Economy

Joe Biden’s Free Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Featured image Joe Biden has made the absurd claim that his $3.5 trillion socialist boondoggle is free: That’s not what “costs zero dollars” means. https://t.co/ynULisP4CH — Brad Polumbo 🇺🇸⚽️ 🏳️‍🌈 (@brad_polumbo) September 26, 2021 The idea that a $3.5 trillion (or whatever the true price tag turns out to be) boondoggle “costs zero dollars” is ridiculous. It costs $3.5 trillion, and the cost has to be paid for through a combination of »

It Was 50 Years Ago Today. . . [with comment by Paul]

Featured image That Richard Nixon announced that the United States was abandoning the Bretton Woods monetary system that anchored the dollar to gold at $35 an ounce, and added on a helping of wage and price controls to boot. Here’s my narrative of the scene from volume 1 of The Age of Reagan: On a more substantive level, Nixon decided to do what he could to stimulate the economy with the federal »

Storm Clouds For Biden

Featured image It is early yet, but as of today it looks like the top issues in next year’s Congressional elections will be the cost of living, crime and critical race theory. If that turns out to be true, Democrats are in serious trouble. For the first time in quite a few years, prices for staple items are rising rapidly, and with the federal government borrowing and spending at a record pace »

It Was 40 Years Ago Today. . .

Featured image That the Gipper signed his three-year, 25 percent income tax cut package up at the ranch in the mountains north of Santa Barbara, the capstone in many ways of the “supply side revolution.” Needless to say, reversing this has been the top priority of the left ever since, with partial success. It was a close run, epic legislative struggle. Here’s my account of the climax of the story from The »

Bidenomics: A “That 70s Show” Rerun

Featured image President Biden has said openly that one of his main objects is to turn back Ronald Reagan’s famous line from his first inaugural address that “Government is the problem.” Of course, everyone omits the qualifying preface of the entire Reagan quote: “In this present crisis, government is not the solution to the problem; government is the problem.” (Emphasis added.) While we can argue about how Reagan’s qualifier “in this present »

Roofies or Ceilings?

Featured image President Biden’s lawless decision to extend the eviction moratorium is even too much for the Washington Post‘s editorial board: The CDC’s eviction moratorium is almost certainly illegal The CDC’s action was almost certainly illegal. Under pressure from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and progressive Democrats, President Biden and the CDC may have muted accusations that they failed to stick up for desperate renters. The administration also may succeed in giving »

The decline of the West

Featured image David Goldman (also known as “Spengler”) summarizes with approval the analysis of Chinese professor Jin Canrong. The professor’s thesis is this: [T]he United States has issued a massive amount of excess currency due to the epidemic, and the amount of currency issuance far exceeds the normal needs of economic development, so there is a situation in which more currency is issued but production cannot be restored. Inflation in the United »

Animatronic short circuit

Featured image The animatronic presidency featured Remarks by President Biden on the Economy (the link is to the White House transcript). The remarks appear to be intended to allay concerns about inflation. If you have a modicum of common sense or even if you have only been listening to his Secretary of the Treasury, you would have reasonable concerns about inflation. Speaking at the White House and staring vacantly into his prompter, »

The return of the misery index

Featured image The misery index is a back-of-the-envelope measure of how America is faring economically. It is derived by adding the employment rate and the inflation rate. The misery index was an oft-cited figure during the 1970s and 1980s. As Issues & Insights reminds us, it spiked during the stagflation presidency of Jimmy Carter, all the way to 21.9 percent. The economy thus accomplished what many economists had thought was impossible in »

Jobs Americans won’t do — their old ones

Featured image Some conservatives dispute the idea that there are “jobs Americans won’t do.” In my neighborhood, however, there are jobs that only recent immigrants seem willing to perform, even when the compensation is quite generous (e.g., shoveling snow for a few hours after a big storm for $300 or more). Now, there is a new set of jobs that many Americans seem very reluctant to do — the ones they did »

Who’s Recovering From COVID?

Featured image With the covid epidemic essentially over, states are scrambling to regain the ground they lost during the past year. Which states are recovering fastest? The conservative ones. The GOP “pounces” on new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics relating to job growth: New data from the Labor Department speaks for itself: * 16 of the top 20 states for jobs recovered since the coronavirus pandemic hit are led by »

Consumers Aren’t So Dumb

Featured image The University of Michigan’s Consumer Survey found that consumer confidence slipped in May to 82.8, down from 88.3 in April. News outlets generally purported to be surprised by this development: RTT News: “Consumer sentiment in the U.S. has unexpectedly decreased in the month of May….” Bloomberg: “U.S. consumer sentiment deteriorated unexpectedly in early May…” Yahoo Finance: “U.S. consumer sentiment deteriorated unexpectedly in early May….” MSN: “U.S. consumer sentiment index slumps »

Another sensible decision from Ron DeSantis

Featured image Florida governor Ron DeSantis has made mostly good decisions throughout the pandemic, in my opinion. Now, as the pandemic recedes, he’s made another good one. DeSantis intends to require unemployment claimants to show they have looked for work. The requirement will likely kick in once an executive order waiving it expires on May 29. The governor’s decision is a response to the difficulties some Florida businesses, especially those in hospitality, »

Have American youths been “stunted”?

Featured image At Axios, Erica Pandley argues that the pandemic has “stunted” the growth of America’s youth. There’s no doubt that young Americans have been set back by the pandemic and, in particular, by policies (some of them misguided) imposed to cope with it. But stunted? To me, that suggests a permanence that’s not plausible. The economic and social impact of the pandemic pale in comparison to those of the Great Depression. »

Who tamed whom?

Featured image The headline of this Washington Post article is “How Joe Biden tamed the left — at least for now.” The authors show, in essence, that Biden tamed the left by giving leftists what they want. One might say the left tamed Biden. The authors claim to find it “surprising” that Biden and the left are getting on so well. If the authors are surprised, they’re awfully naive. The better view »

Apres Pelosi, Le Deluge

Featured image This morning the Senate passed the Democrats’ $1.9 trillion spending bill on a party line vote, with every Democrat voting in favor. I take this to mean that there are officially no sane Democrats left. With something like $1 trillion still unspent from Congress’s last “covid stimulus” bill, the economic consequences of the current boondoggle, which has little to do with covid and a great deal to do with pork »

Storm Clouds for Biden (1)

Featured image We’ve seen liberal grandees like Larry Summers warning that the Democrats’ stimulus plans are too big and risk inflation and other economic troubles down the road. Now add to that chorus the warning of Steven Pearlstein, the Washington Post‘s long time business and economics columnist who generally leans left. Pearlstein is retiring from the Post, and his last column sounds a striking warning that Biden and crew are sure to ignore: »