Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Democrats Introduce Bill to Hike Federal Minimum Wage to $15 Per Hour

Democrats have introduced a bill this morning to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour.

There were 181 Democratic co-sponsors.

The Raise the Wage Act, backed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and several declared or prospective 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, would hike the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2024 through annual increases. It would also end provisions that in some cases allow employers to pay workers under age 20 and employees with disabilities less than the wage floor.

Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Recommended for House Finance Committee

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez 
Just days after House speaker Nancy Pelosi prevented Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from gaining a seat on the House Ways and Means Committee, the Democratic Party's steering committee voted to recommend her for the House Financial Services Committee.

According to Bloomberg, she will now almost certainly join the powerful committee that oversees Wall Street.

Problems With Bryan Caplan's "Why I'm Not an Austrian Economist": Part 1

By Robert Wenzel

Bryan Caplan's essay, "Why I'm not an Austrian Economist," is apparently getting a second wind on the internet.  A version of the paper was first published in 1997 in the Southern Economic Journal and Caplan published a more expanded version at a later date on his website.

I have received a slew of emails linking to the website version, with correspondents asking me to comment on the paper, so I am guessing the paper has received prominent mention at some Austrian school site.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Paul Krugman's Conversion to a 70-Percent Income Tax

P. Krugman
By William L. Anderson

Paul Krugman was the featured speaker at a special session of the 2004 Southern Economic Association meetings, held the weekend before Thanksgiving, and a number of economists listened intently as the most famous man at the conference spoke religiously about the glories of Keynesian economics. Professor Joseph Salerno and I were in the audience sitting next to each other, and we kept our disagreements with Krugman’s points to ourselves.
When the Q&A began, I raised my hand immediately and was able to ask the first question, and so I asked Krugman the following: “You have been very critical of the Bush tax cuts. Do you favor going back to the 70 percent rates that existed before 1981?”

Ivanka Trump to "Help" Select Nominee for World Bank President

Ivanka Trump, President Trump’s daughter and senior White House adviser, will "help" Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney lead the process of selecting the next World Bank president, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Ludwig von Mises as the Victim of Quinn Slobodian’s Intellectual Dishonesty

Richard Ebeling emails:

Dear Bob, 

I have a new article on the website of the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER) on, “Ludwig von Mises as the Victim of Quinn Slobodian’s Intellectual Dishonesty.” 

Historian, Quinn Slobodian, has recently published an article attempting to accuse Austrian Economics, Ludwig von Mises, of racist attitudes and policy views. I try to offer a detailed response and critique of this scurrilous attack on one of the most noted and principled classical liberal, free market economists of the 20th century.

China Mints a New Billionaire Every Two Days But Will It Last Under Xi Jinping ?

According to Bloomberg, by one estimate, China mints a new billionaire every two days.

In the clip below Bloomberg takes a look at how China remains a nominally Communist state while becoming a hotbed for billionaires-in-the-making.

"Washington Monument Syndrome" Is In Play at TSA Airport Security

The Washington Monument
Drudge is featuring a story on the explosion of no-show airport security screeners as the shutdown continues.

This is his top above-the-fold headline:


This is the accompanying picture:

Monday, January 14, 2019

The State Department Funded “LGBT Pride Month Film Festival” in Mumbai, India Is On Despite the Government Shutdown

By Craig Eyermann

We can learn a lot about the priorities of bureaucrats by what they choose to prioritize when they are forced to make choices in spending taxpayer dollars.

California Governor Proposes Tax on Water

Gavin Newsom
There was never any question that the new California governor, lefty Gavin Newsom, would propose some nutty programs during his reign but, in the first few days of his administration, he is certainly trying to outdo expectations of how wacko he would get.

His just-released budget, titled “California for All,” calls drinking water a “fundamental right,” and adds: “The budget includes short-term measures to bring immediate relief to communities without safe drinking water and also proposes an ongoing sustainable funding source to address this problem into the future.”

Trump Dressed Down Mulvaney in Front of Congressional Leaders

Mick Mulvaney
Apparently, President Trump's chief-of-staff, Mick Mulvaney, didn't understand that Trump style negotiating means you never agree to split the difference.

Trump chastised his new chief of staff over his comments during shutdown talks, creating an awkward scene in front of congressional leaders of both parties, reports Axios.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

The Surprising Brick and Mortar Retail Sector That is Booming in the Age of Amazon


Uber’s Chief Economist Explains the 6% Gender Wage Gap Amongst Uber Drivers

Jonathan Hall 
On Thursday at Stanford University, Uber’s chief economist Jonathan Hall discussed his work at the company, touching on findings of a six percent gender wage gap in Uber drivers and how a unique market like Uber’s functions, reports The Stanford Daily.

According to Hall, the average wage rate of an Uber driver is $20 per hour, although that number usually — and somewhat inexplicably — drops a bit during January and then rises in February.

Hall also discussed the economics team study at Uber conducted on the gender wage gap in drivers.

Trump Flips On a H-1B Visas

I wonder who got to him.

President Trump tweeted on Friday morning that he would reform the process for H-1B visas — temporary visas for educated workers, which are used heavily by some of the world’s biggest companies, including Deloitte, IBM and Cisco.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Why 70 Percent Tax Rates Cannot Finance Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Crazy Socialist Programs

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
By  Brian Riedl

There’s no way to raise the money without hammering the middle class.

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s call for a 70 percent income-tax rate to finance green-energy initiatives has energized the Left. Yet this is completely destructive proposal. A 70 percent tax bracket would raise very little (if any) revenue, while damaging the economy and sending income and jobs overseas.

The Sneaky Ways that the Democratic House Can Raise Taxes

By Veronique de Rugy

The idea of raising taxes is all the rage these days. Thanks to newly minted Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), people are taking very seriously about taxing personal incomes at rates not seen in the United States since the 1980s. Talking to 60 Minutes a few days ago, Ocasio-Cortez endorsed a 70 percent tax rate on those making millions of dollars of income to pay for a “Green New Deal.”

Why Mayor de Blasio’s Proposed Mandated Personal Leave Would Mean Lower Wages for Employees

Mayor Bill de Blasio
By Vanessa Brown Calder 

This week Mayor Bill de Blasio proposed mandating paid personal leave benefits for all employees in New York City. The policy, which applies to both full and part-time workers, would make New York City the first city to mandate personal leave in the country.
The policy is billed as benefiting the 500,000 workers in New York City that currently have no personal days off. Although the idea may sound fresh and New Yorkers no doubt like the sound of paid time off, they may be less enthused if they understood the economics of mandated benefits.

The JPMorgan Health Conference Was So Packed Some Attendees Met in the Bathrooms

Willie Brown, the only man
in San Francisco who owns
more than one suit
Here's the best indication that while a recession is near, we are still in a boom period.

With every restaurant, lobby, public park and cafe within walking distance of the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference’s headquarters packed by thousands of attendees, meeting space was at a premium. One hotel restaurant was charging $300 an hour to sit at a bare wooden table.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Nancy Pelosi Stiff Arms Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
I am almost ready to declare Nancy Pelosi's current reign as House speaker a positive because of this one move.

 Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez didn’t get a seat on the powerful tax-writing committee where she sought to push her progressive agenda of Medicare for All, free college tuition and a green new deal, reports Reuters.

The New York Times: Writing About Climate Science as If They Really Understood It

From the front page of today's New York Times:

Worthless Junk From Nobel Prize Winner Joseph Stiglitz

By Michael S. Rozeff

Joseph Stiglitz got a Nobel in economics. His award doesn’t make his ideas any less incorrect. He endorses Green Socialism via the Green New Deal. His stories and interpretations of economic and political reality are worthless junk, like this one on inequality. For one rebuttal of the latter article, see here. That author is Mark Hendrickson, “…who earned his doctorate under Ludwig von Mises.” He makes statements about that Stiglitz article like these:

Karl Marx and the Great Socialist Revival

Karl Marx
By James Bovard
Socialism’s popularity is reviving in America. 
Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez captured a seat in the new Congress and is calling for confiscatory tax rates at the same time Democratic Socialist candidates are thriving in many areas of the nation. The Washington Post reported in July that it’s “been a good summer for the Democratic Socialists of America,” who have “never had more adherents or more clout.” The Democratic Socialists of America openly calls for the abolition of capitalism.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Trump Cancels Trip To Davos

President Trump has just announced in a tweet that he will not be attending the World Economic Forum crony fest in Davos, Switzerland scheduled for January 22-25 because of the border funding logjam with Democrats.