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Topic: General Economics

Senator Tea Party: Jim DeMint

Posted on Nov. 10, 10 | 08:51 AM by Andrew Roth | Topic: General Economics
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Quote of the Day

Posted on Oct. 27, 10 | 10:30 AM by Andrew Roth | Topic: General Economics
From the always superb Don Boudreaux:

Talking about the economy as if it involves the interplay chiefly of large aggregates such as "consumption" and "investment" blinds Keynesian economists to the real action that takes place at a much more detailed level. It's a very unscientific approach.

Sarcastic Andy says, "But wait, the government used large aggregates to arrive at a number with an awesome sounding name ("a multipier") that said for every dollar we spend on the stimulus, it would generate $1.57 in economic activity.  That didn't work?"
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Cato Institute Grades the Governors

Posted on Sep. 30, 10 | 11:59 AM by Andrew Roth | Topic: General Economics
Our friends at the Cato Institute have released their biennial scorecard (PDF) on America's governors.  Some notables:

Mark Sanford - A
Bobby Jindal - A
Tim Pawlenty - A
Rick Perry - B
Charlie Crist - D
Arnold Schwarzenegger - D
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S&P Performance with Congressional Gridlock

Posted on Sep. 21, 10 | 09:25 AM by Andrew Roth | Topic: General Economics
 My friend, Dan Clifton with Strategas Research Partners, has come up with this interesting table.  It show's the stock market's performance (1928-2009) given the makeup of Congress.

R Congress, R President - 2.4%
D Congress, R President - 4.9%
R Sen, D House, R President - 7.9%
D Congress, D President - 9.2%
R Congress, D President - 15.1%
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Forbes on 401(K) Withdrawal Rate

Posted on Aug. 23, 10 | 04:19 PM by Andrew Roth | Topic: General Economics
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A History of World GDP

Posted on Aug. 17, 10 | 08:51 AM by Andrew Roth | Topic: General Economics
 Here's an informative graph showing the percentage that various countries have contributed to World GDP over the last 2000 years.

HT: Steve Bartin
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Quote of the Day

Posted on Aug. 02, 10 | 09:20 AM by Andrew Roth | Topic: General Economics
From Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, as reported by The Hill newspaper:

He did note what he saw as a "destructive schism" that was playing out between the financial sector and Washington.

"I've never seen the type of animosity between the government and Wall Street," Greenspan said, adding he was "not sure where it comes from."
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A Teachable Moment

Posted on Jul. 15, 10 | 02:07 PM by Michael Connolly | Topic: General Economics
So, Apple seems to have stepped in it with its recently released iPhone 4.  Apparently, they put the antenna in a place that if you hold the phone "wrong," you can drop your own call by covering it up with your fingers.  Now, Apple execs are getting together to figure out what to do, and reports are that a recall would cost the tech giant close to $1 billion.  Another report says that Apple knew about the design flaw and launched the product anyway.

This is what liberals often call a failure of the market.  One can imagine Chris Matthews smugly berating a guest about how this proves corporate America cannot be trusted and that the private sector isn't nearly as efficient as conservatives make it out to be.  Dare we hope that Congress can resist the urge to announce hearings to "get to the bottom" of the Antenna-Gate, and introduce legislation "to make sure this never happens again"?

Here's the thing, though.  If Washington can keep its knickers untwisted, we're all going to be better off for this.  Apple knows it either has to spend millions to fix the problem or billions in lost customers and bad press.  They also know they have to move quickly, because Blackberry, Droid, Nokia, and the rest of Apple's mobile competitors are going to make sure everyone sees their new, not-hanging-up-phones, and maybe slash prices for a while to win some of Apple's marketshare. 

So very soon, Apple's customers will be made whole because Apple can't afford not to make them whole.  My guess is iPhone 4 owners will soon be given free replacements when the problem is fixed.  Meanwhile, the rest of us can sit back and enjoy the competitive fury that will follow this mishap - cheaper, better phones are on the way.

The worst thing that could happen now is for Congress to step in and set mobile phone standards that will cryogenically freeze the state of the art in July 2010, reward existing industry leaders, stifle competition, and slam the door on new entrants to the market.

The same forces will work on Wall Street, in Detroit, in the mortgage industry, health care, education... but only if politicians let them. 

If you want corporations to behave more responsibly, let the market punish irresponsibility.  If you want corporations to innovate, let the market reward innovation.  As Andy says, it's not rocket science.
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Corporate Cash = The Real Stimulus

Posted on Jul. 15, 10 | 12:40 PM by Andrew Roth | Topic: General Economics
Market strategist Barry Ritholtz has crunched the numbers.  The top 3,000 non-financial companies in this country have $1.641 trillion sitting in cash right now.  It's ready to be used.

At the same time, there are 14.6 million unemployed Americans.

That cash can help employ those people, but there is a wedge in between them that is not allowing it to happen.

That wedge is government.  And the government won't get out of the way until it abandons its hostile attitude towards the free market.  It needs to permanently lower the corporate income tax rate, the capital gains tax rate, and the dividend tax rate.  If that happens, stand back and watch the economy prosper.

We don't need more government programs, we need to let the private sector do its thing without the government's heel on its neck.
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Facebook Fact of the Day

Posted on Jul. 15, 10 | 08:55 AM by Andrew Roth | Topic: General Economics
If the 200 million daily users of Facebook were all working for $5/hour instead of going onto Facebook, they would collectively earn $916 million a day.

HT: David All

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Paul Teller: A Great American

Posted on Jul. 06, 10 | 11:47 AM by Andrew Roth | Topic: General Economics
There are dozens of conservatives on Capitol Hill hard at work behind the scenes to promote liberty and prevent the growth of government.  It's no surprise that Club members will probably never know or hear about most of them, but thankfully the Washington Post ran a profile yesterday about one such patriot.

Paul Teller is an unabashedly strong fiscal conservative, a true American hero, and a great friend.  Check out his story here.  Excerpt:

Teller is known as a Hill staff member who can influence the thinking of lawmakers and the outcome of legislation. That quiet power was demonstrated a few years ago when Teller, now 39, in a simply worded e-mail blast persuaded conservative House members to vote against their party's energy-tax proposal.

It was Aug. 4, 2007, the last day before Congress adjourned for the summer. The GOP leadership had just forced a vote on its substitute to the Democratic majority's energy-tax bill. Republicans voted "yes." Then they looked at their BlackBerries and saw the memo alert from Teller warning: "The substitute contains tax increases -- and other revenue increases."

One by one, in rapid succession, the GOP "yes" votes on the electronic voting board changed to "no." With Teller's intervention, conservatives had helped kill the Republican bill and embarrass their leadership.
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