Economy

Loose Ends (94)

Featured image •  The New York Times had a whimsical story over the weekend about vegetarians and vegans who gave it up to be come butchers.  The best parts of the story: Before she was a butcher, Ms. Kavanaugh was a strict vegetarian. She stopped eating meat for more than a decade, she said, out of a deep love for animal life and respect for the environment. . .  She returned to »

U.S. designates China a currency manipulator

Featured image The U.S. government has determined that China is manipulating its currency. It will engage with the International Monetary Fund to try to eliminate this unfair form of competition. If there is no progress within a year, China could face sanctions including its firms being prohibited from competition for U.S. government contracts. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin made the announcement today. Stock prices fell dramatically, with the Dow Jones average shedding more »

Should the U.S. adopt an “industrial policy”?

Featured image At the recent National Conservatism Conference in Washington, the crowd voted overwhelmingly in favor of a resolution calling for the United States to adopt an “industrial policy.” In so doing, the conservative crowd agreed with Sen. Elizabeth Warren who, as John has noted, also wants the U.S. to adopt such a policy. The idea is for the government, through a set of policies — taxes, spending subsidies, regulation, and tariffs »

Annals of Liberal Hypocrisy

Featured image You know the old saying, “If liberals didn’t have double-standards. . .” Two items out the last few days deserve a bigger horselaugh than usual. First, Bernie Sanders has agreed to pay his campaign staff a $15 minimum wage, but will do so by reducing the hours of many campaign workers—which is what has happened in several cities, such as Seattle, that have raised their minimum wage. Fox News reports: »

Kamala Harris’s fake news about “putting food on the table”

Featured image We have noted how Democratic presidential candidates, nearly all of them, are trying to convince Americans that our economy is in woeful condition. Absent an economic downturn, the effort seems destined to fail. As debate moderator Savannah Guthrie informed the field during the first night of debating, most Americans, and even most Democrats, believe the economy is doing well. The numbers support this belief. To take one example, the unemployment »

Setting the tone

Featured image The first question posed at last night’s Democratic debate came from Savannah Guthrie. It was about the economy. Guthrie prefaced the question by noting that the vast majority of Americans think the economy is strong, and even a majority of Democrats hold that view. In light of this fact, Guthrie wanted to know whether it made sense to disrupt things with big spending programs like free college for all. Guthrie »

Why Decent People Hate the Mainstream Media, Chapter 11,786

Featured image Sad news yesterday of the passing, at age 79, of the distinguished economist Martin Feldstein. Feldstein, a long-time fixture at Harvard, served as chair of President Reagan’s Council of Economic Advisers in the 1980s, and headed the prestigious National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). Feldstein was a winner of the prestigious John Bates Clark medal, and the adviser/mentor to one of the hottest young (liberal) economists on the scene today, »

Donald Trump and Elizabeth Warren: Soul Siblings?

Featured image Elizabeth Warren has her faults, but she isn’t stupid. In her campaign for the presidency, she has adopted President Trump’s economic nationalism, and gone him one better with a leftist twist. The New York Times headlines: “Elizabeth Warren Proposes ‘Aggressive Intervention’ to Create Jobs.” Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts on Tuesday proposed an economic program of “aggressive intervention on behalf of American workers,” suggesting that as president she would invest »

A Laffer Curve the Media Can’t Hit

Featured image The White House has announced that President Trump will award the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Arthur Laffer, one of the principal pioneers of supply-side economics. Naturally the usual suspects are upset, like the Washington Post and Slate, both of whom offer up some of their best ventriloquist journalism: The so-called “mainstream” of the economics profession will never forgive Laffer (and his precursors and collaborators such as Robert Mundell and Jude »

The Boom Continues

Featured image They said it couldn’t be done. Well, Barack Obama did, anyway: “What magic wand do you have?” And of course we remember Paul Krugman’s infamous prediction that the stock market would never recover from Donald Trump’s election. But Trump’s formula of lower taxes, less regulation and–a key element, I think–sensible repatriation policy continue to drive our economy to unprecedented heights. The latest: the economy added 263,000 new jobs in April, »

Weekly jobless claims are lowest since 1969

Featured image To me, the most important question pertaining to the 2020 presidential race is not which hard-leftist the Democrats will nominate or whether, instead, they will nominate a 77 year-old who wasn’t bright even in his prime. Nor, we now know, is it anything to do with Robert Mueller. Rather, the most important question is what the economy will look like in the months before the election. I don’t know the »

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 »