Category Archives: Economy

UPDATED: Liars at Labor (40,000 New Reasons For More Joblessness)

Economy, Labor, Law, Regulation

As a more realistic index of unemployment, we’ve always reported the U-6 unemployment index, which includes the unemployed and people who would like to work but who have not looked for a job recently, as well as those involuntarily working part-time. But at 13.1 percent, the U-6 is overly optimistic. The “actual unemployment rate is 37.2 percent.”

Via Washington Examiner:

David John Marotta calculates the actual unemployment rate of those not working at a sky-high 37.2 percent, not the 6.7 percent advertised by the Fed, and the Misery Index at over 14, not the 8 claimed by the government.

Marotta, who recently advised those worried about an imploding economy to get a gun, said that the government isn’t being honest in how it calculates those out of the workforce or inflation, the two numbers used to get the Misery Index figure.
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“The unemployment rate only describes people who are currently working or looking for work,” he said. That leaves out a ton more.

“Unemployment in its truest definition, meaning the portion of people who do not have any job, is 37.2 percent. This number obviously includes some people who are not or never plan to seek employment. But it does describe how many people are not able to, do not want to or cannot find a way to work. Policies that remove the barriers to employment, thus decreasing this number, are obviously beneficial,” he and colleague Megan Russell in their new investors note from their offices in Charlottesville, Va.

MORE.

UPDATE: Here are 40,000 new reasons for more unemployment. These lousy laws will also make you an outlaw, if violated.


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Conservatives Adopting Lefty Language About ‘Income Inequality’

Business, Capitalism, Conservatism, Economy, Federal Reserve Bank, Individualism Vs. Collectivism, Private Property, The State

A more meaningful index than “income inequality”—it implies that income equality is the thing to strive for, heaven help us!—would be the correlation between the increasing balance sheets of the central banks of the world and so-called increasing wealth discrepancies.

Conservatives rarely argue the morality of capitalism and individual liberty. If they do debate, it is about the utility of freedom to the common good. The entire impetus of Republican-Party operatives is to keep up with the issues the Democrats introduce to distract from the destructive effects of galloping statism. So if the latter decry “income inequality,” the former affirm that they too worry themselves sick over whatever it is the Democrats are droning on about.

Today, Fox News reported gravely that the “World’s richest 85 people have as much as bottom half the population.” Similarly, this Townhall.com writer assures his readers that “Inequality is a Conservative Issue.”

“The Capitalist Professor” George Reisman is having none of it. He writes “In Defense of Business Fortunes and the Destructive Effects of Imposing Economic Equality,” at www.twitter.com, @GGReisman:

1. A fortune is accumulated by means of earning a high rate of profit on capital and heavily saving and reinvesting it year after year.

2. The high rate of profit is achieved by introducing newer, better products or producing existing products at a lower cost.

3. Sooner or later, competition brings down a high rate of profit to the general level. To go on earning it, further innovation is necessary.

4. For example, to maintain its high rate of profit, Apple has had to repeatedly improve its products and introduce several major new ones.

5. Had Apple stood still, its initially very profitable products, made obsolete by competition, would now be selling at huge losses.

6. The high profits are generally invested in the means of producing the very kind of products in which the innovations take place.

7. For example, Apple’s profits are invested in the expanded and improved production of Apple’s products.

8. Thus, business fortunes under capitalism represent ever better, less expensive products produced with capital constituted by those fortunes.

9. The fortunes originate in profits and are used as capital. Both ways they serve the general buying public. They also pay wages and salaries.

10. The existence of fortunes under capitalism benefits everyone in his capacity both as a buyer of products and seller of labor.

11. Imposing economic equality requires the confiscation of high profits. It would abort the earning of fortunes and stifle economic progress.

12. Advocates of economic equality know nothing about profits, innovation, or capital. They believe that wealth is a pile of consumers’ goods.

13. The capitalists, whom they depict as fat men, allegedly have too much of this pile. Some of it must be given to the starving masses.

14. Thus, imposing economic equality is also a policy of seizing capital in order to consume it—eating the seed corn and being impoverished.

15. Advocates of economic equality are wilfully ignorant of economics. They are fueled by envy and resentment, biting the hands that feed them.

16. Socialism/Communism is their philosophy. Stalin and Mao are their heroes. Famine, slave labor camps, and mass death are their legacy.


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On Health Care & ‘Homo Economicus,’ And The Spoils Of Entrapment & Political Predation

Economy, Healthcare, Media, Politics, Propaganda, Regulation, Terrorism

Health Care & ‘Homo Economicus. Even the pro-Obama socialist youth of America act as “Homo Economicus”: they know they are young and healthy and unlikely to fall ill. Why should they partake in a scheme that financially punishes them for this natural advantage? Millennials want us to pay for them, not the reverse.

“Federal Health Care Enrollees: Older Outnumber Younger”:

.. more than 2 million people who have signed up for private [it's not private: "A healthcare cauldron of Obama's creation, government-run exchanges constitute a planned economy, not a market economy"] health insurance through the exchanges set up by the federal government. … Of those who signed up in the first three months, 55 percent are age 45 to 64, officials said. Only 24 percent of those choosing a health insurance plan are 18 to 34, a group that is usually healthier and needs fewer costly medical services. People 55 to 64 – just below the age at which people qualify for Medicare — represented the largest group, at 33 percent.”

Speaking of the Dah Factor, or of the news newsmen were not anticipating (but you were):

“Review Of Terrorism Cases Finds NSA Spying Helped Very Little”:

Surveillance programs run by the National Security Agency helped very little when it came to cases brought against individuals the United States says were linked to al-Qaida. …

A great deal of efforts of our spymaster “protectors” go into entrapment; concocting elaborate traps to ensnare potential “evil doers”; “setting swarthy simpletons up and then nabbing them in a so-called terrorism sting.”

More non-news:

“Majority In Congress Are Millionaires”: Of course, the reporter doesn’t tell us how the predatory political class has acquired wealth, for he doesn’t think that it’s important, nevertheless:

For the first time in history, more than half the members of Congress are millionaires, according to a new analysis of financial disclosure reports conducted by the non-partisan .
Of the 534 current members of the House and Senate, 268 had an average net worth of $1 million or more in 2012 – up from 257 members in 2011. The median net worth for members of the House and Senate was $1,008,767.

Rep. Darrell Issa notwithstanding—he made his fortune, if I am not mistaken, in business, before joining the parasites in Congress—”The political class and its sycophants utilize the political means to earn their keep. As libertarian economist Murray Rothbard reminded, these ‘are two mutually exclusive ways of acquiring wealth”—the economic means is honest and productive, the political means is dishonest and predatory…but oh so very effective.’”


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Minimum Wage ‘Pulverizes The Poor’

Economy, Free Markets, Labor, Law

Minimum-wage legislation fixes the price of labor above its productivity, making it less likely that the young and the unskilled will be hired. Those who claim to represent the interests of unemployed youngsters—whose labor-participation rate has been in decline—and other unskilled laborers don’t much care that such legislation circumvents voluntary exchanges in the marketplace. Because government has fixed the price of labor, economic actors are prevented from engaging in mutually beneficial, voluntary exchange.

Still less is the hike justified because it impoverishes. Government can set wages above market value (productivity), but it cannot compel business to hire (and lose money), the outcome of which is unemployment among the young and the poor.

USA Today reports that “13 states are raising pay for minimum-wage workers at the start of 2014.” Another site more savvy than the Seattle Times—almost any website on the WWW qualifies—pegs the additional labor costs to the City of Seattle of “a $15 minimum wage” at “nearly $700,000.

Get rid of the minimum wage altogether says Prof. Walter Block, and jail those who pass it for the crime of “pulverizing the poor.”


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UPDATED: Chucky Krauthammer’s Keynesianism (Neocon Chucky: Tinkering Technocrat)

Economy, Federal Reserve Bank, Intellectualism, Neoconservatism, Regulation, Republicans

On Special Report today, Chucky Krauthammer could be heard quickly correcting his characteristic Keynesianism when fellow Fox-News panelist neoconservative George Will made him look, well, silly. As she knows nothing about economics, the blond Kirsten Powers, also empaneled to discuss the economy, was none the wiser. Neither did host Bret Baier notice Chucky stumble and recover.

The Fed had set the price of money at zero, Krauthammer noodled. In his opinion, this served as a positive impetus for steady but slow economic growth. The far cleverer George Will jumped on this, pointing out that quantitative easing was the Democratic equivalent of faux trickle-down economics. In other words, the manufacturing of paper money inflates prices on the stock exchange, enriches a few big players, and leaves the rest of us holding devalued dollars and struggling to survive. (Naturally, this is not verbatim. I paraphrase from memory, since few news outlets bother with the written word any longer.)

Like greased lightening, Krauthammer leaped to finesse his Fed demand-creation Keynesianism.

As mentioned, other than the two men involved, nobody (except a few Austrians like myself) noticed.

UPDATE (1/3): EPJ on Chucky’s Nutty Two Tier Minimum Wage Proposal. Our neocon is such a tinkering technocrat.

This is truly goofy. It would result in businesses hiring teenagers over breadwinners. Since the advocate Charles Krauthammer seems to understand that raising the minimum wage causes unemployment, his proposal has to be classified as pathological altruism.

Here’s Philip Klein on the problems with Krauthammer’s proposal:

On a Fox News panel earlier this week, Charles Krauthammer floated a proposal for a two-tiered minimum wage system in which the rate would be raised for individuals who are the breadwinners of their families and remain the same for others. But this would be an absolutely terrible idea.

MORE.


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UPDATED: ‘Mixed-Race’ Santa Brings More Money Woes

Barack Obama, Economy, Healthcare, Taxation

As analysts have expected all along, the Obamacare wrecking ball will keep gathering momentum in 2014 and beyond. Reports Gerri Willis:

…the coverage of people under corporate plans will likely change late next year as companies get ready for more changes under Obamacare. Taxes on so-called Cadillac plans will likely result in higher costs for workers and less extensive coverage. We may see even more companies opt to put employees into part-time roles to get around Obamacare requirements.

As one of the tremendously stupid Americans who ushered in ZeroCare with his vote said, “I like ObamaCare. I voted for it—I just didn’t realize I’d be paying for it.”

Yes, the economics of a free lunch for me but not for thee …

As to the additional tax changes, in 2014 those will follow Zerocare as night follows day:

High earners and people with large portfolios will find their taxes rising dramatically next year. Experts say that high earners will find their taxes tipping 50 percent of their earnings in many parts of the country, not just the big cities on the coasts. If you earn more than $200,000 filing singly or $250,000 married, filing jointly, you’ll pay a new additional tax on earned income of 0.9 percent. If you earn above $400,000 as a single filer or $450,000 married filing jointly, you’ll find yourself subject to a new income tax bracket of 39.6 percent. A new Medicare tax on investment income of 3.8 percent will also sting investors.

Courtesy of Joseph Farah comes “the ugly truth about the mixed-race Santa”:

A controversy was ignited by Megyn Kelly at Fox News when she refuted a blogger who found the legend of Santa Claus offensive because he was a fat, old white man.

I’ve got a bulletin for Megyn Kelly at Fox: You are dead wrong.

Santa Claus is not white – nor is he a mythical figure, as you claimed in your clarification of your original comment.

He’s real, and he is of mixed race.

He does, however, currently live in a white house, at taxpayer’s expense. …

MORE.

UPDATE: This is an astounding shift toward a welfariat. Sixty two percent of Americans are said to be eligible for subsidies under ZeroCare.


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