Friday, August 26, 2011

General Economics

CNN: Money | Weak growth. Monster debt. Which to tackle first?
The CBO is not in the business of telling Congress what to do. But it is in the business of showing Congress how what it chooses to do may affect the country's economic future.
Fox News | Refineries Likely to Shut as Hurricane Irene Nears, Boosting Gas Prices
It takes several days for a refinery to start operating again following a shutdown. And many would need almost a month to get back to full operation. Gasoline futures rose nearly 2 percent Thursday.
CNN: Money | Economy: 'Slowdown is here to stay'
In the first quarter, economic growth was stifled by temporary factors, including supply disruptions stemming from the Japan earthquake and a spike in gasoline prices following the Arab Spring political uprisings. But the malaise seems to be taking hold, with consumers pulling back sharply in the second quarter.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
WSJ | Obamanonics vs. Reaganomics
One program for recovery worked, and the other hasn't.
Source | World Economy Faces 50% Chance of Renewed Slump, Nobel Winner Spence Says
“A combined downward dip in Europe and America, which is a good chunk of the industrialized economies, I’m quite sure will take down growth in China particularly, and that will then immediately spread to the rest of the emerging economies.” He put the likelihood of such a scenario “at about 50 percent.”
Washington Times | VERSACE: When will earnings catch up to economic reality?
Despite the negative economic-outlook revisions across the board, one area that has yet to catch up is analysts’ expectations for earnings and earnings growth for the S&P 500.
Forbes | No, Paul Krugman, WWII Did Not End The Great Depression
Stimulus efforts allow politicians to dispense dollars in patronage schemes conferring power upon themselves at taxpayer expense. Congress buys votes with your money. Even if public spending did stimulate, such corruption is too repugnant to condone.
RCM | Earthquake Economics: The Vew from the Epicenter
The essence of President Obama's economic policy is to go around smashing people's windows (and shattering the value of our dollars), in the hope that he can get the economy moving by stimulating business for the world's glass-makers. Call it Earthquake Economics.

Cato Institute | Forced Mortgage Refinance Does Not Create Wealth
What again is the great tragedy of borrowers being stuck with mortgage rates of 5.5 or 6.0 percent? Those are quite low by historical standards. And if the borrower wanted their rate to decline when overall rates decline, they should have taken out an adjustable rate mortgage.
Cato Institute | Small Business Administration to Close?
Unfortunately, Burr’s legislation does not close the SBA. It merely combines the SBA, the Department of Commerce, and the Department of Labor into one bigger bureaucracy that would be known as the “Department of Commerce and the Workforce.”

Health Care

National Journal | Vaccines Cause Few Health Problems, Expert Panel Reports
"The findings should be reassuring to parents that few health problems are clearly connected to immunizations, and these effects occur relatively rarely,” Ellen Wright Clayton, professor of pediatrics and law at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., said in a statement.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
Econlog | Poor Have Higher Time Values than We Thought
What I call health policy orthodoxy is committed to two propositions: (1) The really important health issue for poor people is access to care and (2) to insure [sic] access, waiting for care is always better that paying for care. In other words, if you have to ration scarce medical resources somehow, rationing by waiting is always better than rationing by price.
Heritage Foundation | Employers Consider Dropping Health Coverage Under Obamacare
Reports from employers continue to belie President Obama’s repeated insistence that, under his new health care law, Americans would not lose their employer-provided health insurance coverage. A new survey shows that more than one in ten midsized and large employers are at least “somewhat likely” to drop their health coverage once Obamacare’s “exchanges” go into effect in 2014.


Market Watch | 5 questions Bernanke’s speech may answer
Game time for Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s speech in Jackson Hole, Wyo. is 10 a.m. Eastern Friday. Here’s what to look for in the speech by the world’s most important central banker.
Bloomberg | Bernanke Is Unlikely to Promise New Action by the Fed
Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is unlikely to use his speech Friday at the Federal Reserve's annual Jackson Hole, Wyo., conclave to unveil new efforts to bolster the U.S. economy—despite financial markets' lingering hopes that he will.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
WSJ | The Fed vs. the Recovery
How is increasing the price of imported oil and industrial commodities supposed to make U.S. industry more competitive?
CNBC | Fed Too Pessimistic, More Easing Not Needed: Plosser
"Monetary policy should be dictated on the state of the economy, not on the calendar. A lot can happen in two years," Plosser said. "I think we need to be clear about conditioning our actions on how the economy evolves...I didn't think it was a well-crafted communication strategy that we used."
Cato Institute | The Federal Reserve's Flawed Approach To Monetary Policy
Printing money is not a panacea for the ailing U.S. economy. The unemployment/slow growth quandary is due to structural problems and to policy uncertainty, not to the lack of monetary stimulus.


MarketWatch | Tax deadline looms for people with money overseas
If you have a bank account or other assets overseas that you’ve failed to report to the IRS, you’re almost out of time to take part in an amnesty program that could help you avoid steep tax penalties.
Fox Business | Snapshot: Taxes We Paid Then vs. Now
However, to get the full impact of what we are paying tax wise, we should include all the other taxes that we now pay that were unheard of back in the day.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
Washington Times | LAMBRO: Taxing time for business
Obama ties down commerce with heavy levies.


CNN Money | Halliburton adding 11,000 jobs, mostly in North Dakota
Halliburton is on a hiring spree this year, planning to create as many 15,000 jobs globally, including 11,000 in North America.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
Washington Times | COLE: A ‘free lunch’ for small business
Exempting costs of hiring first employee would create millions of jobs.
WSJ | The Importance of Jobs
Apple's former CEO, Say's Law, and the sources of prosperity.
Washington Times | MILLER: A reptile messes with Texas
Obama cares more about sagebrush lizards than jobs.

American: Enterprise Blog | Some But Not All Female Health Workers Also Have Margin of Advantage in Unemployment
Last week, I pointed out that for almost 50 years, unemployment rates among males working in hospitals or other parts of the health services industry have been lower than for their counterparts in the rest of the economy. The pattern for women, however, is far different.


Econ Comments                                                                                                             
Washington Times | HANSON: If at first you don’t succeed, try trillions again
True believers won’t admit government spending doesn’t work