Wednesday, January 7, 2015

General Economics

Market Watch | ADP shows job market continues to ‘power forward’ in December
Private-sector employers continued to add jobs at a solid pace in December, suggesting the labor market conditions remained strong, Automatic Data Processing Inc. reported Wednesday.
Market Watch | Slumping demand for oil sends U.S. trade gap to 11-month low
Credit sinking oil prices and soaring U.S. oil production for cutting the U.S. trade deficit in November to the lowest level in 11 months.
Wall Street Journal | U.S. Service-Sector PMI Slows in December
U.S. nonmanufacturers throttled back activity last month and input prices contracted for the first time in more than five years, according to data released Tuesday by the Institute for Supply Management.


Wall Street Journal | 5 Things To Watch In The Fed's December Minutes
The Federal Reserve on Wednesday releases minutes of its Dec. 16-17 meeting, held before a fresh round of market turbulence pushed oil prices below $50 a barrel, global bond yields to fresh lows and the U.S. dollar to new highs.


Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
E21 | Why Breaking Up (the Tax Code) Is So Hard to Do
Everyone wants tax reform. At least we pay lip service to the idea that the U.S. economy would be better off with lower rates, a simpler code, and fewer loopholes. Yet something everyone claims to support has proved elusive time and again. Why?
Forbes | Tax Avoidance And Tax Evasion Are To The Benefit Of Us All
Admittedly, it is possible to take a different view on this matter, but there’s a good and entirely reasonable argument that tax avoidance and tax evasion work to the benefit of us all. The crucial point is really how one views the activities of government.
The Daily Signal | It’s Never a Good Time for a Carbon Tax
Larry Summers, former treasury secretary and economic advisor to the Obama administration, says low oil prices offer a ripe opportunity to impose a carbon tax. Writing in the Washington Post, Summers argues that conservatives “who believe in the power of markets should favor carbon taxes on market principles.”


Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
The Daily Signal | Young Workers Hurt Most by Minimum Wage Hikes
On New Year’s Day, the minimum wage increased in 20 states and the District of Columbia.  This follows a year in which protesters hit the streets in major cities, camping in front of fast food stores and demanding a hike in the minimum wage.


Market Watch | The federal government has $3 trillion in loans on its books
The federal government has handed out more than $3 trillion in loans and nobody in Washington appears to be in charge.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Wall Street Journal | ‘Scoring’ Legislation for Growth
The House of Representatives on Tuesday adopted a rule that will change Washington and lawmaking for the better. When legislation is proposed, the Congressional Budget Office is tasked with estimating its fiscal consequences. In most cases, the CBO assumes there is no effect on economic growth, positive or negative. In the future, the House will instruct the CBO to take macroeconomic effects into account when estimating the cost of legislation.
National Review Online | Overselling TARP: The Myth of the $15 Billion Profit 
The Troubled Asset Relief Program officially  ended last month — six years after it was implemented, ostensibly to stabilize the nation’s financial system. But the Treasury Department’s widely reported announcement that it made a profit on the TARP is a fiction. The taxpayers’ loss on the TARP may have been less than the program’s original $700 billion commitment suggested it might be, but it was still a loss.

Wall Street Journal | White House Budget Director Blasts GOP ‘Dynamic Scoring’ Plans
Shaun Donovan, the director of the White House’s Office of Management and Budget, criticized the push by House Republican leaders to require congressional budget analysts to estimate growth boosts from tax cuts and other legislative changes.