Economics

Economics

The Growth Gap

By From the June 2014 issue

If Ronald Reagan will be forever known as the “Great Communicator,” Barack Obama is on track to go down in history as the “Great Divider.” His single-minded message over the last several years—and especially in recent months—has been highlighting the gap in wealth or in income between different groups of people. One week he obsesses over the gap between rich and poor. The next he talks about the gaps between races. And that is followed by the gap in earnings between the sexes. What next? Tall versus short? Lefties versus righties? There’s a good possibility that this preoccupation with our differences is meant to divert attention from the real enduring economic legacy of Mr. Obama’s presidency: Just about everyone is doing worse. For the middle class, incomes have fallen by almost $3,000 since Obama was sworn into office and almost $2,000 since the recovery began.
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Economics

Greens Are Reds

By From the May 2014 issue

I would like to modestly propose that it is time for conservatives to combat the most economically dangerous and statist movement in the world today, and it is not socialism. It is the modern-day green movement, which is not run by people who primarily want to keep the air we breathe and the water we drink clean, or safeguard endangered species like tigers and bald eagles, or prevent urban blight—every sane person is for those things. Its guiding principle is instead to impede economic growth, material progress, and capitalism.

As the saying goes, green is the new red. The environmental movement has been hijacked by those who worship the created and not the creator. They regard industrialization as retrograde, resource extraction as evil, and human beings as net destroyers of the planet. I remember several years ago reading an article by a prominent environmentalist who said Earth’s greatest problem is that mankind has no natural predator. In other words, it is a global curse that human beings sit atop the food chain.

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Economics

Paycheck Poppycock

By 4.11.14

Here’s a headline last week: “Senate Republicans vote to block Paycheck Fairness Act.”

The quick and incorrect interpretation of that headline, if casual readers don’t have the time or interest to dig into the facts? Republicans are against “fairness” in paychecks. Republicans are against women getting equal pay for equal work.

That’s exactly the type of interpretation that is sought by the Obama administration and Congressional Democrats, increasingly fearful of losing their slim majority in the Senate in November.

From the Washington Post, here’s the midterm election forecast two months ago by Associate Professor of Political Science John Sides at George Washington University, a specialist in public opinion and American elections: “Given that President Obama is more unpopular than popular,” and given that “the relationship between presidential approval and Senate elections is stronger” today than previously, and “based on Senate elections from 1980 to 2012,” the Republicans “now have a 64 percent chance of taking the Senate.”

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Economics

If You Work Full Time, You Will Not Be Poor

By 2.5.14

President Obama said in his State of the Union last week, “But Americans overwhelmingly agree that no one who works full time should ever have to raise a family in poverty.”

Thank you, Mr. President. But even without you, as already enacted in current law, for anyone who works full time in America, the minimum wage, plus the Earned Income Tax Credit, plus the Child Tax Credit, equals or exceeds the poverty level for every possible family combination, including single mothers with children.

Full time work at the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 equals $15,080 a year. That exceed the federal poverty level for 2014 for one single person living alone, at $11,670. In addition, that single person still qualifies for an earned income tax credit of $496. Because that is “refundable,” the individual still gets that in cash even if he or she is not liable for any federal income taxes.

With one child, the single person gets an additional $1,000. Plus the Earned Income Tax Credit increases to $3,305, for a grand total of $19,385. The poverty level for 2014 for a single mother with a child is $15,730.

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Economics

The Taxation President

By 1.30.14

The President started last year forcing through sweeping tax increases. The top marginal income tax rate rose by nearly 20%, to punish the most successful for the anti-social acts of working too hard and producing too much. The capital gains tax rate was increased by nearly 60%, as was the tax on corporate dividends. America’s top marginal corporate income tax rate remains the highest among all developed world economies, close to 40% on average, given state corporate tax rates as well.

But those punitive tax burdens are just not enough for President Obama — who should go down in history as the Taxation President. In Tuesday night’s State of the Union, Obama started his proposals with the promising pro-growth concept of corporate tax reform, saying:

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Economics

Obama’s Inequality Fallacies

By 12.10.13

President Obama veered hard left last week, trying to change the subject from Obamacare to “inequality.” Obama and his Obamabots reflect a lot of confusion whenever they start using this word.

There are two fundamentally different concepts of “Equality.” One is equality under the law, that everyone should face the same rules. That was central to the American Revolution itself, which was the historic cutting edge to abolish the legal “aristocracy,” nobility, monarchy, and all of their vestiges in the law. There is no political dispute today over this form of equality. Republicans and conservatives support equality under the law just as much as Democrats, “liberals,” and Marxists ostensibly do.

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Economics

Bubbles for the Rich, Welfare for the Poor

By From the November 2013 issue

WHEN GOVERNMENT ECONOMISTS, academics, and the talking heads on bubblevision speak of “modest price inflation,” they know full well that the effects of the quantitative easing policies that they have advocated and implemented have not been fully expressed in America’s consumer price index (CPI). Rather, the best evidence of runaway inflation can be found, among other areas, in the markets for commodities, foreign exchange, equities, bonds, farmland, real estate, and art. Savvy statisticians know this, of course, and many of them have impeached the U.S. government methodology used to compute the CPI. For example, using the methodology according to which CPI was computed in 1980, recent CPI inflation is estimated to have been close to 10 percent. Using the government’s methodology of 1990, CPI inflation for the same period is estimated to have been closer to 6 percent.
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Economics

Memo to Tinseltown

By 7.16.13

The "capitalist villain" is so persistent, so one-sided, and so misleading that an extended definition of capitalism is in order.
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