Tuesday, December 6, 2011

General Economics

WSJ | Europe at Crossroads
Sarkozy, Merkel Issue Ultimatum; S&P Alerts Euro Nations.
Fox News | U.S. on Pace to Become Net Fuel Exporter Despite High Gasoline Prices at Home
Data released last week by the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows that the U.S. sent abroad 753.4 million barrels of gasoline, diesel and other oil-based fuels in the first nine months of 2011, while taking in only 689.4 million barrels.
CNN: Money | When a boomtown goes bust: 'Sudden desertion'
For the past few years, the northwestern corner of North Dakota has been viewed as a rare pocket of opportunity in an otherwise dismal national economy: oil is flowing and jobs are plentiful.
NYT | Economic Troubles in Europe and U.S. Start to Affect Asia
A rate cut in Australia and lowered economic growth estimates by the Asian Development Bank on Tuesday highlighted the extent to which the economic woes of Europe and the United States are spilling over into this part of the world.
CNN: Money | S&P puts 15 eurozone governments on notice
The blanket warning applies to AAA-rated nations such as Germany, France, the Netherlands, Austria, Finland and Luxembourg, the U.S.-based credit rating agency said in a press release.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
Politico | Wealth gap widening in U.S., globally, report says
The gap between the rich and the poor isn’t just widening in the United States - it has hit its highest level in more than 30 years in the world’s wealthiest countries.
Market Watch | What happens in Europe won’t stay in Europe
European summits – more than 20 at last count — have produced little. The planned summit on Dec. 9 may well be the last chance for euro leaders and Euro-crats to avoid financial disaster.
WSJ | The 'Financial Repression' Trap
In capitals world-wide, policy makers deliberately obscure market prices and prevent informed judgments.
Forbes | Europe, Systemic Risk And The Governing Elite
Europe’s governing elite are at the heart of the sovereign debt crisis, and have become the source of systemic risk to the global financial system.
WSJ | If the Lights Go Out
Regulators are letting EPA compromise U.S. electric reliability.

Greg Mankiw's Blog | 15 Years Later
It was fifteen years ago today that Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan gave his famous "irrational exuberance" speech, which suggested that U.S. equities were overvalued.
NRO: The Corner | Milton Friedman on Wealth Redistribution
Friedman explains that the only effective way to redistribute wealth is to destroy the incentive to have wealth.
AEI: The American | Is the U.S. economy already downshifting?
I think Team Obama wants the election to be about each party’s vision for tomorrow, with Democrats promoting “shared prosperity” or whatever. Second, many analysts expect the economy to slow next year, which could mean the unemployment rate will climb right back to 9 percent.
Marginal Revolution | Hayek and Modern Macroeconomics
It is true that many of Hayek’s specific ideas about business cycles vanished from the mainstream discussion under the Keynesian juggernaut but what Krugman and Warsh miss is that Hayek’s vision of how to think about macroeconomics came back with a vengeance in the 1970s.
AEI: The American | Under Obama, America finally has become like Europe
There really is no politically feasible route back to sustained economic growth through monetary and/or demand stimulating policies for the EA, the UK, the U.S., and Japan, for many years to come.
Café Hayek | A primer on the European mess from Tyler Cowen
The latest EconTalk is Tyler Cowen talking about the European crisis–how it happened and what might happen next.

AEI: The American | The United States and the PRC: Macroeconomic Imbalances and Economic Diplomacy
The People's Republic of China (PRC)'s current account surplus, its growing foreign exchange reserves, and its shifting policies on exchange rate adjustment have become a central preoccupation of United States (US) trade policy.

Health Care

National Journal | QUICK TAKE: GOP 'Doc Fix' With Health Law Funds
House Republicans are set to unveil a tax package on Tuesday that also includes a two-year "doc fix," but is said to cover the $38 billion cost with "unassigned" funds from the 2010 health reform law.
National Journal | Labor Steps in Against Fake Health Insurance Plans
Labor officials admit they don’t know how bad the problem is or how many people are covered by the plan, but they estimate that at least 2 million are.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
Washington Times | CUCCINELLI: Better health through consumer choice
Congress should ready market-based replacement for Obamacare.
WSJ | Hold the Mayo
Personalized medicine on trial at the High Court.

Heritage Foundation | State Medicaid Reform That Works…If Washington Bureaucrats Will Allow It
As the fight continues against the one-size-fits-all changes enacted under Obamacare, some states continue to work on health care reform specific to the needs of their residents.


Econ Comments                                                                                                             
AEI | Was the euro a mistake to begin with?
Compounding the periphery's adjustment problems is the fact that the European core economies are already slowing abruptly.

Calculated Risk | FT Alphaville: Post-euro currency values
I've been wondering how weak the drachma and other currencies would be if there was a break up of the eurozone.
Econlog | The Fed's Secret Handout
The Fed didn't tell anyone which banks were in trouble so deep they required a combined $1.2 trillion on Dec. 5, 2008, their single neediest day.


Bloomberg | U.S. Analyzes ‘Great Difficulties’ of Taxing Financial Products
U.S. lawmakers seeking to overhaul the Internal Revenue Code are examining how derivatives and other financial products should be treated and how investors can structure transactions for more favorable tax results.
WSJ | GOP Rejects Democrats' New Payroll-Tax Bill
Senate Democrats on Monday unveiled a scaled-back bill to extend payroll-tax relief that drops President Barack Obama's proposal to cut employers' payroll taxes and reduces a proposed tax on millionaires.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
WSJ | Tax Rates, Inequality and the 1%
Those who obsess over income shares should welcome stock market crashes and deep recessions because such calamities invariably reduce 'inequality.'

American: Enterprise Blog | The Payroll Tax Holiday Is a Bad Bipartisan Idea
Attempting to manage the business cycle by turning on and off temporary provisions is risky business and creates uncertainty for taxpayers.
Cato@Liberty | It Is Less Important Who Pays Taxes Than What Government Does With Them
Quite simply, this debate between Republicans and Democrats over who should bear the costs of government is completely misplaced.  We should be asking ourselves why the government has such a deep involvement in our lives in the first place.
NRO: The Corner | Extending the Payroll-Tax Cut
The debate over the extension of the payroll-tax cut has made for some strange bedfellows.
WSJ: Real Time Economics | OECD Suggests Raising Taxes to Combat Inequality
In its first report on the subject since 2008, the OECD said the gap between rich and poor in most of its 34 members has continued to widen.

CRS | Tax Rates and Economic Growth
This report summarizes the evidence on the relationship between tax rates and economic growth, referring in a number of cases to other CRS reports providing more substance and detail.


CNN Money | Postal plan: Slower delivery, 28,000 jobs lost
The U.S. Postal Service on Monday announced a $2.1 billion cost savings proposal that would result in the end of next-day service for regular mail and the loss of about 28,000 postal worker jobs.
NY Times | Many Workers in Public Sector Retiring Sooner
As states and cities struggle to resolve paralyzing budget shortfalls by sending workers on unpaid furloughs, freezing salaries and extracting larger contributions for health benefits and pensions, a growing number of public-sector workers are finding fewer reasons to stay.
National Journal | Report: Fracking Could Be a Major Jobs-Producer
The shale-gas industry could generate a total of 1.6 million new jobs by 2035, according to an industry-funded report released on Tuesday by the energy analysis firm IHS Global Insight.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
Washington Times | EDITORIAL: The 8.6 percent illusion
Statistical blip masks deeper unemployment problem.
New York Post | Behold the incredible shrinking work force
If you added in the 1,096,000 people who wanted a job last month but were too discouraged to look for work, the jobless rate would have been closer to 8.8 percent.

Political Calculations | Can Increasing the Minimum Wage Boost GDP?
What we see however is that the number of teens and young adults with incomes has fallen over time.
Heritage Foundation | Infographic: Weak Job Growth in the Obama Economy
The fact is, new jobs are being added at a far lower rate than a decade ago, as the chart below shows. And it’s that tepid job growth that explains America’s unacceptably high unemployment rate.


Econ Comments                                                                                                             
Globalist | U.S. Futures and Out-of-Control Deficits
Many Americans look at Europe’s financial crisis as something quite removed from their daily lives. But any assumptions that the same couldn’t play out in the United States itself are entirely misplaced…

Cato@Liberty | Congress’s Budget in Perspective
A new poll conducted for The Hill found that 67 percent of likely voters think members of Congress should take a pay cut.
Atlantic: McArdle | Is a Workable Eurodeal Actually in the Works?
Italy is pressing forward with a package of austerity reforms, including tax increases on the wealthy, a ban on cash transactions over $1,000 (to reduce tax evasion), and a fairly radical pension reform which will raise retirement ages and change the way that pensions are calculated from a final-years-salary scheme to something more like the US Social Security system, which is based on average contributions over your whole career.