Category Archives: The Economy

Welcome To Wal*Mart!

We heard some crowing today about the latest jobs report. What you didn’t hear is who got those jobs. It turns out that all of the gain went to people aged 55 and older, who picked up 230,000 jobs. (You can imagine what sort of jobs those are.) Meanwhile, those in the prime earning years […]


Our pal Mangan directed us yesterday to an interesting item, from Britain’s Institute of Economic Affairs, on the idea of ‘political correctness’ as an expression, not of one’s actual beliefs, but as a ‘signaling’ mechanism employed to enhance status. (This is not a new idea, but this is a good treatment of it.) Inside the […]

The Minimum Wage, Part 2

A while back I agreed to comment on a New York Times editorial advocating a rise in the minimum wage. (The editorial, entitled The Clear Benefits of a Higher Wage, is here.) The brief editorial’s main point is that a minimum-wage increase cannot be reliably expected to cause enough of an increase in unemployment to […]

The Minimum Wage, Part 1

There’s been a lot of argument lately about whether to raise the minimum wage, and I haven’t had much to say about it in these pages. But a comment in a recent thread got me digging into the topic more deeply than I had before, and so it’s time for a post about it, I […]

Suppose You Wanted To Ruin A Nation

Well, that’s a big job, but it can be done! You just have to work hard, and keep the goal in view. As with all big jobs, the trick is to break it down into smaller parts. Here’s Victor Davis Hanson on how to take care of the economy. (Hat tip: Bill Keezer.) Forgive me, […]

Another Cobblestone On The Road To Hell

Milton Freidman responds to President Obama’s call for a hike in the minimum wage. Here, from beyond the grave.

A Cautionary Tale

California, not so long ago the flagship of the American federation, has been going under for quite a while now: overfreighted with lavish entitlements, embarnacled with suffocating regulation, and holed below the waterline by demographic disintegration. Because attacking the root of the problem by reducing the expansion of government is for deep-blue California an ideological […]

Change We Can Believe In

In this brief item, Jim Pethokoukis weighs the various options for dealing with the looming debt-ceiling battle. Among them, in case you haven’t heard: trillion-dollar platinum coins.

Currency Wars

Do forgive me for all that doom & gloom in our previous thread. Here, this’ll cheer you up. From Jim Rickards.

The Hell-Bound Train

The latest Economic Freedom of the World Annual Report has the U.S. ranked eighteenth, down from second place in 200o. Well, home of the brave, still, maybe. We’ll see.

“Trickle Down”: Fact And Fancy

Here’s an outstanding essay by economist Thomas Sowell on widely held misconceptions regarding the historical effects of varying tax rates on the wealthy. An excerpt: The very idea that profits “trickle down” to workers depicts the economic sequence of events in the opposite order from that in the real world. Workers must first be hired, […]

Ask Chuck!

As you already know, the Congressional deficit-reduction “supercommittee” failed to find a paltry $1.2 trillion dollars worth of trimmable fat in the Federal budget over the next ten years. Given that you could confiscate all corporate profits each year in America and still only cover six months of government spending, we’re obviously living way, way […]

Wow, Pretty Super

Well, it looks as if the deficit-reduction “supercommittee” is about to fail. Political analyst Larry Sabato tweeted: Could it really be that 12 able legislators will fail utterly at the most important task they’ll ever be asked to do? Yeah, I’m sure he’s shocked, along with the rest of us. U.S. government spending is an […]

Bears In The China Shop

In the discussion we linked to yesterday (well worth your time, by the way, if you are interested in matters military and strategic), George Friedman argued that although China has made a Great Leap Forward beyond anything Mao could have imagined, it is now reaching a point of economic fatigue, if not exhaustion. In particular, […]

World Wide Web

Interesting item from New Scientist: the global corporate network that dominates the world’s economy. Here.

Whither Hence?

Poking around at NRO just now, I ran across some solid pessimism from PayPal founder Peter Thiel. In a piece called “The End of the Future“, he argues that the steady technological progress that pulled the world’s economy upward for a very long time has stalled. The essay seems a shade too gloomy, even for […]

A Poor Standard

In today’s Times there’s a harsh look at Standard and Poor’s ratings system, by Nate Silver. An excerpt: [T]he evidence from the past five years suggests that it may be worthwhile to adopt a contrarian investing strategy that specifically bets against S.&P.’s ratings. If you were trying to predict a country’s default risk today, based […]