The weakest areas in the weakest recovery since World War II are investment in new plants and equipment and investment in new business startups. These are the biggest job-creators, and their slump is a key reason for the subpar labor recovery, with low participation rates and an increase in involuntarily part-time workers.
So if investment is ...Read more
Jeb Bush is right and Hillary Clinton is wrong. You can probably say that about a lot of things. But in this case it's about the need for more part-time American workers to work full-time in order to improve their own lots as well as the lot of the economy.
The mini spat started when Jeb Bush short-handed the point that "people should work ...Read more
It's summertime and that means millions of Americans will soon be cramming in the minivan for family vacation. But Congress may soon be raising the cost of those trips by increasing the federal gas tax.
Why? The highway trust fund that finances our national highway system is running out of money. The 18.4 cents a gallon federal gas tax will ...Read more
The judicial decision to uphold all of the president's health care subsidies may be very disappointing, but the economics of Obamacare are far worse than whatever constitutional mistakes have been committed by the Supreme Court.
The economics of Obamacare are very bad. The law is inflicting broad damage on job creation and new ...Read more
"There is not a reason in the world why we cannot grow at a rate of 4 percent a year." That's what Jeb Bush said when he officially announced his presidential run in Miami last week. And right off the bat, most economists trashed the idea.
"It can't happen and it's never happened." "Productivity is too low." "The labor force is growing too ...Read more
Just as the great William F. Buckley Jr. laid the intellectual foundation for the rise of modern conservatism, philanthropist R. Randolph Richardson set down the financial foundation of the new conservative movement. But Randy Richardson, who died May 25 at the age of 89, is not a household name. He was a low-key guy who stayed out of the ...Read more
The strong May jobs report -- including a 280,000 jump in nonfarm payrolls -- reminds me of the big debate over the harmful effects of a strong dollar and falling oil prices. But where's the harm? King Dollar, along with the supply benefits of the fracking revolution, may actually be propping up a subpar economy facing headwinds from heavy ...Read more
First-quarter real GDP actually declined by 0.7 percent, according to revisions out this week, creating much new talk about recession. But there is no recession. Trouble is, there continues to be virtually no recovery.
The economy has expanded about 1.5 percent over the past two quarters, 2.4 percent at an annual rate over the past two years ...Read more
A Song ApartJeffrey H. Baer
A SONG APART revolves around Shannon Kistler, a teenaged pop singer, and Kevin Derow, her 19-year-old biggest fan. They met and fall in love unexpectedly while wishing society would accept them as they are. Then they realize they don’t need anyone else’s approval ...
Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen told us recently that the target for the federal funds rate will be raised slightly later this year. But after that, future rate hikes will be small and gradual over the next several years. In fact, we may never have true normalization (4 percent). In my view, Yellen is offering a back-to-the-'50s ...Read more
One of the interesting nuggets coming out of the conservative sweep in the British elections was the failure of bank-bashing by the Labour Party. Labour leader Miliband, who has since resigned, was anti-bank, anti-rich and anti-business. It failed. And while conservative leader David Cameron didn't necessarily defend banks, he didn't attack ...Read more
If the GOP doesn't put together a sensible immigration policy, it will lose the 2016 presidential election.
When Obama beat Romney in 2012, with the former Massachusetts governor attracting only 27 percent of the Hispanic vote with his self-deportation argument, Republicans across the map decided they must develop an immigration-reform policy ...Read more