Tag: economy

Governor’s race tightens in Florida

It’s the economy, stupid.  Just kidding, that’s what it used to be.  Now it’s race and phony promises.  Gillum has turned around his political fortune by playing the race card and promising far more than he could ever deliver.  Even with a billion dollar tax hike, you have to wonder how he is going to give teachers raises when the economy crashes.  But none of that matters.  When Gillum destroys the economy, we must all sit and watch in horror with our hands over our mouths.  Any criticism would be racist, just like with Obama.

Fortunately, Floridians may be coming to their senses.  After a shock Rasmussen poll showed Gillum up by six points, the most recent poll out from Florida Atlantic University shows it as a 2 point race.  Rasmussen tends to lean right, giving Trump 50% approval ratings throughout 2018.  But the new poll tracks more closely with Quinnipiac’s 3 point lead for Gillum.  Quinnipiac tends to lean left.  That means the Florida governor’s race is still a toss up.  So perhaps we can have slight restoration of faith in the sanity of Florida voters.

New poll shows 2 point race in Florida

Judiciary committee chair Chuck Grassley has set a deadline of Friday morning for Christine Blasey Ford to decide whether or not to testify about the allegation letter Democrats have sat on since July.  Ford has flipped back and forth on whether she will actually show up.  Her lawyers have demanded an FBI investigation, even though it’s not a Federal issue, there is no evidence to investigate, and the FBI has already reviewed the information and declined.  Perhaps her lawyers aren’t very well versed in how things work.

I suppose Republicans should pat themselves on the back for entertaining this absurd sideshow.  In today’s cultural environment it is really necessary.  But the whole episode is unfortunate.  By turning Ford’s accusation into a circus event and using it as a delay strategy, Democrats have cheapened and discredited women who have been attacked and should be believed.  This, like Gillum playing the race card, harms real victims.  It also harms the country.  Rather than being able to come together in unity and say “racism is bad” or “women deserve to be heard and believed”, reasonable people must pause and ask “was it really racism?  Or was it a common phrase used in a context having nothing to do with race that a Democrat got offended at for political purposes”.  “Is she telling the truth?  Or is she an operative making non-falsifiable claims as a ploy to harm someone else for political reasons?”

It’s not fair that reasonable people should even have to ask.  Democrats have a credibility gap and an honor deficiency that has been made apparent by the Kavanaugh hearings.  They need to fix this.  Not for their own sake, but for the sake of real victims who they have turned into political football to score cheap points.

Ford has until Friday to decide if she will testify

Speaking of credible accusers, the former girlfriend of Democrat Representative Keith Ellison just released medical records detailing the physical abuse she experienced at his hand.  We’ve gone on about Bill Clinton, Ted Kennedy, and other Democrat heroes who raped and murdered women.  But Democrats typically yawn and go on about how that is ancient history.  The Ellison abuse scandal is not ancient history.  It’s now.  He beat his girlfriend as recently as 2017.

Shouldn’t Ellison step down?  Shouldn’t the media care about this?  The media cycle is filled with a 35 year old accusation against Kavanaugh with no witnesses, no location, no date, no physical evidence, and plenty of political intrigue.  Is there simply no room left to talk about a real, current case of domestic abuse?  Certainly it couldn’t be that the media doesn’t care because of Ellison’s party affiliation.  If that were the case, it would validate Republican complaints that the media is severely biased.

Keith Ellison beat his girlfriend, but no one cares

Advertisements

Borking failed, Dems try Anita Hill II

Democrats have failed again to stop Kavanaugh.  This time, it was pretty spectacular.  Diane Feinstein came out with a letter yesterday that apparently she had been hiding since summer.  The letter, written anonymously by someone who allegedly begged not to have her identity revealed (i.e. fakenews) supposedly accused Kavanaugh of some sort of sexual crime in high school.  Kavanaugh attended Georgetown Prep, which is an all boys high school.

When Feinstein had no luck getting the phony letter introduced to the judiciary committee as evidence, she went the Bruce Ohr/Peter Strzok route and forwarded it to the FBI to be investigated.  Of course, no investigation is planned.  Feinstein has earned her own clown nose in the Kavanaugh hearings, along with Corey “Spartacus” Booker, and Kamala Harris with her “have you ever talked to anyone about anything” line of questioning.  And here I was hoping Feinstein was trying to be the reasonable and sane voice of the left in the Judiciary Committee.

Feinstein tries and fails spectacularly with phony anti-Kavanaugh letter

Socialists boycotting Jews?  Apparently there is nothing new under the sun.  Florida Socialist and Democrat candidate for governor Andrew Gillum has aligned himself with anti-Semitic groups who have called for boycotting Israel.  Gillum has happily accepted endorsements from racist groups like Dream Defenders who are part of the BDS movement to harm Jewish people economically through boycotts.  This isn’t the first time this approach has been tried in history.

Gillum in bed with groups that advocate boycotting Jewish businesses

Despite tax cuts, tax revenues continue to increase at record rates.  The government has collected over $1.5 trillion through August.  This beat out the previous record set last year.  While the deficit continues to run high and Congress continues to avoid spending cuts, it shows that tax cuts do increase revenues when it results in economic recovery.  This has been proven now several times.  If Congress could get their act together and cut spending (rather than double it along with taxes), we could have a balanced budget some day.

Tax cuts work, booming economy increases revenues

But CNN Persisted

CNN isn’t backing off their claim that Michael Cohen can prove Trump complicity with the Trump Tower meeting.  This is despite the fact that Lanny Davis has recanted and backed off of the claim.  We reported earlier after Davis’s under-reported interview with Anderson Cooper that he basically went back on every claim he had previously made.

Davis reiterated to the Washington Post that his own claims were bogus.  But CNN is persisting in reporting that Cohen is ready to dish dirt on Trump.  CNN seems to be going the Dan Rather route of “It’s not proven, but we believe it in our hearts”. Possible things Cohen might know about?  There’s the Trump Tower meeting and potential interference through the DNC server hack, although Lanny Davis has now denied both.  There’s also an old report from the UK Daily Mail back in May that Cohen demanded money from Qatar for Trump.  But so far this seems to be tabloid gossip.

Lanny Davis says Cohen dirt oversold.  CNN still buying it.

Democrats know impeachment is out of grasp and have stopped running on it.  The economy is too good, and their evidence is too bad to actually think they could get 75 Senators to vote for impeachment.  But Democrats are promising endless probes and investigations if they take control of the House.  According to Bloomberg, Democrats have a long laundry list of taxpayer funded probes to hit Trump with in order to obstruct his agenda.  Still, Trump has weathered investigations through the first two years of his Presidency while still accomplishing major agenda items.  Voters will need to decide in November whether they want massive obstruction in the House or continued progress on the economy.

Democrats abandon impeachment, go for obstruction instead

Speaking of Trump accomplishments, stocks are through the roof again as the US and Mexico get closer to closing a new NAFTA deal.  Trump blew up the old NAFTA deal in an effort to secure something better for the United States.  He has accomplished this and North American trade is back on.  The Mexico NAFTA agreement should also bring Canada back into the mix.  This is a big victory for Trump’s foreign trade policy.

NAFTA 2.0 with Mexico coming back online

Supply, Demand, and Economic Cycles

Before engaging in political debate, it’s good to have a knowledge base built up to help your arguments.  It is also helpful to challenge your presuppositions and make sure that you have a good foundation from which to build your positions.  One of the issues that throws off both sides of the aisle is a basic lack of understanding when it comes to economic cycles.  For example, without a good understanding of cycles someone would look at the Clinton economy and Bush economy and think that Bush had bad economic policy while Clinton had good economic policy.  That is a simplistic understanding if you don’t factor in the cycles that played into their success and the difficulties they overcame.

To understand economic cycles, let’s start with a brief discussion of supply, demand, and equilibrium.  Equilibrium is the price at which those who sell and those who buy come to agreement to the point where every product produced is sold and every buyer is satisfied.  As you can imagine, equilibrium is more theoretical than practical.  Whenever the market is not at equilibrium, there is a vacuum that drives economic decisions to produce more, seek alternatives, etc.  For example, if you have five people buying and four bananas for sale, the price of bananas will go up until only the people who want the bananas enough to pay more will buy them.

In a free market society, producers will produce what consumers want and need at a price they are willing to pay.  While the market finds it’s way towards this ideal, there is a vacuum between equilibrium price and surplus on one side or shortage on the other.

Economic growth and retraction occurs in this vacuum.  When there is an oversupply, producers will cut back production to stabilize the price and bring it up.  When there is a shortage, producers will find ways to produce more to take advantage of higher prices, which will drive the price down.  This means economic growth or retraction.  On the flip side, when prices are too high buyers will seek alternatives.  When prices are too low, buyers will increase consumption.  These also lead to economic growth, enrichment, and opportunity.  When a pricey product is replaced by a better or lower cost product, this leads to the enrichment of the innovator and losses by those who previously had control over the market.  This idea of self correction was the idea behind Adam Smith’s invisible hand.

Forces exterior to the free market can also have an effect.  For example, if the government lowers taxes, that puts more money in the pocket of consumers and shifts the demand curve.  That means they can buy more because they can afford higher prices.  Equilibrium price goes up and producers produce more.  When the government takes money out of the economy, the opposite happens.  If there is a discovery of new sources of a product or commodity, for example the innovation of the shale industry, the supply curve shifts and prices go down.

Economic cycles happen as the vacuum in the supply and demand system flips from prices being too high to prices being too low, or when we go from shortages to surpluses in the market.  We saw this with the housing market in 2006.  Supply could not keep up with demand, so prices of real estate went up.  There were winners, those who sold high, and losers, those who had to buy less house for their money.  Then in 2008 we saw a reversal of fortunes.  The winners were those picking up foreclosures and cheap houses off an oversupplied market, while the losers were those stuck in a house they couldn’t afford in the first place.

John Maynard Keynes believed the government could play a role in efficiently managing economic cycles.  For example, he understood that deficit spending by the government artificially grew the economy.  Higher taxes and less spending would slow down an overheating economy and soften the blow of a future crash.  When Clinton left office, we were heading for a severe market correction caused by the tech bubble crash and 9/11.  Bush, a Keynesian, cut taxes and increased spending to turn the economy around.

Some take it too far.  Obama believed he could eliminate economic cycles through massive government stimulus and regulation.  His theory actually worked.  For nearly 8 years the natural economic cycle was suppressed.  Unfortunately this was while we were due a recovery.  Once Trump cut taxes and lifted thousands of burdensome regulations, the economy resumed it’s normal cycle by overcoming years of repressed growth.

Socialists, the most extreme of which are the Communists, believed that government could effectively control equilibrium prices by controlling supply.  As a most egregious example, Communism determined exactly what a person needed and attempted to provide it.  Unfortunately the government could not provide what it did not have, and without a free economic cycle there was no impetus outside of government force to cause people to produce.  Eventually as resources run out and incentives are withheld, Communist systems beyond the tiniest scales will collapse.

More moderate Socialist systems such as Liberalism rely on marginal incentive by only seeking to control certain aspects of the economy.  However, even in these modules of the economy, the loss of incentive to produce or value of the product is devastating.  For example, in the education system Liberalism creates artificial demand.  They do this by hiding the true cost of education from the consumer.  As a result, the increase in demand produces a higher price point.  The higher price point draws more suppliers into the market, but there is no economic impetus to produce a superior good.  As a result, we have high cost education with a reduction in quality.

Every economic decision should be considered in light of how it affects the supply and demand dynamic.  For example, allowing bankruptcy for student loans sounds great on paper.  But when you do that, it means there will be an artificial increase in demand.  The artificial increase causes the price of student loans, or the interest rate, to go up.  Government control over interest rates causes suppliers to be artificially repressed which also puts pressure on prices to go up.  When the government runs out of suppliers for a regulated product like student loans, the government must become the supplier in order to maintain the product.  But government can’t just print student loan dollars without devaluing the dollar and crashing the economy.  Someone has to pay.  Now suddenly bankruptcy on student loans means taxpayers are being forced to subsidize a product regardless of demand.  Consumers no longer have the freedom to choose whether or not to buy student loans; they are compelled to through taxes.

Libertarians tend to hold to Adam Smith’s view of the economy.  Give consumers choice and liberty, and the economy will correct itself.  If the government doesn’t build roads, consumers will demand roads and suppliers will build them.  Bridges to nowhere won’t exist because there will be no demand for them.  Those who cannot afford roads will invent alternatives.

Republicans and some of the most moderate Democrats hold to Keynesian economic models.  Republicans tend to see tax cuts as the way to spur economic growth, while leaving the consumer with freedom to buy what they demand.  Democrats look to spending increases to spur the economy.  Stimulus and government programs inject dollars into the economy.  The consumer buys what the government compels them to, such as healthcare, failed solar companies, and someone’s old “clunker” car.

In the extreme of Marxism, the government under the false guise of representing the “people”, seizes the means of production and controls supply and price regardless of consumer demand.  In these models, most recently touted by Democratic Socialists, the government gives you what the government believes you need.  Much like a slave, you receive food, shelter, government approved education, and government guaranteed income.  And like a slave, you are required by the government to do your duty to the people by working, buying and supplying as the government sees fit. Those who do not fit within the system are eliminated from the system because there is no other way.  This is why every Communist regime devolves into intense human rights abuse, and often genocide.  In lesser extremes we see penalty taxes for refusing to buy and vilification of those who have untaxed means.

Every political question of economics should be viewed through the lens of supply and demand, and the validation of good policy should take into account where we sit in an economic cycle.  Generally, the freer the market, the faster the growth, retraction, recovery cycle will go.  But in the end, the most important thing is economic liberty for the consumer and the supplier.  Liberty for the consumer creates an efficient market where people can choose to buy what they want and need.  Liberty for the producer allows them to freely produce what consumers desire or create new products for lower prices that exceed consumer expectations.  This is what creates wealth and consumer satisfaction throughout an entire economic system.

Need to Know 8/8/18

Investigative research by the Daily Caller has revealed that the Chinese spy working for Diane Feinstein was not just her driver.  Comparing dates and time periods, the Daily Caller identified Feinstein’s spy staffer as Russell Lowe, a Chinese-American, who’s actual title was “Office Director”.   He worked with Feinstein in this sensitive role for 20 years while providing information to the Chinese government.  Feinstein forced him into retirement when the FBI informed her of his espionage.  He now works for the Education for Social Justice organization.  Little else about him or his background is known at this point.

Feinstein’s Chinese spy “driver” was actually her “Office Director”

A leaked memo from the desk of Democrat Senator Mark Warner is making waves.  Warner called for intense regulation of internet platforms to promote his idea of “fairness”.  Among the proposals, common tools like Google Maps would become publicly regulated and subject to government anti-discrimination rules.  The plan would also make internet platforms liable if they don’t introduce greater censorship of users.  Anonymity of political writers online would become a thing of the past under this plan.  The combination of outing anonymous political writers online and subjecting them to potential lawsuits of the government disagrees with the information they share is a very dangerous step towards the destruction of free speech on the internet.

Leaked Democrat memo calls for curbs on internet free speech

Another win for the economy as 2.8 million have dropped off of food stamps since Trump became President.  This combined with unemployment below 4% and GDP growth above 4% make it more and more difficult for anyone to argue that the Trump economy has not been amazing so far.

2.8 million fewer on foodstamps

Need to Know 8/3/18

Job growth disappointed in July….Ok, not really.  That’s just the headline.  Actually, the news is pretty much all good in the jobs department.  The economy added 157,000 jobs in July and the unemployment rate dropped back below 4%.  We continue to be at full employment.  The underemployment rate also dropped from 7.8% to 7.5% which is the lowest it’s been since before the 2008 financial crisis.  So what’s the bad news?  Economists were expecting 193,000 jobs, so that’s a 41,000 miss.  Keep reading.

June’s jobs report was revised upward from the 213,000 originally reported to 248,000.  That’s a 35,000 increase over what was originally reported.  May was also revised up to 268,000.  Originally they had reported 244,000 jobs in May.  That’s another 24,000.  So we missed July by 41,000, but revised May and June up 59,000.  I’m feelin’ alright.

“US Economy added fewer jobs than expected in July” but more than previously thought in May and June

Speaking of unemployment, the unemployment rate for adult women is at 3.7%, for blacks 6.6% and for Hispanics a record low 4.5%.  The black unemployment rate had been at 7.9% at the beginning of the Trump economy and as high as 16.3% during the Obama administration.  And yet Democrats want to go back to the way it was before Trump.  They want to raise taxes back to where they were and bring back all the regulation that hurt the economy.  I think black Democrat voters need to ask themselves if they want to go back.

Unemployment for minorities drops again

“…relics from the past, frumpy and outdated”.  This was the description of the terms “feminism” and “empowerment” by none other than young Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.  You may not know this, but Ocasio-Cortez used to be an anti-tax capitalist and economics student.  This was of course before her publishing company went under in 2016, she tried to vote for the first time and found out she had been purged from the voter rolls for inactivity, she went full blown socialist, and joined up with Bernie Sanders.  Turns out in 2009 she had a right leaning blog too and described herself as an Adam Smith capitalist.  She also had the harsh words for feminism back then.  I’m sure she’d hate if anyone brought that up today, as she runs as the icon of the Democratic Socialist movement.

In 2009, Ocasio-Cortez trashed feminism, supported capitalism, and cooled on the fight for equality

Need to Know 7/27/18

It’s all about the GDP.  Markets are anxiously awaiting this morning’s GDP report, hoping for 4.2% quarterly growth.  If it happens, it’ll be a good indicator that the economy continues to rise at a rapid rate, even after the rapid growth from last year. It would also make the argument against Trump’s tax reform even weaker.

Wall Street awaits GDP report

Speaking of tax reform, Elizabeth Warren bumbled through an interview when she was asked what tax rate is too high.  The poor CNBC journalist tried to help her out.  “Do you feel…that it’s wrong for more than half of somebody’s marginal income to be taken?” “Is 50 percent obviously too high?” Finally, as Warren continued to indicate that 50 percent may actually be too low, John Harwood went for the moon. “…obviously ‘no, 90 percent, that’s ridiculous'”.  Warren finally capitulated.

Warren has the blessing of many Democrats to be the top 2020 DNC Presidential contender.  But they will have to figure out how to deal with her ignorance about what taxes do to families and how the economy works.  When Ocasio-Cortez ignorantly claimed that unemployment was low because people were working two jobs, Warren doubled down on the erroneous claim by saying it was actually because people were working as many as four jobs.  Hopefully she can get some help on the economic front.  When it comes to the economy, Trump is definitely winning.

Warren suggests hypothetical 50% tax rate is too low

On the legal side for Trump, it’s a mixed bag.  While rumors from unnamed sources about the Mueller investigation have turned out to be mostly blowing smoke, there’s a new one out today saying Mueller is going to be looking at Trump’s tweets to see if he obstructed justice.  That would be a stretch.  As Guiliani pointed out, people don’t generally obstruct justice in public for millions to see.  This appears to be grasping for straws.  They would have to prove that Trump was somehow giving instructions to witnesses or intimidating people through Twitter.  That would also mean Mueller would have to take Trump’s 3am Twitter persona more seriously than Peter Strzok’s texts to his mistress.

Even if Trump did try to obstruct justice on Twitter, the Bill Clinton precedent on obstruction would make it very hard to successfully argue for consequences.  Clinton secretly intimidated witnesses, instructed them to lie, matched up stories, then committed perjury himself.  The Senate failed to reach a two thirds majority and ended up acquitting him.

Mueller looking at Trump’s tweets?