Thursday, January 8, 2015

General Economics

Market Watch | Obama previews economic proposals before State of the Union
President Barack Obama launched a three-day roadshow Wednesday, heralding his economic policies while offering a preview of some of the proposals he will detail in his State of the Union address on Jan. 20.
Market Watch | Jobless claims stay below 300,000 in sign of healthier labor market
The number of people who applied for U.S. unemployment benefits at the end of the year fell slightly and remained below the key 300,000 mark for the 16th time in 17 weeks, offering more proof the labor market is still on an upswing.
Wall Street Journal | U.S. Trade Gap Narrows as Lower Oil Costs Offset Weakness Overseas
The U.S. economy appears to be maintaining its strong momentum in part because falling oil prices are offsetting weaker demand overseas.
CNN Money | Europe sinks back into deflation
Official data shows consumer prices across the eurozone fell by 0.2% in December, marking the first time prices have fallen in the region since the Great Recession.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
National Journal | Where the Economy Still Stinks
The diner smelled like bacon and wet socks. I sat at one table, scrolling through Twitter as news broke from Washington that the economy is on an upswing. At four other tables sat five regular customers sharing a single conversation.

Health Care

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
The Daily Signal | 5 Reasons to Repeal the Entirety of Obamacare in 2015
The debate over Obamacare is as strong as ever, despite being passed into law nearly five years ago.


Market Watch | Fed signals low inflation won’t be obstacle to rate hike
Federal Reserve officials don’t need to see inflation pick up before hiking interest rates, according to minutes from the December meeting released Wednesday, suggesting the central bank is looking through the current low inflation rate.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Wall Street Journal | Fed Warns on Global Growth Fears
Federal Reserve officials, worried about weak growth overseas, are endorsing new measures by foreign officials—most notably at the European Central Bank—to stimulate their economies.
Bloomberg | Why the Fed Won’t Tank the Stock Market
Investors in the U.S. seem fixated on a gloomy outlook for 2015, in which the Federal Reserve's efforts to remove economic stimulus cause stock and bond prices to fall. They're missing an important detail: If the Fed raises short-term interest rates above those in other major economies, U.S. markets may actually benefit.


Bloomberg | Oil Taxes Tempt Recession-Scarred U.S. States as Prices Plummet
U.S. states are renewing efforts to pass taxes on oil and gas extraction and, while falling energy prices may please consumers, drillers say it’s just the wrong time to raise their costs.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Forbes | The US Tax System Just Keeps On Getting More And More Progressive
One of the regular calls in American political debate that really rather boggles is that one that the country needs to have a trulyprogressive PGR +2.08% taxation system. The reason it boggles is that the US taxation system is already the most progressive among the rich nations. Yes, I know, this isn’t what you normally hear but it is true. Further, the US tax system has become progressively more progressive over recent decades. Again, that’s not what you normally hear but it is also true.

AEIdeas | Cutting business taxes, the smart way
So lowering the corporate rate makes a good deal of sense in theory. In practice, it’s not so clear-cut. If a CEO of a large corporation can exploit tax loopholes to reduce the effective rate to 20 percent, a statutory rate of 25 percent (Republicans’ proposed target) or 28 percent (Obama’s goal) doesn’t maximize shareholder profits.


Market Watch | Weekly U.S. jobless claims fall 4,000 to 294,000
The number of people who applied for U.S. unemployment benefits at the end of the year fell slightly and remained below the key 300,000 mark for the 16th time in 17 weeks, offering more proof that the labor market is still on the upswing.
Market Watch | Small businesses ramp up hiring, projecting big year in 2015
Small businesses are gearing up for a “promising” year in 2015 – and plans to hire among the strongest ever.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Forbes | Rises In The Minimum Wage Really Do Destroy Jobs
Such a pity for Steven Pearlstein that he writes a column on how raising the minimum wage only brings good things, that wages rise, kittens gambol again in the sunshine, there are not ill effects, just as a paper is published showing the ill effects of a rise in the minimum wage.


Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
The Daily Signal | The House Just Made It Harder for Politicians to Steal From Social Security Retirement Fund
This Tuesday, House Republicans nearly unanimously adopted new rules for the 114th Congress (H. Res. 5) which set the stage for long overdue Social Security reforms to protect disabled Americans and seniors from indiscriminate benefit cuts.