All posts by Jeff Haymond

Amazing how honest politicians are when they are no longer in office!

Earlier this week we heard with great candor from former Democratic presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Bob Kerrey, expressing dismay at the Trump budget.  Why?  Cuts in the EPA?  Cuts for Big Bird and PBS?  No.  Senator Kerrey is concerned about Mr. Trump’s unwillingness to do something about our biggest budget challenge–the runaway growth of entitlements, specifically Medicare and Social Security.  Sen Kerry laments that we’re on track to increase those two programs by $80B next year.  As Kerry says,… Continue Reading ››

The Saudis are learning the economics of perfect competition–Price equals Marginal Cost.

Oil took a dive south again this week, going below $50/barrel yesterday.  As we’ve discussed before, the American “fracker” is now the marginal supplier–ready to turn on the spigots at the first sign of a higher price.  In an introductory Econ course, we’ll review what is often called “perfect competition,” or more appropriately, a price-taker market.   One of the central tenets of this model is that it will be characterized by price equaling the marginal cost.  So if the marginal… Continue Reading ››

Some people just like to be outraged–makes ’em feel good

So I said something to this effect to a fellow Berean a few months back. As I had watched some of the craziness on the far left, especially running up to and after the election, it seemed to me that many of them felt almost a moral buzz as they could get angry at those that think like I do.  For just one example, there is considerable righteous indignation that we have any immigration restrictions, because those advocating are not-so-in-the-closet… Continue Reading ››

Quick ? for Mr. Trump based on his speech

Mr. Trump rightly noted that any healthcare reform, to be effective: it must be the plan they want, not the plan forced on them by the Government. I like this principle.  But this leads to a natural follow-on question.  If it is good for Americans to be able to buy the health care plan they want, not what the government wants for them (and their cronies), why not allow Americans to buy whatever goods and services they want from whomever… Continue Reading ››

Trumpian Trade Trouble: A Clash with Economic Reality

As I’ve shared before, I am excited by some of Mr. Trump’s economic agenda, and his executive orders even this week on regulation are a great first step toward unleashing the American economy.  When I consider our budget issues going forward, the best way to enable any other necessary change is for faster economic growth.  Yet what he gives with one hand, Mr. Trump threatens with the other in his views on trade. Mr. Trump prefers businessmen to economists, which might… Continue Reading ››

Will Mr. Trump be the Squanderer-in-Chief?

These are difficult days in the Trump administration.  Really? Difficult days in only two weeks on the job?  No Bereans were happy with Mr. Trump’s personal character, and no Bereans were happy with all of his policy prescriptions.  Yet most of us believed that Mrs. Clinton was a worse evil, and all of us thought that at least parts of his agenda could be very positive.  I have focused on the economic impact of his agenda, and while I was… Continue Reading ››

Trumpian Trade, are we going to be “The Winner?!”

I wanted to post on Friday, but somehow I thought I ought to give supporters of Mr. Trump at least a day to enjoy his inauguration before critiquing him as our new president.  So, here we are on Monday morning and we’re now in the brave new world of Trump. His inauguration speech was nationalist to its core, and from an economic perspective, it couldn’t be more wrong-headed.  Mr. Trump is getting increasingly explicit over the ways he wants to… Continue Reading ››

Are all sins the same?

And if not, are there any implications for us in a political economy blog?  Michael Kruger over at The Gospel Coalition asks the question of whether all sins are the same, and answers no.  He notes that both people who take sin serious and those that don’t can come to this conclusion.  For the person who takes sin serious, some Christians use this phrase to uphold the seriousness of sin. It is viewed as a way to remind people not to… Continue Reading ››

Saudi America Wins! OPEC Waves the White Flag!

One of the bright spots in the U.S. economy over the last decade was the incredible technology revolution in the energy sector with hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.”  The U.S. energy revolution drove the nail through the heart of economic pessimists claiming that we’d hit “peak oil,” and were doomed to run out of cheap fossil fuels. Instead, the fracking revolution happened and the U.S. is now the largest producer of oil and natural gas in the world–yes we’re Saudi America!… Continue Reading ››

Trump goes in for a Carrier Landing, but at what cost?

Mr. Trump is not yet inaugurated, and he is already achieving notable policy success.  This week’s decision by Carrier to keep 1000 jobs in Indiana rather than moving to Mexico is seen as a vindication against Mr. Obama’s “hand’s off” approach to job loss from globalization. In reality, Mr. Trump is repeating the same mistakes as Mr. Obama. Of course its a great victory for the 1000 workers, and I rejoice that the pain that their community felt is assuaged.… Continue Reading ››