The electronic payments industry has revolutionized worldwide markets, making services like Amazon, Uber, Airbnb, and touch and pay systems possible. As the industry grows and innovates, consider the effects of this technology on the US economy.
During March 22 hearings before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, under questioning by West Virginia Rep. David McKinley (R), EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy admitted (once again) the Obama administration’s climate efforts will do nothing to protect public or environmental health. McCarthy instead acknowledged the efforts are merely a symbolic attempt to get other countries’ leaders to join the Paris climate agreement.
Political campaign years are filled with candidates’ promises to solve people’s problems. Government policies will “create jobs,” will reduce or even block the “unfair” competition of market rivals in foreign lands, will restore or create prosperity for all, and will assure “fairness” for everyone, even if it means imposing regulatory or special tax burdens on some to guarantee politically provided privileges and benefits for others who are deemed “deserving.”
Advocates of occupational licensure argue that it protects the public interest by excluding incompetent and unethical individuals from sensitive jobs. This is certainly the case in some fields, such as health care — but in general, research reveals weak evidence that licensure confers a tangible benefit on public safety or the overall quality of services provided to consumers. What it mainly does is increase costs: Kleiner estimates that licensing increases prices 5 to 33 percent, depending on the occupation and geographic location.
President Reagan once said, “The nearest thing to eternal life we will ever see on this earth is a government program.” The omnibus budget package being negotiated on Capitol Hill is a perfect example.
Florida’s citrus harvest has plummeted 60 percent from ten years ago, because of citrus greening disease, a bacterial infection that causes trees to produce stunted fruit and eventually die. The disease has also been found in one Los Angeles area orchard, potentially putting California’s citrus groves at risk. Billions of dollars and thousands of jobs are at stake.
Roadsnacks.net recently identified its candidates for “The Ten Worst Places to Live in Illinois,” and although the article is basically infotainment—the written word’s equivalent of reality TV—and plenty of people disagree with the rankings, it does highlight an undeniable fact: The Illinois towns cited in the article suffer from high unemployment, low incomes, and high poverty rates, which in turn are associated with higher rates of robberies, theft, and even murder.
Oreos have been for years made in Chicago, Illinois (and several other American cities). Mondelez International, Inc. – the company that delivers us the chocolatey, spherical goodness – announced they would make their next wave of Oreo manufacturing investment not in Chicago, but in Mexico. This move will reduce – not end – Chicago’s role in production. Jobs in the Windy City will be halved – from 1,200 to 600. (Other cities will continue their current roles.)
A recently released study claiming to have found a statistical association between hydraulic fracturing and hospitalization rates in Pennsylvania has been popular in the news. However, just about every aspect of this study is problematic, rendering it to the realm of speculation, not science.
Paring it down to size will require a death by a thousand cuts, which, in environmental and energy policy, may have begun with the passage of the Cromnibus budget bill in late 2014. The Cromnibus might mark the beginning of a slow reduction of the federal government’s overreach in environmental issues.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s new Clean Power Plan (CPP) requires that states reduce their electric utility sector carbon dioxide emissions an average of 32% below 2005 levels by 2030. EPA twisted 80 words in the Clean Air Act into 1,560 pages of regulations (plus appendices) demanding that utilities return CO2 emissions almost to 1975 levels, while our population grows by 40 million.
The plan will result in higher electricity costs for businesses and families, lost jobs, lower incomes, higher poverty rates, reduced living standards, and diminished health and welfare, our exhaustive recent study found. This damage will be inflicted at the national level and in all 50 states. The CPP will impact all low-income groups, but hit America’s 128 million Blacks and Hispanics especially hard.
The world’s two leading Global Cities, London and New York are, according to most indicators, remarkably similar in their patterns of regional commuting. This is the conclusion from our recent review of commuting in London and commuting in New York. This analysis contrasts the results between the London Area (Greater London Authority, East and Southeast regions) and the New York combined statistical area, which stretches from New York state, to New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.
There is a bill under consideration in the Minnesota Legislature that, unfortunately, is not likely to become law. The bill would change teacher tenure in the state and replace “last in, first out” practices regarding teacher layoffs. If passed, the legislation would effectively force school boards to judge teachers based on performance when layoffs occur, rather than seniority alone.
Keynesians never seem to learn. Every time an economy slows down or reverses gears and “goes negative,” in terms of growth and employment, their only answer is a call for “aggregate demand” stimulus and more government spending manipulation.
How much more ObamaCare failure must mount in a titanic heap – before Congress decides to get more involved? A Congress given in 2014 a bi-cameral, bigger and deeper Republican majority – because of ObamaCare.
Old fallacies never seem to die, they just fad away to reemerge once again later on. One such fallacy is that if there is significant unemployment and slow economic growth it must be due to not enough consumers’ spending in the economy, what Keynesian economists call a “failure of aggregate demand.”
At a time when the Louisiana legislature is facing a $1.6 billion budget shortfall with massive cuts in important programs like healthcare and education as a solution, legislators realize tough decisions have to be made—even when the choice may anger advocates who depend on the handouts they claim are essential for survival.
Commenting on the rioting in Baltimore, the Wall Street Journal’s Daniel Henniger was almost to the end of his April 30 text when he said “On Wednesday morning, the year’s first-quarter GDP growth rate came in—0.02%. Next to nothing. For the length of the Obama presidency, with growth significantly below norm, unemployment for blacks aged 24 and younger has hovered between 30% and 40%. That’s the real powder keg, not the police.”