Economy

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 »

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 »