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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America close the week with three crazy martinis and a champagne toast. They sigh as President Trump tweets that he is ordering U.S. companies to scale back in China in response to the very real practice of China ripping us off. They also evaluate former […]

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America have no good martinis today. They wince as the national deficit creeps closer to $1 trillion again and lament that neither party has any intention of seriously addressing the problem before disaster strikes next decade. They also cringe as President Trump rightly slams Rashida […]

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Jim Geraghty of National Review unleashes an epic rant about the re-emergence of Anthony Scaramucci – this time as an anti-Trump figure suddenly loved and respected by the press – and the Trump culture that created the Mooch. But first, he and Greg Corombos of Radio America celebrate Planned Parenthood withdrawing as an applicant for […]

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Wherever there are free markets, there are people with poor impulse control. One can sympathize with the temptation to over-indulge. We all want more than what we can afford. But ultimately the fault of spending beyond one’s budget rests with the consumer and not with clever advertisers. That said, elderly consumers have always presented dilemmas […]

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David French of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America welcome the news that U.S. sanctions are inflicting a devastating economic toll and putting a lot of political pressure on North Korean Dictator Kim Jong-Un. They also cringe at reports that President Trump promised China two months ago that he would not condemn a […]

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David French of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America welcome reports that members of the Illinois congressional delegation have at temporarily convinced President Trump not to commute the prison sentence of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. They’re also frustrated that President Trump is not speaking out more forcefully in favor of the pro-democracy […]

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An 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 and decentralization.

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Senator Sanders: Are You Lying or Merely a Sap?

 

In our preferred world, politics would revolve around intelligent argumentation, clever rhetoric, and appropriate deference would be given to facts. Unfortunately, we don’t live in that world. The world we live in is more dominated by popularity and personality than it is by principle.

This reality is why Bernie Sanders is still a contender to win the Democrat Presidential nomination. How has he gotten this far? By promising his followers a bribe. The opening bid? Forgiveness of all student loan debt. But that’s merely an aperitif; a foretaste of the giant enchilada Senator Bern has promised everybody in the form of free healthcare for all.

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Truly a question. I’ve done some research, but haven’t come close to finding the answer. But as with so much else, somebody or somebodies here know the answer. Anybody with even a modicum of knowledge of economics cannot avoid knowing that fascism is system for central control of the economy, while ownership of the means […]

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Senator Elizabeth Warren is right that the path to wealth is through entrepreneurship. The senator recently released her “Leveling the Playing Field for Entrepreneurs” plan, a proposal that claims to help minorities who are starting businesses. This plan comes on the tails of her indignation toward wealthy Americans, referring to them as “freeloaders.” Perhaps she […]

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Searching 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 Smil in The Financial Times. The whole economy can’t act like Moore’s Law, such that rapid and constants gains in computing power can be replicated “in other economic sectors and drive decarbonisation of energy, huge food production gains and a fourth industrial revolution.” He notes that “modern economies depend on an enormous range of inputs whose yields, performances and capabilities have been constantly improving; but only at rates an order of magnitude lower than the 30% growth dictated by Moore’s law.”

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On Quitting My Job

 

“What makes you think you were doing bad work?” Asks the psychologist. Not a real one, just the call-and-response in my cranium.

“Well, there’s only so many hours a workday you can spend on Ricochet when you ought to be doing other things and still think you’re a good worker. I’m not going to sit here taking their coin forever when I’m not providing commensurate services in exchange. It’s dishonest.”

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US vs. China Might Not Be a Forever Trade War, But It Sure Feels Like It Right Now

 

As that great and learned scholar Vizzini once noted, one of two classic blunders is getting involved in a land war in Asia. But trade wars might also qualify. “Donald Trump’s trade battle with China is starting to look like a forever war — a quagmire with no end in sight, no clear path to a resolution and more potential land mines for an already weakening global economy,” Bloomberg’s Shawn Donnan argues.

At the very least, President Trump’s “trade wars are good and easy to win” axiom isn’t playing out. Not only did the president say he’s imposing 10% tariffs on another $300 billion of Chinese goods starting Sept. 1, but Beijing looks like it’s not expecting a resolution any time soon as it lets the renminbi weaken, or “crack seven” in traders parlance. The Financial Times calls the move “a clear sign that Beijing is prepared to use the currency as a weapon and let the trade war drag on.”

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In many recent posts, we’ve talked about the middle class and businesses fleeing high tax cities and states. I’ve wonder when Wall Street was going to get in the act. I refer you to the following article: https://www.foxbusiness.com/economy/financial-firms-tax-billionaire-florida More

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and guest host Greg Knapp discuss the recent jobs report and the impact on Trump’s reelection chances. They debate the David Brooks’ op-ed in The New York Times arguing Marianne Williamson has the best chance of defeating Trump. And they react to Michael Moore’s plea for Michelle Obama to enter […]

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and guest host Greg Knapp react to Wednesday night’s debate and Tulsi Gabbard’s blistering attack on Kamala Harris. They discuss Cory Booker’s “Kool-Aid” response to Joe Biden’s criticism of his mayoral tenure. And they weigh in on Kirsten Gillibrand bringing up an op-ed from 1981 to attack Joe Biden. (Gregory […]

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Yeah, It Looks Like New York City Made a Big Mistake Spurning Amazon

 

Technically, I guess, it was Amazon who rejected the Big Apple last February — deciding not to build a massive corporate campus in Queens and locating some 25,000 jobs there — rather than the other way around. (The company is still coming to Virginia, the other winner of its nationwide “search.”)

But that cancelation of Amazon’s announced plans came after “an unexpectedly fierce backlash from lawmakers, progressive activists, and union leaders, who contended that the tech giant did not deserve nearly $3 billion in government incentives,” according to The New York Times. A comparatively small group of noisy activists may have seen it as a victory, but most New Yorkers didn’t. Same with Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio who sought to “diversify the city’s economy from being so dependent on Wall Street.”

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The Department of Justice has approved the merger of Sprint and T-Mobile. Oddly, it sounds like the terms involve T-Mobile consuming Sprint assets while spinning off Sprint’s customers to Dish Network with much support during the transition; thereby simultaneously integrating Sprint and recreating it as a separate entity. In any case, the deal must still […]

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Who Stole Our 3% Economy?

 

Given Wall Street whispers of a very European 1-handle for second-quarter GDP growth, the Trump White House might well have been pleased with the (preliminary) 2.1% number. Although the economy slowed from Q1’s 3.1% pace, it was “a better-than-anticipated outcome,” according to JPMorgan. Thanks, American consumer! And thanks to American taxpayer, too, since solid government spending also helped.

But no thanks to American business, whose capital spending contracted by 0.6%. Another sign, perhaps, that the Trump trade war is offsetting the Trump tax cuts. (At least that’s JPMorgan’s theory.) While it’s good that the record-long economic expansion continues to roll in year ten, one led by consumer/government spending rather than business investment is not the boom you’re looking for.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America discuss Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s surprising praise of conservative justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. They debate the news of Wall Street donors backing Biden, Buttigieg, and Kamala in the Democratic primary. And they cover the growing controversy of the doctored presidential seal displayed behind […]

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