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Americans are not at the mercy of businesses that don’t share their values. Sundar Pichai, Jack Dorsey, and Mark Zuckerberg have no prisons. They’ve never run an internment camp or seized anyone’s home for failure to mow their lawn. Their body counts are a combined zero. Yet in a recent keynote address at the National […]

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America chuckle at Bernie Sanders reportedly underpaying his unionized staffers while promising to raise the federal minimum wage. They discuss reports that John Delaney is facing pressure from his own team to withdraw from the presidential race. And they share a laugh at CNN and […]

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US Economy Might Be Growing Faster Than We Think

 

The economics team at Goldman Sachs has made another run at trying to determine whether official statistics are undermeasuring America’s rapidly evolving digital economy. The bank now believes even more strongly that “technological change is not fully reflected in the real output statistics.”

From a bottom-up perspective, there’s all that missing growth from free digital goods. From a top-down perspective, Goldman economists note that the “growth of domestically generated profits and incomes (GDI) is outpacing that of GDP, a departure from earlier decades” and that “US profits generated in tax havens totaled over $300bn in 2018, some of which represents unmeasured domestic production.”

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At least this candidate has a unique idea for a change although I suspect he wants a government takeover/solution. But, interesting that he has singled them out and maybe some need a little guidance and creative thinking nobody has mobilized. There are other philosophic (liberal) articles roasting Malls as relics of over-optimistic captalism, etc. I […]

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of National Review discuss the brewing Democratic civil war with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez choosing to play the race card on Nancy Pelosi. They react to Iran’s failed attempt to storm a British tanker and the escalating situation in the Middle East. And they chuckle at Kentucky Democratic Senate […]

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The Consequences of a Plummeting Birth Rate

 

Back in March, Ben Domenech interviewed Lyman Stone on the Federalist Radio Hour. Stone is an economist who writes for The Federalist, AEI and the Institute for Family Studies. He and his wife live in Hong Kong.

The whole interview is great and I recommend it. Stone shares a great many unexpected insights. The following is the one that stood out to me the most:

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Someone told me she finally figured out why her Obamacare insurance rate for a small family was so high: the agency processed her paperwork incorrectly. By accounting the self-employed business’s gross income rather than its net income, their bill was four times higher than it should be. Thousands more dollars were paid for incorrect co-pay […]

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Is China a ‘Strategic Partner’ or a Cold War 2.0 Foe?

 

President Trump may not be interested in cold war with China, but cold war is interested in him. Well, at least if his fellow Republicans have any say in the matter.

If there’s any clear takeaway from the G20 trade ceasefire, it’s that Trump views the fate of Chinese telecom giant Huawei as something to be negotiated. Just another pressure point. This Bloomberg headline pretty much nails it: “Huawei Lifeline Shows Trump Prefers Business Deals Over Cold War.

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I clicked on this story on my iPhone because of the title: “The Fed is doing something new: listening to low-income workers.” Subtitle: “Low-income communities are finally feeling the expansion. The Fed is noticing.” I hesitated when I saw that it was Vox, but I read on anyway. Sure enough, it seems that the Fed […]

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In the actual list of questions from the New York Times to the Democrat candidates for president* was this one: Does anyone deserve a billion dollars? If no one “deserves” a billion dollars, it means we’ll have take and redistribute the money that people have in excess of that, of course. Let’s assume that there […]

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A Democratic Debate That Ignores China and Trade Isn’t Much of a Debate

 

The core of Trumponomics is a protectionist trade policy built on tariffs, both threatened and implemented. All of America’s largest trading partners, including allies, have been in President Trump sights. And as the president gets ready to meet with Chinese leader Xi Jinping, some analysts are wondering whether the entire US-China trading relationship will fall victim to a New Cold War.

But “trade” ⁠—⁠ in its economic context ⁠—⁠ was mentioned only once in last night’s Democratic presidential debate. And “China” was only mentioned a half dozen times, with four of those mentions in a rapid-fire round where candidates were asked to briefly mention the “greatest geopolitical threat” to America. Don’t blame the NBC moderators. Candidates had ample opportunity to explore the US-China trade conflict and more broadly China’s challenge to US superpower supremacy.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and guest host Gregory Knapp discuss the Mexican government deploying 10,000 troops to the border to crack down on illegal immigration to the U.S. They cover the real concentration camps that the Chinese have constructed. And they discuss Bernie Sanders’ plan to wipe out all student loans. More

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Trumpism: No Zip Code Left Behind

 

Did you see the funny video that Trump Tweeted out making fun of the Time magazine article on Trumpism? In the Tweet, the Trump 20xx signs go on to “Trump 4eva” (forever). A nice troll job. But I want to discuss the magazine article and the idea of “Trumpism.”

The Time article goes along with a Vanity Fair article, which was preceded by an epic rant by Tucker Carlson that all describe an emerging school of governance that seeks to spread prosperity throughout America. The effort to move conservatism in this direction started a few years ago with the “Reformicons.” Later, in 2015-ish, Steve Bannon tried to expand the idea of a more populist conservatism, which he referred to as “Alt-Right.” That label got co-opted by White Identity Leftists, so Bannon had to drop that term, but the ideas formed the basis of the Trump 2016 campaign. The movement is now growing under the name of “Trumpism,” but that term has baggage and the promoters will surely choose another term after Trump leaves office.

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What do you think of when you hear or read the name “Foucault” (pronounced “foo-KOH”)? Okay, I know, something that would violate the code of conduct, right? But what about this quote from Notes on Liberty: “How does one keep from being fascist, even (especially) when one believes oneself to be a revolutionary militant? How […]

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The Rent Is Too Damn Low

 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the grandly titled “The Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019” into law last week. Its extensive amendments to the earlier law passed with lopsided majorities in both the state Senate and Assembly after progressive lobbyists stormed the legislative beaches in Albany. They pitched their campaign as a fight between good and evil—between rich landlords and strapped tenants. They emphasized the precarious position of some tenants facing eviction, but ignored the huge windfalls given to those fortunate tenants who occupy stabilized units that rent for only a fraction of their market value.

The implicit economic assumption behind the reforms was that the protection of tenants under the Act would result in a simple wealth transfer from rich (or undeserving) landlords to poor (or deserving) tenants, with no collateral consequences to the quality of housing stock or the rate of new investment in rent-stabilized units.

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Don’t Ruin the Internet Over Flukey ‘Bias’ Incidents Like the One on Pinterest

 

What passes for “evidence” of Big Tech bias against the right tends to be of the anecdotal variety. A piece of content gets blocked or hidden. An account gets suspended or banned. And then conservative media goes crazy, charging that Silicon Valley is suppressing conservative thought and thinkers.

The latest controversy involves a Pinterest employee sending a series of internal documents to the right-wing political website Project Veritas. The documents supposedly prove flagrant discrimination against pro-life groups and religious conservatives. This whistleblower claims the documents show that Liveaction.org — a pro-life informational website with more than 3 million followers on social media — was unfairly added to a domain blacklist reserved for porn domains, which are prevented from being pinned by Pinterest.

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The Walton Group was (is?) a real estate developer, speculator and “Land Bank” that while currently seeking protection from its creditors. Has been banking on North American urban sprawl. Starting in 1979 they where “Vulture Capitalists” buying distressed Alberta real estate on the cheap, and holding until the Alberta economy rebounded in the mid 80s. […]

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America discuss the lineup of the two Democratic debates. They also evaluate Joe Biden’s vow that cancer will be cured if he’s elected president and Joy Behar of ‘The View’ suggesting climate change makes a cure much tougher. And they break down the political battle […]

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Even as the US Economy Produces More Jobs and Higher Wages, Somehow Capitalism Stays Broken. Weird.

 

Today’s populists overindulge in unwarranted economic nostalgia. For them, the immediate postwar decades were when America was really great. But maybe it’s a more recent period that they should be pining for. If you’re trying to make the case that “capitalism is broken,” then the Great Recession of 2007-2009 was your big moment. Capitalism seemed shattered, not just broken. It looked like this sucker was going down, to paraphrase President George W. Bush.

But then the economy started to recover, slowly but steadily. Indeed, the US expansion hit the 10-year mark this month and is on the verge of its longest-run on record if things stay on track through July. An economy that’s producing gobs of jobs every month — a total of 20 million since 2010 — as it grows year after year is a dodgy example of broken capitalism.

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