Economy

Walter Williams, RIP

Featured image Another sad passing to report today—the economist Walter Williams, at age 84. Where to begin describing this wonderful man and teacher? I first came across his early book The State Against the Blacks when it came out in the early 1980s. This and many other works over the years made the compelling case that, as William himself put it, “The welfare state has done to black Americans what slavery couldn’t »

The Left’s Class War on the Working Class

Featured image The left is all about class warfare, but you’d be mistaken if you think the class they want to make war on is the upper class. Quite the contrary: the left is the upper class now, and their longtime critique of “neoliberalism” as a mechanism to transfer wealth from the poor to the rich is ironically accurate, as that is exactly what the left intends to do. Two pieces of »

Trump Wins In a Landslide!

Featured image Well, he should win in a landslide. To find out whether he will or not, tune in to tonight’s VIP Live show. President Trump’s tremendous record on the economy is one of the main reasons why he deserves re-election. Today the Council of Economic Advisers published an excellent analysis of that record. In the first 3 years of the Trump Administration, the United States economy experienced a reversal of several »

The Power Line Show, Ep 219: Carpe Diem Indeed! Mark Perry Shows How to Fight Back on Campus

Featured image If you aren’t following Mark Perry’s Carpe Diem blog every day you’re missing out on one of the best sources for common sense analysis of current economic and social controversies. Mark, an economist at the University of Michigan and scholar at AEI, specializes in debunking economic fallacies (such as the perennial feminist talking point that women only earn 78 cents for every dollar a man earns), but he also has hit »

Meanwhile, Back In the Real World

Featured image The September jobs report came out today. Unemployment fell another .5%, to 7.9%. The economy added 661,000 jobs, while the July and August jobs numbers were revised upward by a combined 145,000. The 661,000 is not a blockbuster number, but it signals that the rapid rebound from the shutdown-caused collapse that began in the Spring continues. Particularly noteworthy, I think, is that private sector employment increased by 877,000 in September, »

Another Good Jobs Report

Featured image Another 1.4 million payroll jobs were added in August, which means that about one-half of the total job losses due to the coronavirus shutdowns have now been made up. The unemployment rate fell 1.8 points to 8.4%, the second-largest drop on record (after June). The market, obviously, is not impressed. But hopefully wage earners and voters will be. The next big economic report will be on GDP growth in the »

Trump’s political masterstroke [UPDATED]

Featured image President Trump says he will sign an Executive Order to ease the suffering of those harmed by the pandemic-related shutdowns and to stimulate the economy. Congress has failed to agree on a new package to accomplish these things. Trump’s Executive Order would include these four components: (1) a payroll tax holiday until the end of the year, (2) an extension of enhanced unemployment benefits until the end of the year, »

More Good Economic News

Featured image The July jobs report came out today, and it exceeded Wall Street’s expectations with 1.8 million new payroll jobs. Unemployment dropped to 10.2%. Together with job gains in May and June, 42% of the jobs that were lost in March and April have now been regained. Democrats have been hoping that COVID shutdowns would cause enough pessimism about the economy to push them to victory in November. That could still »

Maryland cuts state spending by nearly half a billion, but it’s not enough

Featured image Today’s jobs report was good and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is predicting a V-shaped recovery, with GDP growth topping 12 percent for rest of 2020. However, the economic outlook for the coming years is less than rosy. In January, the CBO predicted that unemployment would average 4.2 percent for the decade. Now it predicts that the average will be 6.1 percent. It also predicts that GDP will be lower »

Jobs Surge In June

Featured image The June jobs report is out, and it is great: The job gains in May were also revised upward, from 2.5 million to 2.7 million. In short, the economy is roaring back. I assume this accounts for the Democrats’ desperate attempts to re-impose shutdowns. They need to keep the economy in a depressed state until November. One sector has not seen job growth over the last two months: As the »

How to Recover From the Shutdowns

Featured image The shutdowns that almost every governor imposed in response to the COVID-19 epidemic devastated the nation’s economy, unemploying tens of millions and bringing many industries to a standstill. With the country now gradually beginning to re-open, the financial markets appear to be anticipating a rapid return to prosperity. But that will depend, in considerable part, on the wisdom of policies that are adopted at both the federal and state levels. »

How Can We Recover From the Shutdowns?

Featured image The shutdowns that almost every governor imposed in response to the COVID-19 epidemic devastated the nation’s economy, unemploying tens of millions and bringing many industries to a near halt. With the country now gradually beginning to re-open, the financial markets appear to be anticipating a rapid return to prosperity. But that will depend, in considerable part, on the wisdom of policies that are adopted at both the federal and state »

Blockbuster Jobs Report

Featured image The May jobs report came out today, and it shocked everyone. It shows nonfarm payrolls up by 2.5 million, and unemployment dropping to 13.3%. This compares with private forecasts, where the median prediction was 7.5 million jobs lost in May and an unemployment rate of 19.2 percent. The numbers may be a little wacky; some economists think the BLS’s methodology can’t quite cope with today’s unusual circumstances. But that is »

No news is better than fake news

Featured image The Washington Post complains that the Trump administration has decided not to release updated economic projections this summer. The administration says it won’t release projections because of the “unprecedented state of play in the economy at the moment.” In other words, although the economy clearly will be in bad shape for a while, and everyone knows it, no one has a clear idea of what the numbers will look like. »

Good News for Trump from … Team Obama?

Featured image There are quite a few raised eyebrows about today’s story in Politico with the headline “The General Election Scenario That Democrats Are Dreading.” The story is built around the economic forecast of the former chief economist for President Obama, Jason Furman, who is now a professor at Harvard. I sat next to Furman once at one of those big deal luncheons in Washington DC back when Furman was in the »

The deadly health impacts of prolonged lockdowns

Featured image Since the early days of the pandemic, we have noted that an economy seriously damaged by prolonged lockdowns would be very bad for public health. In our first Power Line VIP program following the lockdowns, Steve pointed to robust research regarding the adverse health effects of major economic downturns. Since then, many others have made the same point. Even some liberals seem finally to be recognizing this reality. Writing in »

Unintended Consequences Show Up Again

Featured image The Wall Street Journal has a long feature today (“The Day the Coronavirus Nearly Broke the Financial Markets“) about the breakdown and near collapse of the credit markets on March 16. As the story’s short nut graf puts it, “March 16 was the day a microscopic virus brought the financial system to the brink. Few realized how close it came to going over the edge entirely.” It makes for great reading, »