Thursday, July 10, 2014

General Economics

National Journal | American Kids Are Really Bad at Handling Money
Score another one for Chinese teenagers, who leave U.S. kids in their dust when it comes to knowing how to handle money. That's the latest anxiety-producing statistic (for American parents, anyway) to emerge out of a newly released international study of the financial habits of roughly 29,000 teens from countries as far flung as Australia, China, Colombia, France, Israel, Russia, Spain, and the U.S.
FOX News | Why jobs are scarce, wages low and CD rates depressed
Americans keep hoping for a robust recovery -- one that delivers better paying jobs and decent returns on retirement savings. Changes in technology and the economy may require that never happens, and government efforts to improve conditions often multiply the misery.
Bloomberg | Growth Seen Beating 3% in Sixth Year of U.S. Expansion
The fifth anniversary of the U.S. economic expansion will usher in a rare boon: growth exceeding 3 percent over a nine-month period, a Bloomberg survey of economists shows.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Politico | America the Oil Exporter
The United States is once again the top oil producer in the world, surpassing Saudi Arabia and Russia. This year, America is on pace to pump out an average of 12 million barrels a day of crude oil plus gas liquids, an all-time record level. Add in biofuels and volumetric gains from refining, and the United States is effectively producing 14 million barrels a day. All this is the extraordinary result of the shale-oil revolution, in which new extraction technology—hydraulic fracturing, or fracking—has made vast reserves suddenly economically viable.
Forbes | Obama's Wrong; The Economy Is Improving Because Of Congressional Deadlock
President Obama says the recent jobs report shows the economy is recovering; but it would be doing even better, he asserts, if Republicans would end the deadlock and pass his tax-increasing, big-spending agenda.  To the contrary, a stronger case can be made that the economy is improving precisely because Obama and Congress are deadlocked.
WSJ | Why Piketty's Wealth Data Are Worthless
No book on economics in recent times has received such a glowing initial reception as Thomas Piketty's "Capital in the Twenty-First Century." He remains a hero on the left, but the honeymoon may be drawing to a sour close as evidence mounts that his numbers don't add up.
Market Watch | Piketty’s cure for income inequality hurts the poor
Thomas Piketty’s best-selling “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” has given policy makers and pundits a renewed excuse to call for the redistribution of wealth and higher taxes.
The American | Capitalizing on the Capitalist Peace
The next time the United States is compelled to try to rescue and rehabilitate a broken nation, Washington needs to pay as much attention to building free markets as to holding free elections.
AEI | Liberals go to the barricades to defend crony capitalism
In the current battle over the Export-Import Bank, Democratic politicians and liberal journalists have dropped their populist pretenses and openly embraced the corporate-federal collusion that Ex-Im embodies.
CATO | Design Matters: The Future of School Choice
Though voucher programs tend to receive more attention, more than six in ten students attending private school through an educational choice program are using tax-credit scholarships. Nearly 200,000 students use tax-credit scholarships in 11 states, and three other states have recently enacted but not yet implemented scholarship tax credit (STC) laws. States looking to expand educational choice are more likely to adopt a scholarship tax credit because STC laws face fewer constitutional obstacles than government-funded vouchers and elicit higher levels of public support.

Health Care

Daily Signal | This Chart Shows How Many Obamacare Enrollees’ Self-Reported Citizenship Status Doesn’t Match Federal Data
According to a report released by the Office of Inspector General at the Department of Health and Human Services earlier this month, “the online federal marketplace could not resolve nearly 90 percent (or 2.6 million) of its 2.9 million data ‘inconsistencies,’ which include citizenship status, income, incarceration status, and Social Security numbers,” as Marguerite Bowling reported last week for The Daily Signal.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
CATO | Get Bosses Out of Health Insurance Altogether
The Supreme Court’s decision last week in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby has pushed all the buttons that could be expected when sex and religion intersect. Many on the right are celebrating because they value religious expression and feel rather less excited about sex, especially of the non-procreative variety. And much of the Left is outraged because religion is generally considered of far less import while sexual freedom has a high priority. But both sides are missing the point.


CNN Money | Yes, the economy is getting better
In minutes released from its June meeting, the central bank said that if the economy improves as it expects, its massive bond buying program will fully wind down following its meeting in October.
WSJ | Regulators Ready Money-Fund Rules
U.S. regulators are poised to complete long-awaited rules intended to prevent a repeat of the investor stampede out of money-market mutual funds that threatened to freeze corporate lending during the 2008 financial crisis.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
NY Sun | Congress Eyes Rules for the Fed
A cable this morning from Professor John Taylor of Stanford alerts us to the introduction in Congress of the newest piece of legislation offered in respect of monetary reform. It is called the Federal Reserve Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014.” H.R. 5018 would, as Mr. Taylor describes it in his Web log, require the Fed to adopt a “rules-based policy.”
MSN Money | Fed's cheap-money high comes to an end
It seems nearly everyone is still in denial that anything is about to change. Just look at the market action on Wednesday in the wake of the release of the Federal Reserve's latest meeting minutes.

WSJ | Divide on Inflation Views Growing at the Federal Reserve, Minutes Show
Minutes from the Federal Reserve’s June meeting suggest there is a growing gap between officials who believe U.S. inflation could remain too low for the Fed’s comfort and those who believe a spike in consumer prices could be closer than forecasters think.


Politico | Landmark tax evasion law quietly kicks in
One of President Bill Clinton’s most controversial acts was a last-minute pardon to infamous tax evader and oil king billionaire Marc Rich, listed among the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted for years.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
AEI | GOP should stop avoiding payroll tax reform
A consensus is emerging that reforming the federal tax code must be among the very top priorities of a new agenda focused on restoring growth and opportunity in the United States. This is an achievement in itself.


Politico | Congress rewrites jobs training law
After years of failed attempts, Congress today passed an update to a Clinton-era jobs training law that governs billions in federal spending aimed at helping workers stay afloat in the changing job market.
Bloomberg | Fewer Americans Than Forecast Filed Jobless Claims Last Week
Jobless claims declined by 11,000 to 304,000 in the week ended July 5, the fewest in more than a month, a Labor Department report showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 45 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for 315,000. There was nothing unusual in the data and no states were estimated, a spokesman said as the figures were released.
WSJ | Skills Shortage Means Many Jobs Go Unfilled
About 33% of 848 small-business owners and chief executives said they had unfilled job openings in June because they couldn't identify qualified applicants, up from 31% of 811 owners nearly two years ago, according to surveys by The Wall Street Journal and Vistage International, a San Diego peer advisory group for executives. During this period, owners' confidence in the economy increased.

WSJ | Teens Are Having the Worst Summer for Jobs Since 2010
Teenagers between the ages 16 and 19 gained 661,000 jobs last month — the smallest June increase since 2010. June’s sluggish summer job growth might be a one-off, since it comes in the wake of a very strong May and unusually robust gains in March. June is typically the peak of the teen summer hiring period, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas, which analyzed data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.


CNN Money | The wrong folks get billions in tax dollars
A government watchdog agency said an estimated $106 billion in payments were made in error last year: meaning they were the wrong amount, went to the wrong person or lacked sufficient documentation.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Real Clear Markets | America's Deficit-Attention Disorder
The federal debt was regularly in the news from the summer of 2011, when the arriviste tea-party Republicans refused to vote for a higher debt ceiling unless the Obama administration agreed to spending reductions, until the end of 2013, when another debt-ceiling impasse closed the government for two weeks before the House capitulated.