Friday, July 25, 2014

General Economics

National Journal | How Car Ownership Helps the Working Poor Get Ahead
Buses stop right outside LaToyia Newman-Gross's apartment in suburban Columbia, Md. That doesn't mean it's easy to get around by public transit. "They run every hour," says Newman-Gross, 32. If you miss a bus, you're stuck. Waiting out in the sun or snow with her four children beside her usually isn't a great option.
FOX Business | How to Tap Your IRA Early Without a Penalty
Retirement account withdrawals before age 59 1/2 typically incur penalties, but there are a few exceptions. One of those exceptions, outlined in Section 72(t) of the IRS code, allows penalty-free withdrawals for a "series of substantially equal periodic payments." These payments are based on your account balance and your age. You won't be able to take big lump-sum withdrawals, since the amounts are based on life expectancy -- in other words, they're designed to stretch out the payments over your remaining lifetime. The payments must continue for at least five years or until you turn 59 1/2, whichever takes longer.
Bloomberg | Orders for U.S. Capital Goods Rose After Revised May Drop
Orders for U.S. business equipment rose in June after falling the prior month, forming an inconsistent pattern that indicates corporate investment lacks the momentum needed to propel economic growth to a higher level.
WSJ | Ryan Proposes Consolidated Antipoverty Effort
Bringing detail to Republican promises to address poverty, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan laid out a plan Thursday for using a conservative approach to reshape food stamps, housing assistance and other federal social programs,

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Fortune | Why the era of global free-trade is dwindling
For roughly 30 years, there had been growing momentum for nations to tear down trade barriers through free-trade agreements. The creation of free-trade blocs snowballed as countries signed on to these pacts to promote export-led economic growth.
Forbes | Economic Growth Is Slow Because Politicians Keep Trying To Help
While economic growth in the second quarter of the year is likely to rebound significantly from the sharp contraction of the first quarter, politicians are continually expounding on their ideas to bring more economic growth. They also spend a good bit of time attacking political opponents over how their policies are responsible for the slow economic growth of the past five years. In this case, the politicians are half right (which is probably above their career average).

WSJ | Something New for U.S. Manufacturing: Stability
One economist thinks so. Daniel Meckstroth, chief economist at the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation, a research group in Arlington, Va., regularly does his own calculation of the number of plants based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that tracks factory openings and closings. Even in the darkest days of manufacturing’s long slide, there were factories being built—but their number was far outweighed by the rush to shutter operations. Millions of jobs were lost in the process.