Category Archives: Media Appearances

Disappointing August Job Gains Tied to Covid Restrictions, Politics

This press release was originally posted at cei.org.

Competitive Enterprise Institute experts commented on today’s disappointing news about August job gains, urging policy makers to reject restrictions and politics and look for ways to lift barriers to economic recovery.

Sean Higgins, CEI research fellow:

“Friday’s Labor Department report https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf that the nation gained only 235,000 jobs in August was well below the gains of the previous months and proof that re-instituting Covid-related restrictions has created a serious drag on the recovery. Prior to August, the economy had been growing by more than a half million jobs a month. The department’s report is a reminder that there is a stark cost to restrictions and officials must be mindful of broader consequences. The economy has been resilient so far, but that was partly because the end appeared to be in sight. New uncertainty is undermining that.

“The number of people who reported being unable to work for pandemic-related reasons was 5.6 million, an abrupt rise of 400,000 in a single month. The leisure and hospitality industry, usually the first to feel the effects of covid-related policies reported no gains in August due to a loss of 42,000 jobs in restaurants and bars wiping out all other gains. That’s a serious blow to people who have already endured a year and a half of difficult times.

Ryan Young, CEI senior fellow:

“Covid’s delta variant is showing up in economic statistics now, not just health statistics. Payrolls are still growing, on net, and will likely to continue to grow for the rest of the year. But that growth will be slower than it otherwise would be, in part because some people simply insist on turning vaccines and masks into political issues. Today’s tendency to turn everything into a culture war bears a lot of the blame for low vaccination rates. This in turn makes people more reluctant to travel, dine out, and attend events, which is where a lot of vulnerable jobs are being lost.

“There isn’t much policymakers can do about cultural attitudes, since mandates tend to backfire; but there is plenty they can do to roll back regulatory, licensing, and financial regulations that are blocking businesses from opening, staying afloat, or even expanding. Policymakers can also restore confidence by walking back unnecessary multi-trillion dollar spending projects that have more to do with politics than economic recovery.”

Consumer Spending, Personal Income Growth Hinge on Combating Covid Delta Variant

This press release was originally posted at cei.org.

The federal government today released July data on consumer spending (slower growth compared to June) and personal income growth (higher than expected). CEI Senior Fellow Ryan Young says reducing the Covid risk through vaccines and mask-wearing is what will help economic and income growth most – not ramped up spending by Washington:

“Consumer spending grew in July, but that growth was down two-thirds from June. Personal income growth was higher than expected, though that number was inflated by government assistance and other temporary policies. The most likely reason for the slower growth is the rise of COVID’s delta variant. The extent to which people feel safe doing normal activities has more to do with COVID than with anything else, including grand political plans to spend and stimulate.

“The recovery would be much easier if people were not so eager to make everything a political issue. Vaccines and masks are tools to fight the virus, and their effectiveness has nothing to do with red-team-blue-team culture wars. Politicians from both parties who are using the virus as an excuse to enact pre-existing policy agendas are hurting both the economy and the virus response.

“The best COVID response going forward, though it lacks the drama of a cable news shouting match or another headline with the word ‘trillion’ in it, would be a little prudence, both at home and in Washington.”

In the News: Facebook’s Antitrust Case

I’m quoted, in French, in Paris’ Le Monde newpspaper about the FTC’s revised antitrust complaint against Facebook:

La FTC « joue sur les mots », abonde Ryan Young du think tank Competitive Enterprise Institute. Pour lui, l’autorité s’est juste « arrangée pour exclure TikTok, Twitter, Clubhouse, Discord, et d’autres de ce marché »« Tout marché est un monopole si vous le définissez de façon suffisamment étroite, et c’est la seule chose que la plainte de la FTC prouve réellement. »

An English-language version of the same story in Techxplore says:

But Ryan Young of the Competitive Enterprise Institute countered that the FTC complaint “relies heavily on wordplay” to define Facebook as a monopoly.

“It argues that Facebook dominates the market for ‘personal social networking services,’ then defines that term in just such a way that excludes TikTok, Twitter, Clubhouse, Discord and others from that market,” Young said.

“Any market is a monopoly if you define it narrowly enough, and that is the only thing the FTC’s complaint successfully proves.”

On the Radio: Economic Recovery and Regulation

This morning, I was on the Tampa, FL-based Freedom Works show with Paul Molloy to talk about June’s jobs report and how vaccinations and regulatory reform can keep the COVID recovery going strong. The 10-minute segment is somewhere in this podcast version of the show.

Tomorrow, July 7, I’ll be on the Lars Larson Show at about 7:15 PM ET to talk about the new Ten Thousand Commandments report.

On the Radio: Ten Thousand Commandments

I was recently on the Mark Reardon Show on KFTK in St. Louis to talk about CEI’s new Ten Thousand Commandments report.

The audio is here, and starts about 23 minutes in.

In the News: DC’s Amazon Antitrust Case

Canada’s Les Affaires quotes me, in French, on the DC attorney general’s Amazon antitrust case that he filed yesterday Note that I am not sophisticated enough to speak French, and can barely read it well enough to get the gist of it. This is translated from an earlier statement:

Cela nuirait aussi aux PME, qui sont déjà suffisamment en difficulté en ce moment», a abondé Ryan Young, un analyste du centre de réflexion Competitive Enterprise Institute. 

Il estime en outre qu’Amazon fait déjà face à de la compétition de la part de Walmart, qui a sa propre plateforme de e-commerce ouverte aux tiers, ainsi que d’autres sites comme Ebay, Etsy ou Shopify.

In the News: Inflation

About a week ago, I was quoted in another Center Square story on inflation.

In the News: Inflation

I was recently quoted in a Center Square article about the recent uptick in inflation. Also quoted in the article is George Selgin, who unlike me is one of the top monetary economists in the country.

Read the whole thing here.

On the Radio: Apple’s EU Antitrust Case

On Friday, I discussed the EU’s new antitrust case against Apple on the Lars Larson show. Audio is here.

In the News: Hawley’s Antitrust Bill

A Fox News writeup of Sen. Josh Hawley’s newest antitrust bill quotes my colleague Jessica Melugin and me:

“[H]is claims that the industry, ‘hasn’t been a success … for the American economy,’ don’t ring true for so many Americans that are employed by or invested in these economic powerhouses, not to mention the millions of consumers who enjoy tech products,” Jessica Melugin, the director of the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s (CEI) Center for Technology and Innovation, said of Hawley’s merger-banning legislation. 

CEI Senior Fellow Ryan Young called Hawley’s broader anti-tech efforts “feel-good populism” that is “just another culture war issue.”

Read the whole thing here.