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Blog Topics 2016
January Should Insider Trading be Legalized: Part 2 February The Presidential Election & the Economy March Does Narcan Increase Heroin Use
Blog Topics 2015
January Does Implementation of the Death Penalty lead to higher costs February Less Competition and Higher Hospital Costs March Millionaires Who Get Subsidies from the Affordable Care Act April The Unintended Obama Legacy May The NY Times and $15 Minimum Wage June Are Disability Payments Bankrupting Social Security August Seattle's $15 minimum wage and it's Surprising Consequence October The Great Stagnation: The Obama Legacy November Poverty in the United States December Should Insider Trading be Legalized: Part one by Olivia Marchioni
Blog Topics 2014 blog topics for 2013 are at page bottom
January Will Lake Meade become another Aral Sea February Does Taxing the rich hurt the economy March The Cause of the Great Depression April Temporary Agricultural Subsidies lead to wealthy Farmers and Higher Prices May The Presidents Stance on Gun Control leads to Increased Gun Ownership June Is there really a Gender Pay Gap July Did the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade lower the crime rate August Department of Education and wasted Money October The Financial Follies of the EPA November Social Security and Portfolio Diversification December The White House and Terrorism
April Jobs Report
During April, the economy created 160,000 below economists expectations of 200K. This was good news bad news. Bad news since it was further evidence of a stagnating economy and good news since it sent a signal to the FED not to raise rates during its June meeting. The unemployment rate (U-3) remained constant at 5% while the real unemployment rate (U-6) decreased slightly to 9.7%. The real unemployment rate includes part time workers and marginally attached workers as part of the work force and unemployed. The only piece of good news was continued gains in wages. The month increase came to 0.3%, spot on estimates. That brought the annual increase to 2.5%. Teenagers had the highest rate amongst all groups followed at 16% while blacks remained the highest ethnic group with a rate of 8.8% (.3% lower than last month) and Asians the lowest at 3.8%. The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (also referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was about unchanged in April at 6.0 million and has shown little movement since November. The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 0.1 hour to 34.5 hours in April. The manufacturing workweek and overtime remained unchanged at 40.7 hours and 3.3 hours, respectively. U.S. crude oil futures settled up $1.57, or 3.52 percent, at $46.23 a barrel, its highest in six months. Oil turned higher and extended gains after the EIA's weekly inventory report showed a decline of 3.4 million barrels, versus expectations of a slight build.
On Tuesday, the Dow finished the Day at 17,706, up 213 which came on the heals of a report on new home sales that far surpassed expectations. New home sales surged 16.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 619,000 in April as builders increased construction to meet demand. Analysts expected an annual pace of 525,000. The reading marked the biggest increase in 24 years, a 17% jump. Mortgage applications are up over 2%. The median price of new homes picked up 7.8% to $321,000 as supply remains constrained; add this to low interest rates and the Dow being at the lower end of it's trading range (chart), and you now have a rally. Stocks also got a lift from polls from Europe that show the odds of Britain voting in late June to leave the European Union are dwindling, which has lowed market risk. However, I wouldn't be cracking the champagne yet, the Dow still remains range bound and it hasn't broken a short term resistance line and talks of a June FED rate hike continue. Investors and analysts are waiting to see if Fed Chair Janet Yellen, who speaks publicly Friday, "endorses the rate-hike rhetoric espoused by the recent parade of Federal Reserve speakers. Overnight, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard told CNBC that a U.S. Federal Reserve rate hike in June or July wasn't set in stone, but labor data suggested it was time to pull the trigger (yahoo finance). I could not disagree more; once again, unemployment is a lagging indicator and given the anemic GDP growth we have had, 3 rate hikes this year could drive the economy into a recession if it hasn't already started. During the pre-market today, The Dow is up 60 points and today oil is in the news as it closes in on $50/barrel at $49.16, up over $2, and some oil stocks are following with Exxon Mobile being at 52 week highs and others following. Gold is stalling and is down to $1220/oz (the glitter of gold stocks is fading too), the dollar is stronger (bad for stocks) at $1.11/Euro and the average price of a gallon of regular gas nationwide is up to $2.304.
There was little direction in the market today as the Dow dropped 8 points to finish at 17,492. The market malaise continued as stocks followed crude oil that dropped to $47.95/barrel. Oil fell for a fourth straight day as Canadian producers worked to resume operations after wildfires. Most industrial metals also slipped, and iron ore tumbled. With Fed officials continuing to hint that an increase to key borrowing costs may be looming, traders have boosted the probability of higher rates next month to 32 percent, up from 4 percent a week ago. Still, the odds continue to favor the Fed standing pat with Britain to vote on its European Union membership a week after the central bank’s June meeting and concerns over China’s slowdown and corporate debt load persisting in global markets.(Bloomberg). There isn't any major economic data out this week and with earning season almost over (the earning recession continues), the market doesn't have much direction going into the long weekend. I suspect, traders will be risk adverse and we will probably be looking at our 5th week in a row of a down Dow. Gold continues it downward trend at $1249/oz and the average price of a gallon of gas nationwide is the same at $2.282.
In Other news: The Affordable Care Act Continues to be the Poster Child for false advertising since it has been anything but. Health plans are asking for sharp price increases, after suffering big losses on exchanges in the last two years. Insurers cite rising drug costs and patients who utilize a lot of medical services for the price-hike requests, which range from 17 percent in New York, and more than 20 percent in Virginia, to 30 percent rate increase requests from Oregon's largest insurers. The end of reinsurance in 2016 was written into the ACA because the law's backers had expected that the individual market on the exchanges would have stabilized by now. It hasn't, and enrollment has not met expectations because the plans haven't been able to attract as many young healthy enrollees as anticipated. (CNBC). Unless there are significant changes (including overturning the ACt, this will continue.
The Dow was up 66 points on Friday, breaking a 3 day loosing session, but it marks the 4th week in a row that the Dow was down. the week. For the past 2 months, the Dow has been range bound between 17,500-18,000, and I expect this trend to continue with a downward bias. There are a number of reason beginning with the Obama administration and ending with the FED. The Obama administration's anti-business platform continues to manifest itself, business investment continues to be anemic because of uncertainty and higher tax laws. The Obama administration has increased the capital gains tax from 15% to 23%(an increase of 53%) and this has stymied business investment that contributes to GDP (the Obama administration has not had a year of 3% GDP). What else is contributing to the market malaise (I love alliteration) is uncertainty. Uncertainty about the world economy, uncertainty about growth in China, the 2nd largest world economy, uncertainty about the election (no one knows the effect of Trumps policies and will Mark Cuban be the new Republican fair-haired boy), uncertainty about the FED (will they raise rates in June), and as a result of this uncertainty (plus the self-fulfilling prophecy of sell in May and go away), I don't see a rally this summer. What very much hurt the market this week was the release of the FED minutes that indicated a FED rate hike in June.
In other Corporate news: Here's an interesting statistic. One-third of all the money(actual cash holdings) of nonfinancial corporations is held by 5 companies: Apple (AAPL), Microsoft (MSFT), Alphabet (GOOGL), Cisco Systems (CSCO) and Oracle (ORCL) are sitting on $504 billion, or 30%, of the $1.7 trillion in cash and cash equivalents held by U.S. non-financial companies in 2015 (info from Moody's). Corporate America's rising pile of cash is becoming increasingly important to investors as profit growth and the stock market stalls. The amount of cash held by U.S. companies rose 1.8% in 2015. This a growth of about 2% from 2015, and the reason is a function of the above, uncertainty and apprehension. The upside to this is there could be a possible increase in dividends and stock buybacks. Personally I would like to see a more business friendly environment that would stimulate business to invest and grow the economy in excess of 3%. Oil remains strong at $48.48/barrel, gold is down to $1252/ounce, the dollar has increased in strength (bad for exports) to $1.12/Euro, the the average price of a gallon of gas nationwide is up to $2.28 which is still lower than 1 year ago when it was $2.73.
So far selling in May and going away has become phrophetic. Since the beginning of May, the Dow has dropped 365 points. At 2 PM, the FED released minutes from its last FOMC meeting that showed many of the members were for a rate hike in June if economic data improves. This in turn sent the Dow tumbling 180 points within 20 minutes (from up 100 to down 80). The spectre of another interest rate hike caught Wall St by surprise, and I can't say that I wasn't either. I am a big supporter of the FED, but what are they thinking. GDP has at best, been anemic with 1st quarter GDP being only up .4% which followed a bad 4th quarter of 1.4% (40 year average is 3.3%). The Obama administration has not had 1 year of 3% GDP. Some people may point to employment figures being good; unemployment is a LAGGING indicator. The last time it was below 5%, we were in the 3rd month of the great recession. In addition durable good orders and production is down, and core inflation (which excludes volatile food and energy costs) is close to non-existent (see chart). In my mind, raising rates is ridiculous and would hurt the economy. The bright spot in today's markets were financials that benefit from a rate hike. If you remember your microeconomics, this implies that the demand for money is inelastic and that when the price goes up (via a rate hike) total revenue also increases. Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase contributed the most to gains in the Dow Jones industrial average, while Wal-Mart had the greatest negative impact. The stock fell 3 percent ahead of its earnings due Thursday morning.
OIL 1 YEAR CHART
The buzz word for today is oil. With unrest in both Venezuela and Nigeria disrupting oil supplies (together both countries account for over 4 million barrels oil/day, mbd,), for the first time in over a year, oil demand is outstripping supply. World wide demand is 95 mbd, and supply now is about 93 mbd. As a result oil shot up to close to $48 at $47.76/barrel. Once the price hits 50, and stays there, you can expect US oil wells utilizing fracking technology to begin reopening. Crude futures have rallied for most of the past two weeks from a combination of non-OPEC supply outages, declining U.S. production and virtually frozen inflows of Canadian crude after wildfires in Alberta's oil sands region (another 1 million barrels/day). The next market mover for oil (assuming no further supply shocks) will be US inventory numbers that will be released by the Energy Information Agency on Wednesday at 10:30. At the close of trading, the Dow is up 175 points and will be attempting to shake off a 3 week loosing streak as a result of poor earning reports in the retail sector. One of those companies which contributed significantly to the decline was Apple. However, it was also Apple that is contributing to today's rise as a result of the Buffet bounce to the stock. Buffett's company is buying in. Portfolio managers at Berkshire bought a $1 billion stake in Apple, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Monday. The company's new position in Apple totals 9.8 million shares. In other news: Pfizer is buying Anacor Pharmaceuticals in a $5.2 billion deal to add an eczema gel to its portfolio, just a month after plans to acquire Allergan fell apart. Treasury yields were higher, with the 2-year yield near 0.79 percent and the 10-year yield around 1.75 percent. Gold is down slightly at $1274/ounce, the dollar strengthened against the Euro at $1.13/Euro and the price of a gallon of regular gas nationwide is up to $2.222 and I expect it to keep climbing as a result of the higher price of crude coupled with the greater demand for gas during the summer vacation season.
Apple is no longer the number 1 US company by market cap. After reaching an all time high of $750 billion (amidst talk that it would be the 1st Trillion dollar corporation), the company is now # 2 at $494 billion. The number one company is now Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL) at $498 billion. Apples shares are well into correction territory this year being down over 14%. The reason is both misses on the top and bottom line in addition to concerns over falling i-phone sales. Apple reported adjusted quarterly earnings of $1.90 a share, which is well below the $2 a share expected by analysts. Profit is also down 18% from a year ago. Appl is currently at 52 week lows. After starting the day in rally mode, being up 50 points, the Dow gave back all its gains, and then some, and is down 24 points at 17,668 with 2 hours of trading remaining in the day, and this is in spit of oil being at a 6 month high at $46.16/barrel (which is off its $47 high earlier in the day). The concern is continuing pessimistic views over consumer retail spending. There was an earnings miss from retailer Kohl's before today's opening bell. The 6 cents miss pushed Kohl's shares down more than 6% in pre-market trading. Macy's stock got destroyed Wednesday, plunging 15% as a result of misses on both top and bottom lines. Heading into Thursday's session, earnings for the S&P 500 are seen contracting 5.4% in the first quarter, and on track for a third straight quarter of negative growth, according to Thomson Reuters (USA Today). In economic news, weekly jobless claims rose to 294,000. Import prices rose 0.3 percent in April, while export prices rose 0.5 percent. The dollar is the same at $1.14/Euro as is gold at $1272/oz and the price of a gallon of regular gas nation wide is also steady at $2.20.
After advancing 220 points yesterday, the Dow has given back most of those gains today being down 190 points in the last hour of trading at 17,737. The impetus was a rare profit and revenue miss from Disney which announced pre-market. It was the 1st time in about 5 years that Disney has been lower than expectations. Another negative for the market was Staples (SPLS) decision to scrap its $6.3 billion acquisition of rival office supply superstore Office Depot (ODP) after a federal judge blocked the planned merger, siding with regulators that a marriage of the two companies would "substantially impair competition." Staples shares fell more than 17% and Office Depot stock plunged a whopping 39%. (USA Today) As the day progressed, the news kept getting worse. Stocks are down due to worries about consumer spending, which has been the mainstay of economic growth through out the entire Obama administration( we're talking anemic 2% growth). As a result, the S&P retail ETF, (XRT) is down 4% in conjunction with the stagnant economy and possible recession expectations (if the Yield curves flattens or invert, that's a sure sign). Gold is up to $1278/oz (gold usually goes up when the market tanks) and gold stocks along with it. The dollar is relatively stable at $1.14/Euro and the nation average of a gallon of regular gas is down to $2.2.
In other News: First, a little history. In 1800, 90% of the adult population were farmers (lots of factory child labor), by 1900, 25% of the population and currently, about 2% as a result of technology garnering greater yield/acre. As a result much farmland from the 19th century is no longer. In a recent study out of UNH, it was found that 75% of the farmland from the mid 19th century is now covered by trees and this is contributing to warmer winters. Trees causing higher temperatures you say; how is this possible? It is very simple physics. In the winter in NH (and most other states), farm pastures are covered with snow, and this reflects sunlight, and heat, into space. Now that 75% of these pastures are covered with trees, the dark trees absorb the heat and it permeates into the atmosphere causing a general warming and milder winters. If you've ever wondered what a stone wall was doing in the middle of the woods, those woods were once pastures and delineated borders and contained live stock.
After advancing 80 points on Friday, the Dow gave back 35 today to end the session at 17,706, which still puts it in positive territory for the year. Friday's up day was a function of somewhat of a Goldilocks job report. The job report of 160,000 jobs created in April, was 40,000 below the anticipated # of 200,000. This was good news bad news. Bad news since it was further evidence of a stagnating economy and good news since it sent a signal to the FED not to raise rates during its June meeting. What also helped the market Friday was the increase in WTI oil as Canadian wildfires raged next to the oil sands of Canada disrupting supplies. Heading into the new week, Wall Street was pricing in all sorts of new information and unknowns, ranging from Friday's weaker-than-expected reading on April job creation to uncertainty related to the presidential election to the ongoing turbulence in the oil patch. After being up most of the day, oil settled at $43.37/barrel, down $1.29. Also hurting the market, was the strengthening of the dollar to $1.14/Euro; a stronger dollar makes US goods more expensive to foreign countries which hurts net exports and GDP. There are 21 companies on the S&P 500 that will be reporting earnings this week and that will have some effect on the markets. In Other News: And I thought Barack Obama lived in fantasy land. According to CNBC, Bernie Sanders spending programs and "free everything" will add 2 $21 trillion dollars to the exorbitant debt of $20 trillion amassed by Obama. The massive additional debt represents the net bill for the Vermont senator's proposals to implement a single-payer health-care system, provide generous long-term care services, provide free public college tuition and paid family leave, and expand Social Security. On top of that, the government would be on the hook for $3 trillion in additional interest payments to finance that extra spending, the analysis found. What do you expect of someone who never ran a business and lived in a Kibbutz in Jerusalem.
SO: Should you sell in May and go away. and not come back 'til Leger day(Leger day is a horse race in NY in September) day If you look at the accompanying chart, the markets have their weakest gains in May and there are a number of valid reasons. First, profit taking is inevitable and money managers like to lock in theses gains before they, and others, go on summer vacation; which brings us to our second reason, volume is low in the summer because of vacations, and people will sell because they don't want to have their riskier holdings if they are away and something adverse occurs. Lastly, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. If everyone is thinking sell in May, it has a snowball effect. This year, my cash position is a little heavier than previous years, because I'm still pessimistic about the Obama economy (or lack thereof).
Wait, I'm not done. How's his war on guns going? As a result of Obama's campaign to eliminate guns, gun sales and stock prices of gun stocks reached all time highs (see blog, May 2014). In addition, The number of full-time jobs in the firearms industry increased from about 166,000 in 2008 to nearly 288,000 in 2016, according to a new report from the National Shooting Sports Foundation, or NSSF. That represents a 73 percent increase. Maybe that was his plan all along to help decrease unemployment. In other news, with 2 hours remaining in the trading day, the Dow is up 76 points, 18,130, and is on track to extend its winning streak to 3 days. The market is following oil which is up over $2 at $43.78/barrel. This is a new high for 2016. Traders attributed oil's gains to volatility around the scheduled post-settle contract rollover and to the EIA's mid-morning report that showed a lower-than-expected crude inventory build of 2.1 million barrels and a decline in U.S. production. (CNBC). For the record, I feel that the sweet spot for oil is $50-$60/barrel. At that price, fracking is profitable and it still gives us low energy costs. The dollar is slightly stronger, $1.13/Euro, gold is trading at $1254/oz, slightly higher, and the price of a gallon of regular gas nationwide is down slightly to $2.107.
DOW 1 YEAR
For the second day in a row, the Doe is above 18,000 as it advance 49 points to finish at,18,054; however, it was somewhat of a roller coaster as it was up over 80 slightly after the open, sunk to minus 16 before recovering ti finish in the green. Oil prices shrugged off the failure of OPEC and Russia failing to reach an agreement on oil production cuts and recovered most of yesterday's loss to finish at $41.19/barrel, primarily as a result of an oil strike by workers in Kuwait. Oil is starting to lose its grip on the stock market as focus shifts back to first-quarter earnings season. Energy and materials traded more than 1.5 percent higher as the top S&P sectors in afternoon trade, followed by financials. The three sectors are the worst S&P performers over the last 12 months. There are a number of stocks that are overbought, and if earnings disappoint, it wouldn't surprise me to see a pullback and profit taking. In other news: Goldman Sachs reported first-quarter earnings that topped lowered Wall Street expectations, but marked a fourth-straight quarter of profit declines as market volatility hit the company's bond trading and investment banking businesses. Revenue plunged about 40 percent from the year-ago period and missed estimates. After the close Monday, IBM posted results that beat on both the top and bottom line. However, revenue continued to fall and the firm did not raise its full-year guidance. (CNBC) The dollar weakened slightly to $1.14/Euro, gold is up to $1252/oz and the price of a gallon of regular gas nationwide is down slightly to $2.111.
Here's something you don't here everyday, a prominent democratic bashing a serving democratic president. While speaking in Spokane Washington on behalf of his wife, Bill Clinton said the following; ""If you believe we can rise together, if you believe we've finally come to the point where we can put the awful legacy of the last eight years behind us", obviously a slam at Obama and his failed presidency. The Web site is cnn and the following link will get you there. http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/21/politics/bill-clinton-hillary-obama-legacy/index.html.
A number of people have asked me about Bernie Sanders tax plan and he is in the same fantasy land as Obama. First, it would never pass a republican Congress and early indications are that the Republicans will definitely maintain control of the house. He wants to make all state university's free; let's just look at NH. At UNH there are 14,500 students of which 45% are out of state. Just tuition, not including room and board for out of state students is $30,000 and in-state $17,000. If you do the math that's a total of $331,325,000, and that doesn't even include Plymouth, Keene and Granite state which are also part of the state University system Do that for every state and it is an astronomical cost that his fantasyland proposal doesn't even begin to cover. I hesitate to do the cost for California that has 38 million people as opposed to NH's 1.6 million. What I find particularly disconcerting, is all the people who are buying this.
With all the talk of interest rate hikes, I've received a number of e-mails concerning an explanation of what interest rates are relevant to us as consumers. The Federal Funds Rate This is the interest rate that is followed most closely and affects all other short term interest rates. It is the rate that one bank charges another bank on an overnight loan and has a direct effect on the prime rate. The current rate is .25%. Prime Rate This is the rate that the larger banks charge their best customers on short term loans (under 3 months). Once the federal funds rate is changed, the prime rate is changed by, usually, the largest bank, JP Morgan-Chase, and all other banks follow. The prime rate is generally 3% higher than the Federal Funds rate. The current prime rate is 3.25%. This affects all other short term loans: HELOC's (Home Equity Line Of Credit), boat loans, car loans, etc. What it does not affect directly is the mortgage rate.
Yield on the 10 Year Government Bond The government finances it's deficit by borrowing money and it does this by issuing bonds that have a maturity value anywhere from 30 days to 30 years. Technically, Treasury bills are issued for terms less than a year.Treasury notes are issued in terms of 2, 3, 5, and 10 years and Treasury bonds are issued in terms of 30 years. The price of a bond is inversely related to its yield and the mortgage rate is usually 2-3% higher than the 10 year yield.
California Drought of 2015 California is in the middle of a drought; it must be global warming or now the more politically correct term (spare me), climate change. In case you haven't noticed, the climate is always changing. It is in a constant state of flux. If you notice the chart below right, California has had a number of mega-droughts during the medieval ages and this was considerably worse than it is now. Oh yea, and probably the father of these current climate alarmists were predicting an ice age in the 1960's (click on pictures below).
Obamacare Revised Costs
More on Obamacare In a recent survey by the New York FED on businesses, the median increase in healthcare premiums is expected to be 10%. More than a quarter of the manufacturing and service firms surveyed said they either have or will boost prices for goods and services "because of the effects that the ACA is having on your business." About 20 percent of respondents said they were reducing their number of workers and/or raising the share of part-time workers as a result of the ACA. His is in stark contrast to the presidents remarks earlier this year that healthcare costs are decreasing. Maybe CEO's were right when they said the president "Just doesn't get it".
Commentary on Minimum Wage
The main argument concerning minimum wage is that it will help to alleviate poverty. That is clearly not the case. As you can see from the chart at the left, the poverty rate dropped dramatically in the 1960's. This was a function of great society legislation; specifically, increase in Social Security benefits in addition to the inception and implementation of Medicare and Medicaid. Since then, the poverty rate has fluctuated between 9-15% and is highly correlated with the unemployment rate. The vertical grey area's in the graph represent periods of recessions in the US. As can be expected, unemployment rises during recessions and peaks at the end (unemployment is said to be a lagging indicator). As you can also see from the chart, so too does the poverty rate. There is no indication whatsoever that the poverty rate is affected by increases in the minimum wage. Generally, this is quite the contrary. As can be evidenced from the below left chart, increases in minimum wage can contribute to unemployment and as we can infer from the above chart, as unemployment increases so to does poverty. If you look at NH, they have the lowest state poverty rate in the nation and it generally parallels the national unemployment rate. By raising the minimum wage, you increase business costs. As a result; businesses either pass these costs onto the consumer (in which case inflation nullifies any wage increase), substitute capital for labor, or simply go out of business. If you look at the chart below right, UAW (United Auto Workers) membership has decreased in the late 1970's from 1.5 million to 350,000 in 2009. The reason for this is simple. Detroit isn't making fewer cars, they are making more, but they have made their assembly lines more robotic and have substituted capital for labor, which became cheaper in the long run. This can also happen to those fast food workers who want a $15 minimum wage. There is currently a machine on the market that can make 300 burgers/hour. In other words, capital can be substituted for labor. Someone please e-mail me and explain how someone is better off unemployed at $8.25/hour as opposed to being gainfully employed at $7.25/hour
You cannot legislate equality. If you want to decrease poverty, implement policies to insure that higher levels of education is available to all.
The Congressional Budget Office predicted this week that more than 2 million people will leave the labor force because of Obamacare. Specifically, more people will leave the labor force or reduce their hours, to stay under the cap for federal subsidies. If you are a family of 4, and household income is under, WAIT FOR IT, $94,000, you are eligible for a federal subsidy. The number of part time/temporary workers has already increased by 35% since Obamacare was passed in 2010; and yes it will get worse, wait until 2015 when it becomes mandatory for businesses.
For a good laugh on Obamacare, go to this web site and watch this video; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpa-5JdCnmo. It shows the president on 36 different occasions stating that if you like your healthcare plan you can keep it. Obviously there are 1 of two explanations for this misunderstanding. He was ill advised on the 2700 page, 4500 provision Affordable Care Act, or he knew about it and lied. According to a study by Forbes magazine, the ACA will increase premiums to men under 27 by 77%, 40 year olds, 37% and 64 year olds by 37%.
When Obamacare was 1st released, The Congressional Budget Office predicted that it would cost $900 billion over 10 years. At the time, I made a prediction to my students that I estimate the final cost would be closer to $3 trillion. Three years later, the CBO has raised it's estimate to $1.6 trillion. At this rate, we are on pace to reach the $3 trillion mark. www.healthcare.gov, the official website to sign up for Obamacare had an original cost of $100 million. That cost is now up to $2.6 Trillion and rising. If the government can't manage the costs on a web site, and these costs have trippled since it opened on October 1, how can it possible manage a 2700 page, 4500 provision bill. The words of Nancy Pelosi (see above) are acting as a harbinger of doom: "We have to pass the bill, so we can find out what's in it."
BLOG Topics 2013
January Do Protected Seals lead to Depleted Fish Stocks February Prohibition: Profits to Cartels & Increased Violence for Americans March Increased Minimum Wage & Extended benefits lead to Higher Unemployment April Ethanol from corn & Agflation May Cash for Clunkers lead to Higher Used Car Prices & Wasted Tax Dollars June The Affordable Care Act; Anything but Affordable Part 1 July The Affordable Care Act; The poster Child for False Advertising August Detroit: Higher Taxes + Liberal Benefits = Bankruptcy September No Keystone Pipeline leads to more pollution October Global Warming! Or is it Global Cooling! November Poverty & Benefits December Does Affirmative Action lead to Reverse Discrimination?
The United States has amongst the lowest savings rate for all technological nations. The iOMe challenge is a nationwide competition between Colleges where teams submit a 10,000 page essay on how Americans can improve their savings rates. In addition, teams must produce an approximate 60 second video which complements the essay. If you click on the iOMe logo above, it will take you to Bentley University's 2012 video submission. The faculty adviser for the challenge is John Tommasi and is offered during his Fall EC 351 course, Contemporary Issues in Economics. I'm pleased to announce that on February 15, Bentley was declared the winner of the iOMe video portion of the contest. Congrats to the team members and great job!
EC 3900 Energy Economics
EC 3900, Energy Economics and International Markets, is a 3 credit, Short Term Program, that is offered during Spring semester. After 7 weeks of lecture, the class takes a 10 day educational/cultural tour to France where 80% of their electricity is produced by nuclear power. During the 10 day trip, students travel to, and tour various nuclear facilities Last year's class visited; Marsailles, Aix en Provance, Lyons, Brest and 4 days in Paris.
If there were ever words that can strike fear into the hearts of any man women or child, it's: "I'm from the Government and I'm here to help". On a monthly basis my blog, from an economic standpoint, will explore government laws, decisions and actions, which while well intentioned, had inadvertent results that were either disastrous, or made a bad situation worse. It wouldn't surprise me if you reached the conclusion that congress does two things well, nothing and overreact; and you may ask yourself, do Congressional members vote for what is best for the economy, or what will get them re-elected.