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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The Mystery of Third Quarter GDP

While subprime vehicle loans contributed to third quarter growth, the total contribution was minor. Far more concerning is the continuing growth of inventories and the apparent burst of growth in IP investment.

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Facebook Algorithm Fail

Facebook Algorithm Fail

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Is Algebra Necessary?

Let’s see. Let x be the number of digital rentals and y be the number of sales. We know x + y = 2,000,000. We also know $6x + $15y = $15,000,000. Any student in my economics principles class who could not solve this would not pass the course. But, for the edification of Times reporters, here’s the solution.

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Global Interest Rates

Why are U.S. interest rates higher than many other countries?

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Economic Fragility

Nervous? You bet. The only businesses that are not nervous are those who do not realize what’s going on. Oh, wait, there’s one other group that’s safe — those that are connected to people in the Obama administration.

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