In 2013 the price of gold bullion lost 28 percent and closed near its low for the year. It was the first annual decline since 2000 and the worst since 1981. Gold ETFs experienced record redemptions, shrinking the funds 33 percent by year end, but they were the exception. Marcus Grubb, Managing Director of the World Gold Council, reported, “2013 has been a strong year for gold demand across sectors and geographies, with the exception of western ETF markets.” While investors were leaving ETFs, demand for gold jewelry, bars and coins was increasing, as were purchases by central banks. Globally, consumer demand increased 17 percent for gold jewelry and 28 percent for bars and coins.
The editorial board of the New York Times had it right 27 years ago when it wrote, “The Right Minimum Wage: $0.00.” There’s a virtual consensus among economists that the minimum wage is an idea whose time has passed. Raising the legal minimum price of labor will result in an increase in unemployment and it will be the least skilled workers, those most in need of work, who will be the first to lose jobs and the last to be hired. That would be the tragic unintended consequences if government forces the new law upon businesses.
Minimum wage has become a contentious political issue, even though it has nothing to do with a living wage. Workers are paid for the worth of the job they are paid to do. Nevertheless, Democrats plan to tap into what they perceive as income inequality by using minimum wage as a plank in their populist economic platform heading into the November elections.
Obama and his administration is so detached from reality that it is afflicting millions of Americans who want to work while at the same time its policies are reducing the number of new jobs being created.
Heartland Senior Fellow Benjamin Domenech was a guest Wednesday night on “All In with Chris Hayes” on MSNBC. Ben is rare among people who go on TV to talk: He actually endeavors to answer the questions he’s asked.
If Obama truly wanted to “create jobs and opportunities for the middle class,” he could tell the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) to work with—instead of against—those ready to risk their capital in the development of our natural resources and create jobs.
A common fallacy is that the Great Depression was ended by the explosive spending of World War II. But World War II actually institutionalized the sharp decline in the standard of living caused by the Depression.