Raymond Richman - Jesse Richman - Howard Richman
Richmans' Trade and Taxes Blog
Morici: 8.5% unemployment may be as good as it gets
In his latest commentary, University of Maryland economist Peter Morici predicts that the unemployment rate won't go below 8.5% in the near future. Here's his reasoning:
What could the U.S. government do? He writes:
The current Washington establishment is oblivious to reality. So long as China and almost all of the other emerging market countries are allowed to continue their currency manipulations, there will be little manufacturing job growth.
The only hope on the horizon is that likely Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney might balance trade if elected president. His current trade position is:....
Are the media mentioned above deliberately deceiving investors as to the initial claims for unemployment compensation during the week of January 14, 2012? Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that seasonally adjusted initial claims were 352,000, a decrease of 50,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 402,000. This was the data reported by CNBC TV, Bloomberg TV, and Fox business channel on January 19, and by the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times and other print media on January 20.
The same report in which the BLS reported the seasonally adjusted data also reported the actual number of claims and the total number receiving unemployment compensation but the media did not report it. ...
Switching fleets to CNG is a no-brainer
When I was in Boston for my youngest daughter's college graduation, I noticed that all of the within-airport buses were running on CNG (Compressed Natural Gas). They looked the same as other buses, except that they did not give off diesel smoke. Since CNG burns cleaner, their engines will probably last longer without requiring oil changes.
The switch of Boston Airport buses to CNG is part of a growing switch of fleets to CNG. Eventually, the increasing number of CNG filling stations will make it possible for households to switch to CNG. (Click here to see the GM pick-up truck that I plan to buy once a CNG filling station opens up in my area.)
The main drawbacks of CNG are: (1) filling stations are not readily available everywhere, and (2) the fuel tanks take up more room on the vehicle. Neither of these drawbacks applies to public buses. In a January 18 blog entry on the Pike Research website, Anissa Dehamna (In D.C., Running on Natural Gas) suggests that the switch-over can save the public transportation companies money, even if they have to build their own filling stations:...
Emmanuel Goldstein makes the case for our Scaled Tariff in his blog
On December 14, Emmanuel Goldstein endorsed our scaled tariff in a blog commentary entitled "The case for a scaled tariff." His writing is clear and powerful.
He begins by discussing the American jobs crisis, not only the high unemployment, but also the growing income inequality and the stagnating median income. He points out that the solutions provided by the right (lower taxes and regulation) and the left ("a large federal entitlement for everyone") would not solve the problem.
He understands the classical economic argument against tariffs, but also understands that it does not apply in the United States today. He writes:
In his final paragraph he recommends our Scaled Tariff as a possible solution. He writes:...
Growing trade deficit quashing recovery -- again!
The November data, just reported this morning by the Commerce Department, shows a rising overall trade deficit ($47.8 in November up from $43.3 in October). This worsening trade picture is spearheaded by declining net exports to China ($293.0 billion for the 12 months ending in November) as shown in the graph below:
In the summer of 2010 (the so-called "summer of recovery"), President Obama's massive stimulus would have produced an economic recovery, but it leaked abroad as growing trade deficits due to the adoption by many U.S. trading partners of China's mercantilist currency-manipulation strategy, as shown in the chart below:...
Investors Are Entitled to Better Reporting of Unemployment Insurance Claims
While no one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American voter, why should the media underestimate the intelligence of the American investor by reciting statistically manipulated data rather than the original data when the latter is readily available. Readers of this blog were made aware months ago that the figures issued by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics of the number of initial claims for unemployment insurance made during the preceding week include one doctored set of data called “seasonally adjusted” (SA)and another set of unadjusted data (NSA), i.e., the actual number of claims. In its notice to subscribers of the availability of the Report for the week ending January 7, 2012, the BLS included this single paragraph:
"In the week ending January 7, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 399,000, an increase of 24,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 375,000. The 4-week moving average was 381,750, an increase of 7,750 from the previous week's revised average of 374,000."
Most reporters evidently did not go on to read the report itself. If they did they would have been amazed to find that the actual number of initial claims filed amounted to 642,381, 143,381 higher than the seasonally adjusted number. The difference is so great that it requires an explanation from the BLS. But none has been forthcoming. ...
Romney ad hits Obama for letting China counterfeit US intellectual property
The other Republican candidates give Obama a pass on trade policy, because they plan to adopt the same policy if elected. Romney is making it an issue.
And this should be a huge issue! Since Obama took office, his trade policy has cost American workers 800,000 manufacturing jobs, not to mention the jobs lost that would have provided services to these productive workers. Then, in the summer of 2010, he let the growing U.S. trade deficit abort his economic recovery (see Obama Fiddles While Economy Falters). And the utter incompetence continues. For the past 21 consecutive months he has let the Chinese government grow its trade surplus in goods with the United States, as compared to the same month the previous year....
Jack Davis commentary may have given Romney the win in Iowa
In a December 28 commentary in the Des Moines Register (Romney's business experience will help him take on China), Jack Davis, founder of I Squared R Elements and, like us, a balanced trade advocate, endorsed Governor Mitt Romney for president. Here is how he began:
Davis especially lauded Romney for taking on more than just China's currency manipulations, he wrote:...
Follow the following link to download the MP3:
Santorum emphasizes bringing back U.S. manufacturing in his Iowa victory speech
In the Iowa caucus votes on Tuesday, the two major Republican presidential candidates who who have presented plans for bringing back American manufacturing, Santorum and Romney, tied for first place. Here is what Santorum said in his victory speech:
Journal of Economic Literature:
Atlantic Economic Journal: