Have a listen here.
In a recent NBC interview, President Obama blamed ATMs for taking away bank tellers’ jobs, and computerized airline check-in kiosks for eliminating aviation jobs. Communications Coordinator Lee Doren points out that innovation doesn’t affect the number of jobs so much as the types of jobs. Accomplishing more while using less labor is actually the key to prosperity. People looking for an explanation for today’s high unemployment need to look elsewhere.
Posted in CEI Podcast, Economics
Tagged atms, basic economics, cafe hayek, causes of unemployment, Don Boudreaux, econ 101, economic fallacies, Economics, jobs, jonah goldberg, lee doren, luddites, obama, obama atm, president obama, unemployment
Have a listen here.
CEI Adjunct Fellow Fran Smith talks about the EU-Korea free trade agreement that takes effect next year, and why the US-Korea FTA stalled, to the economy’s detriment. Fran also talks about NAFTA’s impact on jobs, and why imports are a good thing.
Posted in CEI Podcast, Economics, Trade
Tagged eu, eu-korea fta, european union, free trade, free trade agreements, jobs, korea, nafta, south korea, Trade, U.S., unemployment, us-korea fta
Through June, the government spent about $620 billion of stimulus money. The Obama administration claims that the spending has saved or created 2.3 to 2.8 million jobs.
For the sake of argument, let’s assume those job creation numbers are true. In fact, let’s pick the rosiest number — 2.8 million jobs.
At a price of $620 billion, that comes out to $221,428.57 per job. Startlingly inefficient.
Now consider that that $620 billion had to come from somewhere else. Some of that money came from taxes. That leaves less money left over for consumers and businesses to spend. Some of the stimulus money was borrowed. That leaves less capital for private companies borrow.
The private sector tends to spend less than the government to create a job. Since stimulus spending is spending more money to create fewer jobs than the private sector, it is actually causing net harm to the job market.
In place of the spending stimulus, I humbly offer a deregulatory stimulus. CEI VP Wayne Crews and I offer some specific proposals here.
This letter of mine ran in today’s New York Times in response to Paul Krugman’s July 4 column.
To the Editor:
Paul Krugman is at a loss to explain why some people oppose extending unemployment benefits. One reason people hold such an opinion is that when government subsidizes something, there tends to be more of it.
The more government subsidizes unemployment, the more people will indulge in it for longer periods of time.
Washington, July 6, 2010
The writer is a journalism fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.
Posted in Correspondence, Economics, Price and Wage Controls, Publications, Spending
Tagged new york times, ny times, paul krugman, subsidies, unemployment, unemployment benefits, unintended consequences
Over at the American Spectator, I explain why it won’t, but a deregulatory stimulus would. Main points:
-Anything that Washington giveth, it must first taketh away from somewhere else. The jobs bill is a zero-sum game.
-When government borrows more, less investment capital is left over for the productive sector.
-Taxes will have to be raised later to pay for today’s increased borrowing.
-Deregulation is a better approach. The biggest obstacles to job creation and economic growth are all in Washington.
Posted in Business Cycles, Economics, Publications, regulation, Spending, Stimulus
Tagged american spectator, deregulate to stimulate, deregulation, deregulatory stimulus, jobs, jobs bill, regulation, regulations, unemployment
The Senate just passed an $18 billion spending bill. Since the House already passed it, the legislation is now headed to President Obama’s desk to await his signature and become law.
The hope is that the spending will create jobs. If you’re reading this blog, then you probably know enough about economics to know that isn’t what will actually happen. Remember: anything that Washington giveth, it must first taketh away from somewhere else. It’s a zero-sum game. All those new jobs that politicians will be touting for the cameras will have come at the expense of other jobs elsewhere. On net, they’re not creating a thing.
Take the payroll tax break for small businesses that’s in the bill. Yes, those small businesses benefit. Maybe the money they save will even be used to hire more workers. That’s easy enough to see. But that money had to come from somewhere. That is harder to see. Too hard for the Senate to see, at the very least.
The reason is this: the government is foregoing some payroll tax revenue. But since it isn’t cutting spending to match, it has to borrow more. And there’s only so much investment capital to go around. Because Washington is borrowing more, less is left over for private investment opportunities. At the very least, companies will have to offer investors higher interest rates to lure them away from government bonds.
That makes getting loans more expensive. And when something gets more expensive, there tends to be less of it. Because of today’s bill, about $18 billion less capital will be available for the private sector to create jobs.
The legislation the Senate passed today is no jobs bill, at least on net. It is a spending bill. It doesn’t create jobs, it only redirects them.
Posted in Economics, Spending, Stimulus
Tagged barack obama, billions, creating jobs, Economics, jobs, jobs bill, jobs saved or created, obama, overspending, president barack obama, president obama, profligate spending, senate, spending, Stimulus, unemployment, us senate
Here is a letter I sent recently to The New York Times:
February 17, 2010
Editor, The New York Times
620 Eighth Avenue
New York, NY 10018
To the Editor:
Michael Cooper’s article, “Stimulus Jobs on State’s Bill in Mississippi” (February 16, page A1), lists several people who have directly benefited from the stimulus package.
The article names none of the roughly 300 million people directly hurt by that same stimulus package. The money that pays for Roshonda Bolton’s factory job was taken away from other people. They would have spent that money in other job-creating ways.
The stimulus doesn’t actually create jobs. It rearranges them. The best possible result is no net effect. Stories touting jobs saved or created by government are at best incomplete.
Warren T. Brookes Journalism Fellow
Competitive Enterprise Institute
Posted in Correspondence, Economics, Stimulus
Tagged bastiat broken window, bastiat broken window fallacy, broken window, broken window fallacy, creating jobs, econ 101, Economics, economics 101, economy, jobs, mississippi, new york times, roshanda bolton, saving jobs, Stimulus, the new york times, unemployment
Teenage unemployment is 25.5% — an all-time high, and nearly triple the general unemployment rate.
Maybe the fact that the minimum wage has increased three years in a row has something to do with it. Why would an employer hire someone unless they produce at least what they’re paid?
A lot of younger people have little experience and no marketable skills. Such things take time to develop. Until they do, they will remain unattractive hires unless they can be paid what they’re worth. Minimum wage laws, of course, make that illegal in many cases.
Another case of good intentions gone awry.
Posted in Economics, Price and Wage Controls
Tagged econ 101, Economics, economics 101, good intentions, jobs, minimum wage, price controls, regulations, teen unemployment, unemployment, wage controls