Economy

More Good Economic News, Plus Tariffs [Updated]

Featured image The news on the economic front continues to be excellent. The Labor Department’s February jobs number came in at 313,000, smashing all forecasts. In addition, jobs numbers for both December and January were upgraded. The number of those employed surged in February by 785,000. The sectors where jobs increased the most are significant, too: Construction jobs led the way, with 61,000 new positions, followed by retail and professional and business »

Cohn-Heads

Featured image So Trump’s senior economic adviser, Gary Cohn, is resigning because of Trump’s announcement of steel and aluminum tariffs. The tariffs are likely a bad idea—unless you think Trump is merely making this move as part of his “art of the deal” strategy, and will end up with some trading partners altering their behavior and trading rules. Perhaps it will work out this way. It wouldn’t surprise me if it does. »

The Travails of Trump

Featured image Joseph Epstein wrote a terrific article in the Wall Street Journal earlier this week with the perfect headline: “The Only Good Thing About Trump Is All His Policies.” Just so. The Trump Administration has governed spectacularly in most respects, better than I had thought possible (until perhaps this week—more on that presently). It reminds me of the reverse of what my old mentor M. Stanton Evans used to say about »

Did the tax cut really produce those bonuses and pay raises?

Featured image Veronique de Rugy suggests that the bonuses and pay raises granted by many employers right after the tax cut was signed into law might well have been coming even without the tax cut. The key to the increase in worker compensation, she proposes, is the very tight labor market. De Rugy quotes the Wall Street Journal: With the unemployment rate low and unfilled job openings high, losing workers to a »

Fantasy vs. Reality In November

Featured image As they gear up for November’s Congressional election, the Democrats are peddling a fantasy view of events in America: Trump the racist, Trump the trampler on the First Amendment, Trump the warmonger (or something), Trump-Russia collusion, the Republicans as servants of the rich. To an even greater degree than usual, this election will feature a head-on collision between such fantasies and reality. The reality is that the Trump administration’s policies »

Has Trump Set Up An Economic Boom?

Featured image We’ve seen already the news of the growing number of companies citing the corporate tax cut as the trigger to give bonuses, raises, and announcements of significant new domestic capital investment, which is ruining the Democrats’ day. Wait till they get a load of this news, from the Wall Street Journal this morning: Less-Educated Workers See Biggest Weekly Pay Bumps Americans with only a high-school diploma are seeing faster earnings »

Bringing it all back home

Featured image Has there ever been a quicker boost to the economy than the one we have experienced under President Trump over the past year? As Joel Kotkin puts it in this City Journal column: “New job numbers are robust, GDP and wages continue to rise, stocks are soaring, unemployment continues to decline, and overall growth is at its highest in 13 years. And this salutary picture is not exclusive to big »

Will the economy save the GOP?

Featured image Joel Kotkin asks, “Can the Trump Economy Trump Trump?” In other words, will our strong economy enable Republicans to prevail electorally notwithstanding the unpopularity of President Trump? John raised this question during the session we did last week for our VIP subscribers. He recalled the time, not long ago at all, when political scientists could successfully predict the outcome of presidential races based primarily on a few economic indicators. Can »

Apple Contributes to Economic Boom

Featured image CNBC’s Twitter feed sums up Apple’s announcement on its intention to expand operations in the U.S. in the wake of the GOP’s tax reform. BREAKING: Apple says it will contribute more than $350 billion over the next five years to the US economy through investments, will add "over 20,000 new jobs through hiring at existing campuses and opening a new one"https://t.co/vb0JiOg9hP — CNBC (@CNBC) January 17, 2018 Over 20,000 new »

Bonus Bonus!

Featured image Further to my post earlier today about how the corporate tax cut is extending benefits immediately to workers and consumers, Yahoo finance has put together a rundown of the 81 companies that have announced bonuses or new employee benefits because of the tax change: But never forget—Nancy Pelosi says the tax bill will bring on “the Apocalypse.” (Maybe she meant the Apocalypse for Democrats??) P.S. Oh by the way, the »

Lessons in Economic Literacy

Featured image Anyone remember the early 1990s when the Clinton Administration discovered to its horror that it couldn’t spend like the horny drunken sailors we know them to have been because the bond market would instantly punish the economy? James Carville famously said that if he was reincarnated, he wanted to come back to earth as the bond market. Hold that thought in mind as we survey the current economic scene a »

Teachers’ Unions: Enemy of Men and Minorities

Featured image The American Economic Association just wrapped up its annual meeting in Philadelphia, and one of the panels was devoted to the issue of the economic effects of teachers’ unions. Get a load of the abstract from this paper from two Cornell University economists presented at the panel: The Long-run Effects of Teacher Collective Bargaining Michael Lovenheim, Alexander Willen, Cornell University Abstract Teacher collective bargaining is a highly debated feature of »

It was a very good year

Featured image Robert Schlesinger, managing editor for opinion at U.S. News & World Report, calls 2017 “a dumpster fire of a year, especially for those who reside and operate in the world of politics and policy.” Who, he asks, will mourn its passing? Only a fool would mourn the turning over of the calendar in any year. But, as Roger Kimball demonstrates, folks who reside and operate in the real world can »

Holiday Shopping Data Illustrate Success of Trump’s Policies and Democrats’ Difficult Road

Featured image The Wall Street Journal reports on holiday shopping: Fueled by high consumer confidence and a robust job market, U.S. retail sales in the holiday period rose at their best pace since 2011, according to MastercardSpendingPulse, which tracks both online and in-store spending. Sales, excluding automobiles, rose 4.9% from Nov. 1 through Christmas Eve, compared with a 3.7% gain in the same period last year. *** Unlike in past years, when »

What if Americans end up really liking the tax cuts?

Featured image As the Senate was about to pass the tax reform bill earlier this week, protesters interrupted the proceedings with chants like “Kill the bill, don’t kill us.” The protests were so loud that Vice President Pence had to stop the process a few times. Protesters singled out Sen. Jeff Flake, whom they hoped would vote “no.” A protester yelled: “Have you no decency, have you no shame?” This was probably »

Those greedy, churlish capitalists are foiling Democrats again

Featured image Remember a few years ago when Democrats and the mainstream media were moaning about how businesses were hoarding cash and buying back stock instead of investing? The economy had recovered and business was starting to boom, we were told. Yet, corporations weren’t expanding and/or investing, and this was preventing the Obama recovery from being glorious. Why were corporations being so churlish? For most on the left and in the mainstream »

Some Charts to Ponder

Featured image The economy is looking pretty strong these days. The good people at the Wall Street Journal‘s Daily Shot offer up a couple of interesting charts showing that the ratio of job openings to unemployed workers is at a level not seen in a very long time, which might indicate that we’ll soon see upward movement in wages. On the other hand, one reason that the official unemployment rate is so low »