Thursday, July 24, 2014

General Economics

Fox Business | These Unorthodox Economic Gauges Show the Economy is Chugging Along
Last week Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen testified to lawmakers over the current state of the U.S. economy, and her comments painted a less-than robust picture.  While the stock market tends to dote on these semi-annual testimonies, when it comes to the tone of the economy there are far better indicators that bear watching.
Reuters | IMF cuts U.S. 2014 growth forecast to 1.7 percent
The International Monetary Fund on Wednesday said it expects the U.S. economy to grow 1.7 percent in 2014, even more slowly than it predicted a month ago, as weakness in the first quarter offsets an expected pick-up in the second half of the year.
Fox Business | Renting is Hip … But Prices are Hopping in Hot Urban Areas
America’s major urban centers are seeing some major price hikes in the apartment-rental market.
Bloomberg | Euro Economy Shows Unexpected Strength After ECB Action
Euro-area manufacturing and services activity strengthened in a sign of confidence that further stimulus by the European Central Bank will consolidate a fledgling economic recovery.
WSJ | Paul Ryan to Propose Sweeping Consolidation in Antipoverty Pitch
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan is proposing to consolidate up to 11 federal antipoverty programs into a single funding stream for states, a plan he says will include new work requirements and create more accountability and efficiency in assisting low-income Americans.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
USA Today | Paul Ryan: An opportunity to cut poverty
This week, our economy received some bad news: The International Monetary Fund revised its projection for U.S. economic growth this year to just 1.7%. Working families will pay the price. Real median household income is still lower than before the recession. Deep poverty in America has reached record levels over the past three years.
AEI | Employers must respond to the market to stay in business
This week, Representatives George Miller and Rosa De Lauro introduced the “Schedules that Work Act,” a well-intentioned bill that aims to protect working families from the negative consequences of uncertain work schedules. But it misses the point.
WSJ | The Lingering, Hidden Costs of the Bank Bailout
The rescue of incumbent investors in the government bailout of the largest U.S. banks in the autumn of 2008 has been widely viewed as unfair, as indeed it was in applying different rules to different players. The bailout through the Troubled Asset Relief Program has been justified by the Federal Reserve and Treasury as preventing a financial collapse of the economy.
AEI | America's first world inequality problem
The National Basketball Association has an income inequality problem. The highest-paid players make upwards of $20 million per season, while the lowest-paid ones make a measly half a million. In the upcoming season, almost 30 percent of the total pie will go to the top 10 percent of players. And that’s just based on salaries; adding in income from endorsements would likely widen these disparities.
Daily Signal | The Government Should Let Americans Control More of Their Retirement Savings
The LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute reports that 78 percent of workers recognize their personal responsibility to save for retirement. Among those already contributing to a defined contribution (DC) plan, like a 401k or IRA, 84 percent believe they are personally responsible for retirement saving.