Latest Articles: Economy
Another Recession Sign: Part-Time Work Is Growing Faster than Full-Time Work
Post Date: 2023-02-07 18:18:56 by Charles_Byrd
The Bureau of Labor Statistic (BLS) released new jobs data on Friday. According to the report, seasonally adjusted total nonfarm jobs rose 517,000 jobs, which was well above expectations. The words used by the media to describe the report included stunner and wow. President Joe Biden claimed the number proves his administration has delivered economic prosperity. The administration has also noted that in the official numbers, the unemployment rate is at a multidecade low. This, Biden and his supporters insist, proves the economy is remarkably strong. There are at least a few things going on that are problematic for this narrative, however. For one, the Fed is ...
The Price-Gouging State
Post Date: 2023-02-07 17:41:21 by Charles_Byrd
Friends and family are talking, on Facebook, about the rapid rise in the price of eggs. Their posts also report that there are plenty of eggs in the dairy sections of local grocery stores. A few people, along with some reporters, blame this rapid increase in the price of eggs on price- gouging corporations. State governments take price gouging seriously. Section 396-R of New Yorks General Business law defines price gouging as unconscionably excessive pricing of essential goods and services during any abnormal disruption of the market, such as severe weather, power outages, strikes, or national or local emergencies. This law also prohibits price gouging by all ...
Yes, the US Government Has Defaulted Before
Post Date: 2023-02-07 17:32:37 by Charles_Byrd
The regime is trying to whip up maximum hysteria or the chances that the US government could default on its debts if the debt ceiling is not raised. Anyone whose been paying attention for a while, however, knows there's a 99.99 percent chance that the parties involved will soon raise the debt ceiling and the US will go back to adding to its $30-trillion-plus debt hoard as usual. Yet the political posturing over the debt ceiling always offers the media and Democratic politicians a chance to assure us that any default will bring about a second Great Depression and financial collapse. Click for Full Text!
Fed’s Giant Economic Science Experiment
Post Date: 2023-02-06 14:53:40 by Charles_Byrd
The Fed holds interest rates to be its primary control valve, with lower ones providing a stimulus to the GDP and higher ones a brake. Self- evidently, therefore, interest rates below the inflation level are a stimulus because they amount to economic subsidization of debt, and the spending or investment which results. Still, even the primitive Phillips Curve theory of the growth/inflation trade-offs screams out that the Fed is way behind the curve, even based on its own defective economic models. After all, why in the world has it permitted its ultimate control valve and benchmarkthe 10-year USTto carry a negative real yield for 36 of the last 38 months. Click for Full Text!
Poverty is a political problem, not just an economic one
Post Date: 2023-02-03 15:20:52 by Charles_Byrd
Citing the lowest rate of social mobility among rich countries, Philip Alston, an NYU law professor and United Nations special rapporteur, argues that inequality in the U.S. has become a human rights issue. Alston, whose U.N. role focuses on the relationship between extreme poverty and civil rights, laments, Poor people have no chance of having their voices heard. No chance of influencing public policy. Alston says that [i]n a rich country like the U.S.A., the persistence of extreme poverty is a political choice made by those in power, and of course hes right, but not in the way he thinks. To progressives in the mainstream of American politics, ...
We Just Witnessed an Economic Sign That Hasn’t Happened Since the Peak of the Great Depression in 1932
Post Date: 2023-02-03 00:02:49 by Charles_Byrd
Economic conditions are much worse than you are being told. Throughout the past year, prices have been rising much faster than most of our incomes have. As a result, our standard of living has been rapidly declining. It has become increasingly difficult for U.S. households to make it from month to month, and as you will see below, more than a third of all U.S. adults are actually relying on their parents to pay at least some of their bills at this point. But even more alarming is what has been happening to real disposable income. According to Fox Business, the most recent GDP report revealed that the decline in real disposable income that we witnessed in 2022 was the largest that has been ...
The Fed Is Already Flashing Signs It's Done Raising Rates
Post Date: 2023-02-02 23:20:25 by Charles_Byrd
The Federal Reserves Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) on Wednesday raised the target policy interest rate (the federal funds rate) to 4.75 percent, an increase of 25 basis points. With this latest increase, the target has increased 4.5 percent since February 2022, although this latest increase of 25 basis points is the smallest increase since March of last year. Indeed, the FOMC has slowed its rate of increase over the past three months. After four 75 basis point increases in 2022, the committee approved a 50 point increase in December, followed by the 25 point increase this week. Click for Full Text!
The Federal Reserve’s 2% inflation target
Post Date: 2023-02-01 16:51:11 by Charles_Byrd
The Federal Reserve asserts that 2% inflation is economic Nirvana. The Fed believes 2% percent inflation over the long term will create optimal conditions for employment and economic growth. Evidence that 2% inflation is indeed a key component of sustainable prosperity? None is offered by the geniuses at the Fed. Click for Full Text!
"Stakeholder Capitalism" Is an Incoherent Term
Post Date: 2023-02-01 16:03:03 by Charles_Byrd
At the annual World Economic Forum meeting in Davos this year, Klaus Schwab gave a televised interview where he said that stakeholder capitalism will become the ideal economic system for efficiently allocating resources in order to master ze future. However, the problem with Schwabs stakeholder capitalism is that it is inconsistent with its stated ends. Furthermore, Schwabs ideas are not new. Most of them are variations of old ideas like social responsibility and fixing market failures. In an article from March 2021, Schwab argues there are three types of capitalism: shareholder, stakeholder, and state. However, in formal comparative economics, neither shareholder ...
Why the End of the Petrodollar Spells Trouble for the US Regime
Post Date: 2023-01-31 18:32:53 by Charles_Byrd
On January 17, the Saudi minister of finance, Mohammed Al-Jadaan, announced that the Saudi state is open to selling oil in currencies other than the dollar. There are no issues with discussing how we settle our trade arrangements, whether it is in the US dollar, whether it is the euro, whether it is the Saudi riyal, Al-Jadaan told Bloomberg TV. If the Saudi regime does indeed embrace substantial trade in currencies other than the dollar as part of its oil-export business, this would signal a shift away from the dollar as the dominant currency in global oil payments. Or measured another way, this would signal the end of the so- called petrodollar. Click for Full Text!
As any economist can tell Mayor Wu, rent control never works
Post Date: 2023-01-31 18:14:19 by Charles_Byrd
IN NOVEMBER 2021, voters in St. Paul, Minn., approved a strict new rent control measure that imposed a 3 percent annual ceiling on allowable rent hikes. Opponents warned that the new law would prove to be a disaster. It did. Click for Full Text!
The End of Monetary Hedonism
Post Date: 2023-01-31 18:11:27 by Charles_Byrd
Does cheap money and credit make us richer? Does more money and credit create more stuff, or better stuff? Do they make us happier and more productive? Or do these twin forces actually distort the economy, misallocate resources, and degrade us as people? These are fundamental questions in an age of monetary hedonism. It is time we began to ask and answer them. Millions of people across the West increasingly recognize the limits of monetary policy, understanding that more money and credit in society do not magically create more goods and services. Production precedes consumption. Capital accumulation is made possible only through profit, which is generated by higher productivity, thanks to ...
Choosing to Remain in the Global Market Economy
Post Date: 2023-01-30 22:12:49 by Charles_Byrd
In my recently published paper, Should Trades Losers Be Compensated?: An Exploration of the Welfare Economics of the Losses and Costs of Economic Change (Journal of Law, Economics and Policy, 2022) I argue that the risk of job loss for each worker in an exchange economy such as ours is the price that he or she voluntarily pays in order to reap the enormous benefits available to each person who participates in this economy. This price is no different from any other price that is voluntarily paid in exchange for something of greater value. Click for Full Text!
Hiding from Opportunity
Post Date: 2023-01-29 20:05:43 by Charles_Byrd
As a consultant on internationalisation, I regularly have occasion to advise people on the finer points of safeguarding their wealth and themselves from becoming casualties of declining governments. Its no secret that such governments have a decided inclination to legislate rapacious controls over their citizens, in the form of taxation, capital controls, confiscation and limitation over expatriation to less Orwellian jurisdictions. Click for Full Text!
Today's Tech Giants Show That Market Dominance Is Transitory
Post Date: 2023-01-27 00:27:01 by Charles_Byrd
Continuing the trend from 2022, Big Tech has begun 2023 by downsizing. Google on Friday and Spotify on Monday announced plans to lay off about 12,000 and 600 employees, respectively, totaling roughly 6 percent of each company's workforce. Last week, Microsoft announced 10,000 layoffs, a reduction of less than 5 percent. These companies join a procession of tech companies shedding workers: Facebook's parent company, Meta, shed 13 percent of its staffroughly 11,000 employeeslast fall, and Amazon is in the midst of terminating more than 18,000 positions. These woes transcend layoffs: Tech stock prices have withered as well. In the 12 months preceding Tuesday morning, ...
Yes, the Minimum Wage Harms the Economy
Post Date: 2023-01-25 23:19:22 by Charles_Byrd
The 2021 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences was awarded to David Card, Joshua Angrist, and Guido Imbens. David Card received the award for his paper (coauthored with Alan Krueger) Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast-Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. This was used by some as scientific proof that the minimum wage does not create unemployment and should be raised. However, this is untrue, and even Card and Krueger do not draw this conclusion. Click for Full Text!
On the Primacy of the Consumer-Welfare Standard
Post Date: 2023-01-24 19:21:42 by Charles_Byrd
Ascendant today among antitrust scholars and enforcers are the so-called neo-Brandeisians. Named after progressive Associate Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, the neo-Brandeisians chief goal with respect to antitrust is to dislodge the consumer-welfare standard from its lofty perch as the guide for determining if and when markets are performing so poorly as to warrant antitrust intervention. Lets hope that in this effort the neo-Brandeisians fail. Click for Full Text!
Central Banks Turn to Gold as Losses Mount
Post Date: 2023-01-23 16:32:16 by Charles_Byrd
In 2022, central banks will have purchased the largest amount of gold in recent history. According to the World Gold Council, central bank purchases of gold have reached a level not seen since 1967. The worlds central banks bought 673 metric tons in one month, and in the third quarter, the figure reached 400 metric tons. This is interesting because the flow from central banks since 2020 had been eminently net sales. Why are global central banks adding gold to their reserves? There may be different factors. Click for Full Text!
The US Consumer Has Cracked: Discover Plunges After "Shocking" Charge-Off Forecast
Post Date: 2023-01-23 00:03:14 by Charles_Byrd
One week ago we looked at the latest consumer credit data where we found not one but two flashing red alerts Click for Full Text!
Real Estate Values to Suffer if Negative Population Trends Continue
Post Date: 2023-01-22 23:33:24 by Charles_Byrd
SUMMARY: This post will try to take a calm look at the bad news. I will show that while we have much to worry about, no imminent demographic catastrophe is coming unless trends worsen. The current tendencies will soon affect demand for housing, leading to a population-driven decline in real estate values. Click for Full Text!
Say’s Law and Macroeconomic Ignorance
Post Date: 2023-01-22 23:27:23 by Charles_Byrd
Probably the greatest error in modern economics was the abandonment of Says law, otherwise known as the law of the markets. In a nutshell, it demonstrated that through the division of labour, production is firmly linked to consumption, and the former is tied to the latter through the medium of money and credit. While there are variations in production outputs of individual goods, in free markets there can never be a general glut. It was this that Keynes had to disprove in order to create a role for the state, intervening to make up for the supposed deficiencies of free markets. While reasoned analysis shows that Keynes failed to disprove Says law, he managed to convince the ...
Tariffs Targeting Carbon Emissions Would Be a Costly Blow to Free Trade
Post Date: 2023-01-21 06:31:54 by Charles_Byrd
When President Donald Trump issued executive orders in 2018 that called for new tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, the official justification for the policy was, somehow, national security. Of course, no one really believed that. Jim Mattis, Trump's defense secretary at the time the tariffs were imposed, said the Pentagon didn't need tariffs on imported metal to protect the country. "I scratch my head a little bit about the rationality of a presidential action" based on national security that even the Pentagon disputes, wrote a federal judge who reviewed the tariffs as part of a lawsuit brought by steel importers. Even Trump himself made no secret of the fact that ...
Don't Call it Capitalism: The Fed's $8 Trillion Hoard of Financial Assets
Post Date: 2023-01-20 00:57:28 by Charles_Byrd
Its a sure bet that as the economy worsens, unemployment surges, foreclosures rise, defaults climb, and economic misery ensues, well be told its all capitalisms fault. The question one must ask, however, is, What capitalism? The claim that too much capitalism drives every economic calamity is standard among anticapitalists on both the left and the right. They have many bullet points claiming government programs and government spending are everywhere retreating while free-market capitalism is experiencing a resurgence. This can be easily shown to be empirically false. Evidence can be found in everything from the continual flood of government ...
Evidence that Economic Freedom Improves Outcomes
Post Date: 2023-01-20 00:36:44 by Charles_Byrd
The latest Economic Freedom of North America report issued by the Fraser Institute marks the first time economists have had a full four decades worth of data on economic freedom across the fifty United States. Those less familiar with economic research claim that economics isnt a science because economists cant conduct controlled experiments. Yet where economists cant conduct controlled experiments (behavioral economists do conduct controlled experiments), they employ complicated statistical techniques to compensate for the fact that they must take data as they come. Here, the Fraser Institute has given economists a treasure-trove of data that provide insight into ...
Peter Schiff: The Recession Everybody Denies Exists Is Going to Get Worse
Post Date: 2023-01-18 00:25:38 by Charles_Byrd
Peter Schiff recently appeared on Dan Bonginos Unfiltered on Fox News to talk about the economy, inflation, the stock market, the Federal Reserve and investing in 2023. Peter said the recession that everybody denies exists is going to get worse, and so is inflation. Some people in the mainstream seem to think a big stock market rally is in the cards. Peter said the optimisim is unfounded. Click for Full Text!
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