"Where economics isn't just a job, but an adventure"
Quote of the Week
Blog Topics 2019
March The Burgeoning US Debt May China, Trade and Tariffs June Income taxes: Obama v Trump July/Aug The China Threat Sept/Oct The High Cost of College: Part 1
Blog Topics 2018
January What Kills Bull Markets May Are Cheap Oil Prices here to Stay July California and Mandatory Solar Panels August Tariffs and Trade September Is a Recession coming? November Increasing Healthcare Costs December The Oracle of Omaha
Blog Topics 2017
January Trumponomics Part 2 February The Keystone Pipeline Revisited March Border Adjustment Tax April Are Liberal Prof's..... May Moral Hazard Through a Libertarian's Lens (guest blog from a student) July What's causing the Opioid Crisis September The minimum Wage re-visited November Everything You Want to Know about 401K December How The New Tax Bill Affects you (spoiler alert: the middle class makes out great)
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 Sept Economic strangulation by Regulation Oct Is this the Best we have? Nov The High Cost of Prescription Drugs Dec Trump, the Economy & Animal Spirits
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 for 2013 and 2014 are at page bottom
December Jobs Report
In December the economy created 145,000 jobs when 160,000 were expected. The unemployment rate remained steady at 3.5% as a result of more people entering the labor force. The real unemployment rate dropped to 6.7%, the lowest since 1994. The labor force participation rate was 63.2% and the labor force increased by over 200,000. The number of people employed rose to 158.8 million. Year over year wage gains were down slightly to 2.9%, but still above inflation which remains tame below 2%. Job gains in December came primarily from retail (41,000), leisure and hospitality (40,000) and health care (28,000). Construction rose by 20,000 and professional and business services saw an increase of 10,000, while manufacturing declined by 12,000, transportation and warehousing lost 10,000 and mining fell by 8,000. It was a difficult year for manufacturing jobs: The sector saw a net gain of just 46,000 compared with a 264,000 gain the year before. (CNBC) Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (3.1 percent), adult women (3.2 percent), teenagers (12.6 percent), Whites (3.2 percent), Blacks (5.9 percent), Asians (2.5 percent), and Hispanics (4.2 percent) showed little or no change in December.
After eclipsing 29,000 after yesterday's signing of the phase 1 US/China trade deal, the Dow is up another 172 points shortly after the open at 29,202. Today's movement is a result of strong economic data and continued good earnings. Weekly jobless claims came in under 10,000 that was expected, retail sales unexpected increased to .3% in December and Morgan Stanley reported better than expected earnings and the stock is up over 5%. As a result of the deal, U.S. exports to China should in theory rise to $263 billion in 2020 and $309 billion in 2021, CNBC reported. Both figures would represent a record-breaking acceleration of U.S. exports to China. Recent net export numbers for the US showed increasing exports and decreasing imports for the 3rd month in a row. Also in 2020, it is predicted that the US will become a net exporter of energy. Tesla is down over 10 points as it was downgraded by Morgan Stanley and it is once again America's most shorted stock. The yield on the 10 year is up to 1.8%, the dollar is stronger at $1.11/Euro, gold is down to $1551/oz, oil is up slightly to $58.15/barrel and the price of a gallon of regular gas nationwide is down to $2.567.
At 1 PM, the US and China signed a phase 1 trade deal and the Dow is up 110 points at 29049. The deal includes provisions to root out intellectual property theft and forced technology transfers and increase Chinese purchases of U.S. goods, though it leaves open questions about enforcement. The purchase of US goods is a promise from China that they will procure $200 billion of manufacturing, agricultural and energy services over 2 years. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a joint statement Tuesday that existing U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods would stay in place even after the deal was signed.(CNBC) As earnings season continued, BAC beat on earnings but is down 2% as a result of sales being lower than expected. Other financial institutions that beat are Goldman Sachs, Blackstone and PNC financials. Thirty of 500 S&P companies have reported with 82% exceeding earnings predictions. The yield on the 10 year is down to 1.79%, the dollar weakened to $1.12/Euro, Gold is up slightly to $1555/oz, oil is down again to $58/barrel and the price of a gallon of regular gas nationwide is constant at $2.571.
After finishing up almost 100 points yesterday, The Dow is up 135 points shortly after noontime to an intraday high of 29.042. Bank stops, Citigroup and JP Morgan kicked off earnings season by blowing away earnings with JP Morgan recording it's highest profit ever at $37 billion. Delta Air Lines also reported better-than-expected earnings, boosted by lower fuel costs and strong travel demand. All airlines should do well and I can't remember the last time I was on a flight that wasn't packed. The results sent Delta shares higher by 3.9%. Delta is the only major airline that has not bought a 737 Max. Tech continues to outperform with Apple, Amazon and Microsoft all having market cap's above $1 trillion. Alphabet, the parent company of Google, is right behind them with a market cap of $991 billion. Also helping the market is the upcoming signing of the US/China phase 1 deal and the removal of China by the US from a list of countries that manipulate currency. Ahead of the signing, the South China Morning Post reported that the trade war is “not over yet” and that Wednesday’s ceremony will be more like the “first round of a game.” A number of CNBC analysts have stated that the conflict with Iran will replace concerns over China. In other news: The world's already huge debt load smashed the record for the highest debt-to-GDP ratio before 2019 was even over. In fact, it broke that record in the first nine months of last year. Global debt, which comprises borrowings from households, governments and companies, grew by $9 trillion to nearly $253 trillion during that period, according to the Institute of International Finance. That puts the global debt-to-GDP ratio at 322%, narrowly surpassing 2016 as the highest level on record. (CNN) The yield on the 10 year was up to 1.83%, gold is down to $1543/oz, the dollar is stable at $1.11/Euro, oil is down to $58.41/barrel and the price of a gallon of regular gas nationwide is down to $2.575.
After rising 161 points yesterday to finish at 28,745, the Dow is signaling that the crisis with Iran is over. It had it's 1st spike upward after the President spoke announced that there were no casualties after the Iranian missile attack and minimal addition. He also spoke of increased sanctions but stopped short of inferring an armed response. Oil prices have pulled back and it is currently trading under $60 at $59.94/barrel and gold is down to $1554/oz. Cybersecurity stocks also pulled backed. In total, the market looked much like it looked before the U.S. drone strike threw the region into chaos. Chip stocks were once again strong performers with Cirrus Logic (CRUS) up 0.91%, Skyworks Systems (SWKS) advancing 1.59%, and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing gaining 0.74%. In the pre-market, the Dow is up over 100 points and would be in striking range of a new record high. In corporate news, Tesla is at a record high at $495/share, and has a market cap equal to the combined market cap of GM and Ford, even tho it produces less than 20% of GM's and Ford's car sales. To say this stock is overvalued is an understatement but I wouldn't advise shorting it since, in the word's of Jim Cramer, this is a cult stock, that people love to love and you don't get in the way of a railroad. the stock is up over 100% since June. Tomorrow, all ears will be tuned to the December jobs number. Economists are expecting jobs to increase by 164,000. There are currently 7 million job openings in the US and less than 6 million unemployed workers. The dollar is stronger at $1.11/Euro, the 10 year is up to 1.87% as investors sell treasuries in favor of stocks, and the price of a gallon of regular gas nationwide is up to 2.60. If you're a snowbird and making your weekly pilgrimage to Florida, the most expensive gas is in Pennsyvania and the cheapest in the Carolina's and Georgia.
OIL 1 YEAR
After being down more than 200 points in the pre-market, the Dow struggled back during the day as investors concentrated more on fundamentals and less on geopolitical tensions to finish up 68 points at 28,703. In today's pre-market the Dow is relatively flat as investors are on the sidelines looking for further escalation or de-escalation. Meanwhile, oil is down to $62.75/barrel as traders nerves are calmed and gold is following suit down to $1568/oz. The USMCA, designed to replace NAFTA, is making its way through both houses of Congress and the Chinese are still scheduled to sign a phase 1 trade agreement on January 15.The USMCA is designed to increase GDP by .3%. In terms of data, there will be U.S. trade deficit figures out at 8:30 a.m. ET, followed by factory orders and non-manufacturing PMIs at 10 a.m. Also in the pre-,market Tesla is up over $7 at $458.68/share, Apple is up remaining over $300 and Berkshire Hathaway, led by Warren Buffett, had its worst underperformance in a decade in 2019. The company's stock price gained 11% while the S&P 500 gained 29% The yield on the 10 year is up to 1.81%, the dollar is stable at $1.12/Euro, and the price of a gallon of regular gas nationwide is up slightly to $2.585.
GOLD 1 YEAR CHART
After dropping 233 points on Friday to finish at 28,635, the Dow is down another 133 points in the premarket as a result of mid-east tensions as the United States and Iran continue to posture and trade threats after the US killed an Iranian General/terrorist in an air strike. Friday was the worst trading day in a month for the US stock indexes. Oil continues to rise and it is currently at $63.62/barrel out of fear that Iran may disrupt OPEC oil supply routes in the Persian gulf by attacking tankers. In addition, gold, a safe haven play, has reached its higher price in 7 years at $1579/oz. Gold is up almost 23% over the past year. Energy and gold stocks are also rising in unison with Exxon Mobile up over 4%. Jim Cramer of CNBC recommends BP, Schlumberger and Pioneer Natural Resources. He also recommends cyber-security stocks. Treasuries also continue to rise lowering the yield with the 10 year currently at 1.79%. “Nevertheless, our outlook remains optimistic and bullish,” Ed Yardeni, president and chief investment strategist at Yardeni Research, said in a note. “Geopolitical crises tend to create buying opportunities in the stock market as long as they don’t trigger a recession.” (CNBC) In other news, it appears that residents of California and New York are fleeing the states for more tax favorable states. Hmmm, both states are very blue states and that's the cost of voting for liberal dems. The dollar is currently trading at $1.12/Euro and the price of a gallon of regular gas nationwide is down slightly to $2.584
The 2019 rally continued into the new year yesterday as the Dow rocketed 330 points to finish at 26,869, a new record. Chip and technology stocks led the rally with Apple closing above $300/share for the 1st time and having a market cap of 1.3 trillion. Apple was up 100% (doubled in price) for 2019. However, what a difference a day makes. About 1 hour before the markets open, the Dow is down 215 points, off its lows of down 300, as a result of a US strike in which the United States killed a top Iranian military leader in an airstrike at Baghdad's airport. As a result, Iran has promised retaliation against the US which leads to geopolitical unrest and uncertainty which the market hates. Also as a result, oil is up 4% at $63.56/barrel and gold is up to $1545/oz. Gold is a traditional safe haven play along with treasury bonds. The yield on the 10 year is 1.83% as a result of the price of the bond increasing. “Global oil markets will be volatile for weeks to come,” said Greg Valliere, chief U.S. policy strategist at AGF Investments, in a note. “There’s a reason, finally, for caution in the stock market.” Barring anything unforeseen, I expect this to be a knee jerk reaction and I believe the volatility to be short lived. As a result of the New Years holiday, December job figures won't be released until next Friday. The price of a gallon of regular gas nationwide is down slightly to $2.585.
The last 5 recessions have been preceded by an inverted yield curve where the yield on the 2 year is higher than the yield on the 10 year. Currently, the yield on the 2 year curve is 2.32%, which is greater than the yield on the 3 and 5 year, but the yield on the 10 year is 2.46%. As a result, I'm not yet predicting a recession. However, if you look at the table above, once the yield curve has inverted, all is not lost. The market continues upward until a recession is imminent. For instance, the yield curve inverted in January of 2006 and the S&P peaked 20 months later in October of 2007, and the recession started in December of 2007. I will be concerned if the 2 year yield is greater than the 10 year. ON THE BRIGHT SIDE, mortgage rates have decreased by 1/2% since last summer and it is now worth it to refinance if you took out a mortgage last year.
The wealth effect is an increase in consumption (and accompanying decrease in savings) as a result of an individuals assets (usually a portfolio or land/home) increasing in value. A negative wealth effect is just the opposite, and since most indexes declined more than 10% and tested bear market territory, this appears to be the case. Conversely, the market recovered in January and all losses and more were covered.
The Energy Information Administration reported that oil output will increase from its current 11 million barrels/day to close to 13 million by 2020 and we will most likely be the #1 producer in the world. This is an increase from 5.5 million/day from 2005 and it has occurred as a result of hydraulic fracturing drilling techniques.
In Other News: Elon Musk recently stated that the worlds population is accelerating towards collapse. Hmmmm; let's look at some facts and figures and then do some math. The earth reached a population of 1 billion in 1900 (that took about 1/2 million years), but by 1967, it was 3 billion, 6 billion in 2000 and currently, it's 7.5 billion. Let's look at the US with a population of 321 million, and ask yourself, is it overpopulated. If you look at NY City, a resounding yes comes to mind. However, in the US, about 50% of the population lives within 50 miles of a shore (this includes the Atlantic, Pacific, Gulf of Mexico, Great Lakes and Mississippi). Let me try and put this into perspective: the average household has 2.6 people and given a population of 321 million, that yields 123,461,538 households. The size of Texas is 172,000,00 acres. Assuming you put 1 household on an acre lot, the Entire population of the US can fit into Texas with room to spare, leaving the rest of the US baron of people. How about Russia with a population of 144 million? Russia is 1.8 times the size of the US with a smaller population, so they have even more empty space and if you look at Canada, which is larger than the US, with a population of 33 million, there is even more empty space (I know bring your winter clothes). So while I will agree that there is definitely some localized overpopulation, I don't see doom and gloom.
FICO SCORES Fair Isaac Company reports that it's FICO scores (FICO being an acronym for Fair Isaac Co) reports that the average FICO score in the US has reached an all time high of 700 nationwide amongst adults. The share of consumers who are viewed as the riskiest from a credit perspective (these are sub-prime and have a score lower than 640) reached a new low of about 40 million — or 20 percent of adults in the U.S. that have FICO scores. according to the Wall St Journal. A lot of you may be asking what is a FICO score, how is it calculated and how it affects me. Fair Isaac uses use information provided by one of the three major credit reporting agencies – Equifax, Experian or Trans-Union. From this, they have a formula to get a credit score which can be as high as 850. The biggest part is your payment history, followed by how much you owe, credit history, credit mix and new credit (see chart). Next, how do you interpret your FICO Score: anything > 800 is excellent (and gets you low interest rates on loans and credit cards), 740-799 is very good, 670-739 is good, and anything less than 670 is considered not good and sub-prime (chart). Lastly, as no surprise, the older you are, the better your score (chart)
What do Rising Rates mean to you and the Economy As interest rates rise as a result of FED policy, there are both good and bad effects. Firstly, the Fed's move affects all short term rates. It has no direct effect on mortgage rates which is a function of the yield on the 10 year US Treasury bond, however, they are highly correlated (above chart). What affects the yield is the price of the bond (yield and bond prices are inversely related). As bond prices decrease, the yield increases and why would bond prices decrease? Bonds tend to be a defensive play when the economy is doing poorly; hence, investors only have so much money and they will buy bonds instead of stocks. Conversely, when the economy is doing well, investors will buy stocks and sell bonds which depresses the bond price but raises the yield. The rate on the 30 year fixed mortgage is generally 1.25% to 2.75% higher than the yield on the 10 year(Chart). Who Benefits As rates increase, banks generally benefit. The demand for money is inelastic and when banks loan money, they will make more on those loans. Conversely, borrowers suffer from the higher cost of money, but since the economy is doing well, more people are working, real wages tend to increase and the blow of the higher cost of money is mitigated. Savers who have minimal debt also benefit, as the FED raises interest rates, rates on Savings, CD's and money markets generally increase which helps this particular segment. Who is Hurt Generally, borrowers are hurt. Generally, the payments on all short term loans increase. If you take a college loan, a personal loan or a boat loan, rates will increase. The Prime Rate increases, it is generally 3% above the Federal Funds Rate and it is the rate the biggest banks charge their best customers on short term loans. If you have a HELOC (Home Equity Line of Credit), this will increase also and it is generally the same rate as the prime rate. However, the short term loan that is not affected is the car loan. Generally there is so much competition in this area, that a loan on a new car can range from 0%(not all the time) to a little over 4%.
Strangulation by Regulation: The tax code is 77,000 pages, under Obama there were 4000 new EPA regulations (info from CBS) Dodd-Frank imposed somewhere between 310-500 new requirements on banks(various analysts CNBC) and Obamacare has over 20,000 pages of regulations (Washington Post); and people are complaining because Trump is trying to streamline government. He has signed the "2 for 1" executive order that mandates all agencies to do away with 2 regulations for every one they pass. I can run my life and spend my money, much better than the government and I applaud Trump's efforts in doing away with economically ruinous legislation.
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 that contained live stock.
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 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.
Just as a reminder from my blog of October 2013, Carbon dioxide composes only .0387% of our atmosphere (in decimal form that’s .000387), and of all the CO2 currently being produced on the earth, man only accounts for 3.4% (.034 in decimals). Therefore, if you want to calculate the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere caused by man, you would multiply .034 x .000387 to get .0000131 or .00131%.
The Arctic ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and in some places the seals are finding the water too hot, according to a report to the Commerce Department yesterday from Consulafft, at Bergen, Norway.
Reports from fishermen, seal hunters and explorers all point to a radical change in climate conditions and hitherto unheard-of temperatures in the Arctic zone. Exploration expeditions report that scarcely any ice has been met as far north as 81 degrees 29 minutes. Soundings to a depth of 3,100 meters showed the gulf stream still very warm. Great masses of ice have been replaced by moraines of earth and stones, the report continued, while at many points well known glaciers have entirely disappeared.
Very few seals and no white fish are found in the eastern Arctic, while vast shoals of herring and smelts which have never before ventured so far north, are being encountered in the old seal fishing grounds.
I apologize, I neglected to mention that this report was from November 2, 1922. As reported by the AP and published in The Washington Post — 96 years ago! The text in the above example is a genuine transcription of a 1922 newspaper article, an Associated Press account which appeared on page 2 of the Washington Post on 2 November of that year
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%.
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 $10-15/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?
Blog Topics 2014
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
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.