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AEIThe Candlemakers' Petition: Revised and modernized for today's climate of rising trade protectionism In 1845, during a period when there was a rising tide of protectionism in France, the French economist Frederic Bastiat (pictured above) wrote a famous satirical parable known as “The Candlemakers' Petition.” In that famed economic fable, Bastiat humorously wrote to the French parliament on behalf of French candlemakers and lantern makers and lobbied the French government to enact protectionist legislation against the unfair competition of a foreign rival – the sun. I've taken the liberty of channeling my “inner Bastiat” to revise and modernize “The Candlemakers' Petition” Read More >>
Mon, Dec 11, 2017
Source: Public Policy Blog of the American Enterprise Institute Category: ETHICS AND PUBLIC POLICY CENTER
AEIQuotation of the day on the fallacy of weak productivity….. …. is from today's Monday Morning Outlook by the economic team at First Trust Advisors (Brian Wesbury, Robert Stein and Strider Elass): Why do so many people think productivity is weak? Yes, government data sources say it's weak. But anyone who goes outside instead of living in the data knows nearly everything is getting better, faster, and cheaper. New technologies are boosting productivity everywhere. As recently as 2009 it took over a month to drill and complete a new oil well; now it takes around a week. Farmers have boosted the bushels of Read More >>
Mon, Dec 11, 2017
Source: Public Policy Blog of the American Enterprise Institute Category: ETHICS AND PUBLIC POLICY CENTER
The disagreements over the basic direction of health care policy in the United States are what dominate most news on the subject. And there is no question that there is an immense divide separating those who favor a more market-based approach to reform from those who favor more governmental control. But beyond this basic philosophical disagreement, there are areas of agreement. Both sides in the on-going debate agree that current health care arrangements all too often lead to unnecessary and expensive care being provided to patients, at high prices, with little payoff in terms of improved health. There is also agreement Read More >>
Mon, Dec 11, 2017
Source: Marc Thiessen Category: MARC THIESSEN
AEIHow more Americans can get to where the jobs are The unemployment rate is at a 17-year low, and the US economy continues to generate gobs of jobs, as last week's November job report showed. Yet the US labor market could be more dynamic than it is now. For instance: Much has been written about the decline in US geographic mobility, and why that's bad for workers. From The Economist: Since 1990, the percentage of Americans moving from one state to another in a given year has fallen by about half. Americans rely on the natural flexibility of their labour market to Read More >>
Mon, Dec 11, 2017
Source: James Pethokoukis Category: JAMES PETHOKOUKIS
AEIHow more Americans can get to where the jobs are The unemployment rate is at a 17-year low, and the US economy continues to generate gobs of jobs, as last week's November job report showed. Yet the US labor market could be more dynamic than it is now. For instance: Much has been written about the decline in US geographic mobility, and why that's bad for workers. From The Economist: Since 1990, the percentage of Americans moving from one state to another in a given year has fallen by about half. Americans rely on the natural flexibility of their labour market to Read More >>
Mon, Dec 11, 2017
Source: Public Policy Blog of the American Enterprise Institute Category: ETHICS AND PUBLIC POLICY CENTER
AEITaking a look at the state of Trump's deregulation efforts When the Trump White House talks about boosting economic growth, it's not all tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts. Officials also mention the administration's ongoing deregulatory push as a big part of why Trumponomics will turn a Two Percent Economy into a Three Percent or Four Percent Economy. President Trump himself has cited deregulation as one of his biggest accomplishments so far. But a new analysis by Bloomberg gives reason for skepticism, at least if you define “deregulation” as actually, you know, removing regulations currently in effect. Not much of that seems Read More >>
Mon, Dec 11, 2017
Source: James Pethokoukis Category: JAMES PETHOKOUKIS
AEITaking a look at the state of Trump's deregulation efforts When the Trump White House talks about boosting economic growth, it's not all tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts. Officials also mention the administration's ongoing deregulatory push as a big part of why Trumponomics will turn a Two Percent Economy into a Three Percent or Four Percent Economy. President Trump himself has cited deregulation as one of his biggest accomplishments so far. But a new analysis by Bloomberg gives reason for skepticism, at least if you define “deregulation” as actually, you know, removing regulations currently in effect. Not much of that seems Read More >>
Mon, Dec 11, 2017
Source: Public Policy Blog of the American Enterprise Institute Category: ETHICS AND PUBLIC POLICY CENTER
AEIWant more startups? Bring in more immigrants to get the job done. US productivity has grown by only 1% annually since the mid-2000s, and half that since the Great Recession and Financial Crisis. With demographics dragging on labor force growth, the US economy needs faster productivity growth if it has any hope of even being a 2% economy over the long-term, much less the 3% to 4% economy that the Trump administration talks about. And on this topic, I highly recommend the latest issue of International Economy magazine, which surveys a number of economists about the productivity problem in advanced economies. Lots Read More >>
Mon, Dec 11, 2017
Source: James Pethokoukis Category: JAMES PETHOKOUKIS
AEIWant more startups? Bring in more immigrants to get the job done. US productivity has grown by only 1% annually since the mid-2000s, and half that since the Great Recession and Financial Crisis. With demographics dragging on labor force growth, the US economy needs faster productivity growth if it has any hope of even being a 2% economy over the long-term, much less the 3% to 4% economy that the Trump administration talks about. And on this topic, I highly recommend the latest issue of International Economy magazine, which surveys a number of economists about the productivity problem in advanced economies. Lots Read More >>
Mon, Dec 11, 2017
Source: Public Policy Blog of the American Enterprise Institute Category: ETHICS AND PUBLIC POLICY CENTER
Writing in The Hill, Robert Stammers of the CFA Institute warned that “a real retirement crisis is still impending” that could create “a generation of retired poor.” In support of his view, Stammer points to recent work by the Government Accountability Office which, Stammer stated, “paints a very bleak picture” of the U.S. retirement saving system. But the GAO claim that Stammer thinks illustrates America's coming retirement crisis is in fact one of several misleading arguments in GAO's recent work on retirement saving. While despairing over the recent policy discussion on retirement savings, Robert Stammers states: “Some hope comes from one government agency Read More >>
Mon, Dec 11, 2017
Source: Marc Thiessen Category: MARC THIESSEN
AEITax code in transition: How to treat accumulated untaxed foreign earnings Lawmakers are on the verge of fundamentally updating the international provisions of the US tax code. Currently, we have a worldwide system, under which profits US firms earn abroad are subject to US tax minus a credit for foreign taxes paid and subject to a deferral until repatriation. In an effort that began in 2011 with draft legislation from former Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp, Republicans have been determined to transform the US tax code into a territorial system, under which active income earned abroad is generally exempt from Read More >>
Mon, Dec 11, 2017
Source: Public Policy Blog of the American Enterprise Institute Category: ETHICS AND PUBLIC POLICY CENTER
technology regulation
AEIEvents constantly outstrip Washington's ability to regulate technology Two events last week inform new debates about whether (or how) to regulate technology markets. Via Twenty20 In the first, Amazon and Google's long-simmering spat exploded just in time for the holidays. “As revenge for Amazon refusing to stock Google's line of gadgets – the company's Chromecast internet TV box, Google Home speaker and, most recently, its Nest line of smart thermostats – Google removed access to YouTube from Amazon's own Fire TV devices. In defending the move, Google also pointed out that Amazon has refused to make its own internet TV service, Prime Video, work Read More >>
Mon, Dec 11, 2017
Source: Public Policy Blog of the American Enterprise Institute Category: ETHICS AND PUBLIC POLICY CENTER
Key Points Most of the farm bill programs dedicated to agriculture simply slice up and, in some cases, reduce the size of the agricultural pie, redistributing dollars from taxpayers to farmers, insurance intermediaries, and various agribusinesses while, in some cases, creating incentives for farmers to waste resources. In stark contrast, farm bill dollars dedicated to food and agricultural research and development (R&D) expand the overall size of the agricultural pie to benefit not only innovative farmers and agribusinesses but also taxpaying consumers who foot the bill. Productivity growth induced by publicly funded R&D investments lowers costs of production and the price of Read More >>
Mon, Dec 11, 2017
Source: Marc Thiessen Category: MARC THIESSEN
AEIMilton Friedman in 1979: Subsidies of foreign producers that lower prices for Americans are a form of philanthropy, why should we complain? In 1979, Milton Friedman released a ten-part economic documentary series that was broadcast on public television (and later released as a ten-chapter book in 1980) titled “Free to Choose: A Personal Statement.” The video above titled “The Tyranny of Controls” is Part 2 of the series, and at about 20:20 of the segment (you can also view it at that point here), Milton Friedman provides the response below to a complaint from a US steel industry spokesman earlier in Read More >>
Sun, Dec 10, 2017
Source: Public Policy Blog of the American Enterprise Institute Category: ETHICS AND PUBLIC POLICY CENTER
AEIQuotation of the day on the case for the baker in the gay-wedding culture war… … is from Andrew Sullivan writing in New York Magazine (emphasis added): It always worries me when gays advocate taking freedom away from other people. It worries me as a matter of principle. But it also unsettles me because some gay activists do not seem to realize that the position they're taking is particularly dangerous for a tiny and historically despised minority. The blithe unconcern for the First Amendment in the war on “hate speech,” for example, ignores the fact that, for centuries, the First Amendment was Read More >>
Sun, Dec 10, 2017
Source: Public Policy Blog of the American Enterprise Institute Category: ETHICS AND PUBLIC POLICY CENTER
There is another way to look at the recent wave of Mueller criticism. at WashingtonExaminer.com Read More >>
Sat, Dec 09, 2017
Source: Byron York Category: BYRON YORK
AEIJohn Cochrane on surge pricing, economic freedom and the sad paradox of free markets…. John Cochrane on The Grumpy Economist blog offers some insightful comments about the economics of surge pricing and free market solutions and economic freedom in general in a post titled “The hard road of free markets” (my emphasis): But perhaps people just don't understand the basics of how markets work. Evidence for this proposition comes from the Washington Post article “Upset about the I-66 tolls? These Virginia lawmakers are with you.” I-66 is a new toll road in the Virginias suburbs of DC with full real time congestion Read More >>
Sat, Dec 09, 2017
Source: Public Policy Blog of the American Enterprise Institute Category: ETHICS AND PUBLIC POLICY CENTER
The phones of House and Senate leaders are ringing off the hook right now, as CEOs and wealthy donors lobby them furiously to lower the top income tax rate and insert costly carve-outs into the GOP tax bill to protect their business tax preferences. Too bad regular taxpayers don't have a direct line to the conferees hammering out the final bill to plead their cases. Because it seems as though they have been forgotten. Case in point: At the last minute, Senate Republicans changed their version of the tax bill to keep the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) — a pernicious parallel Read More >>
Sat, Dec 09, 2017
Source: Marc Thiessen Category: MARC THIESSEN
“Dream Hoarders,” Richard V. Reeves's book about the upper middle class, deserves the attention it's received since its publication earlier this year. Reviewers have rightly praised it for focusing on the highest-earning 20 percent of U.S. households, a broad swath of relatively affluent Americans far more numerous than the easy-to-caricature top 1 percent. Reeves raises hard questions about the way the upper-middle-class lives and how it passes its advantages along to its children. Reeves made me question whether there should be limits for what we do for our children. He and I agree that bribing a college admissions officer would be Read More >>
Fri, Dec 08, 2017
Source: Marc Thiessen Category: MARC THIESSEN