Thursday, October 9, 2014

General Economics

CNN Money | Seniors in almost every state are struggling to afford retirement
Households ages 65 and older in the U.S. are living on an average of only $37,847 a year. That's around 60% of the annual earnings of today's 45- to 64-year olds and falls well short of the 70% in pre-retirement income that's typically recommended for retirees, according to an analysis of 2013 Census Bureau data.
Market Watch | U.S. wholesale inventories rise 0.7% in August
 U.S. wholesale inventories rose by 0.7% in August, the U.S. Commerce Department said Thursday.
CNN Money | From Brazil to Uganda: What it takes to get ahead
The world may be flat these days, but the path to success differs around the globe.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Wall Street Journal | Europe’s Next Dip
This week’s stock market rout in Europe, which also hit U.S. markets, is being attributed to a downgrade in the International Monetary Fund’s outlook for the euro zone.
Real Clear Markets | Believe It or Not, Humanity Is Making Progress
Progress has lately gotten a bad rap, because there seems to be so little of it. Violence wracks the Middle East; economies are sputtering; Ebola strikes fear.
Fox News | Why welfare, mimimum wage make it harder for poor Americans to succeed
I was taught at Princeton, “We’re a rich country. All we have to do is tax the rich, and then use that money to create programs that will lift the poor out of poverty.” Government created job-training programs for the strong and expanded social security for the weak.

Wall Street Journal | Is Japan’s Economy on the Verge of a Recession?
The “r” word is on the lips of economists again in Japan: Did an April sales tax increase send the world’s third-largest economy into recession?
Cato Institute | Yes, Fixing Higher Ed Means Eliminating Federal Aid
National Review Online is in the midst of its “education week” – including offerings byyours truly and Jason Bedrick – and today brings us a piece by AEI’s Andrew Kelly on how to fix our higher ed system. Unfortunately, while he largely nails the problems, he stumbles on the solution.

Health Care

National Journal | HHS Says Obamacare’s New Website Will Work. For Real This Time.
Federal health officials say they've reconfigured and rebuilt the Obamacare enrollment website to avoid a repeat of last year's disastrous launch.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
CBO | Assessing the Design of the Low-Income Subsidy Program in Medicare Part D: Working Paper 2014-07
The structure of the Medicare Part D prescription drug program generally encourages plan sponsors to submit low bids. However, rules in the program relating to low-income beneficiaries generate a different set of incentives for plans seeking to serve those beneficiaries.
The Daily Signal | Gallup: US Uninsured Rate Holds at 13.4 Percent—but More Americans Say Obamacare Has Hurt Them
Releasing a pair of polls on the Affordable Care Act, Gallup noted Wednesday that the nation’s uninsured rate remained steady at 13.4 percent for the third quarter.


Wall Street Journal | Fed Minutes Show Wariness Over Global Growth
Federal Reserve officials have become more concerned that weak overseas growth and a strengthening U.S. dollar will crimp the domestic economy and hold down inflation, an outlook that has made them more inclined to stick to low interest rates.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
AEI | SIFI designations aren't meant to last forever
At Monday's FSOC meeting, council members said that they would review and work to improve the designation process.

Wall Street Journal | Fed Officials to Be Flexible on How They Raise Rates
Federal Reserve officials agreed at their September policy meeting to be flexible in implementing a new plan on managing future interest rate increases.


Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Wall Street Journal | 64 Days to a Tax Increase
Taxes on Internet access services could top $14 billion a year if Congress allows the Internet Tax Freedom Act to expire at midnight on Dec. 11. That’s according to a new study from economist Douglas Holtz-Eakin’s American Action Forum.
Wall Street Journal | Believe It or Not, Corporate Tax Reform Is Doable in 2015
With the current political stagnation in Washington, it is hard to blame anyone for projecting slim odds for corporate tax reform next year.


Bloomberg | Jobless Claims in U.S. Fall, With Average at Eight-Year Low
A healthier job market helped spark the biggest gain in Americans’ confidence in almost a year, raising prospects for the economy at the start of fourth quarter.
Wall Street Journal | Manufacturing Wages Rise Fast in Some Areas
Manufacturing wages are rising at a rapid clip in some major industrial states as shortages of certain skills and gradually falling unemployment rates force more companies to pay up to attract and retain workers.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Market Watch | Employers take record-long time to fill job openings
Employers are taking a record-long time to fill open positions, highlighting a major challenge that companies face in a strengthening economy, according to data released Wednesday.


Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                    | Federal Deficit Falls, But Debt Time Bomb Ticking
The U.S. budget deficit shrank to a six-year-low $486 billion in the just-end fiscal 2014, the Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday.
Fox Business | Student Loans Replacing Mortgages in Young Americans' Debt Profiles
Student loans have always made up a significant portion of Americans’ debt, but the surge in education loan balances in the past several years may be overpowering people’s ability to take out other loans they may want or need.
The Daily Signal | The 2014 Deficit Is the Smallest In Six Years. But Here’s the Bad News.
The Congressional Budget Office released Wednesday the figures for spending, revenues and the deficit in 2014.

Wall Street Journal | The Federal Deficit is Now Smaller than the Average Since the 1980s
The federal government’s deficit in fiscal year 2014 was $195 billion smaller than last year — clocking in at a shortfall of $486 billion, according to an estimate from theCongressional Budget Office. The deficit was $20 billion smaller than the CBO had estimated as recently as August.