Join Jim and Greg as they cheer House Republicans for planning to shine a bright spotlight on China’s many atrocities at home and abroad – from pushing fentanyl into the U.S. to supply chain vulnerability to the persecution of the Uighurs. They also discuss the unique polling approach of the Trafalgar surveys and what it will mean if Republican voters are even more reticent to say who they support but are more determined than ever to vote. And they sigh as Twitter promises ramped-up “fact-checking” that will ramp up before the midterms.

How Many Businesses and Jobs Will Leave Seattle When the Minimum Wage Rises to $18.69/hr in January?

 

That level applies to employers with 500 or more employees. I can see the line of medium-sized businesses preparing to close their doors or move out of the city.

The article also reminds us that on January 1, the state minimum wage rises to $15.74 per hour. No business will be able to afford to hire young people for their first jobs. How many jobs will be automated out of existence?

Join Jim and Greg as they serve up two good martinis and one really bad one. First, they spotlight impressive Virginia GOP congressional candidate Hung Cao, his compelling life story and strong answers to divisive questions. They also grumble as OPEC announces production cuts of two billion barrels per day – the exact opposite of what President Biden asked it to do. And they welcome a new poll showing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis up double figures in his re-election bid. They also interpret the media’s disinterest in the hurricane aftermath as proof that DeSantis and his administration have put together a strong response to the devastating storm.

 

Fuel for Inflation

 

For financial markets, September 2022 was one of the worst on record. A nonstop bear market has been created by a decline in stock prices in excess of 20 percent, just as national output declines for the second straight quarter. These indicators point to a continuing recession. Inflation pressures have, as of now, brought the thirty-year fixed-rate mortgage to a 6.7 percent rate, up 1.5 percentage points in the past six weeks and double what it was in January 2022. The Federal Reserve has instituted a series of sharp rate increases to tame the inflation. But this remedy, even if justified, will drive down stock prices in the short run and, by raising the cost of capital, could well further dampen economic activity. Wages have risen in nominal terms, but well below the rate of inflation.

We are now past the point where any government response to monetary issues can reverse this downward trend. Instead, what is necessary is a hard look at the wide array of social and business policies that have led to the current malaise.

Recall for these purposes that the basic definition of inflation is too many dollars chasing too few goods. The rate of inflation does not depend solely on monetary issues within the Fed’s domain—it also depends on changes in the stock of goods and services. Sensible economic policies that aid growth will thus tend to curb inflation even with bad or capricious decisions by the Fed. But conversely, foolish economic and regulatory decisions will compound the problem by shrinking the economic pie in area after area; a key tenet of progressive thinking harbors the sorry illusion that if the Fed does its job, governments and businesses—often backed by government power—are free to pursue all sorts of collateral ends, most of which are counterproductive.

This week on Hubwonk, host Joe Selvaggi talks with John F. Early, economist and author of the newly released book, The Myth of American Inequality, about the history of income inequality, its true size, and trends. They also discuss how census data used in policy decision-making misses nearly all the effects of government intervention and distorts the truth about the income American families actually have to spend.

Guest:

Jim is back! Join Jim and Greg as they welcome the Axios assessment that Republicans seem to have momentum in the battle for the U.S. Senate thanks to shifts in a couple key races. They’re also concerned as the U.S. Army reports it fell 15,000 soldiers short of it’s recruiting goal in Fiscal Year 2022. That’s 25 percent below the target and the other branches posted disappointing numbers too. And they shudder as more and more signs point to gas prices rising again soon, including OPEC threatening significant production cuts.

Jim and Greg also reflect back to the D.C. snipers, whose killing spree began 20 years ago today and claimed the lives of 10 innocent people in the area.

Riochet.com Editor-in-Chief Jon Gabriel is in for Jim today. Join Jon and Greg as they are pleased to see Dr. Oz and the GOP exposing John Fetterman’s radical record of coddling violent criminals. They also shudder as the government confirms a recession as the negative economic growth in the second quarter of this year becomes official, and they nod glumly as former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers ties the inflation mess back to a spending binge that started 18 months ago. And they sigh as White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre says it is not at all odd that President Biden would ask if a deceased congresswoman was in the audience because she was “top of mind.”

Scot Bertram is in for Jim today. Join Scot and Greg as they enjoy watching the acting director of the National Hurricane Center reject Don Lemon’s attempt to say climate change is responsible for Hurricane Ian’s strength. They also get a kick out a radio host exposing the rank hypocrisy of a teenage climate celebrity simply by asking her about her recent travel. And they cringe as President Biden asks if GOP Congresswoman Jackie Walorski was at today’s event. Walorski was killed in an accident back in August.

Join Jim and Greg as they have a good time speculating about what caused the “leaks” in the Nordstream and Nordstream 2 pipelines and what it means for the war in Ukraine and for Europe’s energy supply this winter. They also roll their eyes as Sen. Amy Klobuchar suggests passing the Inflation Reduction Act will stop hurricanes in the future and the media seems eager to paint Gov. Ron DeSantis as a failure no matter what happens with Hurricane Ian. Finally, they discuss White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre calling for a “conversation” about whether the Atlanta Braves ought to change their name.

Join Jim and Greg as they eagerly welcome a poll showing Republicans with a 21-point advantage in competitive House districts. They also shudder as more signs emerge of a worsening economy from – from energy to housing to hiring. And they discuss the left and the media branding incoming Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni as a fascist. But since the left now tars anyone who disagrees with them as “fascist,” the word has lost much of it’s meaning.

Member Post

 

The economist Claude Bastiat almost certainly didn’t say, “If commerce doesn’t cross borders, armies will,” but attribution to him is likely apocryphal even though it does ring true.  This has  been taken as wisdom by generations of thoughtful people.  But today I learned that there is more perfidy coming from China, and it doesn’t bode […]

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Member Post

 

The title of the WSJ article from Monday’s paper is “IRS faces tight job market as it staffs up.”  Of course, we can’t expect them to spend all that money in a short time, since there is a lag between advertising the jobs, interviewing, doing all the background checks, and hiring.  Also, government salaries are […]

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Join Jim and Greg as they welcome the House GOP decision to put an agenda before the voters this year on the biggest issues where the Democrats have failed. They also discuss a former vice president from the EcoHealth Alliance stating under oath that COVID was a result of gain of function research in Wuhan funded in part by the National Institutes of Health. And they wince as Vladimir Putin orders 300,000 reservists to fight against Ukraine, while noting that these new soldiers are probably far less competent than the ones that have already failed.

This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara Candal and Gerard Robinson talk with Dr. Niall Ferguson, the Milbank Family Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and a senior faculty fellow of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard. He is the author of 16 books, including Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe. Dr. Ferguson comments publicly for the first time on the recent passing of Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-reigning British monarch, and how we should teach about Britain’s wide impact – positive and negative – on the world in her era and over the last several hundred years, from the Magna Carta to Winston Churchill. Dr. Ferguson shares findings from his most recent book, which charts the history of disasters, from the 1346–1353 Black Death to COVID; whether our handling of these catastrophes – from both public health and economic standpoints – has improved; and how we can learn from mistakes to better prepare for the future. He describes the kind of education he imparts to his own children to help ensure they have the wisdom and resilience to live in a turbulent world. The interview concludes with Dr. Ferguson reading from his latest book.

Stories of the Week: Are schools of education helping future teachers develop content expertise, or are they too focused on pedagogy and ideology? In Philadelphia, the Martin Luther King High School is the city’s first school with Black faculty for all core freshmen subjects, a step forward in the effort to ensure students can benefit from diverse role models.

Join Jim and Greg as they serve up three bad martinis they impact the midterm elections and our energy bills. First, they fume over voters being told to lower their expectations for knowing a lot of Senate results on election night due to the large number of mail-in ballots. They also cringe as more projections suggest Americans are going to be seeing substantially higher gas and electric bills this winter. Finally, they discuss Iowa Democratic Senate hopeful Mike Franken being accused of sexual assault by his former campaign manager.

This week on Hubwonk, host Joe Selvaggi talks with Dominic Pino, Thomas L. Rhodes Fellow at the National Review Institute, about his research and writing on the recently averted rail strike, including how the rail industry is organized, what labor’s demands were, and how the prospect of a nationwide rail strike exposed vulnerabilities within the American economy.

Guest:

Join Jim and Greg as they discuss a recent New York Times poll showing 70 percent of Americans opposed to elementary school students being instructed about sexual orientation and gender identity. The country is clear on this and Republicans would be insane not to highlight the chasm between the parties. They also enjoy a new poll in Texas showing Gov. Greg Abbott nine points ahead of Beto O’Rourke in the governor’s race and it gives Jim a chance to tell the media that their dream of the Democrats winning statewide in Texas will likely have to wait…again. And they dissect President Biden’s “60 Minutes” interview, in which he’s frustrated that people aren’t happy that inflation has plateaued somewhat in recent months and completely bungles his Taiwan policy again.

 

Member Post

 

The Lebanese Lira as a truly separate currency was born in 1939, when it was de-linked from the Syrian Pound. Despite Lebanon’s many issues, the Lire bounced along – trading at LL 3.07 to $1 by 1965, and trending as high as LL 2.25 to $1 in 1975, the same year that Lebanon’s 15 year […]

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