New Fed Study On Unemployment Benefits

If the North Carolina experience with unemployment benefits was not convincing enough for naysayers, a new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis finds that the expiration of unemployment benefits in December 2013 may have reduced unemployment in early 2014.  No surprise here, but worth noting.

North Carolina’s Success

Back in January, I wrote about the pitfalls of extending unemployment benefits.  Several studies have found that long periods of unemployment benefits exacerbate unemployment and reduce the incentive to find work.  A year ago, North Carolina opted not to receive federal unemployment benefits extension, and their decision paid off, as John Hood writes in the […]

The Debate Over the Home Mortgage Interest Deduction

In the arguments for tax reform, the home mortgage interest deduction occasionally comes up.  Amazingly, the call for its phase out is a measure that many on the right and left can agree.  The Mercatus Center published a recent study on the mortgage interest deduction and how it encourages debt, excessive borrowing and benefits primarily upper […]

U.S. GDP Growth Is In a Race To the Bottom

Wow…today the Bureau of Economic Analysis released its final first quarter estimate of U.S. annual GDP growth, and it’s not pretty.  Real GDP contracted 2.9%, far greater than the BEA’s original estimate of 0.1% growth.  For those who are alarmed, you should be.  A comparison of the United States to the G20 countries shows that […]

Seattle and Midland: A Tale of Two Cities

I was perusing the latest news on jobs and wages this morning, and I have been intrigued by the happenings in Seattle recently – the city council’s approval to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour (phased in over seven years) and now a proposed plan for free universal pre-school paid for with a $58 […]

The (Lack of) Labor Force

While USA Today and other mainstream papers are wringing their hands over the lack of women workers in Silicon Valley, perhaps we should be more concerned about the lack of male and female workers…and jobs…period. A Third of America’s 18-34 Year Olds Live With Their Parents  Business Insider Record Number of Working-Age Men Are Not Working  […]

The Manufactured Gender Gap Problem

A recent analysis of workers in Google’s high tech industry finds, as put by USA Today, “The world of high tech looks like an exclusive boys’ club.” Diversity numbers released by Google shows that 83 percent of its tech workers are male, and 60 percent of its workers are white.  Even though the USA Today article […]

You Read It Here First…Maybe College is Overrated

In a recent Bloomberg article, Ohio University economist Richard Vedder wrote about the plethora of college degrees being churned out annually compared to the supply of jobs that historically not required a degree.  Dr. Vedder is an expert in higher education and has long bemoaned the “college at all costs” policy used to promote federal student […]

Income Inequality from a Plain-Spoken Perspective

Earlier this week, I participated in a televised panel discussion on income inequality.  The topic has generated much discussion lately, as President Obama’s central theme has been how to fix the gap between the rich and the poor.  My general thought is it simply cannot be fixed by dragging out the usual redistribution solutions – […]

Countries Failing to Protect Inventors’ Rights In Medical Innovation

The U.S. Trade Representative just released its “Special 301” report, which lists countries that fail to enforce intellectual-property rights. Protecting inventors’ property rights is necessary to attract investment in medical research and development, as well as a moral imperative for government. Yet, countries at all levels of development fail in this duty. India is singled […]