All posts by Jeff Haymond

Minimum Wage legislation, should we abolish it?

This is subject of a recent debate featuring Libertarian’s Russ Roberts and Jim Dorn as well as Progressive’s Jared Bernstein and Karen Kornbluh.   Unfortunately, the audience voted with Mr. Bernstein that we should keep the minimum wage.  If you take the time to listen to the debate, you’ll find some rather startling admissions by Mr. Bernstein.  He (and Ms. Kornbluh) do not believe the Law of Demand holds–that is the if the price of something goes up (in this… Continue Reading ››

Fiscal Austerity–taking another hit today from Bill Gross

PIMCO’s Bill Gross came out swinging today against European austerity today, this after reports that Reinhart and Rogoff’s well-regarded work on debt had some statistical errors on the danger of debt.  So today Mr. Gross told the FT, “The U.K. and almost all of Europe have erred in terms of believing that austerity, fiscal austerity in the short term, is the way to produce real growth. It is not,” Mr Gross told the Financial Times. “You’ve got to spend money.”… Continue Reading ››

Concern over Global Warming is on the rise, while global temperature rise has abated. Why?

Unfortunately I don’t have a good answer.  But I think our understanding of political economy has to include a realization that there is often a disconnect between what we might consider the facts and what is reflected in public opinion and therefore turned into public policy.  For example, why do so many Americans support an increase in the minimum wage when we know it results in significantly decreased opportunity to the most disadvantaged in our society? Few (if any) of… Continue Reading ››

President Obama’s 2014 Budget: To what end?

As promised, President Obama unveiled his 2014 budget today, albeit 2 months late.  We discussed some of the proposed outlines on Monday, which you can find here.  But in his public comments as reported by CNBC, Mr. Obama continues an approach which can only divide, not unify.  Whether this is by design is only a matter of speculation.  But in an incredibly divided country, is it too much to ask our leader to be the unifier?  Mr. Obama promises that… Continue Reading ››

Obama budget, Stimulus vs. Austerity, Friday’s unemployment #s and more

Rather than a single subject today, I’d like to offer some quick thoughts on several recent economic events and get your feedback on what you’d like to hear more about.  Post in the comments if you’d like more details. First up, we are told we will finally have a budget submitted by the President this week, which is over two months late.  Mr. Obama will propose a “fiscally responsible” budget, which will  ‘My budget will reduce our deficits – not… Continue Reading ››

Here is how NOT to do political economy from a moral perspective!

According to The Weekly Standard, President Obama attended Easter services at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C. yesterday, where the pool reporter recorded this tirade against fictional religious right leaders. “It drives me crazy when the captains of the religious right are always calling us back … for blacks to be back in the back of the bus … for women to be back in the kitchen … for immigrants to be back on their side of the border” To… Continue Reading ››

Leave it to our Grand-kids; the Immorality of our National Debt

Our national debt is $16.75T, our unfunded liabilities are ~ $120T, and President Obama says we have no debt crisis.  In a post last week on the national debt and deficits, I promised we’d discuss the morality of passing the debt burden on to our grand-kids.  As is often the case, our moral senses are corrupted by Keynesian economics when thinking about the national debt.  After all, in the Keynesian world that almost all Washington DC lives in, savings and… Continue Reading ››

Same Sex Marriages: Are they inevitable?

Mark Smith has offered some excellent political and constitutional analysis of the same sex marriage debate before the Supreme Court (see here and here).  But one of the most often heard arguments in favor of same sex marriage is its inevitability.  As reported in NPR by Republican strategist (and same sex marriage supporter Ana Navarro): “If we are to build a big-tent party, and we are to start winning elections, what we have to stop being is exclusive,” says Ana… Continue Reading ››

Texas Gold going home: the latest body blow to Federal Reserve credibility?

A few months ago the big revelation to gold bugs was Germany wanted its gold back from the Federal Reserve.  What’s the world coming to when central banks don’t trust each other?  Further, with central banks net buyers of gold for the last few years, something seems afoot in the global currency markets.  In perhaps a move of political theater, Texas is the latest to jump in the fray by introducing a bill to bring $1B in gold bars stored… Continue Reading ››

Please Mr. Federal Reserve, stop worrying about income inequality!

CNBC reports today that the Federal Reserve is increasingly considering income inequality as a consideration for monetary policy.  The basic idea seems to be that monetary policy ought to be kept easy as long as those in the lower income groups are unable to gain jobs.  As CNBC reports Some on the FOMC, they said, assert that inequality “undermines the ability of the economy to grow sustainably and efficiently” and could lower the long-term growth rate. This is suspect for… Continue Reading ››