Monday, February 9, 2015

General Economics

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Market Watch | The big question: When, or if, the spending rush will come
There are more jobs now, for more money, than any time since the recession ended in mid-2009. Gas prices are at a six-year low, while the stock market is near near an all-time high.
Wall Street Journal | Essential Elements to a G-20 Growth Plan
Over the past few years, our two governments have worked to fuel economic growth, create jobs and improve living standards. Our economies are now growing solidly.
Real Clear Markets | Putting U.S. Manufacturing Growth In Perspective
Over the last few years, the U.S. manufacturing sector has been lauded by the media as a primary driver of the nation's recovery from the Great Recession. And since 2010, the manufacturing sector has been a positive contributor to both new job creation and the nation's gross domestic product (GDP). But its economic and employment impacts have been, in the context of recent economic history, less than the national media coverage justifies.

Health Care

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Forbes | Buried In The Numbers: Obamacare's Costs Are Climbing, Not Receding
Late last month, the Congressional Budget Office reported that the provisions within Obamacare expanding access to insurance coverage would cost 20% less than the agency estimated in 2010, when the law passed.


Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Washington Post | Now’s not the time to raise interest rates
I cannot recall a moment when the gap between what markets expect the Federal Reserve to do and what the Fed itself has forecast it will do has been as large as it is now. Markets predict that the Fed will raise interest rates only to 1.6 percent by the end of 2017; the Federal Open Market Committee’s average forecast is 3.5 percent.
Market Watch | More jobs means more problems for the Fed
The longer you spend with January’s employment report — released Friday from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, or BLS — the more you will like it. But just how long that good feeling will last depends on the Federal Reserve.
Forbes | The Fed is Nervous, and Maybe That's a Good Thing
The club of U.S. central bankers appears jittery, but it’s not because of interest rates, unemployment, or mortgage-backed securities.  It’s because of Congress.

Wall Street Journal | ‘Audit the Fed’ Bill’s Prospects Unclear
An effort to expand congressional oversight of the Federal Reserve‘s interest-rate decisions is generating buzz on the presidential campaign trail and in Washington, but its prospects on Capitol Hill remain uncertain.


Market Watch | Obama: Higher capital gains taxes wouldn’t hurt Corporate America
Higher capital gains taxes on wealthy Americans would help working moms — and wouldn’t hurt Corporate America, according to President Barack Obama.


Wall Street Journal | Job Market Looks Ripe for Liftoff
The best three-month stretch of hiring since 1997 has positioned the U.S. labor market to start delivering stronger wage growth for a wider swath of Americans after more than five years of sluggish recovery from a deep recession.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Forbes | The 'Real Unemployment Rate' Vs. The Spin: Where's The News Here?
Let me begin with this disclaimer: we pollsters are not a gracious lot. Picture a faculty review committee discussing merit pay or tenure. We are competitive, sanctimonious, and altogether not a very nice bunch of people. With that said, I am compelled to comment on the recent statements by Jim Clifton, longtime CEO of Gallup, on the “real unemployment rate.” In short, Clifton penned an op-ed on the company website referring to the “big lie” of the official Bureau of Labor Statistics monthly unemployment rate. The 5.7% rate for January he says is woefully inadequate and does not take into account part-time workers, those earning $20 a week, those underemployed, and the hundreds of thousands of others who have simply given up looking for work. The real unemployment is much larger – at least double the official rate, and probably higher.


Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Real Clear Markets | Obama's Budget Is All About Whom You Know
A budget shows the priorities of whoever is doing the spending. Your family budget shows how much you value your home, education, religion, philanthropy, travel, clothes, etc. A person can say whatever they want, but your spending shows whether you are just talking or actually walking the walk. President Obama's budget proposal shows the whole country what his priorities are and the answer is that President Obama wants to control everyone's behavior using the federal government as both his carrot and stick.