Tuesday, December 4, 2012

General Economics

WSJ | In World of Big Stuff, the U.S. Still Rules
Robert LeTourneau, a roving American evangelist and inventor, decided in the mid-1930s that a plot of lakefront land a mile and a half northeast of downtown Peoria would be a fine place to make earth-moving equipment. Skilled labor and suppliers were plentiful; transport links were good.
USA Today | Manufacturing shrinks to lowest level since July 2009
Manufacturing shrank to the lowest level since July 2009, the first month after the recession ended, according to a purchasing managers survey out Monday.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
US News | Why a Falling Birth Rate Is a Big Problem
It sounds like one of those stories you can safely ignore: The U.S. birth rate has hit a record low, led by a big drop in the portion of immigrant women having babies.

WSJ | World-Wide Factory Activity, by Country
Manufacturing in much of the world remained in contractionary territory in November, with an unexpected decline in the U.S. taking center stage.
Café Hayek | Is it all in the micro?
Casey Mulligan in this week’s EconTalk argues that the generosity of the safety net deepened the recession and slowed the recovery.

Health Care

Business Management Daily | Higher Medicare taxes in 2013 means payroll headaches now
Single employees earning more than $200,000 and joint filers earning more than $250,000 will pay an additional 0.9% in Medicare taxes, for a total tax rate of 2.35%, beginning next year.


Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Real Clear Markets | There's An Easy Way to Grade the Fed
We've shunted it aside since 1971, but there's is a better way to manage the dollar. It involves a return to one of the most fundamental principles in economics: supply and demand. Discussions about monetary policy almost always begin with talk about the Federal Reserve.


Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
WSJ | Time to Call the President's Budget Bluff
Flush with the adrenaline rush of his election victory, President Obama insists that Congress must now agree not only to raise taxes on the "rich," but also to adopt his previously ignored full budget.
Real Clear Markets | Cut Tax Rates, Boost Tax Revenues
With the Republicans putting forward their own plan to avoid the fiscal cliff on Monday, Americans can easily become confused by debate language about taxes and revenues that is often arcane.
Forbes | Why President Obama's Tax Hike Will Hurt the 98%
President Barack Obama’s campaign to raise tax rates on the top 2% will cause far more economic pain to the 98% than to the truly rich.

National Review | Raising Taxes on Everyone
I was on Up with Chris Hayes yesterday morning to talk about the fiscal cliff and the states’ budget crisis. I have to say, I really enjoyed the show. I thought Chris Hayes was a really thoughtful host, and the format of his show allows for real conversations between people who do not agree on everything (or even on most things).
AEI | Why cranking up taxes on capital gains and dividends is a real clunker of an idea
Although much of the fiscal cliff focus has been on the top marginal tax rates on labor income, the proposed rate hikes on capital income are probably far more injurious and take the tax code in completely the wrong direction.


AEI | Turning the temporarily unemployed into the permanently disabled
When trying to determine if high unemployment is being caused by weak demand or by a mismatch between jobs and the skills of job seekers, economists look at the Beveridge Curve.


WSJ | GOP Makes Counteroffer In Cliff Talks
House Republicans on Monday made a fresh deficit-reduction proposal to the White House that calls for $800 billion in increased tax revenue, half of what President Barack Obama has proposed.
WSJ | Despite the Name, Drop Not So Steep
With the country inching closer every day to the edge of the fiscal cliff, the precise calendar for the rest of the legislative year, and the beginning of the next one, is becoming increasingly important.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
WSJ | Simpson-Bowles Rebirth?
With Republicans frustrated at the Obama administration's budget talk stonewalling, party leaders are hunting for new fall-back strategies. One idea being whispered about on Capitol Hill is for Republicans to put the entire Simpson-Bowles package of taxes and spending cuts on the table as a counteroffer.
Real Clear Markets | Forget the Fiscal Cliff; Focus On the Debt Ceiling
For all the talk about the fiscal cliff, it is not the most worrisome economic issue facing the country. The real cliff is the debt ceiling, and if we go off that cliff, it will be catastrophic. Most people remember the debt crisis of August 2011 as hair-raising.
WSJ | Cliché-Jumping Off the Fiscal Cliff
Had enough talk about fiscal cliffs? As a metaphor, topographical division, a fiscal cliff ain't much, which is to say that it isn't very precise, doesn't pack much meaning, and therefore is more obfuscating than clarifying.

Economix | The Debt Limit Is the Real Fiscal Cliff
Washington is all abuzz over the impending tax increases and spending cuts referred to as the fiscal cliff, an absurdly inaccurate term that both Democrats and Republicans have unfortunately adopted in order to pursue their own agendas.
Keith Hennessey | Understanding the President’s fiscal cliff offer
I am going to describe the President’s proposal to Republican Congressional leaders, then react to the most important parts of it.  Secretary Geithner offered this proposal last Thursday.