Economy

The Standard Oil Case, 100 Years On [With Comment by John]

Featured image Ronald Reagan liked to joke that the closest thing you’ll ever find to eternal life on earth is a federal program. He underestimated the possibilities of a Justice Department antitrust suit. I was stunned earlier this week to read in the Wall Street Journal that the famous antitrust lawsuit against Standard Oil that broke up John D. Rockefeller’s massive creation and decided at the Supreme Court in 1911 was still »

Herman Cain for the Fed?

Featured image President Trump drew plenty of criticism when he nominated Stephen Moore to be a member of the Federal Reserve’s board of governors. Moore’s problem? He agrees with Trump about monetary policy. But why nominate someone to the Fed someone who doesn’t agree with the president about the issues the Fed deals with? To do so would be irresponsible, it seems to me. Now, however, Trump reportedly will nominate Herman Cain »

It’s Official—Moore Power to the Fed!

Featured image Trump announced the following big news this morning: As it happens, I was with Steve Moore most of the day yesterday at an undisclosed East Coast location, talking of many things, but high among them how much fun it was going to be to watch the left freak out over his nomination. I said I hoped the announcement would be delayed long enough for the NSA to set up a »

Modern Monetary Theory: An Age-Old Fraud

Featured image If you haven’t heard about “Modern Monetary Theory,” you will. Simply put, it holds that governments don’t need to worry about budget deficits. On the contrary, they can finance anything they want to do, simply by printing money. If you think that sounds stupid, you are right. Yet the theory is becoming popular on the American left. It has been espoused by, among others, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who explains that we »

The economic case for Trump

Featured image Victor Davis Hanson makes “the case for Trump” in his new book by that name. He kindly summarized his case in a piece for Power Line written at Scott’s request. For nearly all conservatives, the case for Trump is persuasive, whatever the Never Trumpers say. It consists of largely sound economic policies accompanied by economic growth; nominating and confirming judges with conservative views and/or temperament; renegotiating more equitable relationships with »

Shocker: Restaurant jobs decrease in NYC after minimum wage hike

Featured image The left achieved what it considers a major victory in New York when the minimum wage was raised to $15 an hour. In the aftermath of this victory, however, New York City has experienced its worst decline in restaurant employment since 9/11. So reports the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE). It doesn’t take much economic education to understand what has happened. As FEE explains: Restaurants tend to operate on famously »

Tax the Rich, Feed the Poor. . .

Featured image There are days when I note that I was way ahead of the Progressive curve. For example, six years ago I mused here twice about why liberals should advocate for a wealth tax ( here and here), noting in the first post: An excise tax of 1 percent on Buffett’s assets would yield something like $350 million a year.  Throw in Gates, the founders of Google, Apple, and Facebook, and the »

Abolish Billionaires?

Featured image Well now this is curious, and an inconvenient fact for the “abolish billionaires” movement that thrives currently in the Democratic Party. (Keep in mind that besides Robert Reich saying all billionaires cheated, AOC’s chief of staff Tweets under the handle “Every billionaire is a policy failure.”) It turns out that of the top 20 nations on the UN’s Human Development Index, nine have more billionaires per capita than the United »

I Told You So!

Featured image A couple days ago in my post on “The Laffer Curve of the Left,” I predicted: MMT is getting some backup from mainstream economists. The incoming president of the American Economics Association, Olivier Blanchard, argued in his presidential address that the costs of public debt might have lower welfare costs than previously thought, which you can bet will be cited by the Krugmanites of the world on behalf of a »

The Laffer Curve of the Left?

Featured image One of the genius effects of Ronald Reagan back in the 1980s was that he turned Democrats into deficit hawks, which was an unfamiliar place for the Keynes-drunk party that exists to spend more. It was an existential crisis for Democrats. Reagan’s tax cuts and unprecedented (at that time) budget deficits not only forced Democrats into becoming tax increase advocates, but put the brakes on any extravagant new spending programs. »

Reading Tea Leaves on the Economy

Featured image I tend not to read too much into the chicken entrails that economists call “indicators,” because as the old saying goes, economists have predicted nine of the last four recessions. But it is a fact of economic life that all economic expansions eventually come to an end with a recession, and the current economic expansion is the second-longest on modern record, and soon to become the longest. The deliberate slowness »

The Trump boom, cont’d

Featured image The Wall Street Journal’s Real Times Economics email newsletter featured the monthly jobs report released on Friday. Lest we take the good times for granted, let us take a break from the continuing Russia hoax to take in signs of the boom. The Journal newsletter headlines 304,000 jobs added in January along with the slight increase in the unemployment rate to 4 percent from 3.9 percent. Chief Journal economics commentator »

Amazingly, Economy Didn’t Care About “Shutdown”

Featured image I never did notice the extremely-partial government “shutdown,” but some people thought it was a big deal. Not private employers, apparently: Private payrolls grew in January at a much faster pace than expected as the labor market shrugged off the longest U.S. government shutdown in history, according to data released Wednesday by ADP and Moody’s Analytics. “Shrugged off”? I don’t know, maybe they welcomed it. Companies added 213,000 jobs this »

Our economic surge continues

Featured image I keep hearing that we’re on the verge of a serious economic downturn. This talk isn’t necessarily just gloom-and-doom talk (or wishful thinking) by those who hate President Trump and his economic policies. It’s been ten years since our last recession. That’s the longest recession-free period I can recall. But yesterday’s economic news suggests that our strong economic run will continue for a while. Hiring surged, with 310,000 new jobs »

Trump vs. General Motors

Featured image I doubt that Robert Mueller poses an existential threat to the Trump presidency. He may pose some threat, but American manufacturers pursuing their economic interests may pose a greater one. The decision by General Motors to shut down several plants in the U.S. and to cut up to 15,000 jobs illustrates the threat. The impact of GM’s decision will be felt most acutely in the industrial Midwest, including states that »

38 percent of Americans say they are better off financially since 2016 election

Featured image A Bankrate.com poll found that 38 percent of Americans say their financial situation has improved since the 2016 election. 45 percent say their financial situation is about the same. 17 percent say it’s worse. The coverage of this survey tries to make these results seem like a repudiation of President Trump’s economic policies and claims of success. Bankrate blares: “Just 38% of Americans say their finances have improved since the »

The Opportunity Costs of Socialism

Featured image With socialism becoming the new fad for Democrats, good to see the Trump White House getting out ahead of it. Today the Council of Economic Advisers released a 72-page report entitled “The Opportunity Costs of Socialism” that clearly and succinctly lays out a powerful case against all of the leading Democratic nostrums that are likely to be the heart of the Democrats’ 2020 platform. Here’s a bit of the executive »