Economy

December 9, 2011

Killing the Weak as Recovery Strategy

Only the government would concoct an unemployment system that taxes the hardest-hit businesses more during a recession and recovery.

Posted by Justin Katz at 6:43 AM

October 24, 2011

The Catholic Notion of a Global Authority

Free marketers aren't being fair (or thorough) in their response to a Vatican document on global financial reform.

Posted by Justin Katz at 4:56 PM

August 5, 2011

And Down We Go

S&P has downgraded the United States' credit rating.

Posted by Justin Katz at 9:41 PM

August 4, 2011

Continuing Downness on the Economy

Household debt is another factor limiting entrepreneurship.

Posted by Justin Katz at 12:26 PM

Why We're Down on the Economy

The economy is broken because regulations make it just too hard to operate on a small scale.

Posted by Justin Katz at 6:30 AM

July 25, 2011

Letting the Spinners Get Away with Economic Baloney

Rhode Island's economy is flailing, no matter what the spinners say.

Posted by Justin Katz at 10:00 AM

July 19, 2011

Training for Jobs That Don't Exist

A government-funded program that trains young adults for a struggling industry doesn't sound like a great idea.

Posted by Justin Katz at 6:34 AM

June 28, 2011

How the Economy Would Recover

We don't need government debt; we need entrepreneurialism.

Posted by Justin Katz at 2:00 PM

How the Economy Would Recover

We don't need government debt; we need entrepreneurialism.

Posted by Justin Katz at 2:00 PM

June 24, 2011

Maybe It's Your Philosophy, Ben

Fed chief Ben Bernanke is puzzled by the sluggish economy; maybe it's a philosophical problem.

Posted by Justin Katz at 2:00 PM

May 24, 2011

Behind the Unemployment Headline

Rhode Island's unemployment rate is falling, but it's mainly because people are giving up.

Posted by Justin Katz at 10:00 AM

May 17, 2011

Jobs Saved and Destroyed

It appears that federal stimulus destroyed twice as many jobs in the private sector as it created in the public sector.

Posted by Justin Katz at 6:33 AM

May 15, 2011

Subsidies in the Wind

The investment in wind energy seems to be attractive by government fiat and curiously tied to unions and political corruption.

Posted by Justin Katz at 12:00 PM

May 9, 2011

Lots of Support for Blowing Your Money Away

It isn't surprising that two groups that profit from government overreach can come together to support it.

Posted by Justin Katz at 6:16 AM

April 29, 2011

A Couple of Narrower Economic Debates

Economic debates regarding more current events (rather than the philosophical battle of Keynes and Hayek) are also interesting.

Posted by Justin Katz at 10:00 AM

A Winner by Fiat

The rap war between Keynes and Hayek has swung into round 2.

Posted by Justin Katz at 6:01 AM

April 27, 2011

The Young and Unemployed

Rhode Island has to change its priorities or it has no future, as departing, young, educated adults illustrate.

Posted by Justin Katz at 6:32 AM

April 25, 2011

The Reign of Obama May Close Out the Age of America

If President Obama wins another term, he looks likely to carry the U.S. into a world of Chinese economic majority.

Posted by Justin Katz at 2:28 PM

February 19, 2011

The Wrong Starting Point for Economic Development

Experts attempting to prescribe an economic development strategy should begin with the principle that government must get out of the way.

Posted by Justin Katz at 8:22 AM

February 15, 2011

Desires as Economic Development

Rather than focusing on "tolerance," Governor Chafee should target a broader economic freedom.

Posted by Justin Katz at 6:21 AM

February 5, 2011

Another Track for the Narrative

At some point, the unemployed have to take responsibility... and drastic action.

Posted by Justin Katz at 4:00 PM

January 26, 2011

Principles Opposed to Slavery and Statism

The political and economic ideas of Abraham Lincoln stand against statism as well as slavery.

Posted by Justin Katz at 6:27 AM

January 24, 2011

Stagnant Life for the Up-and-Comers

Young adults aren't chasing opportunity around the country as much as they used to. Hopefully, that'll change.

Posted by Justin Katz at 10:00 AM

January 22, 2011

The Crashing System

Government can only encourage dependency for so long, before there's nobody to be dependent on.

Posted by Justin Katz at 12:00 PM

January 21, 2011

Some Hot Air in the Green Economy

At least in Portsmouth, "green technology" is another way to shift money from the private economy to government.

Posted by Justin Katz at 10:00 AM

January 17, 2011

An Inevitable Course, Once on It

Public sector unions haven't been around long, in the United States, but they're likely to drag the nation down pretty quickly.

Posted by Justin Katz at 12:00 PM

Trends of the Decade

The first of a series of posts examining taxpayer migration trends in RI is up.

Posted by Justin Katz at 7:36 AM

January 6, 2011

Affecting What We Can

The government should concentrate on economic environment, not the activities therein.

Posted by Justin Katz at 2:00 PM

January 5, 2011

Deflate the Bubble — There's Only One Way

It would be healthy for the municipal bond market to shrink.

Posted by Justin Katz at 2:00 PM

January 4, 2011

Starting Up to Capture Talent Flow

We can come up with whatever buzzwords we want, but what Rhode Island's economic policy needs remains the same.

Posted by Justin Katz at 6:26 AM

December 28, 2010

Let Imbalances Correct Themselves

When the public sector originates a push for higher education, it mismatches incentives.

Posted by Justin Katz at 2:00 PM

December 23, 2010

Policy Stasis as Economic Boost

The recently passed tax-cut legislation didn't really add anything positive to the equation; it just averted the negative.

Posted by Justin Katz at 2:00 PM

December 17, 2010

Down Again

Rhode Island's unemployment is up, which might be good if signs didn't indicate a potential for a double-dip recession.

Posted by Justin Katz at 6:23 AM

December 15, 2010

Speaking of Being Rich...

The much-maligned richest 2% live well, but they aren't sitting on mounds of cash waiting to be taxed.

Posted by Justin Katz at 10:00 AM

December 11, 2010

Indication of a Divide or Superfluity?

A higher education bubble and a debt trap are the makings of the new indentured servitude.

Posted by Justin Katz at 10:24 AM

November 29, 2010

When the Competition Catches Up, Despite Itself

China's entry into the economic major leagues can only mean that it's going to run into the same rules of economics as the rest of us.

Posted by Justin Katz at 6:00 PM

November 26, 2010

A Race Best Not Entered

RI shouldn't race to be first in the regional offshore wind industry. That's not what will attract companies.

Posted by Justin Katz at 10:00 AM

November 24, 2010

Golden Geese, Living and Dead

People rightly bristle at the suggestion that Providence's nonprofits should be taxed in some way; would that they applied the same principles to the rest of the Rhode Island economy.

Posted by Justin Katz at 5:45 AM

November 23, 2010

Why Old Trucks Are Worth More

Liberal columnist Bob Kerr should follow the thread of increasing automobile taxes back to the White House and the Cash for Clunkers program.

Posted by Justin Katz at 2:00 PM

How Tax Cuts Increase Employment

The Projo editors' argument against tax cuts as a job growth stimulator is mired in their statist mentality.

Posted by Justin Katz at 5:28 AM

November 22, 2010

Creating Pants on Fire Out of Truth

American tax code doesn't punish companies for offshoring, but it doesn't reward them, either.

Posted by Justin Katz at 2:00 PM

Trust and Confidence in Manufacturing

American manufacturing may not be in such dire straits as generally thought, and in any case, protecting obsolete jobs creates barriers to entry and inefficiencies.

Posted by Justin Katz at 5:16 AM

November 17, 2010

Cap Without the Trade

Just a reminder: the EPA has seized broad regulatory powers for unelected bureaucrats to harm our economy in the name of environmental radicalism.

Posted by Justin Katz at 2:00 PM

November 16, 2010

Recovery Requires Rethinking

Keynes was wrong, and the reason policymakers cannot see it is precisely what they need to learn.

Posted by Justin Katz at 5:39 AM

November 15, 2010

Unemployment Benefits and Change

When unemployment benefits last for years — and do so for multiple waves of unemployed — it can become a barrier to the personal and political changes necessary to improve the economy, and the society.

Posted by Justin Katz at 2:00 PM

November 13, 2010

Turning the Strike Tables

What if the private sector went on strike?

Posted by Justin Katz at 9:05 AM

November 10, 2010

Letting People Help Themselves, and Each Other

Senator-to-Be Marco Rubio (R, FL) puts his finger on the critical fact of whom big-government hurts.

Posted by Justin Katz at 2:00 PM

November 8, 2010

Economic Liberty as Equalizer

Unless one rejects the proposition that some "discrimination" is justified by the differing circumstances of the subjects, the best way to lower the gender pay gap is to lighten restrictions and regulations on businesses.

Posted by Justin Katz at 4:48 AM

November 5, 2010

Forward Our Republic Driving

Ford, which did not take government bailout money, is storming the market... relatively speaking.

Posted by Justin Katz at 10:00 AM

October 20, 2010

Still Making Stuff

Just a reminder that the United States still has a manufacturing sector.

Posted by Justin Katz at 6:34 AM

October 19, 2010

Cause and What-Can-Effect

When it comes to globalization, the U.S. government must address that which it has the power to address — mainly, relinquishing its power.

Posted by Justin Katz at 2:00 PM

October 18, 2010

More Investment Out of Your Pocket

Not to be deliberately contrarian, but it just isn't true that higher education is the "engine that drives economic development."

Posted by Justin Katz at 10:00 AM

Red Flags in the Wind

Local towns' move to enter the wind farm business is just a means of seeking profit for government operations, with taxpayers fronting the money and shouldering the risk.

Posted by Justin Katz at 6:03 AM

October 13, 2010

The Premature Death of Incandescence

Just a reminder to stock up on incandescent light bulbs, because they won't be around much longer.

Posted by Justin Katz at 2:00 PM

October 11, 2010

Incentive Not to Work

It's true: Rhode Island is generous with its unemployment benefits, and it discourages those receiving them from actually finding work.

Posted by Justin Katz at 10:00 AM

October 9, 2010

How Is Debt Going Away... Revisited

I've been arguing that people are paying down their debt, even if numbers make the trend look smaller than expected. My case appears to be getting weaker.

Posted by Justin Katz at 8:30 PM

September 24, 2010

How Is Debt Going Away?

Most of America's recent debt reduction has come in the form of defaults, but when coming up with a narrative of the recession, one should keep in mind that it takes many people reducing debt by the healthier means of paying it down to equal the same reduction as a single default.

Posted by Justin Katz at 10:00 AM

September 23, 2010

Adding Up the Turbines

A small-scale wind farm planned for one Rhode Island facility illustrates that, whatever their environmental benefits, windfarms aren't money savers.

Posted by Justin Katz at 10:00 AM

September 19, 2010

Helping Small Businesses by Making Their Lives Harder

Democrats in Congress are looking to impose yet another burden on small businesses, this time requiring landlords to treat all tradesmen and other workers whom they hire as if they were subcontractors, with the requisite forms and information collection.

Posted by Justin Katz at 8:35 AM

September 11, 2010

Measuring the Economy by Taxation

Tax collections are up in Rhode Island, and some folks think it's a sign that the economy is improving, but I'm not so sure.

Posted by Justin Katz at 3:45 PM

September 10, 2010

Even During Painful Time, the Urge to Redistribute

Avoiding political unrest appears to be the latest excuse to continue with wealth redistribution at the expense of the economy. Of course, it also shifts power to a different uberclass.

Posted by Justin Katz at 6:57 AM

September 9, 2010

Once Again, Government Spending Can't Spark Growth

Like targeted government giveaways (mostly to government entities), targeted and temporary tax credits have not stimulated the economy. It's no surprise.

Posted by Justin Katz at 10:00 AM

September 6, 2010

Motivation in the Private Sector

Pace the Providence Journal, private-sector workers aren't usually motivated by fear, when they put in extra effort, but ambition.

Posted by Justin Katz at 12:33 PM

September 5, 2010

Barely "Factual"

Do tax cuts inspire huge economic growth? The Providence Journal's fact-checking team says "no." I say they're not heeding their own evidence.

Posted by Justin Katz at 6:08 PM

August 23, 2010

Deepwater, in Summary

The Deepwater Wind project remains a bad deal. Wonder whom Rhode Islanders will blame when the economy continues its sour state for decades to come...

Posted by Justin Katz at 10:00 AM

August 16, 2010

The Way Out of the Recession

I don't see any mystery to ending the recession. Just get the government out of the way.

Posted by Justin Katz at 10:00 AM

August 11, 2010

Set the Entire RI Economy Afloat

Rhode Island's lack of a boat tax should set the tone for its entire tax code.

Posted by Justin Katz at 2:00 PM

Obama's Recession

With the economy still sputtering, can we at last propose that the policies of the current administration and Congress are to blame?

Posted by Justin Katz at 10:00 AM

August 9, 2010

A Flat Pyramid Scheme

Don't believe that the "multiplier effect" makes unemployment benefits a significant investment in the economy

Posted by Justin Katz at 2:00 PM

August 5, 2010

Taxed to Prosperity

Arthur Laffer explains the folly of trying to tax ourselves to prosperity. Sadly, we're at least months away from elected leadership that will heed the advice.

Posted by Justin Katz at 10:00 AM

July 31, 2010

Issues Big and Small

Amidst personal preoccupations, I noticed that the economy isn't doing as well as "expected," and that potential government culpability for the Gulf oil spill is conveniently appearing at the same time as media reports downplaying its effect.

Posted by Justin Katz at 2:13 PM

The Effects of Minimum Wage

Minimum wage increases cost jobs. People still don't get it.

Posted by Justin Katz at 12:12 PM

July 25, 2010

They'll Find the Money or Change in Ways We Don't Like

The financial overhaul legislation that President Obama just signed into law steps right into a frightening tangle of consequences.

Posted by Justin Katz at 8:48 AM

July 22, 2010

Stimulating Something Other than Lethargy

Stephen Spruiell expresses the views of many conservatives with respect to the government and the economy, I think.

Posted by Justin Katz at 10:00 AM

July 21, 2010

Considering Unemployment

Reporter Neil Downing took a look at unemployment and somehow missed the effect of a "transformative" government on the confidence of economic actors.

Posted by Justin Katz at 2:00 PM

July 19, 2010

Smaller as Well as Divided

It might reasonably be suggested that the economic crisis was caused by the blend of Republican and Democrat policies, more than it was the result of either one.

Posted by Justin Katz at 5:35 PM

July 16, 2010

The Question Is Whether It's Curable

Some comments from the co-chairmen of the president's debt and deficit commission lead some to think that we're being set up for massive tax increases. That possibility raises questions of a nation-defining sort.

Posted by Justin Katz at 5:33 AM

July 11, 2010

Ways to Reduce Unemployment

While I'm not sure that Arthur Laffer is arguing against any real opponents, when it comes to whether unemployment benefits reduce unemployment, I like his idea of stimulating the economy by lifting all federal taxes for a year and a half.

Posted by Justin Katz at 8:59 AM

July 9, 2010

Deeper Water and Hot Wind

As if guaranteed profits and "ram it through" legislation pushing a corrupt wind energy deal on the people of Rhode Island weren't bad enough, the second-try proposal from Deepwater Wind and National Grid is barely a superficial compromise.

Posted by Justin Katz at 5:27 AM

A Reminder of Our Status

Yup, Rhode Island's still in an economic hole. Perhaps we'll have an indication, in November, of whether Rhode Islanders are looking to change that.

Posted by Justin Katz at 4:45 AM

Hiding in the Treasure Room

The stability of Treasury bonds might not be evidence of economic stability, given government subsidization thereof. Looking to gold suggests folks might not trust our paper money.

Posted by Justin Katz at 2:00 AM

July 8, 2010

The "Stimulus" in Miniature... or Hatchback

So Cash for Clunkers seems to have increased the value of used cars for the purpose of taxation. It's sort of like a small example of government-derived stimulus writ large.

Posted by Justin Katz at 11:37 PM

Earning Happiness

Suppose for a moment that money — or at least financial equality — doesn't actually buy happiness. If earning money and having the opportunity to do so are key to happiness, then government redistribution can only make people less happy.

Posted by Justin Katz at 10:34 PM

Somebody Has to Make Hard Choices

Do folks having to make hard choices after losing their extended unemployment benefit realize that the problem is the federal government's refusal to make hard choices?

Posted by Justin Katz at 3:00 AM

The Power of Buried Treasure

The stable interest of Treasury bonds isn't necessarily a sign of fiscal health.

Posted by Justin Katz at 12:34 AM

July 7, 2010

The Bill Will Come Due

Just how much debt and financial liability does the United States have? It's difficult to imagine.

Posted by Justin Katz at 9:26 PM

July 5, 2010

Money for Nothing and Your Economy Cut Free

So those waves of cash to states from the federal government can actually harm the private economy.

Posted by Justin Katz at 11:57 PM

What's Worth Economic Disruption in a Recession

French transportation strikes over two extra years before retirement (to 62) are beyond my capacity for empathy.

Posted by Justin Katz at 10:55 PM

June 26, 2010

Government as Lone Shark Collector

People being jailed for unpaid debt isn't a healthy sign for the direction in which our society is headed.

Posted by Justin Katz at 3:17 PM

Lamenting the Impossibility of Having and Eating the Cake

Everybody's concerned about the attitude of the unemployed young adults of Greece. Actually, I suspect that there are folks who see opportunity rather than decline in the shiftless generation.

Posted by Justin Katz at 2:00 PM

June 22, 2010

Getting the Kids to Work

Unemployed teenagers are not evidence of a lack of education and training; they're indicative of a local culture that fails to encourage success.

Posted by Justin Katz at 10:00 AM

June 20, 2010

BP: Boycotted Petroleum

On the question of whether to boycott BP, I'm not passionate. On the question on whether it's rational to boycott BP, I am (more so, anyway).

Posted by Justin Katz at 2:00 PM

June 8, 2010

Tax Hikes and V Number 2

Arthur Laffer is predicting a second dip to the Great Recession. Dark days ahead.

Posted by Justin Katz at 5:58 AM

June 7, 2010

Government Doesn't Create Jobs...

The various tiers of government are still not doing what would be necessary to grow the economy, and it shows.

Posted by Justin Katz at 5:37 AM

June 2, 2010

The Underlying Assumption of the Leftist Taxers

How can the government possibly define "unearned income" in any objective way?

Posted by Justin Katz at 10:00 AM

May 25, 2010

More of What Americans Don't Want

One thing that financial regulation legislation seems likely to accomplish is giving greater and more arbitrary authority to the federal government. Surprised?

Posted by Justin Katz at 10:00 AM

May 24, 2010

Maybe Foreclosure Isn't the Worst Thing

You know, I'm not so sure that it's economically healthy to throw barriers in the way of foreclosure.

Posted by Justin Katz at 10:13 AM

May 22, 2010

Advancing in the Melting Pot

It may not be news, but it's worth reminding ourselves that the U.S.A. is a land of opportunity, provided you are willing to take the initiative.

Posted by Justin Katz at 8:29 AM

May 20, 2010

Not the Cause of the Surplus Swing

Guess what. Tax cuts for the rich were not a significant contributor to the federal government's swing from surplus to deficit.

Posted by Justin Katz at 12:23 PM

May 14, 2010

Congress Should Lambaste Itself at a Hearing

Oddly, Congress has not been grilling the one group on which it should most focus: Itself.

Posted by Justin Katz at 5:54 AM

May 10, 2010

A Threshold for Debt

We're potentially within a few years of seeing the credit rating of the United States of America downgraded. That is all.

Posted by Justin Katz at 2:00 PM

May 5, 2010

Investing Is Gambling, by Definition

Yes, Wall Street investors are greedy and scheming, but we shouldn't let that opinion lead to the delusion that we, as a society, didn't overlook warning signs.

Posted by Justin Katz at 2:00 PM

May 4, 2010

The Gang Striving for Cap and Trade

Perhaps the overlap shouldn't be surprising, between cap-and-trade environmentalism, big government advocates, the authors of the housing boom, and participants in the financial collapse.

Posted by Justin Katz at 5:40 AM

April 29, 2010

Whistling Past the Regulatory Problem

The government puts the taxpayers on the hook for risky investments and then turns laments that fact as somebody else's fault. We really need to shrink government authority.

Posted by Justin Katz at 9:40 AM

April 28, 2010

Regulating Something Other than the Problem

If deregulation wasn't the problem, then it seems unlikely that further regulation should be the solution.

Posted by Justin Katz at 5:49 AM

April 22, 2010

The Housing Crisis Is an Employment Crisis

Foreclosures are up, year-over-year, in Rhode Island and nationally. The key to stopping the slide is allowing the economy to create jobs.

Posted by Justin Katz at 10:00 AM

April 12, 2010

The Boom... Before the Bust?

Larry Kudlow warns conservatives not to talk down the economy for political reasons, because it's actually indicating that a boom is coming. I agree, but note Kudlow's worry that the boom actually represents investors cashing out before things turn even more sour.

Posted by Justin Katz at 10:00 AM

April 6, 2010

The Healthcare System Sinking In

Signs of things to come with the economy and healthcare are not as rosy as some would like to believe.

Posted by Justin Katz at 6:20 AM