Economists say lots of things. Many of them are wrong

first_imgThere’s plenty of evidence, in the article and elsewhere, that this kind of deregulation has plenty to do with investment and job growth.There is also plenty of evidence that econ reporters at major publications have spent the past decade propping up economists who tell them what they want to hear.That is to say, they prop up economists who obsess over “inequality” rather than economic growth, who worry about the future of labor unions or climate change or whatever policy liberals happen to be plying at the moment.There are plenty of economists out there making good arguments for the free market who will never be member of the “economists say” clique.For eight years, we consistently heard about how “economists say” everything Democrats were doing was great (even when hundreds disagreed).Unsurprisingly, “economists” were wrong about a lot.The rosy predictions set by President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers regarding the “stimulus,” the administration’s prediction of 4.6 percent growth by 2012 and the Congressional Budget Office predictions about Obamacare were all way off base. But not to worry!Over the next few thousand words, the authors do their best to assure readers that neither deregulation nor tax cuts are really behind this new economic activity — even if business leaders keep telling them otherwise.For example, they claim that “There is little historical evidence tying regulation levels to growth.”A few paragraphs later, we again learn that “The evidence is weak that regulation actually reduces economic activity or that deregulation stimulates it.”A reporter without an agenda might have written that evidence was “arguable,” because I bet I could corral a bunch of economists to tell you that lowering the cost of doing business spurs economic activity quite often.And though the Trump administration somewhat overstates its regulatory cutbacks, it has stopped hundreds of Obama-era regulations from being enacted.Even better, it has stopped thousands of yet-to-be-invented regulations from ever being considered. Perhaps these corporations only did it all to gain favor with the administration.Hey, some people suck up to government by cutting bonus checks for their workers, and some people make electric cars no one wants.The fact is that deregulation and tax cuts matter.We already have evidence.We just don’t give voice to the economists who would tell us so.David Harsanyi is a senior editor at The Federalist and a nationally syndicated columnist.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motorists (Indeed, 36 percent of those polled gave the wholly rational answer of “uncertain.”)“We’ll be lucky to have 2 percent” growth, “economists say” regular Mark Zandi told CNN in May.Certainly, the economy doesn’t have the room to grow that it had in 2007 or 2012.But so far, Zandi is wrong about that.Neither deregulation nor tax cuts are a panacea.But businesses have already acted on deregulation and corporate tax cuts.Dozens of companies announced they would hand out bonus checks to hundreds of thousands of workers before the corporate tax cut was even signed into law. Categories: Editorial, Opinion“A wave of optimism has swept over American business leaders, and it is beginning to translate into the sort of investment in new plants, equipment and factory upgrades that bolsters economic growth, spurs job creation — and may finally raise wages significantly,” opens a recent New York Times article surveying the state of the American economy.One imagines that readers of the esteemed paper were surprised to run across such a rosy assessment after having been bombarded with news of a homicidal Republican tax plan for so many weeks. Vox, a leading light in the liberalism-masquerading-as-science genre, ran an article headlined “The Controversial Study Showing High Minimum Wages Kill Jobs, Explained.”You might wonder why incessantly quoted studies from liberal “nonpartisan” groups that falsely predicted minimum wages wouldn’t hurt cities aren’t “controversial.”Because if you want to raise the minimum wage, you will raise the price of labor and often reduce the amount of labor that’s going to be hired.That’s the trade-off.For decades, most economists agreed.While most economists I’ve known are relatively humble about forecasting, the ones who aren’t get most of the press.“Out of 42 Top Economists, Only 1 Believes the GOP Tax Bills Would Help the Economy,” a November Vox headline read. There are thousands of unknowns that can’t be quantified or computed, including human nature.But after decades of using data to help us think about goods, services, jobs, consumption and our choices, “economists say” is now used to coat liberal policy positions with a veneer of scientific certitude.And since Democrats began successfully aligning economics with social engineering, we’ve stopped seriously talking about the tradeoffs of regulations.A good example of this trend is the push for a $15 minimum wage — an emotionally satisfying, popular and destructive policy idea.Most cities that have passed the hike have experienced job losses.When researchers at the University of Washington studied Seattle’s $15 minimum-wage hike, one of the largest in the nation, they found that thousands of fewer jobs were created and thousands of people lost hours of work, making them poorer.No doubt a lot of people were surprised.last_img read more

City limits

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Park life

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Anti-social

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Sworn to Belfast

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Quintain’s NAV soars after bumper year…

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Israel strikes Hamas targets after new Gaza rocket fire

first_imgIsraeli aircraft struck Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip early Friday in response to new rocket fire from the blockaded territory, the army said.Three rockets were fired at Israel overnight without causing any casualties. Two were intercepted by air defences, a statement said.Israel swiftly retaliated against Hamas, the Islamist movement which rules Gaza and which Israel generally holds responsible for all rocket fire from the territory, regardless of who launches it. The military struck “Hamas targets in the south of the Gaza Strip”, the army said.Israel has deployed additional troops to the Gaza border area since US President Donald Trump unveiled a controversial new peace plan on Tuesday that was angrily rejected by the Palestinians.One rocket was fired from Gaza on Wednesday evening, again drawing retaliatory strikes against Hamas targets in the south of Gaza.Hamas has over the past year gradually shaped an informal truce with Israel, under which the Jewish state has slightly eased its crippling blockade of the enclave in exchange for calm.But Israel in November assassinated a senior leader of the Islamic Jihad militant group in Gaza, sparking a flare-up in which 36 Palestinians were killed. No Israelis died.Over two days, Islamic Jihad fired some 450 rockets towards Israel, which unusually largely confined its reprisals to Hamas’s more radical ally.Topics :last_img read more

US to deploy Navy ships closer to Venezuela: Sources

first_imgOn Tuesday, however, The Trump administration offered to begin lifting Venezuela sanctions if the opposition and members of Maduro’s Socialist Party form an interim government without him, marking a shift in a US policy that has failed to end his grip on power.The naval deployment is intended to ratchet up pressure on Maduro and his allies but is not a prelude to US military action against Venezuela, one person familiar with the matter said.Although President Donald Trump has insisted that all options are on the table against Muduro, US officials have made clear there is little appetite for military force, which could entangle the United States in another foreign conflict.The deployment plan calls for the US Southern Command to move several Navy vessels toward Venezuela, according to one source familiar with the matter. But the sources said it was unclear how close they would get to the Venezuelan coast.Admiral Craig Faller, head of US Southern Command, told a Pentagon briefing earlier in March that there would be an increased US military presence in the hemisphere to counter narco-trafficking.Some US officials have privately said Trump was increasingly frustrated with the results of his Venezuela policy.The United States and dozens of other countries have recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s legitimate president, regarding Maduro’s 2018 re-election as a sham. But Maduro has remained in power, backed by the country’s military and by Russia, China and Cuba.Topics : The Trump administration is deploying US Navy ships closer to Venezuela to beef up anti-drug efforts following a US drug trafficking indictment against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, according to a US official and two other people familiar with the matter.The US government is expected on Wednesday to announce the start of the enhanced drug interdiction mission in the Caribbean, the sources said on Wednesday, speaking on condition of anonymity.It follows the indictment last week of Maduro and more than a dozen current and former officials on charges of narco-terrorism and drug trafficking, part of the Trump administration’s pressure campaign aimed at ousting the socialist leader.last_img read more

Brazil virus toll surges to third-highest in world

first_imgThe far-right leader has urged businesses to wage “war” on state governors who order business closures, arguing they are needlessly hurting Latin America’s biggest economy. Experts say under-testing in Brazil means the real numbers are probably much higher.The latest figures underlined the grim toll the virus is taking in Latin America, the latest epicenter in the pandemic.Brazil, a country of 210 million people, has been the hardest-hit in the region.President Jair Bolsonaro has fiercely criticized coronavirus stay-at-home measures, even as the number of infections and deaths continues to soar. Brazil’s death toll from the novel coronavirus has surged past 34,000 to become the third-highest in the world, surpassing Italy’s, according to official figures released Thursday.The South American country reported a new record of 1,473 deaths in 24 hours, bringing its overall toll to 34,021, behind only the United States and Britain.Brazil has now confirmed 614,941 infections, the health ministry said — the second-largest caseload in the world, behind the US.center_img Topics :last_img read more

UN warns COVID-19 could wipe out gains in equality for women at work

first_imgThe ILO said women were also in greater danger of infection, and less likely to have social security coverage, as they make up the vast majority of domestic, health and social care workers globally who could lose jobs due to coronavirus lockdowns.”The latest labor force survey data reveal alarming trends that threaten to exacerbate existing disparities and eliminate the modest gains achieved in recent years in terms of gender equality in the labor market,” the ILO said in a report.”In contrast to previous crises, women’s employment is at greater risk than men’s, particularly owing to the impact of the downturn on the service sector.”The ILO added that the unequal distribution of unpaid care work has also worsened during the pandemic, exacerbated by the closure of schools and care services. Nine out of 10 students are out of school worldwide, according to an April study by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, a UN agency.Women with children now spend an average 65 hours a week on the unpaid chores – nearly a third more than fathers – according to the Boston Consulting Group, which questioned parents in five countries.Achieving gender equality by 2030 was one of the global goals adopted by the United Nations in 2015 to tackle social ills like poverty and conflict.Previous reports had shown that gender gaps in labor force participation rates had narrowed slightly in recent decades but the gap was still estimated at 27 percentage points in 2019.The latest ILO report showed that the proportion of women working in hard-hit sectors was particularly high in Central America at 58.9%, in South-East Asia at 48.5%, Southern Europe at 45.8% and South America at 45.5%.”The bigger their losses in employment during the lockdown phase and the greater the scarcity of jobs in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis, the harder it will be for women’s employment to recover,” the ILO said.”This crisis therefore threatens to nullify women’s gains in the labor market along with the positive [albeit slow] changes in the distribution of unpaid care work.”  The coronavirus pandemic could wipe out “the modest progress” made on gender equality at work in recent decades with women globally at greater risk of losing their jobs, the International Labor Organization (ILO) warned on Tuesday.The UN agency said the fall in global working hours was “significantly worse than previously estimated” in the first half of the year. The Americas was the hardest-hit region.But it warned women were disproportionately affected, with almost 510 million women, or 40% of all employed women, working in the industries with most job losses compared to 36.6% of men, which includes food and accommodation, retail and real estate.center_img Topics :last_img read more