In the midst of a pandemic, as the country recovers from the biggest economic crisis since the Great Depression, in many towns across the country you cannot help but notice the “We’re Hiring” signs. Despite the fact that the economy has not fully opened up retail stores, grocery stores and restaurants are seemingly desperate for help and in some places there have been reports of businesses closing because of the inability to hire enough people. How can that be?
Although the unemployment rate is much better than might be expected, it is higher for young people, low income and those with a high school education or less-the exact labor pool where businesses are struggling to find help.
Continue reading “Businesses Are Finding Labor Shortages, So Biden Administration Proposes More Unemployment Benefits”
Thoughts for a Wednesday on liberal vs. conservative approaches to economic policy and on the minimum wage.
Continue reading “Quick Takes On Economic Policy”
There has been much controversy about an election law recently passed in the state of Georgia. The law’s provisions include such things as a requirement for a photo ID to vote in person, tightening validation provisions around mail-in ballots, and a provision that most of us would not think of but which forbids passing out food and drinks to people standing in line to vote.
Liberal politicians have screamed charges of racism and voter suppression. Corporations such as Delta Airlines have joined in and Rob Manfred, Commissioner of Major League Baseball (MLB) announced that they are moving this year’s All-Star game out of Atlanta because of the outrage. Yesterday, Manfred announced that the game would be held in Denver, presumably because Colorado was much less ‘racist’ than Georgia in how it handled election. Yet, the actual reality is quite interesting, as is the intellectual integrity of Manfred and MLB.
Continue reading “The Intellectual Dishonesty of Rob Manfred and MLB”
President Biden said yesterday that his proposed $2.3 trillion spending bill will create 19 million jobs.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are currently 10.1 million people unemployed in the United States.
That is some amazing math!
(And remember, you heard it here first. Somehow the media missed it.)
During the election, there was a good deal of debate about how Joe Biden would govern. Throughout his career, he had been a fairly moderate Democrat. As a Democrat, that meant that he leaned liberal but he also had never been on the left wing of the Party and worked in a bi-partisan way on many issues. Yet, many argued that the Democratic Party had become controlled by the extreme liberal wing, and his choice of Vice President, Kamala Harris, the second most liberal US Senator, seemed to give credence to the notion that Biden would become much more liberal as President than his previous record might indicate.
Biden seemed to go a long way toward answering that question this week.
Continue reading “What Does This Week Tell Us About Biden’s Governing Philosophy?”
Here are some examples of the reasons that many conservatives oppose the latest pandemic relief bill. The bill proposed by President Biden is $1.9 TRILLION, which is after two earlier bills of roughly $4 T and $ .9 T. Included in the bill passed by the House are such ‘pandemic relief’ items as:
- $1.5 billion for Amtrack (this is on top of $1 billion from previous relief bills that is unspent)
- $100 million for an underground railway in Silicon Valley
- $500 million for Native American ‘language preservation’ and a museum
- $50 million for Planned Parenthood and other ‘family planning’ organizations
- $50 million in grants for “environmental justice”
- $1.5 million for a bridge connection Canada and New York state (home state of Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer)
Opposition to the bill has nothing to do with opposing money for helping those impacted by the pandemic. It has to do with lawmakers using the pandemic to put in money for pet projects that have nothing to do with the pandemic…which, now that we think about it, would be called ‘fraud’ in any other context.
In the roughly one month since President Biden has been in office, he has tried to set the tone for where his Administration would set priorities. Actions are indicative of the person, and in economic policy President Biden has shown where his priorities lie.
Continue reading “President Biden Sets His Priorities (Part 1 in a Series): The Economy-Ideology Or Recovery?”
Joe Biden was inaugurated yesterday as President. As promised, he signed several executive orders that undid Trump executive orders. One of those, was that Biden recommitted the US to the Paris Climate Agreement.
As this author wrote in 2017 as President Trump pulled out of the Agreement, the practical effect of the Paris accord was very small but the cost was very high.
In that piece (link provided below for ease), which is worth re-reading after President Biden’s actions, the discussion focused on objective measures which are often difficult to discuss since global warming/climate change has become almost a religion to so many people.
In short, it’s a bad agreement because: 1) China and India, the world’s two largest ‘offenders’, are not required to do anything on emissions for a decade. 2) the US is required to foot the bill for several other countries to the tune of tens of billions of dollars, 3) it will cost the US economy an estimated trillion dollars is lost jobs and compliance expenses and 4) all of that is estimated, even by ardent environmentalist, to reduce the rate of increase in temperature by ONE DEGREE. A pretty hefty price for one degree, even if everything works as well as proposed and every country completely complies.
Forget Paris. At a time our economy has already taken a big body blow, even if it were a good agreement now is not the time for the economy to take another hit.
The presidential election is officially over, another major company moves out of California, Utah State football players walk out and Seattle….well, continues to be Seattle.
Continue reading “Monday Quick Takes”
We should look for good ideas, wherever they may come from. One of the most recent comes from a referendum passed in Massachusetts this week dubbed the ‘right to repair’ law. It’s a victory for free markets and consumers.
The law, simply put, requires that new vehicles be made with common, standard electronic data systems that can be accessed by anyone with the proper equipment. Previously, car manufacturers had installed proprietary systems to access data on cars that would require an owner needing service to go to a dealership for certain types of repairs. Now, people will be able to go to independent garages or possibly even do the repairs themselves since they will now have access to data that previously manufacturers made sure only their own dealerships could access.
That’s free market economics and when consumers have choices, they win.