Friday, April 09, 2004


"The number of people filing new claims for unemployment benefits dropped last week to the lowest level in more than three years" -- and that's only part of the good news: "It turns out that since last May, when all of the president's tax cuts finally got implemented, the payroll survey finds 675,000 new jobs. Here's the kicker- that's the pessimistic survey; the one that tends to miss new start-ups because it's based on established businesses. The other one, the household survey, shows an increase since last spring's tax cut of almost 800,000 new jobs. Some "jobless recovery", huh?"

Globalization fights high taxes: "In a competitive global economy, the United States cannot continue to ignore the mounting costs of doing business at home. Other countries are liberalizing their economies, providing a more business-friendly environment. Ireland is a perfect example of a tax-friendly country. The government reduced its corporate tax rate from 16 percent to 12.5 percent in 2003, well below the EU average rate of 30 percent and lower than the 35 percent federal rate in the United States."

Marginal Revolution points out that the NY Times has started to talk some common sense about trying to impose international child labour standards: "It's appalling that Abakr, like tens of millions of other children abroad, is working instead of attending school. But prohibiting child labor wouldn't do him any good, for there's no school in the area for him to attend.... And that's the problem when Americans get on their high horses about child labor, without understanding the cruel third world economics that cause it."

Overlooked factor in oil hike: Falling dollar: "Gasoline and heating-oil prices in the US are at an all-time high and rising. But it may surprise Americans to learn that in Europe, they've essentially remained steady. Why the cost difference? Experts have a lot of good reasons to explain it, among them unrest in the Middle East, gas-guzzling cars, and greed among oil-producing nations. But there is another culprit that is being ignored and that is making the problem far, far worse in the US: the decline in the value of the dollar."

There is a rather depressing article here about the vast damage FDR's "New Deal" did to the American economy in the 1930s. What made the "Great" depression "great"? Why did it last so much longer than previous depressions? Mainly it was the anti-business economic interventions of FDR and his Congressional allies. FDR was of course a great admirer of his fellow Leftist economic bungler, Benito Mussolini.


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