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What Really Happened in the First Quarter

The U.S. economy is in for a rough time in 2014. In large part this has been caused by the implementation of Obamacare, the Dodd-Frank financial reform act, and the flood of new regulations emanating from a plethora of U.S. government agencies. I’ll just mention the de facto war on coal being waged by the EPA and the broad use of “disparate impact analysis” in the Department of Labor. Continue Reading →

What Is A Recession?

Let me translate. Paraphrasing Humpty Dumpty’s conversation with Alice, ‘ “When I use the word recession,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master— that’s all.” ‘
(from Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There, Lewis Carroll, 1871, ch. 6) Continue Reading →

Nine Point Eight! Are You Convinced Yet?

“President Obama had scheduled a speech about the economy this morning, but instead he went to Afghanistan.”[1] No wonder. If I was president I wouldn’t want to be in the country today either.

Today the November labor market report was released. The, um, highlight was the unemployment rate: 9.8%. Corporate profits are soaring and the economy is growing, albeit slowly. So where are the jobs? Continue Reading →