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James Carville famously remarked that when it came to winning presidential elections what mattered was “the economy, stupid.” If that maxim holds true in 2020, Donald Trump will find that a major impediment to his reelection bid will be his having fallen short on his many economic promises. A key economic promise President Trump made in 2016 was to put the country on a higher economic growth path. By deregulating the economy and by enacting a major tax cut, he promised that we would have a major investment boom. That in turn would allow the U.S. economy to grow on a Read More >>
Tue, Aug 20, 2019
Source: Marc Thiessen Category: MARC THIESSEN
Are large tech firms like Google, Apple, Amazon, and Facebook unassailable monopolies? Is there anything new about the way these companies try and maintain their market dominance? And have antitrust activists ever successfully predicted which big businesses will be forever companies? On this episode, Cato's Ryan Bourne discusses his recent paper, “Is This Time Different? Schumpeter, the Tech Giants, and Monopoly Fatalism.” Ryan Bourne occupies the R. Evan Scharf Chair for the Public Understanding of Economics at the Cato Institute. Before joining Cato, Ryan was the Head of Public Policy at the Institute of Economic Affairs and Head of Economic Research Read More >>
Tue, Aug 20, 2019
Source: Marc Thiessen Category: MARC THIESSEN
AEIRyan Bourne on Joseph Schumpeter, the tech giants, and the case against monopoly fatalism: A long-read Q&A Are large tech firms like Google, Apple, Amazon, and Facebook unassailable monopolies? Is there anything new about the way these companies try and maintain their market dominance? And have antitrust activists ever successfully predicted which big businesses will be forever companies? On this episode, Cato's Ryan Bourne discusses his recent paper, “Is This Time Different? Schumpeter, the Tech Giants, and Monopoly Fatalism.” Ryan Bourne occupies the R. Evan Scharf Chair for the Public Understanding of Economics at the Cato Institute. Before joining Cato, Ryan was Read More >>
Tue, Aug 20, 2019
Source: James Pethokoukis Category: JAMES PETHOKOUKIS
Earlier this week, HUD announced a new condominium approval process that will “allow certain individual condominium units to be eligible for FHA mortgage insurance even if the condominium project is not FHA approved.” The National Association of Realtors was one of the first to applaud the move. NAR President John Smaby stated: We are thrilled that Secretary Carson has taken this much-needed step to put the American Dream within reach for thousands of additional families. It goes without saying that condominiums are often the most affordable option for first-time homebuyers, small families and those in urban areas. This ruling, which culminates Read More >>
Mon, Aug 19, 2019
Source: Marc Thiessen Category: MARC THIESSEN
The Department of Veterans' Affairs should be the nation's greatest champion for veteran care, service, and support… yet often it struggles to provide veterans with the resources needed for success. Join US House VA Committee members Mike Levin (D-CA) and Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) as they discuss the VET OPP Act, their joint attempt to better equip veterans for civilian sector success Watch the full event here Read More >>
Mon, Aug 19, 2019
Source: Marc Thiessen Category: MARC THIESSEN
AEIConfusing Trump trade policy keeps confusing Is the Trump administration trying to good cop/bad cop Beijing? Just when you think it's a done deal that Commerce Department partially delays its Huawei ban, President Trump says he does “not want to do business at all” with the Chinese telecom company. And then … the reprieve comes anyway. Huawei received a 90-day extension that allows it to do some business with US customers. Clearly, Washington's negotiating strategy couldn't be that transparent with such a made-for-TV quality, but it just might be. At the heart of the issue, of course, is whether Trump sees Huawei Read More >>
Mon, Aug 19, 2019
Source: James Pethokoukis Category: JAMES PETHOKOUKIS
If there's one victim of the testing and accountability era that policymakers and school system leaders haven't mourned, it's the field trip. After all, field trips have long been dismissed in some quarters as wasteful, distracting, unserious exercises. But many teachers have consistently seen things differently. As a new school year looms, it's worth asking whether it's time to reconsider the value of the humble field trip. Enter accomplished University of Arkansas professor Jay Greene, who has done creative, pioneering research on civic values, school choice, high school graduation rates and even the selection of names for schools. Throughout the past Read More >>
Mon, Aug 19, 2019
Source: Marc Thiessen Category: MARC THIESSEN
I first came across substandard medicine in the early years of this century in southern Africa when HIV and malaria patients didn't respond to their medicine. It was obvious from the beginning that problems of quality were greater with Chinese and Indian medicine that those made in OECD, but this was not universally true and it was hard to establish why and impossible to know when it would occur. Antiretroviral drugs in a medicine cabinet. REUTERS/Chip East It wasn't until I was contacted by Dinesh Thakur in 2005 that I learned the reason for poor quality was often due to fraud Read More >>
Mon, Aug 19, 2019
Source: Marc Thiessen Category: MARC THIESSEN
The animated “bar chart race” visualization above shows the average daily oil production in America's “Big Three” oil fields — the Permian Basin in west Texas, the Eagle Ford Shale in south-central Texas and the Bakken Formation in North Dakota (and Montana) — on a monthly basis from January 2007 to August 2019 (EIA data here). A few observations: 1. Oil production in the Permian Basin topped 1 million barrels per day (bpd) for the first time in May 2011, 2 million bpd in July 2016 (a little more than 5 years later), 3 million bpd in February 2018 (less Read More >>
Sat, Aug 17, 2019
Source: Marc Thiessen Category: MARC THIESSEN
Fri, Aug 16, 2019
Source: Mark Krikorian Category: MARK KRIKORIAN
Over at the Cafe Hayek blog, in a series of posts Don Boudreaux has been patiently and repeatedly trying to explain to several of his readers and correspondents in a series of blog posts the simple and straightforward concept that “exports are costs.” Here are the links to three of Don's posts and some excerpts: 1. On Exports Being Costs That exports are costs is proven by this fact: people export only because, and only insofar as, they expect to get in exchange for their export earnings things of value. Because all exporting will stop if people come to expect that Read More >>
Fri, Aug 16, 2019
Source: Marc Thiessen Category: MARC THIESSEN
Basel III bank capital regulations were created in response to the 2008 financial crisis and prevent the failure of systemically important financial institutions. Basel III includes a discretionary countercyclical capital buffer that can be “fine tuned” by bank regulators. The countercyclical capital buffer has not been used in the United States, but the Federal Reserve is considering activating it. Proponents of the countercyclical capital buffer presume that it possesses near mystical power to control bank lending, a claim that lacks empirical support and belies common sense. For believers, the countercyclical capital buffer is like a volume knob that controls bank lending. Read More >>
Fri, Aug 16, 2019
Source: Marc Thiessen Category: MARC THIESSEN
In an interconnected world, the supply chains of every significant industry rely on the unimpeded flow of information to coordinate activities. Thus, the greatest physical and financial effects of the US-China trade war almost certainly are playing out in the acceptability (allegedly for security reasons) of the Chinese telecom giant Huawei's equipment. This includes both network infrastructure and smartphones and other devices (including machine-to-machine “Internet of Things” devices) connecting to the networks. Huawei is second (to Samsung) in global smartphone market share, and is experiencing steady growth in this statistic, unlike rivals Samsung and Apple. It is the market leader Read More >>
Fri, Aug 16, 2019
Source: Marc Thiessen Category: MARC THIESSEN
AEIWhen the last Soviet leader learned a lesson in economics One of my summer reads is “Gorbachev: His Life and Times” by William Taubman. It's garnered heaps of praise, and though I have not yet completed the lengthy tome, so far, so great. One of the big themes is an exploration of how the Soviet system ever produced someone like Gorbachev, much less let him rise to national leadership. One of Gorbachev's close aides called him “a genetic error in the system.” As such, I am constantly on the lookout for events and experiences that may have helped open Gorbachev's mind Read More >>
Wed, Aug 14, 2019
Source: James Pethokoukis Category: JAMES PETHOKOUKIS
Tue, Aug 13, 2019
Source: Mark Krikorian Category: MARK KRIKORIAN
AEIAn economic lesson worth remembering: Communism was pretty terrible Much of my writing is about the transformative power of innovative, market capitalism. But maybe it would be worthwhile to expend a few more words on the alternative. What about the terrible history of centrally planned economies? Apparently the great lessons from those experiences must be relearned. I mean, clearly the message isn't getting through when some folks — as I've seen on Twitter — can look at a chart showing the steep decline in global poverty and view it as an endorsement of the Chinese communist party rather than market reforms Read More >>
Mon, Aug 12, 2019
Source: James Pethokoukis Category: JAMES PETHOKOUKIS
AEILet's not censor and ruin the internet over dodgy bias issues I hope this is #FakeNews, but I fear it isn't. CNN reports that the Trump White House has drafted an executive order that “could put the Federal Communications Commission in charge of shaping how Facebook, Twitter, and other large tech companies curate what appears on their websites,” according to sources. Specifically, the draft order attempts to limit Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a part of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, that gives internet companies broad immunity from lawsuits over third-party content. Then-Republican Senate Candidate Josh Hawley appears on Read More >>
Fri, Aug 09, 2019
Source: James Pethokoukis Category: JAMES PETHOKOUKIS
US President Donald Trump speaks to reporters about border security in the Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, US REUTERS/Carlos Barria
AEIWorried about China? There's an alternative to Trump's tariffs. It's tempting to write off Republican acquiescence to President Trump's protectionism as pure political calculation. The cynic's take: All those Milton Friedman-spouting GOP free traders have become “fair traders” just because tariffs are popular among Trump's white working-class fans. And why buck a president with a 72% net approval rating among Republicans over all? US President Donald Trump speaks to reporters about border security in the Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, US. REUTERS/Carlos Barria But it's more than just a Trump thing. And the president isn't the first GOP businessman to Read More >>
Fri, Aug 09, 2019
Source: James Pethokoukis Category: JAMES PETHOKOUKIS
AEISearching for infinite economic growth It's tempting to think some favored policy tweak will produce massively positive economic effects. But that usually isn't the case. Even big policy changes often produce somewhat muted economic responses. When Congress passed big tax cuts back in 2017, President Trump said he saw “no reason” why economic growth couldn't accelerate to as high as 6%. Yet growth in the ten quarters since the tax cut has averaged 2.6%, not much better than the 2.3% growth experienced over the previous ten quarters or the 2.5% averaged since 1990. And that's OK, writes scientist and policy analyst Vaclav Read More >>
Thu, Aug 08, 2019
Source: James Pethokoukis Category: JAMES PETHOKOUKIS
AEIThe Wall Street Journal has unfortunately amplified the myth that social media is censoring conservatives There's a lot wrong with radio talker Dennis Prager's new op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, “Don't Let Google Get Away With Censorship.” Let's start with the flimsy nature of the headline claim. Prager's entire censorship case is that YouTube has placed 56 of 320 short videos produced by PragerU in “restricted mode” so that they're hidden to users — typically libraries, schools, and public institutions — who have chosen the setting. As YouTube explains, “Videos containing potentially adult content will not be shown to viewers Read More >>
Wed, Aug 07, 2019
Source: James Pethokoukis Category: JAMES PETHOKOUKIS