lies straight!

Featured image The White House has posted “Remarks by President Biden on Protecting Americans’ Access to Affordable Healthcare.” It makes for painful reading. I can’t afford the loss of brain cells necessary to take something like this in: Folks — and, by the way, you know, you hear ads of “Big-Spendin’ Joe Biden.” In two years, I reduced the debt $1.7 billion [trillion]. (Applause.) $1.7 billion [trillion]. The largest deficit reduction in »

The Price of Bidenflation

Featured image Yesterday the stock markets had their worst day of the year, so far. From today’s Wall Street Journal: Walmart and Home Depot offered cautious outlooks as consumers spend more on food and less on electronics, apparel and home improvements, with inflation and changing habits hitting demand for many goods. All of this is, and has long been, blindingly obvious. The federal government engaged in trillions of dollars in mostly wasteful »

Did Powell Just Throw the Climatistas Under the Bus?

Featured image There are a couple of noteworthy passages in Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s speech delivered earlier today over in Sweden about central bank independence, such as: [W]e should “stick to our knitting” and not wander off to pursue perceived social benefits that are not tightly linked to our statutory goals and authorities. . . [W]ithout explicit congressional legislation, it would be inappropriate for us to use our monetary policy or supervisory tools »

What’s Happening With the Job Numbers?

Featured image I wrote here about the fact that the federal government seems to have cranked out absurdly optimistic job numbers just in time to give the Democrats a boost in the midterms. But that isn’t the only puzzle in current job data. It turns out that America’s employment situation is a bit of a mystery. I asked my colleague John Phelan to explain what is going on. This is his response. »

Sorry About Those Jobs

Featured image Joe Biden’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that over a million jobs were created in the second quarter, a heartening statistic that no doubt helped the Democrats in November. But now, the Philadelphia Federal Reserve says that those million jobs were almost entirely fictitious: The Biden administration vastly overstated its estimate that employers created more than 1 million jobs in the second quarter of this year, claiming historic job growth »

The EV Boondoggle

Featured image Governments at both the federal and state levels tell us we are in the midst of a transition from internal combustion vehicles to electric vehicles. For a number of reasons, I don’t believe that is true, regardless of the level of bribery and coercion that governments bring to bear. I think the whole project will crash and burn, after doing enormous damage in the meantime. But the Wall Street Journal »

What’s Next For Inflation

Featured image Americans’ standard of living has been hammered by inflation the likes of which we haven’t seen in decades. There has been lots of happy talk from the administration, but no one thinks prices are going down any time soon. What, then, is going to happen? My colleague John Phelan offers an answer: prices should be rather stable for a while, unless the federal government embarks on a fresh money-printing spree: »

More Heartwarming News From the World of High Tech

Featured image Hard on the heels of Elon Musk’s laying off half the staff of Twitter comes news of layoffs at Meta (Facebook): The layoffs are expected to affect many thousands of employees and an announcement is planned to come as soon as Wednesday, according to the people. Meta reported more than 87,000 employees at the end of September. Company officials already told employees to cancel nonessential travel beginning this week, the »

The Costs of Covid Shutdowns, Part 2

Featured image The U.K.’s Daily Mail, one of the world’s top news sites, published a major story yesterday on the economic damage inflicted by covid shutdowns in the United States. The article’s message was that states that had more severe shutdowns suffered worse economic harm. The headline is long: “The price of pandemic restrictions REVEALED: Covid-19 measures cost Massachusetts residents $2,862 each in early 2021 — nearly THREE times as much as »

A deficit of honesty

Featured image With his economic advisers hanging like drapery in the background this past Friday morning, President Biden gave Remarks on Historic Deficit Reduction. To have no shame can be a real advantage in politics. It has served Biden well so far. However, this performance is a doozy. Brian Riedl calls it “a remarkable feat of gaslighting” in a New York Post column full of useful background. I’ll go with “remarkable,” but »

The Costs of Covid Shutdowns

Featured image It was obvious early in the covid epidemic that the benefits of lockdowns were speculative and hypothetical, while the costs were large and undeniable. Now that the dust has settled, those costs can be quantified. My staff has produced two new papers on the costs of the covid shutdowns in Minnesota. While their analyses are state-specific, it is reasonable to assume that their findings would be reflected in other states, »

Get Woke, Be Downgraded?

Featured image BlackRock Inc. is the world’s largest investment company. It has also been the leader in ESG (environmental, social, governance) investing–i.e., prioritizing a left-wing agenda over shareholder returns. It seems, finally, that BlackRock’s political agenda is dragging the company down: Brennan Hawken, an analyst at [UBS], downgraded the stock of BlackRock (NYSE: BLK) to Neutral from Buy and slashed the stock price target to $585 from $700 over growing pushback to »

Rampant Inflation Dims Dems’ Hopes

Featured image Cost of living data are out for September, and they are grim. The Wall Street Journal reports: U.S. consumer inflation excluding energy and food accelerated to a new four-decade high in September, a sign that strong and broad price pressures are persisting. The Labor Department on Thursday said that its so-called core consumer-price index—which excludes volatile energy and food prices—rose 6.6% in September from a year earlier, the biggest increase »

Can We Have Accountability For the Covid Shutdowns?

Featured image From early in the covid epidemic, it seemed obvious that the shutdowns ordered by nearly all governors and many municipalities did little good and caused tremendous damage. Experience has borne out that conclusion, but almost everywhere, governments have moved on without any accounting for the mistakes that were made. American Experiment has just released two papers that address the consequences of covid shutdowns. While their specific focus is on Minnesota, »