Monday, May 12, 2014

General Economics

Bloomberg | America on the Move Becomes Stay-Home Nation for Young
Ryan Yang could have taken a job in a New Jersey DNA sequencing laboratory after graduating from college last year. Instead, the 23-year-old lives with his family in Queens, New York, still unemployed and searching.
Market Watch | Big freeze over, economy gets on hot streak
The U.S. economy has warmed up after a frigid first quarter and there’s no reason to expect it to cool off again anytime soon.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Washington Times | The vanishing entrepreneur, crushed by red tape and regulations
President Obama focuses on the “wealth gap” as if that were the nation’s pressing economic issue. So long as there’s a disparity of ability, determination and luck, some people will be better off than others. The alarm to raise is not about the good fortune of some, but the bad fortune of the vanishing entrepreneur.
Market Watch | China housing apocalypse: Could it happen?
The possibility of a collapse in China’s bubbly housing market has long been a threat hanging over the nation’s markets and economy. But exactly what would happen if the bubble bursts in a messy way?
Bloomberg | Japan Shows Resilience to Tax-Rise on Record Confidence Gain
Confidence in Japan’s economic outlook among taxi drivers and restaurant staff and other workers soared by a record in April, indicating the blow from last month’s sales-tax increase may be short-lived.
Mercatus | Regulation and Productivity
When the government regulates, it reaches into a market and requires the consumers or producers to behave in certain ways. It is the alteration in behavior, not the extraction of money (at least, not directly), that results in reduced productivity. There are arguments that government regulations can be beneficial, particularly where correcting for information asymmetries.
NBER | Transfer Payments and the Macroeconomy: The Effects of Social Security Benefit Changes, 1952-1991
This paper uses these benefit increases to investigate the macroeconomic effects of changes in transfer payments.

CATO | The Cost of Regulation
The central fault line in technology policy debates today can be thought of as ‘the permission question,’ ” Mr. Thierer writes. “Must the creators of new technologies seek the blessing of public officials before they develop and deploy their innovations?”
Heritage Foundation | We're Losing Companies to Europe. Here's Why.
These well-known U.S. businesses are looking to pull up stakes because the U.S. taxes their foreign earnings at the highest rate in the industrialized world. Indeed, we are the only country that taxes the foreign earnings of our businesses.

Health Care

National Journal | The States Where Obamacare Could Still Go Badly
Each state is its own insurance market, and they had wildly different experiences during Obamacare's first open-enrollment window. So although nationwide statistics are important for judging the law's political success, the substantive tests for the law's future mostly lie with the states—and some of them aren't looking so hot.
WSJ | Virginia Filings Give First Look at 2015 Health Rate Increases
In the first look at how insurers plan to adjust prices in the second year under the federal health-care law, filings from Virginia carriers show they are opting for premium increases in 2015 that will pinch consumers' pocketbooks but fall short of some bigger rate predictions.
National Journal | Are Hospital Patients Healthier Under Obamacare?
Hospitals prevented nearly 15,000 deaths and 560,000 injuries by reducing additional illnesses and infections acquired in the hospital, preliminary data from the Health and Human Services Department show. That would mean upward of $4 billion in overall health-spending savings between 2010 and 2012, according to Wednesday's report.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Politico | $474M for 4 failed Obamacare exchanges
Nearly half a billion dollars in federal money has been spent developing four state Obamacare exchanges that are now in shambles — and the final price tag for salvaging them may go sharply higher.


Bloomberg | Europe Deflation Risk Seen by 74% in Global Investor Poll
Financial professionals are optimistic about the global economy, just not as fervent about it as they were at the start of the year. That’s the message from the latest Bloomberg Markets Global Investor Poll, which shows concern about risks ranging from the turmoil in Ukraine to the threat of deflation in Europe.
Market Watch | Fed’s reverse repos to become permanent: Lockhart
An experimental monetary policy tool that lets banks and financial firms place cash with the Federal Reserve in exchange for an overnight loan of U.S. Treasurys will likely be adopted as a more permanent means for the central bank to help control short-term interest rates, Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart said on Sunday.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Real Clear Markets | It's Time to Banish the Deflation Bogeyman
A fair number of economists, including many of the top officials at the Federal Reserve, have an unnatural fear of deflation. So afraid of it are they, that they prefer the insidious tax on savers and business investors of two percent annual inflation to stable prices simply because stable prices are too close to declining ones. Yet, there is ample empirical proof that deflation is not the bogeyman it is made out to be.

WSJ | Dallas Fed’s Fisher: Low Rates Will Stay as Long as Inflation Under 2%
Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Richard Fisher said Friday he supports ending the central bank’s bond-buying stimulus program this year, while adding it is very likely that very low interest rates will prevail for some time to come.


WSJ | House Passes Research and Development Tax Credit
The House passed a bill Friday to make permanent an important tax break for business research, in a move that highlights the difficult choices Congress faces this year on a raft of temporary tax incentives.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Forbes | Sen. Ron Wyden Gets The Corporate Tax Right For All The Wrong Reasons
In a recent op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) correctly pointed out that the U.S. corporate tax rate of 35% is too high, and is “painfully complicated.” He’s right that the rate should come down, but his reasoning for why leaves much to be desired.
AEI | A tax on public health
Last week, the Food and Drug Administration issued a proposal to regulate electronic cigarettes as a tobacco product. While public health and industry experts debate this much-anticipated regulation, a handful of Senate Democrats are quietly promoting the pernicious idea of extending tobacco taxes to e-cigarettes. Taxing e-cigarettes would threaten public health by penalizing a product that holds the promise of luring people away from the traditional cigarettes that have caused so much death and disease.

Heritage Foundation | High Taxes Are Not What We Need
In public policy, bad ideas — no matter how many times they have been discredited — never completely go away. They seem to pop up over and over. Enter the hot new book that has captured the imagination and attention of the left because it endorses an 80 percent tax rate on the rich in the name of “leveling” incomes.


Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Mercatus | Portfolio Breakdown of Projects Assisted by the Export-Import Bank
As the official export credit corporation of the US federal government, the Export-Import Bank is tasked with the mission of “assist[ing] in financing the export of US goods and services to international markets.” So what kinds of goods and services do the Bank primarily assist in financing?

Fortune | Job openings dipped in March
U.S. job openings fell slightly in March after making significant gains the previous month, showing once again that the nation's economic recovery doesn't always follow a straight line.


CNN Money | Taxpayers made $52 billion on Geithner's bailouts
Timothy Geithner was one of the fathers of $700 billion worth of unpopular federal bailouts in 2008 and 2009. But as "Stress Test," his memoir of those troubled years, hits bookstores this week, current accounting shows that taxpayers made a $51.8 billion profit on the bailouts.