Free Trade and Candlemakers

Economists are infamous for disagreeing with each other, but one of the few issues to consistently receive unanimous support is free trade.  Policymakers however have failed to take this lesson to heart.  GOP Presidential candidate Donald Trump recently admonished Ford Motor Company for planning to build a new plant in Mexico.  He claims that by hiring […]

How Does the Economy Affect Investments? This Compass Shows You

    In today’s economy, it can be difficult to know what investments are most favored or held back by economic conditions. One effective solution is to classify investment vehicles according to how they perform when the economy is changing in a particular way. The diagram above is shaped like a compass. It’s a simple scheme […]

The Changing Face of SSDI Beneficiaries

As I wrote in a previous blog post, the Social Security Disability Insurance program is suffering a funding shortfall that is exacerbated by a complex bureaucracy and lack of political will for reform.   According to the latest Statistical Report on Social Security Disability, there are 12.1 million individuals currently receiving disability benefits, 8.9 million of them previous workers.  Those who […]

A Patently Silly Campaign Promise to Entrepreneurs…from Hillary

A colleague emailed me an article about Hillary Clinton’s new campaign pledge to entrepreneurs.  In a speech yesterday, she proposed delaying student loan payments for three years to those starting up a business.  If that business provides “social benefits,” she proposes that the entrepreneur could apply for debt forgiveness of up to $17,500 after five […]

If Congress Does Not Want to Reform SSDI, Will They At Least Tackle Overpayments?

According to the most recent Trustees Report, the Social Security Disability trust fund, which would have been depleted by the end of this year, will now run dry in 2019, thanks to a little finagling of the payroll tax. But this is a short-term solution to a program that is in desperate need of real […]

Social Insecurity

The 2016 Social Security Trustees Report has been a long time coming.  Usually it is released in the spring (although last year it wasn’t released until July), but I can’t say I blame the Trustees for the delay.  It looks bad.  Worse than last year.  The program that pays yours and my retirement benefits, either […]

Lies, Damned Lies, and the 77 Percent Gender Pay Gap

A pet favorite issue of the left is their claim that women only make 77 cents for every dollar a man makes. With this fatal statistic in hand, wage justice warriors are usually quick to call for a whole new wave of regulations and pay mandates to fix such terrible and clear evidence of discrimination. […]

Obama’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Overtime Rule

Last week the White House updated the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) overtime regulations, raising the threshold at which salaried employees are exempt from overtime pay, effective December 1, 2016. According to the updated requirements, salaried employees making up to $913 per week ($47,476 annually) will now qualify for overtime compensation of 1.5 times their […]

Mining Takes a Hit in the Jobs Report

While Hillary Clinton is trying to convince Coal Country that she cares, the BLS reports that 7,000 jobs in mining were lost in April alone, totaling 191,000 mining and mining-related jobs lost since September 2014.  Earlier this week I wrote about the lack of political support for “dirty jobs” that actually pay quite well, and […]

Another Take on Slow Wage Growth, Part II

Yesterday, I elaborated on a WSJ article and some historical data highlighting slow wage growth.  While some policymakers may just shrug and insist that slow wage and GDP growth are the “new normal,” others seem to believe that simply waving the magic $15 minimum wage wand will fix everything.  Both are wrong.  Here is what could […]