Tuesday, February 11, 2014

General Economics

CNN Money | Can the government get us to save more for retirement?
Millions of Americans aren't saving enough for retirement, prompting Congress and even the President to propose ways to help workers save. But can the government really help us save more?
Bloomberg | Home Prices Rose in Fewer U.S. Markets in Fourth Quarter
Prices for single-family homes rose in 73 percent of U.S. cities in the fourth quarter, fewer than in the previous three months, as surging values in the past two years started to reduce affordability.
Market Watch | NFIB index of small-business optimism ticks up
A gauge of optimism among small businesses ticked up one-fifth of a point to 94.1 in January, led by sales expectations and hiring plans, according to data released Tuesday.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Forbes | Truth And Consequences for Krugman, And Keynes, And Obama
Just about one year ago, on February 8, 2013, New York Times columnist and unreconstructed Keynesian Paul Krugman was interviewed by another lefty, Marc Lamont Hill, on Huff Post Live, the Huffington Post website.
Fortune | Can free community college save the U.S. economy?
Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam certainly seems to think so.
Washington Times | Upward mobility still alive and well
One of the most important principles underlying the American dream is upward mobility — the ability to move up the income ladder. The freedom to build a better life for yourself and your family fuels the dreams not only of immigrants who came here to live, but of those born here as well.
Market Watch | U.S. economy: Up, down or sideways?
January’s much-anticipated labor-force figures do not give a clear indication of which way the economy is heading.
Mercatus | The Consequences of Regulatory Accumulation and a Proposed Solution
While every American president for the past 30 years has embraced the notion of performing economic analysis on new regulations before their implementation, no president has successfully reexamined the enormous stock of previously existing regulations that he inherited nor materially altered the growth of the stock of regulations.

WSJ | OECD’s Financial Crisis Projections Couldn’t Be Too Pessimistic
Predicting the future is a difficult job at the best of times. But it’s even tougher if you are a publicly funded body that fears its predictions may make a bad situation even worse.
CATO | Fast Track Fallacies Knee-Capping the Trade Agenda
Media have been reporting lately about the public’s burgeoning opposition to the Congress granting President Obama fast track trade negotiating authority. Among the evidence of this alleged opposition is a frequently cited survey, which finds that 62 percent of Americans oppose granting fast track to President Obama.

Health Care

National Journal | Why I'm Getting Sick of Defending Obamacare
It's getting difficult and slinking toward impossible to defend the Affordable Care Act. The latest blow to Democratic candidates, liberal activists, and naïve columnists like me came Monday from the White House, which announced yet another delay in the Obamacare implementation.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
WSJ | Obama Rewrites ObamaCare
'ObamaCare" is useful shorthand for the Affordable Care Act not least because the law increasingly means whatever President Obama says it does on any given day. His latest lawless rewrite arrived on Monday as the White House decided to delay the law's employer mandate for another year and in some cases maybe forever.
Real Clear Markets | The Latest CBO News Turns a Dream Into a Nightmare
For Republicans, Obamacare is the political gift that keeps on giving. Its latest generosity came wrapped in a mundane Congressional Budget Office report. However, it contained three damaging estimates that the administration's health plan would further reduce work, earnings, and employees receiving employer-provided health care.


Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Market Watch | Fed's Plosser continues call to end taper sooner
Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser on Tuesday continued to make the case for ending the current asset purchase program sooner to reflect the improvement in the economic outlook and to lessen some of the communications problems the Federal Open Market Committee will face with its forward guidance.

WSJ | Who’s Right About Rising Prices: the Public or the Fed?
If you want to find the place where the public and economics professionals are least in agreement, the inflation outlook is your first stop. Simply put, the American public expects there to be considerably more inflation in the future relative to economists and Federal Reserve officials.


FOX Business | Don’t Overlook These 6 Tax Deductions
According to Jackie Perlman, senior analyst with The Tax Institute at H&R Block, many taxpayers choose to take the standard deduction instead of itemizing because they wrongfully assume it won’t be worth their time.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
The Commentator | US and UK in a fiddle over tax havens
Obama has set off once more on his crusade against foreign tax havens. His tactic is to extend the jurisdiction of the IRS to cover the whole world. His weapon is the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act which requires all foreign financial institutions to supply full details of accounts held abroad by American taxpayers.


CNN Money | Barclays stokes bonus row as 12,000 jobs go
Barclays is paying its investment bankers bigger bonuses even as it sheds as many as 12,000 jobs this year after profits tumbled.
National Journal | What’s the Best Way to Stop Creating Jobs?
Janet Yellen has a lonely problem: While the rest of Washington fights to start an economic stimulus program, the new Federal Reserve head is tasked with shutting one down.
CNN Money | Disney workers try to get more pay, better benefits
As are roughly 37,000 unionized employees at the happiest place on earth -- Walt Disney World. The workers are preparing to negotiate for higher wages, more affordable benefits and improvements to pension plans as their union contract expires at the end of March.
WSJ | OECD Jobless Rate Falls to 7.6%
Unemployment across the 34-nation Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development fell for the third straight month in December, driven by falling jobless rates among young people and men.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Bloomberg | Yellen Testifies U.S. Job Recovery Far From Complete (Text)
The following is a reformatted version of prepared remarks today by Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen in testimony in Washington to the House Financial Services Committee:


Bloomberg | House to Vote on U.S. Debt-Limit Bill Without Conditions
The House will vote tomorrow on raising the U.S. debt limit without conditions, Speaker John Boehner said today, giving in to Democratic insistence on a so-called clean measure.

Heritage Foundation | Double-Whammy: The No-Debt-Limit-Bill Increases Spending and the Debt
The no-debt-limit extension bill that was introduced after 9 p.m. on Monday night manages to increase not just the debt, but spending as well.
WSJ | U.S. Firms Fret Over China Debt, Investment Rules
U.S. companies that do business in China are worried about investment rules that limit their growth there, as well as about the repercussions of rising levels of debt in the world’s second-biggest economy, a U.S. business group said Monday.