Category Archives: Economic Recovery

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 ››

The City of Man

I am sitting in the San Antonio airport, waiting for my flight back home, reflecting on an excellent Values and Capitalism retreat here and–the subject of this blog–my walk yesterday.  My goal was to walk to a bookstore about two miles from my downtown hotel.  I had mapped it out using Googlemaps and set out for what I thought would be about a 20 minute trip one way.  37 minutes later I realized I had gone too far and had… Continue Reading ››

Trumpian optimism

Like most of my fellow Bereans, I would wish for a different outcome for president.  Yet I awoke on Wednesday with some political hope for the first time in eight years.  Yes, there are significant dangers, and Mr. Trump will likely provide more embarrassment than usual. But perhaps politics will follow the fundamental rule of finance, that risk equals reward. Considering his economics, I have both lauded and condemned Mr. Trump.  On the laudatory side, he rightly has questioned the… Continue Reading ››

Dueling Economic Proposals: Will They Sway Anyone?

I have so far avoided taking any position on the two main candidates for president.  For my colleague Mark Smith, don’t worry, I will.  I intend to continue the path of avoidance in this blog.  Today I would like to examine and evaluate each candidate’s economic program.  I say nothing about their personal morality, or personality, or anything except economic program as articulated formally.  Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have both now laid out their plans.  I will look first… Continue Reading ››

Why Job Growth is Stagnant (Not to Mention Other measures)

In a National Review article of June 21, 2016, Michael Barone explored the question of whether the United States economy has shown any growth, and if not, why not.  The article, entitled “Why We have—and Probably Will Keep Having—Sluggish Job Growth,” relies on a recently published book by the economist Arnold Kling, Specialization and Trade: A reintroduction to Economics.  Kling’s argument, supported by economic history and data, begins with this, according to Barone: “[The book is,] among other things, a… Continue Reading ››

Minimum Wage, Minimum Work, Minimum Dignity

California, predictably, has passed a $15/hour minimum wage.  New York is likely to. A few cities have done it already.  Bernie Sanders wants a Federal wage of $15, while Hillary Clinton wants a $12 wage.  And so the issue is once again on the table, at a time when wages are stagnant and unemployment is tepid.  In fact that is why the issue has become so important again to its advocates.  It looks like the high minimum wage is being… Continue Reading ››

Protectionism, Donald Trump and the Kevin Williamson Blast

It seems this blog overlaps one just published by my colleague Jeff Haymond.  But I will publish mine anyway, since it nicely supplements his. Donald Trump has been saying quite a bit recently about the disappearance of (especially) manufacturing jobs in the South as well as the “Rust Belt,” blaming those lost jobs on the trade policies of both Democrats and “establishment” Republican politicians.  But in addition, an article appeared recently by Kevin Williamson, or at least is scheduled to… Continue Reading ››

Trump, Sanders and Unemployment

This morning the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its monthly Employment Situation Summary. The unemployment rate remained at 4.9%. I was reading MoneyBeat blog at the Wall Street Journal. The following quote (posted at 8:45 AM) caught my attention. U-6 includes everybody, and that rate is at 9.7%. That is a high number for a purported recovery that is nearly six years old. You want to know why Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are getting as much traction as they are?… Continue Reading ››

How Big Should Government Be? Not Big Enough for Many.

Have we reached a critical mass of voters?  On what issue you might ask.  On whether big government is bad on the whole.  I have read a couple of articles recently, addressing that question.  I don’t honestly know whether or to what extent people may believe big government is basically good.  But here is a quote from the author of the article, Jim Geraghty, writing in National Review, January 21, 2016 (read it at http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/430104/many-americans-dont-seem-all-upset-about-big-government).  He quotes from research by… Continue Reading ››

Mr. Obama’s economics in the SOTU–just another day in unreality

Like many of our readers, I can’t watch Mr. Obama’s SOTU.  His ability to distort reality is amazing, and simply raises my blood pressure.  So why watch?  Well, actually because I was hooking up a new TV setup while it was playing and had to check signal.  I wasn’t listening very long (maybe a few minutes) and here he goes again. I believe a thriving private sector is the lifeblood of our economy. I think there are outdated regulations that… Continue Reading ››