Maybe you missed it in the hoopla surrounding Medicare’s 50th Anniversary, but last month the Medicaid program also turned 50. Medicaid—intended as a safety net to ensure low-income and disabled individuals would have access to health care—is in some ways the forgotten child of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society.
Progressives claim that employees are working harder and producing more, but their wages are not going up. The evidence for this is the claim that since the 1970s growth in labor productivity has vastly outpaced growth in real compensation.
Three times per year, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) updates its projections for the nation’s bottom line: a 10-year estimate of the federal government’s tax collections and spending practices and the gap between them. While much of Washington is on vacation, the CBO diligently prepares its August update, a sober reminder for policymakers that when they get back from August recess, they still have budget problems to solve.
With global growth fears weighing on the stock market, some have pointed to recently strong fundamentals in the housing sector and their potential to boost U.S. economic growth. Here’s a recap of some key housing indicators over the past month:
As the 2016 field continues to roll out policy proposals, a troubling trend is emerging—populist policies that claim to put American workers “first”. From both sides of the political spectrum, some candidates are calling for reducing legal immigration, toughening requirements for hiring temporary foreign workers, and opposing free trade agreements. These policies may actually harm American workers.
The gig economy is quickly becoming a hot button issue for policymakers on both sides of the aisle. Many opponents claim the gig economy is bad for workers and the future of work, and are aiming to more tightly regulate this sector.
Yesterday the federal reserve released the minutes of its most recent meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the prime policy making body. Unsurprisingly, it left open the door to raise the federal funds rate -- it's chief policy tool -- at the September meeting, but did not commit to an increase. Raising rates would begin the process of normalizing monetary policy.
The “conflict minerals rule” is one of the most notorious of the costly regulations emanating from the Dodd-Frank financial reforms. It requires companies to disclose whether they are receiving any “conflict minerals” — coltan, tungsten, tin and gold — from the conflict zones of, in particular, the Congo.
The Associated Press reported yesterday about the utter failure of a California initiative to “create” “green jobs.” Specifically, it wrote "Three years after California voters passed a ballot measure to raise taxes on corporations and generate clean energy jobs by funding energy-efficiency projects in schools, barely one-tenth of the promised jobs have been created, and the state has no comprehensive list to show how much work has been done or how much energy has been saved.
China dominated the economic news last week, with the leading issue being its new approach to handling its currency. The previous approach was to permit its currency to fluctuate in a 4 percentage point band each day, with the midpoint of the band set by policy.