Tax Policy and Economic Growth

The point I’d like to add is that the U.S. has already done this once. In the 1970s, led by Cornell Professor Alfred E. Kahn, several important industries were deregulated: airlines, trucking, transportation generally, energy, communications (remember the old AT&T monopoly?), and finance (including banking). Each of these industries lowered prices, increased quantity offered and increased the variety of products available to consumers. Arguably, deregulation helped dampen the sluggish growth during those two decades.

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Global Interest Rates Update

What, then, is the meaning of the expected change in the exchange rate, the term on the right side of the = sign? The Greek euro cannot depreciate against the German euro. In this case, we are measuring the default risk premium of the various countries.

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Spam Ultimate Fail

The subject line was “My First Client.” “Swell,” I thought, “real estate, hookers, who knows.” I was about to delete it when I saw the highlighted sentence below.

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Monetary Policy is Like Pushing on a String

Average annual growth rates of M1 and M2 are in the 6% – 8% range. Reserves have averaged 215.25% per year. Reserves are not being loaned. And until lending picks up the Fed might as well close up shop.

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U.S. Government Debt Revisited

Honestly, this material is not difficult and the data is readily available. I always have trouble understanding why people don’t simply look at the facts instead of trusting the media. Nearly everyone in the media, including most of those who report on economics, are illiterate about even the most basic economic concepts. Remember, their college degrees are in journalism or communications. Somewhere along the way an editor decided they knew some economics. They don’t.

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Operation Choke Point: A Win For the Good Guys

The good guys win one! Let’s all be happy for a few days.

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Subprime Cell Phones

So ignore those past-due credit card bills, the foreclosure notices on your house and car, and everything else that’s dragging your credit rating down. Just pay T-Mobile on time and you can get a cheap smartphone.

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A Labor Force Participation Rate Update

I wish I could say there is good news in this report. But the best I can offer is that some trends seem to have leveled off. At this point, however, it’s safe to say the U.S. economy has lost a substantial number of young potential workers who will never make up the ground they have lost.

In some of my other research I’m exploring the possibility that these younger people may actually be working in the “informal sector” (also called the underground economy or hidden economy). It’s possible that the growth of this sector has absorbed some young people, meaning that the reported LFPR’s are lower than the actual participation rate. … Consider the Affordable Care Act. This plan fundamentally requires young people to subsidize health insurance for older people. One way to avoid this tax is to not report any income (and therefore not file any tax returns). Working off the books for cash probably looks like a pretty good deal to some of these folks.

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The Economist Made Me an Offer I Can’t Understand

The best I can say about this is that the pricing is confusing and appears irrational. If The Economist really wants my business, they’ll have to make me an offer I can understand.

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The Minimum Wage Kills Twelve More Jobs

I invite all those who claim increasing the minimum wage has no impact to visit Life Challenge of Michigan and tell them what you think. The organization is faith-based, so you will probably be treated cordially. But at least have the courage of your convictions. Tell these folks that you’re glad the higher minimum wage put one of their programs out of business.

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