Tag: Economy

Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Should Parents of Adult Children Let Them Move Back Home After Graduation?

 

On Rush’s show yesterday he mentioned this recent survey that came out and was posted on Yahoo! News.

About half of students expect to be supported financially by their parents for up to two years after graduation, according to a new survey of 500 students and 500 parents released Tuesday by Upromise, the savings division of Sallie Mae, the student lender.

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You would be forgiven for doubting Microsoft’s upcoming HoloLens technology. However compelling the premise and even the implementation, new tech often fails due to lack of investment in applications or other market hiccups. Microsoft’s own Kinect is an example. Still, this new device has exciting potential. What is HoloLens? Essentially, it sidesteps the challenge of […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Curb Your Economic Pessimism

 

shutterstock_69907912The economy has been in a tepid, soft, slow recovery for the past five-and-a-half years. It’s the weakest rebound in generations. The Commerce Department’s revision of fourth-quarter GDP shows that nothing much has changed. Over the past year, real economic growth registered 2.4 percent, slightly higher than the recovery average. It ain’t much.

Meanwhile, winter economic reports for retail sales, manufacturing, and capital investment point to a weaker first quarter, perhaps around 1 percent. And Wall Street is talking about a possible profits recession, with expectations of a 2 or 3 percent drop in corporate earnings for the first half of 2015. So the market bears are out in full force.

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Again, there might be solid reasons this isn’t done already. So let’s hear them and consider alternatives. Why bury garbage in landfills, returning its various elements to the earth over a course of centuries or millennia, when it could be broken down in mere minutes by an active lava flow?  More

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

I recently watched The Lego Movie with my kids (yes, I’m playing catch up). I admire Lego. A mere decade ago, almost bankrupt and on the precipice of ruin, Lego came back to rule the global toy market, all while promoting kids independence and imagination. The movies’ message of ‘thinking for yourself’ is right in line with […]

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. How to Discuss Wealth Inequality with Your Butler

 

shutterstock_117500908Gone are the days when a man could enjoy his gold plated garbage can and $6,000 shower curtain in peace. The only thing that sours my caviar faster than a discussion on wealth inequality is how badly our side responds when it is brought up.

Why are we always on the defensive when discussing these gaps? In my experience, our responses follow one of two patterns:

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Power Without Production

 

shutterstock_217626877About 33 minutes into the last Ricochet Podcast, Bret Stephens added his voice to the chorus suggesting we shouldn’t overly fret about China because their economic numbers are rigged and their production levels are nowhere close to our own, however quickly they are improving. Alright, let’s suppose that China’s economy is truly lackluster. Does that make it less of a diplomatic and military threat?

The Soviet Union was doomed from the start for the simple reason that communism doesn’t work. The USSR survived by claiming territories and sucking the life out of its members, which it could only do for so long. It’s economy never had a chance in the long run.

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People tend to find economic discussions to be a bit of a bore, but the price of my replacement tin foil hats is getting to be more than I can take. One of the problems I have with reported inflation numbers is we often act as if the statistics came carved on a stone tablet […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Are Happy Days Here Again?

 

The Commerce Department released a revision of the third quarter GDP data this morning, saying it rose 3.9% versus an advanced estimate of 3.5% a few weeks ago. Those results combine with the previous quarter to give us a 4.25% increase for the last six months, which the Wall Street Journal notes is the best six month reading since 2003.

Of course, some of that is due to the dreary first quarter numbers. GDP was down 2.1% in Q1, and, as part of that was due to weather concerns, some snap back in Q2 was to be expected. Still, any quarter around 4% is to be celebrated and if another revision puts the 4 handle in front of Q3 growth it will be the first time in 11 years that we have seen that. (The last two times we had growth over 5% two consecutive quarters? 1999.)

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Celebrity Chef Frets about Obama’s Economy

 

Before Emeril Lagasse became a TV star, he was the executive chef of New Orleans’ legendary Commander’s Palace. He left the dream gig in 1990 to create his own popular restaurant, building a new clientele and winning numerous awards. But in a recent interview to promote his new reality show on TNT, Lagasse worried that success is harder to attain in the age of Obama.

“It’s becoming a very challenging industry to become a very successful average restaurateur,” continued Lagasse. “I can’t charge $300 a person in my restaurant or I would not be in business. Am I using any different ingredients? Not really. Am I using any caliber of service staff? I don’t think so. I think our service is as good or better than most places.”

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You can tell there’s a Democrat in the White House, because now it’s OK for the administration to question Americans’ patriotism. Decrying an “abuse of our tax system”, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew wrote to Congress last month: “What we need as a nation is a new sense of economic patriotism, where we all rise or […]

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. The Unsung Victims of Ferguson

 

140814091734-restricted-15-ferguson-0814-horizontal-galleryThere’s much discussion circulating around the protesters rallying on account of the death of Michael Brown.

Since the time of the incident, we’ve seen a dramatic shift from the original narrative of an innocent, unarmed teen ruthlessly gunned down in the street for no reason other than the color of his skin; to an outright assault on an officer leading him to a self-defense response. More details continue to emerge as time goes on, but that seems to be the gist.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Dead on Payday

 

I have no idea why this captivates me, but apparently it’s true. People die on payday. A lot. From the Marginal Revolution blog, which posted the summary of a study that can be found here:

In this paper, we study the short-run effect of salary receipt on mortality among Swedish public sector employees…We find a dramatic increase in mortality on the day salaries arrive. The increase is especially pronounced for younger workers and for deaths due to activity-related causes such as heart conditions and strokes. Additionally, the effect is entirely driven by an increase in mortality among low income individuals, who are more likely to experience liquidity constraints. All things considered, our results suggest that an increase in general economic activity upon salary receipt is an important cause of the excess mortality. 

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. How Broke Are We?

 

There are signs, some say, that an economic recovery is here. No one is really enthusiastic about it — except, predictably, some people in the Obama administration — but it’s hard to argue that there are small signs that the economy is picking up.

On the other hand, Americans are broke. And they know it. From USA Today:

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After the closing of my little construction company at the end of 2013, I was fortunate to find work as the CFO of a local, private group of companies. It was a typically messy situation, run on checkbook balances, accounting and finances unreliable, inaccurate, misleading and chronically behind. There was some nominal book-cooking going on, […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Do We No Longer Care if the Megabanks Are Too Big to Fail?

 

There’s a fantastic bit in the 1987 film Moonstruck where New York City plumbing contractor Cosmo Castorini explains the economic of his profession to a yuppie couple:

There are three kinds of pipe. There is what you have, which is garbage and you can see where that’s gotten you. Then there’s bronze, which is very good unless something goes wrong. And something always goes wrong. And then there’s copper, which is the only pipe I use. It costs money. It costs money because it saves money.

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Maybe it’s just that in my area unemployment is actually quite low, but I’m having a dickens of a time filling 2 production positions. I’ve had a run of applications from janitors, bartenders, warehouse pickers, and criminal justice majors, none of whom actually seem to read the job description. I need someone who can build […]

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How much time does government take from you each week, month, or year? How much time is wasted by paperwork and by unnecessary processes (undue regulations)?  More

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Down Is Up and Up Is Too

 

shutterstock_132270326Today the Obama Administration drastically lowered its already dismal estimate of first quarter GDP. At the end of April, the Commerce Department claimed the GDP fell at a 1.0 percent pace. The agency has now revised that to a 2.9 percent annual rate, which is the economy’s worst performance in five years.

In the heady days of -1.0% growth, Democrats blamed the bad numbers on an unusually cold winter, but maintained there was one bright spot. The only reason the number wasn’t worse, they claimed, was because healthcare spending had drastically increased. Ignoring that Obama promised his health care reform would “bend the cost curve down,” the left praised the jump in spending — Obamacare saved the economy!

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