Friday, May 2, 2014

General Economics

CNN Money | 1 in 5 rely on food stamps here
Nearly one in five people are on food stamps in five states, a stark reminder that the Great Recession continues to be a drag on the nation's poorest.
Bloomberg | Million-Dollar Home Sales Thrive While Low End Stumbles
Purchases costing $1 million or more rose 7.8 percent in March from a year earlier, according to data released last week by the National Association of Realtors. Transactions for $250,000 or less, which represent almost two-thirds of the market, plunged 12 percent in the period.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Washington Times | LAMBRO: Obama’s economic stall-out
Certainly, a bitter winter took its toll on growth, but it was not the driving force behind a snail’s-pace economy. Its precipitous plunge into recession-leaning territory — defined by two back-to-back quarters of near-minus growth — was driven by multiple weaknesses across the nation’s economic landscape.
Real Clear Markets | Inequality Outbursts Are a Consequence of Bad Money
That the inequality that so disturbs these intellectuals of both eras coincides exactly with unsound money. Therefore, empirically speaking, sound money and inequality is thus inversely correlated.
Washington Times | EDITORIAL: The war on plastic bags, bottled water and convenience
With each ban, prohibition and regulation, the left is killing freedom of choice, replacing it with the choices made by bureaucrats. If they can take away functional toilets, light bulbs, coffee cups and water, what can’t they do? Will soda pop speakeasies be far behind?
AEI | Money market funds were a victim, not a cause, of the financial crisis
Blaming the creation of Treasury's MMF insurance fund on the so-called "run" on the Reserve Primary Fund distracted many--apparently including the Wall Street Journal--from the real reasons the Treasury's insurance system was established.

Washington Post: Wonkblog | Why the first-quarter GDP may get even uglier
Barclays economist Cooper Howes said his calculations show a 0.2 percent decline. In either case, it would represent the worst performance for the recovery in three years.

Health Care

National Journal | Where Obamacare Is Strongest (and Where It's Falling Short)
The final report on Obamacare sign-ups shows a huge swing in states' success.
Fox Business | New ObamaCare Numbers: 8M Enrollees with 28% Being Young Individuals
The demographic breakdown shows that 2.2 million (28%) of the enrollees were young people, ages 18-34. That number increases to 2.7 million when including those ages 0 to 34.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Investots | ObamaCare Saved The Economy? Don't Believe The Myth
The White House and Democrat media are happily reporting that a record spike in health care spending saved the economy from shrinking. Wait, wasn't ObamaCare supposed to bend the health cost curve down?
Cato Institute | Obamacare Makes It Easier than Ever to Free-Ride
Even if Obamacare really has enrolled 8 million Americans through its health insurance exchanges, that’s not good enough. For the exchanges to work, people must enroll and stay enrolled.


Bloomberg | Yellen Fed Resigns Itself to Diminished Growth Expectations
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and her colleagues have lowered their sights on how fast the economy needs to expand to meet their goal of cutting unemployment.

WSJ: Real Time Economics | Rising Food Prices May Cause Consumer Indigestion
The price index for food bought to eat at home increased a large 0.5% in both February and March.


CNN Money | Who pays the most income taxes?
New data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development compared tax rates and social security deductions on average incomes in 34 countries. The data shows that Belgians, Germans and Danes have the highest tax burdens, while South Koreans, Mexicans and Chileans have the lowest. Americans are about in the middle.


Market Watch | U.S. labor-force participation rate falls sharply in April
The U.S. labor-force participation rate sank to 62.8% in April from 63.2% in March to match a 35-year low, the government reported Friday. Some 806,000 people dropped out of the labor force, according to Labor Department figures.
CNN Money | Seattle mayor unveils plan for $15 minimum wage
Seattle could soon lay claim to the nation's highest minimum wage. Mayor Ed Murray unveiled on Thursday his proposal for a $15 minimum wage, a plan he said has broad support across the local government, business and labor communities.
Bloomberg | Hiring in U.S. Kicks Into Higher Gear as Unemployment Plunges to 6.3%
The job-creation engine kicked into higher gear as U.S. employers boosted payrolls in April by the most in two years and the jobless rate plunged to the lowest since the collapse of Lehman Brothers. Lower-wage industries accounted for 22% of job losses during the recession but 44% of employment growth over the past four years.

Market Watch | Most jobs created in this recovery are low-wage, study finds
A majority of the new jobs created in the four years of the recovery have been in low-wage sectors, according to a new report released this week.


WSJ | U.S. Treasury to Reduce Borrowing as Budget Outlook Improves
The Treasury said it would reduce auctions of 2-year and 3-year notes by $1 billion each next month and continue to gradually decrease sales in the coming months. While not locked on a set course, the Treasury would reduce borrowing by $66 billion over a full year if it were to continue cutting $1 billion a month for each security, an official said.