" Where economics isn't just a job, but an adventure"
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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 April Is NOAA destroying the American Fisherman June Will California Style Power Outages Happen in New England July Textbooks, Inflation & the FTC
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
July Jobs Report
July was a big positive for the economy and market. The economy produced 255,000 jobs when only 180,000 were expected and the employment rate stayed constant at 4.9% which indicates a high labor participation rate, which was the case slightly, at 62.8%. Hourly wages also moved higher, increasing by 8 cents or an annualized pace of 2.6 percent, while the average work week edged up to 34.5 hours. Professional and business services led the way with 70,000 new positions, while health care rose 43,000 and Wall Street jobs increased by 18,000. Leisure and hospitality continued to be a big contributor to job growth, adding 45,000. Government added 38,000 to the total while mining lost another 7000 jobs compliments of the continuing war on coal by the administration and an EPA allowed to run uncontrolled. The report came as recent indicators have raised fresh concerns about the pace of growth. Gross domestic product gains averaged just 1 percent in the first half of the year. However, there's hope that the second half will be better. The Atlanta Fed is projecting GDP to increase 3.7 percent in the third quarter(CNBC) but I'm not holding my breath. Among the major worker groups, unemployment rates in July were little changed for adult men (4.6 percent), adult women (4.3 percent), teenagers (15.6 percent), Whites, (4.3 percent), Blacks (8.4 percent), Asians (3.8 percent), and Hispanics (5.4 percent).
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, Shortly after the noontime hour, the Dow is down 28 points at 18,520 on low volume despite some economic news that showed a lower than expected amount of housing starts. Everyone is sitting back and waiting for Janet Yellen's speech this Friday at Jackson Hole as to whether the FED will raise rates this year. There has only been one rate hike in the past year and that was last December. Most analysts on a rate hike this year in light of a number of Fed officials in recent weeks pushing for a rate hike sooner rather than later, creating a fresh round of Fed handicapping by financial markets. Wall Street is still betting that the Fed will move at its last meeting in December and not at the next meeting in September. Once again, inflation is non-existent and I see no need for a hike given low GDP numbers. Investors also watched oil markets, with U.S. crude falling more than 2.5 percent after the Energy Information Administration said U.S. crude stockpiles rose by 2.5 million barrels. Oil is currently trading at 46.73/barrel, gold is down to $1330/oz and the dollar remains steady at $1.13/Euro. The average price of a gallon of regular gas nationwide is up to $2.189. In other news: It appears that the affordable Care Act (Obamacare) will do to itself what the Supreme court didn't do, and what Republicans and other opponents couldn't do. Make no bones about it, Obamacare is on life support. Three of the big four insurance companies have pulled out most of the state exchanges. Last week, Aetna, joined Humana and United Healthcare in the exchange exit, leaving just Cigna, that recently pulled out of the large Florida exchange. A basic tenet of economics is that when you have less competition, expect prices to rise; count on it. But what will happen long term? One of two choices according to Forbes magazine; the government will not require everyone to have insurance (doubtful if Hillary gets in, a sure bet with Trump) or, wait for it, the government can take over the exchanges, and you the taxpayer, will foot the bill. And what makes matters worse, the government has an extremely poor track record of running anything well, especially with the taxpayer dollar, you need look no further than the US's $20 trillion debt that the Obama administration has doubled in its 8 year tenure.
The Dow advanced 18 points today to finish at 18,547. The stock market has been relatively calm in recent weeks with volatility in the past 20 days for the benchmark Standard & Poor's 500 stock index at its lowest level "in several decades," according to Strategas Research Partners. The S&P posted its 32nd straight session without a 1 percent move on a closing basis on Tuesday. The interpretation is, investors are not sure what's happening. Is the earnings recession over? is the FED going to raise rates sooner or later? And which one of two (or three) candidates, that no one is crazy about, going to win the next election. In addition, investors are largely in wait-and-see mode ahead of Yellen's speech on Friday in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, which could clarify the U.S. central bank's thinking on whether it plans to hike interest rates for the first time this year at its September meeting or continue to hold off. In recent weeks, so-called Fed "hawks," or central bankers that favor rate hikes sooner rather than later, have said an increase in borrowing rates is getting closer. Still, Wall Street is still betting that the Fed will hold rates steady. U.S. stocks moved higher in sympathy with shares in Europe, which got a boost from the latest reading from a closely watched purchasing managers index, or PMI, which showed a slight rise but enough to top economists' expectations (USA Today). On the data front, new home sales for July unexpectedly surged, reaching their highest level in almost nine years. Other data released Tuesday included the Market Manufacturing PMI for August, which came in at 52.1. Investors also digested quarterly results from Best Buy and Toll Brothers, among other firms. Best Buy shares soared 19.6 percent after beating expectations on both earnings and revenue. Toll Brothers' stock gained about 8.8 percent. U.S. crude erased losses in midmorning trade to close 1.46 percent higher at $48.10 per barrel, after Reuters reported Iran is sending positive signals that it may support joint action to prop up oil prices, citing sources.
Amidst wide swings in trading and moderatelty low volume, the Dow declined 23 points to finish at 18,529 with Apple and Johnson & Johnson contributing the most losses. Energy, which has been a bright spot this year, lead the Dow down as it gave up almost 1 .25% as investors looked ahead to a key speech from the Janet Yellen, the FED's chair. Fed Chair Janet Yellen is scheduled to deliver a speech Friday on the U.S. economy and monetary policy at the Economic Policy Symposium at Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Yellen's remarks will be delivered following hawkish rhetoric (i.e., pro interest rate hike) from Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer and New York Fed President William Dudley. Yellen's speech "may come off as a bit hawkish because she'll talk positively about the economy," said Jeremy Klein, chief market strategist at FBN Securities. He added, however, she would probably reiterate that the Fed remains dependent on economic data when assessing its next monetary policy move(CNBC). What is upsetting some analysts is the little know Dow transportation index which many consider a leading indicator of the stock market (1st made popular by former FED chair Alan Greenspan). this index consists of a basket of stocks from the airline, trucking, railroad and shipping industries with stocks such as Delta Air Lines, FedEx, Norfolk Southern and Ryder System. Even as the better-known Dow Industrials were recently hitting another high, the Dow Transports were trading 15% below their all-time high set in December 2014. Total revenue at publicly-traded corporations reached a peak in 2014 and has been declining ever since. Corporate profits have plunged: Earnings per share of S&P 500 companies over the last 12 months were 18% lower than where they stood two years ago. If we're not in a recession, we are certainly giving sluggish economy new meaning. What I find to be very disconcerting, is the average P/E ratio on the S&P 500 is well over 20 with the 60 year average being 16. Higher P/E ratios mean the stock market is that much more vulnerable to any unexpected economic weakness. In other news, who is best for the economy? In a recent CNN poll, A majority (55%) choose Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, followed distantly by Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson (15%) and Republican nominee Donald Trump (14%), the remaining 15% are undecided.
On Friday the Dow was down 45 points, after being down more than 100 points, to finish the week at 18,552. Participation in the decline was broad on the New York Stock Exchange where declining issues outpaced advancing issues by 1,783 to 1,231. During the last 5 trading days, the DJIA has lost 0.13%. This has been a "big, big week for crude, and that can only be positive," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities. He also said the recent rise in oil prices has been triggered by talks of a production freeze, currency moves and, "after two years, we're closer reaching a balance in supply and demand." U.S. oil rose more than 3 percent Thursday and posted its highest settlement since July 1 (CNBC). For the 10th week in a row, the Baker Hughes rotary rig count has increased and at 406, it is the highest it's been since February of this year. On Thursday, West Texas Intermediate crude reentered a bull market, having gained 22% since it bottomed below $40 per barrel early in August. On Friday, WTI futures were little changed after the rig count data, up 0.03% to $48.25 in New York. As a result of this bull market in oil prices, the energy sector, which is up over 15%, is the best performing sector this year. U.S. Treasurys traded mostly lower, with the two-year note yield near 0.75 percent and the benchmark 10-year yield around 1.58 percent. The dollar rose about 0.3 percent versus a basket of currencies, but still recorded a weekly loss and is still at $1.13/Euro and gold finished the week down at $1336/oz; and lastly, the average price of a gallon of gas nationwide is up to $2.15.
After advancing 24 points yesterday to close at 18,598, the Dow is down about 50 points in the pre-market today. Yesterdays markets were driven in part by oil that finished at 2 month highs at $48.35/barrel. What contributed to yesterdays gain was the belief that OPEC my implement with a production freeze combined with a larger than expected decrease in oil inventories, as a result, the price if oil has risen 15% in the past week. However, some analysts have said the rally is overblown and prices should start to cool. Along with gains i the oil patch, the energy sector followed, advancing over 3% yesterday (chart). What is putting a damper on the market, is the harbinger of a FED rate hike. After the minutes of the last FOMC meeting were released on Wednesday, more members than expected on the FOMC were in favor of a rate hike. However, the street is still giving the probability of a rate hike in the September meeting (the FOMC has scheduled meetings every 6 weeks) of only 20%. As I said many times before, with real GDP running under 2%, and inflation relatively nonexistent, I see no reason for a rate hike. In today's pre-market, oil is constant and the negative Dow number appears due to profit taking since there has been no significant news on earnings or the economy. The next big chance to glean insight from U.S. central bank officials comes in a week’s time, with Fed chief Janet Yellen due to speak at an annual gathering of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming on Aug. 26. (CNBC) The dollar and gold are relatively stable at $1.13/Euro and $1349/oz. The average price of a gallon of regular gas nationwide is up slightly to $2.141.
The Dow is down 52 points at 18,582 with 30 minutes left in the session. Volume is once again low as investors are awaiting the release of FED minutes from the recent FOMC meeting Wednesday at 2 PM. Today's lackluster session is more than likely a result of profit taking in lieu of any economic, earnings or geopolitical news. However, what may be hurting the markets somewhat is a statement by New York Fed President William Dudley who said in a Fox Business Network interview the Fed may raise rates as soon as next month. "We're edging closer towards the point in time where it will be appropriate I think to raise interest rates further," Dudley said, citing strength in the labor market. Once again, in light of near stagnant GDP growth and virtually no inflation, I believe that raising rates would be ludicrous. despite these statement from Dudley, market expectations for a rate hike next month remained low after Dudley's interview, however. According to RBS, the odds of a September rate hike rose to 20 percent from 18 percent. Crude is up almost 2% at $46.56/barrel, gold is up slightly at $1353/oz, the dollar down to $1.13/Euro and the average price of a gallon of gasoline nationwide is constant at $2.125. In other news: Obamacare continues to be a train wreck. in my advisory of 8/3, I reported that United Healthcare is exiting most healthcare exchanges, and Aetna, another of the big 4 insurers, is also pulling out in all but 4 states because of runaway costs (tell me again how the Affordable Care Act is affordable). This comes less than a week after federal health regulators suggested that a big concern about the viability of that business wasn't justified by the actual data. Insurers have been saying Obamacare customers are, overall, less healthy than the companies need them to be so that the medical costs covered by the plans don't exceed the premiums the customers pay in each month. That disparity between the two events reinforces an idea, long stated by Obamacare analysts, that 2017 will be a crucial year for the ACA. This is expected to be when it will become much clearer if insurers can make money in the market, or whether the law needs a fix to allow that to happen. (CNBC) Again, this is what happens when partisan legislatures pass a 2700 page act, with 4500 provisions read by none of them.
The Dow finished at 18,636, another record, after advancing 60 points on moderate volume. As a matter of fact, the Dow, the S&P 500 index, and the Nasdaq Composite Index all closed at record highs on Monday for the second time since 1999, thanks in part to a sharp uptick in oil prices, which boosted energy and materials shares. Markets were also supported by an upbeat housing market gauge. Home builder confidence in the market for new single-family homes rose more than expected in August, a hopeful sign for increased construction, what will reinforce this is the metrics on building permits, due out later this month. The market has been hitting these highs are slightly lower than normal volume which doesn't bode well for a continued rally; one of the reasons is because this is a prime time for investors taking vacation time on the street. "The market is being driven by the same theme," said Bruce Bittles, chief investment strategist at Baird, referring to low interest rates around the world and the "hunt for yield." "Until we get some optimism, the path of least resistance is higher. Nobody likes this market", (CNBC) and I couldn't agree more. Come September, or sooner, I see a reality check and major profit taking. Despite posting several milestones last week, stocks traded in a relatively narrow range. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, traded near multi-year lows last week. On Monday, it rose 2.25 percent to 11.81; the average being 20. Investors will also await for the Fed to release the minutes from its July meeting, although Schwab's Frederick said that he doesn't expect any big surprises from them. What helped propel the market today was oil which advanced close to 3%, closing at $45.61 as a result of talk from OPEC on a production freeze; and with a rise in the price of oil, energy stocks followed with, most notably, Chesapeake Energy, CHK, increasing close to 10%.Baker Hughes data released on Friday showed the number of rigs operating in the U.S. rose by 15 last week to 396. While that is far below the 1,600 rigs that were in operation in 2014 before the price rout, the rig count has steadily risen from a low of just 316 in late May as U.S. producers adjusted to lower prices.(CNBC) However, many analysts are skeptical that the rally would not continue, primarily because the production freeze, like most other OPEC talk recently, won't materialize. On the demand side, the world's three biggest economies — the United States, China and Japan — all published downbeat economic data between Friday and Monday. Both gold and the dollar remained stable at $1.12/Euro and gold at $1348/oz. The average price of a gallon of gas nationwide was also constant at $2.124.
After surging 118 points on Thursday and setting a new record at 18,613, the Dow gave up 37 points on Friday to finish the week at 18,576. Thursday's rise to a new record is reinforcing the conviction that the market is overvalued as a result of the accommodating monetary policies of central banks. The gains were supported by weekly jobless claims, which pointed to continued low levels of layoffs, while both import and export prices inched up despite a decline in fuel costs, suggesting a possible pick up in inflation. The Federal Reserve has been looking at a return of healthy levels of inflation—but low crude-oil costs have stymied that—to determine when to raise interest rates(USA). Oil finished the week on a strong note at $44.69/barrel. Weekly jobless claims ticked down to 266,000, staying below the 300,000 layoff level for 75 weeks in a row, and the import-price index for July rose 0.1%, while export prices ticked up 0.2%. James Abate, the Chief Investment officer at Centre Asset Management said, “I’m dumbfounded to see us at these levels. To me, stocks are at least 30% overvalued here, People are probably starting to digest the earnings seasons, as we have now reached a point where a good proportion of companies have actually reported, and what it has confirmed essentially is that earnings growth was about minus 3% and revenue growth was weak.” I don't think that stocks are 30% overvalued (probably more like half that), but a 5-10% correction with investors taking profits wouldn't surprise me. Both gold and the dollar finished the week on a slightly weaker note with gold at $1341/oz and the dollar at $1.12/euro. Gasoline traded sideways with the average price of a gallon of regular nationwide at $2.125. In other News: In a recent Gallup poll published in CNN, Trump and Clinton (above) are about equal (with 3% margin of error) when voters were asked who would be better for the economy. They also feel that Trump would be better on Employment & jobs, 52 to 45%, and Trump would be better on Terrorism and National Securit. Hillary leads Trump on Education and Healthcare.
In other news, Obamacare: The Affordable Care Act continues to be anything but. Insurers across the board are complaining that they are loosing money from the 11 million people who are enrolled, they are experiencing losses and to expect double digit rate hikes next year (inflation is under 2%). UnitedHealthcare (UNH), the nation's largest insurer, is exiting most Obamacare exchanges in 2017. Humana announced last month that it was pulling out of nearly 1,200 counties in eight states next year. Afterward, it will only be selling insurance on the exchanges in 156 counties in 11 states. Others, including several Blue Cross Blue Shield companies, are also scaling back. And more than half of the co-op insurers, created and funded by the health reform law, have failed. This means consumers in a growing number of areas have only one or two insurers to pick from. (CNN)
UNH Study Results 5-31-2016
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.
Here's something you don't here everyday, a prominent democrat 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).
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."
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.
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.