America’s big cities are turning into housing catastrophes. If we want to fix this mess, we should try and copy Tokyo.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/americas-big-cities-turning-housing-120600526.html

America’s big cities are turning into housing catastrophes. If we want to fix this mess, we should try and copy Tokyo.

By Jairaj Devadiga

October 9, 2021

Tokyo

A view of residential houses in Tokyo, Japan.

In major cities around the world, housing is becoming less and less affordable.

Tokyo, Japan, is a notable exception, with prices barely rising since 1995.

The US has restrictive, often absurd regulations, and should instead mirror Tokyo.

Jairaj Devadiga is an economist specializing in public policy and economic history.

This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the author.

In major cities around the world, housing prices have spiraled out of control.

In California’s Bay Area, the median house price is $1.3 million. In Vancouver, the average household must save for 34 years to make a down payment on a house, and put aside 85% of its pre-tax income for mortgage payments. In Sydney, a decrepit house without any toilet facilities sells for $3.5 million.

In this sea of craziness, Tokyo has been an island of sanity. Its housing prices have barely risen since 1995. This is not due to deflation either.

While the population of Japan as a whole has been shrinking, Tokyo has been growing. Between 1995 and 2019, the population of Tokyo grew by 2.17 million, or just above 90,000 per year on average. To accommodate all these new people, lots of housing had to be built. Over the same time period, there was an average of 153,000 housing starts annually.

A study by the Fraser Institute illustrates what happens when housing supply fails to keep up with demand. Between 2015 and 2019, 120,000 new jobs were created in Vancouver and Toronto. In the same time period, there were only 57,000 housing starts every year. Since demand was growing more than twice as fast as supply, prices skyrocketed. The same story played out in almost every major city. Lots of new jobs being created, lots of people wanting to move, and not enough homes being built for all of them.

There are numerous bad policies which prevent the construction of more housing. Chief among them are restrictive zoning laws. In most cities with expensive housing, vast swathes of residential land are reserved exclusively for single family homes. Until very recently, the worst of the bunch was San Jose, with 94% of the land being off limits for apartment buildings. No wonder it is the least affordable city in America.

Not only does this make housing costlier for middle and low income folks, but also subsidizes mansions for the rich. The land on which a mansion sits would be worth a lot more if an apartment building could be built on it. The developer would make a profit even if they sold each apartment at an affordable price.

However, because that’s not allowed, developers won’t bid for that land, thus driving down its price.

While Tokyo does have low density zones, these do not prohibit multi-family buildings. Thus it is not uncommon to see a three story apartment building right next to a single family home.

Apart from zoning, cities dictate minimum lot sizes and maximum floor area ratios (how much of the plot is covered by the building itself), which further stifle construction. In much of Mumbai, for instance, the floor area ratio was capped at 1.33 until 2018.

This had the disastrous result of pushing poor people into slums, as they could not compete with affluent families for the limited housing. In 1971, 22% of Mumbai’s population lived in slums. By 2010, this had risen to 62%. By contrast, Tokyo allows floor area ratios as high as 13, and even higher with government permission.

Another problem is cities wanting to preserve too many historical sites. For instance, cities often declare old homes or commercial establishments to be historical monuments, which prevents them from being torn down and replaced with apartment buildings.

In some cases, cities prevent development even when the historical monument itself would be untouched. For instance, last year, a historic preservation board in Seattle rejected a proposal for a 200-unit apartment building because it would be taller than nearby historical monuments. While Tokyo has historic buildings, its criteria for preservation are much stricter and thus don’t get in the way of affordable housing.

Another important factor in raising housing prices is over-regulation. A recent report by the National Association of Home Builders estimates that regulations add almost $94,000 to the price of new homes. The vast majority of these regulations are purely aesthetic, such as mandating certain types of landscaping and architectural styles, or banning vinyl sidings.

This is not exclusive to American cities. A study on India’s Ahmedabad shows that unnecessary regulations add 34% to the cost of housing. By contrast, Tokyo has very few common sense regulations; mainly to protect against the frequent earthquakes. As long as developers follow these and the very liberal zoning laws, they are free to build as they please.

At this point, you might wonder why these restrictive rules persist if they are so obviously bad. Why is liberal city-planning the exception, rather than the norm? To answer this, we must examine the policy making process itself, to understand the motivations of all participants.

Consider San Jose, with its 94% single-family zoning. The politicians in San Jose were catering to the wishes of their constituents; the people already living in San Jose. Those voters wanted high prices. To them, their house is an investment, which would lose value if more housing were built in their neighborhood. It would also result in new neighbors bringing in a different culture from what the residents are used to.

People who wanted to move to San Jose, but couldn’t due to high prices, would benefit from more liberal planning. They might live in different parts of California, or even in other states. Obviously they don’t get to vote in San Jose elections, thus local politicians have no incentive to help them.

The same process plays out across every city, resulting in sky-high prices.

At the state or national level, though, the political calculus changes completely. People in a particular city might want to restrict housing development, but everyone else wants more. Thus state and national politicians have an incentive to liberalize.

This is exactly what happened in Japan. It too had local governments choking the housing market, resulting in a massive housing bubble in the 1980s. This prompted the national government to enact a series of reforms to rein in housing prices.

The national government formulates building codes, zoning laws, and other city-planning regulations for the entire country, giving very little leeway to local governments.

Recently, governor Gavin Newsom did something similar in California, by finally abolishing single-family zoning statewide, and also loosening some other restrictions.

To win elections, local politicians must necessarily keep down the supply of new housing. It is up to state and national governments to deny them that power, and quickly. Otherwise, home-ownership will remain a pipe-dream for most people.

October 9, 2021. Tags: , , , , , , . Economics, Housing. Leave a comment.

Democrats wage war against family farmers and small business owners

https://apnews.com/article/joe-biden-business-6019bbf1969016cbd2749b213ba47a08

As tax changes loom, farmers worry about the next generation

By Tim Grant

SHARPSVILLE, Pa. (AP) — Michael Kovach got into the farming business 13 years ago with the purchase of a 107-acre farm in Mercer County after retiring from the oil and gas industry at 39.

“I’ve worked too hard on this piece of ground to really even consider the thought of it turning into anything other than what it is and getting better than what it is,” said Mr. Kovach, 52, owner of Walnut Hill Farm in Sharpsville.

He has two full-time employees who help him raise grass-fed livestock such as Angus cattle, lambs and chickens, which are sold direct to consumers at the farm. His wife, Karen, runs the farm stand.

Mr. Kovach bought the farm hoping to one day pass the mantle of ownership to his daughter, who is 17. Now he and and other family farmers across the state worry how changes in the tax law could impact their plans to transfer their farms from one generation to the next.

President Joe Biden has proposed tax changes in order to pay for the American Families Plan, which provides government benefits and tax breaks for middle- and lower-income people.

The proposal that’s garnered the highest profile in the business community has been Mr. Biden’s plan to raise the 21% corporate tax rate that has been in place since 2018. He’s proposed changing it to 28%, which is targeted at the largest corporations, some of which effectively pay no income tax on billions in revenue.

Small-business owners are most concerned about increased taxes on capital gains — profits on the sale of assets — and on inherited wealth. Mr. Biden’s plan calls for nearly doubling the top tax rate on capital gains and eliminating a significant tax benefit on appreciated assets known as the “step-up in basis.” The combined tax rate increase could add up to 61% on inherited wealth.

For example, if someone dies after starting a business decades ago that’s now worth $100 million, under the current tax law, the business would pass to family members with no capital gains tax because the cost basis of the business is stepped-up to its current value at death.

Under Mr. Biden’s plan, the heirs would immediately owe a capital gains tax of $42.96 million based on the capital gains rate of 39.6%, plus the net investment income tax of 3.8%, minus the $1 million estate tax exemption. The proposal would reduce the estate tax exemption from $11.7 million to $1 million.

If the estate tax remains unchanged, the family would also pay an estate tax of 40% on $57.04 million of the remaining assets. Including exemptions, the estate tax would amount to $18.13 million.

The combined federal estate tax and capital gains tax liability would total $61.1 million on the heirs’ original $100 million inheritance. That’s without including state capital gains and estate taxes.

“That’s a really important thing if I’m the daughter of a business owner and I want to inherit stock in my family’s company,” said Elizabeth “Li” Connolly, a partner at the Connolly Steel accounting firm in Avalon. “Me, as a regular person, could be theoretically not targeted by this, but it’s going to affect everyone in a negative way.”

Dividend payouts and stock buybacks

The tax proposal most closely tied to the larger economic recovery is the corporate tax hike that could go from 21% to as much as 28%, although negotiations are ongoing, and media sources have reported Mr. Biden floating the idea of a minimum corporate tax of 15%.

Prior to the corporate rate being reduced in 2018 by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, corporations paid a tax rate as high as 35%.

Pennsylvania State Treasurer Stacy Garrity said she has met with small-business leaders across the state who are interested in expanding their companies but are holding back due to the uncertainty of tax changes.

Pennsylvania has 1.1 million small businesses, which Ms. Garrity said make up 99.6% of all businesses in the state.

She said owners of farms in rural Pennsylvania are particularly worried about a capital gains tax hike.

More than 8% of U.S. adults have at least $1 million in assets, according to the Global Wealth Report 2020 by Credit Suisse. That comes out to slightly more than 20 million Americans.

The Pennsylvania Farmers Union has 300 members, all of whom are owners of family farms. The national farmers organization has 200,000 members.

“Some of these farmers have had these farms in their families for generations, and now, if they go to pass on the farm to the next generation, anything over $1 million they would have to pay that capital gains tax on it,” Ms. Garrity said.

Farm operator households usually have more wealth than the average U.S. household because they own significant capital assets, such as farmland and equipment necessary to run a farm. In 2019, the average farm household had $1,042,855 in wealth, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Gus Faucher, chief economist at Pittsburgh-based PNC Financial Services Group, said the bank is waiting to have a better sense of what’s likely to get through Congress before incorporating the tax increases into its forecast.

But on the surface, he said, it’s not likely to have a significant impact on economic growth.

“We saw very little change in growth when the corporate income tax cuts were passed under the Trump administration in 2017,” Mr. Faucher said. “There was a modest growth pickup in business fixed investment following passage of the tax cuts, but that faded in 2019.

“Mostly the impact of the corporate income tax cut was to increase dividend payouts to shareholders and boost stock prices, with little impact on the real economy. Therefore, I would expect a very small negative economic impact from the proposed Biden tax cuts.”

‘Tax is a price’

A tax increase of a few percentage points can be absorbed by most profitable companies.

“If they know what the tax rate is, over a period of months they will adjust to it,” said Robert Fragasso, chairman and CEO of Fragasso Financial Advisors, Downtown. “They will adjust just like we do in our homes and our personal finances. We adjust to changes in pricing. Tax is a price. It’s part of what corporations pay to do business.

“You could argue that corporations spend too much money on this or that or pay people too much at the top,” he said. “That’s just financial management. But taxes in and of themselves is neither good nor bad. It’s how they are applied to the business. I’m not advocating for higher taxes. But we do have to pay for what we’re spending.”

Mr. Fragasso, whose company manages nearly $2 billion for clients, said lawmakers could get a false impression of how much corporations are making without taking into consideration that profitability varies from year to year, and responsible company managers put money aside for unforeseen events that will impact their future.

“That’s what we do,” he said. “A legislator could look at us and say, ‘Tax them more because they are a rich company’ when in fact we set it aside for the future to hedge the unexpected or to use to grow the company and create more employment.”

Ms. Connolly noted that nothing is carved in stone yet.

“Over the years, I don’t get worked up about anything until I see it signed into law because there’s going to be a lot of changes,” she said.

“Everything right now is still speculation because there’s going to be a lot of negotiation as part of this.”

June 19, 2021. Tags: , , , , , , . Economics. Leave a comment.

In California, the left is eating itself – excessive regulations are making it very difficult for the state’s legal sellers of recreational marijuana

This is hilarious. Instead of reducing the excessive regulations, the government is planning to spend $100 million to help business owners deal with the regulations.

In addition, seven different environmental organizations have complained about the effects of legal marijuana on the environment.

In California, the left is eating itself.

As a libertarian, I am in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana, and I am against excessive regulation of businesses. The fact that California wants to spend this $100 million, instead of reducing the excessive regulations, is hilarious.

Here’s the article:

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-06-14/california-struggling-marijuana-industry-cash-grants-budget

California offers $100 million to rescue its struggling legal marijuana industry

By Patrick McGreevy

June 14, 2021

SACRAMENTO —

The California Legislature on Monday approved a $100-million plan to bolster California’s legal marijuana industry, which continues to struggle to compete with the large illicit pot market nearly five years after voters approved sales for recreational use.

Los Angeles will be the biggest beneficiary of the money, which was proposed by Gov. Gavin Newsom to be provided as grants to cities and counties to help cannabis businesses transition from provisional to regular licenses.

“California voters approved Proposition 64 five years ago and entrusted the Legislature with creating a legal, well-regulated cannabis market,” said Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), the chairman of the Assembly Budget Committee. “We have yet to reach that goal.”

Many cannabis growers, retailers and manufacturers have struggled to make the transition from a provisional, temporary license to a permanent one renewed on an annual basis — a process that requires a costly, complicated and time-consuming review of the negative environmental effects involved in a business and a plan for reducing those harms.

As a result, about 82% of the state’s cannabis licensees still held provisional licenses as of April, according to the governor’s office.

The funds, including $22 million earmarked for L.A., would help cities hire experts and staff to assist businesses in completing the environmental studies and transitioning the licenses to “help legitimate businesses succeed,” Ting said.

The grant program is endorsed by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who said in a letter to legislators that the money is “essential in supporting a well-regulated, equitable, and sustainable cannabis market.”

Separately, the governor wants to give cannabis businesses a six-month extension beyond a Jan. 1 deadline to transition from provisional licenses by complying with mandates of the California Environmental Quality Act. That extension, which faces opposition for delaying promised environmental safeguards, was not included in the state budget bill approved Monday and is still being negotiated with lawmakers.

The governor’s proposal to extend provisional licenses has drawn objections from a coalition of seven environmental groups including Sierra Club California, Defenders of Wildlife and the Nature Conservancy.

They said in a letter to Newsom that the proposal allowing the extension of provisional licenses and interim alternatives to CEQA rules goes against what voters were promised and is “wholly inadequate to protect local communities and the environment.”

At the same time, industry officials say the governor’s proposals do not go far enough in helping businesses struggling to stay open with provisional licenses while meeting what they see as burdensome rules under the state’s environmental regulations.

“It is a significant amount of money, but I don’t know that it actually answers the problem of provisional licenses making it through CEQA analysis in a timely manner to get an annual license,” said Jerred Kiloh, president of the United Cannabis Business Assn.

He said delays in cities adopting rules, their limited staffing and lack of resources by cannabis firms mean some face two to four years to get through the licensing process. Many would face the prospect of shutting down, at least temporarily, if they don’t get a regular license by current state deadlines, Kiloh said.

California voters paved the way for state licensing of cannabis stores, farms, distributors and testing when they approved Proposition 64 in 2016. State officials initially expected to license as many as 6,000 cannabis shops in the first few years, but permits have been issued only for 1,086 retail and delivery firms.

In 2019, industry officials estimated there were nearly three times as many unlicensed businesses as ones with state permits. Although some industry leaders believe enforcement has reduced the number of illegal pot shops, a study in September by USC researchers estimated unlicensed retailers still outnumbered those that were licensed.

Supporters of legalization blame the discrepancy on problems that they say include high taxes on licensed businesses, burdensome regulations and the decision of about three-quarters of cities in California not to allow cannabis retailers in their jurisdictions.

The bill approved by the Legislature on Monday includes $100 million and identifies 17 cities and counties earmarked to receive grants, including Los Angeles, which would get the largest grant. Other cities that will get grants include Long Beach, San Francisco, Oakland, Commerce, Adelanto and Desert Hot Springs.

Originally, pot businesses were supposed to transfer from temporary licenses to regular annual licenses by 2019, but many businesses were unable to comply in time, so the state allowed provisional licenses until Jan. 1, 2020, and then extended the deadline again to Jan. 1, 2022.

A key requirement to convert from a provisional license is to conduct a CEQA review to indicate how pot farms and other cannabis businesses will affect the surrounding water, air, plants and wildlife, and to propose ways to mitigate any harms.

However, Kiloh said, some cities are just setting up ordinances and staffing to process licenses, meaning many businesses cannot meet the looming deadline.

Each cannabis grower must provide evidence that they met the requirements for environmental review. If their city and county do not provide the required document, the applicants must prepare one, which often means hiring environmental consultants.

A bill by state Sen. Anna Caballero (D-Salinas) would have allowed the state to extend provisional licenses six years until 2028, but she shelved it after it drew opposition from the coalition of environmental groups.

The groups sent a letter to lawmakers saying that the bill “does not provide adequate environmental protection.”

The governor’s proposal, which is being considered by lawmakers, would allow the extension of existing provisional licenses by six months.

Environmentalists still hope the budget trailer bill can be changed to address their concerns, according to Pamela Flick, California program director of Defenders of Wildlife.

The group “opposes the proposed trailer bill language because it needs stronger environmental protections consistent with the original commitments made in Proposition 64, in which the voters intended meaningful and timely compliance” with environmental laws, Flick said.

The Newsom administration is warning of dire consequences if pot businesses are not given more time to get a regular license.

“Absent this extension, it is possible that a significant number of these licensees could fall out of the legal cannabis system, significantly curtailing the state’s efforts to facilitate the transition to a legal and well-regulated market,” the administration warned in its budget proposal.

The $100 million would go to local agencies with the most provisional licenses for growing, manufacturing, distribution, testing and retail operations. Some of the money can be used by cities offering equity funding to cannabis businesses owned by people of color.

Lawmakers welcomed the budget proposal from Newsom, who has an interest in seeing the legal market succeed because he was a leading proponent of Proposition 64.

“Gov. Newsom is dedicated to the success of the legal cannabis industry in California,” said Nicole Elliott, the governor’s senior advisor on cannabis. “The purpose of this one-time $100 million in grant funding is to aid locals and provisional licensees, many of which are small businesses, legacy operators and equity applicants, in more expeditiously migrating to annual licensure.”

Garcetti said in his letter that it will help Los Angeles “in creating a robust CEQA compliance program and comprehensive assistance programs to aid licensees in meeting annual licensure requirements.”

However, industry officials note the money will go to a small fraction of California cities, and only those that have already decided to allow cannabis businesses.

“It’s not incentivizing localities who have cannabis bans to get their ordinances up and running,” said Kiloh, owner of the Higher Path cannabis store in Sherman Oaks.

“The real problem is CEQA analysis is a very arduous process,” he added. “I think it would be good to have more reform of the licensing system instead of just putting money to it.”

June 14, 2021. Tags: , , , . Economics, Environmentalism, War on drugs. Leave a comment.

Socialist-Themed Vegan Food Company Lays Off Workers Without Notice Or Severance (This same left-wing company had previously tried to stop its employees from forming a union)

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/no-evil-foods-layoffs_n_60c653fbe4b0402a2c033cf3

Socialist-Themed Vegan Food Company Lays Off Workers Without Notice Or Severance

Workers at No Evil Foods’ North Carolina plant were furious at the news, according to audio of the layoff announcement.

By Dave Jamieson

June 13, 2021

A self-described socially conscious vegan food manufacturer laid off its entire production staff in North Carolina on Friday, infuriating workers who said the lack of notice and severance pay was out of step with the company’s stated values.

Audio of the layoff announcement at No Evil Foods provided to HuffPost by a source captured stunned workers shouting back at company leaders who delivered the news.

“So we get fired so you can stay alive?” one worker said to the company’s chief executive, Mike Woliansky, as Woliansky explained that the facility will be shut down.

Several workers reacted with disbelief after the company’s human resources chief, Drew Pollick, explained they would be paid for Friday’s work but nothing beyond that because “we’re out of money.”

Workers were heard yelling “screw all of y’all” and ”F*** you!”

“You can’t tell me there’s absolutely no money,” one said.

“They got a better deal ― the ones that f***ed up,” added one worker, in apparent reference to the company’s leadership.

No Evil Foods, which is based in Weaverville, north of Asheville, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Sunday.

Woliansky said in the meeting that No Evil Foods was counting on a new infusion of cash that recently fell through. He said the pandemic presented a number of challenges for the company, and that leaders had decided to move to a co-manufacturing model, rather than have its own dedicated facility.

“The reality of the situation is the company has essentially run out of money, and we’re now really forced to make some really big, really difficult changes,” he said in the audio obtained by HuffPost. “It’s coming down to whether or not there will be a No Evil at all.”

Mike Rapier, one of the workers who spoke up during the meeting, said in an interview with HuffPost that the company’s leaders deserved all the backtalk. No Evil Foods describes itself as a purpose-driven food manufacturer, seeking to address “food insecurity, economic justice, and climate change” through plant-based options. Some of its products make cheeky nods to socialism, like the chicken-free Comrade Cluck.

Rapier said company leaders often spoke about the workforce as a family. That’s why Rapier, a production employee, expected more than a recommendation letter and a leaflet about an upcoming job fair.

“We would have big monthly meetings about core values and family and respect and save-the-world,” said Rapier, who added that he did not make the audio recording. “They preached all of this stuff, but then when it came down to it … they were very, very cutthroat.”

Companies generally are not required to provide severance pay unless a contract requires it. Sometimes employers are required to give 60 days notice or more under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act or similar state laws, but the mass layoff at No Evil Foods appears to be small enough so that the law does not apply.

Rapier estimated that there were between 30 and 50 workers laid off on Friday, though he said others had been let go earlier in the year. The layoffs were first reported by Insider.

This is not the first time workers have accused No Evil Foods of not meeting its socially conscious image. The company pushed back hard against a union drive last year, holding captive-audience meetings and urging workers to vote down the effort with the United Food and Commercial Workers union. When audio of those meetings were posted to the internet, the company made legal efforts to have them removed.

The company fired two workers involved in the organizing effort, claiming they had violated the facility’s social-distancing rules. The two workers, Jon Reynolds and Cortne Roche, accused the company of illegal retaliation, and the National Labor Relations Board’s general counsel pursued a complaint. As Jacobin recently reported, No Evil Foods settled those claims by paying $20,000 to Reynolds and $22,500 to Roche.

Rapier said he really enjoyed working at No Evil Foods. He eats meat and didn’t buy into the plant-based-foods mission of the company, but he considered it a solid job and liked his co-workers. He left Ace Hardware a year ago to work at No Evil Foods.

According to Rapier, the company had recently invested in equipment that did not suit its production well, leading to frequent shutdowns. He said he had a feeling business was not going well. Still, Rapier said, given the mission of No Evil Foods, he assumed the company would try to give workers a softer landing.

“They talked the talk but they didn’t walk the walk with regard to their philosophy. They just dumped us,” he said. “This kind of upheaval is not right, the way they went about this.”

Rapier, 59, said his health insurance through No Evil Foods ended immediately Friday, and he isn’t sure if he’ll be able to find coverage he can afford. As for his next work plans, Rapier said he plans to go to that job fair.

June 14, 2021. Tags: , , , , . Economics, Social justice warriors, Unions. Leave a comment.

House Agriculture Chairman David Scott, a Democrat, says Biden’s proposed tax increase will “make it more difficult for young, beginning, and socially disadvantaged farmers to get into farming”

https://www.rollcall.com/2021/06/02/house-agriculture-chairman-opposes-key-plank-of-biden-tax-plan/

House Agriculture chairman objects to Biden inheritance tax plan

Scott says capital gains change would increase obstacles for young, beginning and disadvantaged farmers

June 2, 2021

House Agriculture Chairman David Scott objected Wednesday to President Joe Biden’s proposal to change the capital gains taxation on inherited property, signaling growing opposition among farm-state Democrats to a change Biden hoped would help to fund sweeping domestic spending proposals.

Scott, D-Ga., in a statement called the proposal to tax capital gains at the time of a person’s death “untenable” and said exemptions that would allow farmers and ranchers to delay tax payments on intergenerational land transfers are inadequate.

“Any increase in inheritance tax for those taking over farm land is untenable and will further strain a farm economy that is just now beginning to recover from the strain of the pandemic,” Scott said.

In a letter to Biden Wednesday, Scott said he supported the president’s goals, but said the tax proposal could impose significant tax increases on farmers, ranchers and small businesses in rural America.

“The potential for capital gains to be imposed on heirs at death of the landowner would impose a significant financial burden on these operations,” Scott wrote.

“Additionally, my understanding of the exemptions is that they would just delay the tax liability for those continuing the farming operation until time of sale, which could result in further consolidation in farmland ownership. This would make it more difficult for young, beginning, and socially disadvantaged farmers to get into farming,” he said.

Biden would pay for part of his $1.8 trillion paid leave, child care and education proposal by nearly doubling the top capital gains rate on millionaires and eliminating stepped-up basis, which resets the value of inherited property to market value at the time of the original owner’s death.

Under Biden’s proposal, heirs who inherit assets of more than $1 million per person would have to pay capital gains taxes on the full appreciation in value from the time the original owner purchased the assets, in some cases many decades earlier.

The proposal, which was detailed further in the president’s fiscal 2022 budget request released May 28, would allow family-owned and -operated businesses, like farms, to defer payment of the tax until they sell the business or no longer operate it. And taxes owed on non-liquid assets could be paid off over time under a 15-year fixed-rate payment plan.

Treasury estimates that Biden’s capital gains tax increases would raise $322.5 billion over 10 years.

Scott’s letter comes nearly a month after 13 farm district Democrats in May wrote Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., and Ways and Means Chairman Richard E. Neal, D-Mass., to warn that changing the stepped-up basis for capital gains could lead to taxes that long-time family farms couldn’t afford.

The lawmakers, led by House Agriculture Committee members Jim Costa, D-Calif., and Cindy Axne, D-Iowa, called for “full exemptions for these family farms and small businesses that are critical to our communities.”

The Democrats also drew a distinction between the “administrative difficulties” of taxing farm assets and taxing other inheritances that are easier to value, such as shares of stock. The stocks have a clear price for valuation and capital gains are simple to administer, they said, adding that farms, machinery and some small businesses may be illiquid and hard to value.

Selling stock to pay a tax bill also has less far-reaching consequences than breaking up land holdings in families that use that land to earn a living, they said. Farm operations could be left less viable by those changes, the lawmakers said.

Biden’s proposal seeks to address some of the concerns about administrative difficulties in valuing inheritances. He proposes a deduction for the full cost of appraising the assets and allowing Treasury to issue safe harbor rules in cases where complete records needed to conduct an appraisal are unavailable.

The American Farm Bureau Federation and agricultural financial advisers raised red flags in March as Democratic members of Congress floated tax changes similar to the ones Biden eventually called for. Republican lawmakers also have argued against the proposed changes.

June 3, 2021. Tags: , , , , . Economics, Joe Biden. Leave a comment.

Loyola University Maryland yanks video promoting black Baltimore entrepreneurs, financial literacy

https://www.thecollegefix.com/loyola-university-maryland-yanks-video-promoting-black-entrepreneurship-financial-literacy-in-the-city/

Loyola University Maryland yanks video promoting black Baltimore entrepreneurs, financial literacy

By Matt Lamb

March 31, 2021

Cancels entire business competition

Loyola University Maryland’s business school removed a video that proposed a project to match black entrepreneurs in Baltimore with black students to provide them with mentoring on business skills and financial literacy.

Several students at the Catholic university in Baltimore submitted the video to the “Building a Better Baltimore” competition as part of the Sellinger School’s annual “Building a Better World Through Business” series that involves various events.

“How might the Baltimore business community effectively advance racial equity?” the proposal competition asked.

The video quotes from slavery abolitionist Frederick Douglass and former President Barack Obama to make the case for the mentorship program that focuses on the “black youth of Baltimore.” Students talk about the program while walking through decrepit streets and housing.

The video (below) has been removed by university officials, but someone reuploaded the video and The Fix uploaded it as well to preserve it in case that version is removed.

The program, to be called “Baltimore’s financial fathers” would have worked with the “Baltimore business community” to match black business owners with black youth to become “agents of change.”

However, the university removed the video after complaints from the student government association and an activist group called “Addressing the System.”

Furthermore, the entire competition has been cancelled by the university. “This even [sic] has been cancelled” the page said.

University officials are thankful for community members for “calling us into deeper conversations about institutionalized racism on campus,” Kathleen Getz, the business school dean wrote in an email, a portion of which the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education obtained.

Getz also said that “Black lives matter, and we must demonstrate that through our actions.”

Getz said the university planned to find “opportunities” for the community to “participate in a practice of restorative justice.”

Students drive university to respond

The response came after complaints from some student leaders and activists.

“This is disrespectful on so many levels and is Racist [sic] !!” the student group wrote on Instagram on March 22 along with a screenshot of one student participant walking through crippled buildings while wearing a suit.

“The video promotes the ideology of white saviorsim [sic], white supremacy and most of all a lack of addressing structural racism!” the page said.

“Countless times Loyola has pushed racial issues to the side. And deemed them self’s [sic] as separate from the Baltimore community !!” the activist group said.

The student government, which co-sponsored the annual business promotion event, criticized the video as well.

“[W]e do not condone the racially insensitive messages displayed in the video,” the group posted on social media, in a post archived by FIRE. It appears to be from an Instagram story, which deletes after 24 hours. The post is not visible on its Instagram page.

“As a once-proud Loyola University alum, I am ashamed that my alma mater has succumbed to this kind of pressure,” Giovanni Gravano, a staffer for the free-speech group, wrote in the blog post covering the story.

“Where strong university values once guided Loyola and its initiatives, it seems those have been replaced by submission to politically motivated demands from social media,” Gravano said.

The free-speech group said it is monitoring the situation.

April 1, 2021. Tags: , , , , , , , . Cancel culture, Dumbing down, Economics, Education, Racism, Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

California’s AB-5 destroyed many freelance jobs. Now Democrats want to expand the policy to the entire country.

A proposed new federal law is modeled after California’s AB-5. You can read about it here:

https://thehill.com/opinion/finance/538505-the-pro-acts-abc-test-fails-american-workers

Joe Biden supports making the policy nationwide:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/patrickgleason/2020/07/07/joe-biden-endorses-california-law-doing-harm-to-freelancers-which-democrats-hope-to-impose-nationwide/

After many news reports of AB-5 destroying jobs in California, Lorena Gonzalez, the California politician who created AB-5, says the jobs that got destroyed were “not good jobs to begin with.”

https://www.kusi.com/assemblywoman-lorena-gonzalez-fletcher-responds-to-californians-hurt-by-ab-5/

Here are some examples of the devastation that the law caused in California:

California’s AB 5 kills off 40-year Lake Tahoe Music Festival

https://californiaglobe.com/section-2/californias-ab-5-kills-off-40-year-lake-tahoe-music-festival/

California Wedding Industry Turned ‘On Top of Its Head’ by Freelancing Law

https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:OolG5bsqcVoJ:https://www.theepochtimes.com/california-wedding-industry-turned-on-top-of-its-head-by-freelancing-law_3222935.html+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

The Young Turks: New Law Could DESTROY Independent Music

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwpx-8Rl7lM

Vox praised AB-5 for allegedly making workers better off. But a few months later, Vox laid off hundreds of its own writers in response to the very same law.

https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:q2hpHWVNK1IJ:https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/12/19/how-law-aimed-uber-lyft-is-hurting-freelance-writers/+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

AB-5 limits freelance journalists to 35 pieces per year for any given publication

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/california-freelance-journalists-sue-over-204250896.html

The Devastating Impact of AB5 on People with Disabilities and Their Families

https://medium.com/@staceybiro/the-devastating-impact-of-ab5-on-people-with-disabilities-and-their-families-fae1b47a76ec

February 21, 2021. Tags: , , , , , . Economics, Joe Biden, Unions. Leave a comment.

Cuba opens up its economy to private businesses

https://www.bbc.com/news/amp/world-latin-america-55967709

Cuba opens up its economy to private businesses
 
February 7, 2021

Cuba has announced it will allow private businesses to operate in most sectors, in what is a major reform to its state-controlled economy.

Labour Minister Marta Elena Feito said the list of authorised activities had expanded from 127 to more than 2,000.

Only a minority of sectors would be reserved for the state, she said.

The communist country’s economy has been hit hard by the pandemic and US sanctions introduced by the Trump administration.

Last year its economy shrank by 11% – its worst decline in almost three decades – and Cubans have been facing shortages of basic goods.

Ms Feito said just 124 economic activities would be exempt from private involvement although she did not mention which ones.

“That private work continues to develop, is the objective of this reform,” Ms Feito was quoted by AFP as saying. She said the move would “help free the productive forces” of the private sector.

Experts on Cuba’s tangled and complicated economy say the step essentially opens up almost all economic activity on the island to some form of private enterprise, the BBC’s Will Grant in Havana says.

This will be a significant shot in the arm for those families and individuals who harbour hopes of moving beyond just the very small businesses into medium-sized ventures, he notes.

Apart from hundreds of thousands of small farms, Cuba’s non-state sector is composed mainly of small private businesses run by artisans, taxi drivers and tradesmen. Around 600,000 people, around 13% of the workforce, joined the private sector when the opportunity arose.

However a large number of private businesses are involved in the island’s tourist industry, which has been hard hit by the pandemic and sanctions.

Given how slowly reforms tend to move in Cuba, it may still be some time before the change is noticeable in daily economic life, our correspondent says.

Some 60 years of hostility between the US and Cuba were eased in 2015 when then US President Obama and Cuban leader Raul Castro agreed to normalise relations , allowing US citizens to visit the island and empowering local businesses.

But Obama’s efforts were rolled back by his successor, President Donald Trump , with the support of hawkish Cuban-Americans who saw Mr Obama’s historic opening as an appeasement of Castro’s communist regime.

New US President Joe Biden – who was Barack Obama’s vice-president – has previously signalled that he wants to improve US-Cuban relations but observers say it is not clear how high it might be on his priority list.

February 9, 2021. Tags: , , , . Communism, Economics. Leave a comment.

Biden Commerce Secretary Nominee Ran The State Ranked Worst For Commerce

https://dailycaller.com/2021/01/27/bidens-sec-commerce-ran-state-ranked-worst-commerce/

Biden Commerce Secretary Nominee Ran The State Ranked Worst For Commerce

By Nicole Silverio

January 27, 2021

Rhode Island was ranked one of the worst states in the country for business under President Joe Biden’s nominee for secretary of commerce, Fox News reported.

Under Rhode Island Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo, WalletHub ranked the state last on its 2019 “Best & Worst States To Start A Business” list and CNBC ranked it the 48th worst state for commerce on its 13th annual “America’s Top States For Business” guide in 2015, according to Fox News.

The state faced an $800 million federal deficit at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, The Providence Journal reported in May 2020.

Rhode Island’s unemployment rate sits at 8.1% as of December 2020, according to the Rhode Island Department Of Labor And Training, just above the national unemployment rate of 6.7 percent, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics January report.

A Rhode Island commerce agency spokesperson told Fox News that Raimando’s first year in office saw large investments in commercial real estate and that the state was one of the few to continue construction and manufacturing through the pandemic.

“We have stopped the decline, and together we have ignited a comeback of this great state and our economy,” Gov. Raimondo said in her State of the State address on Jan. 15, according to Fox News.

Gov. Raimondo’s RhodeWorks policy, intended to create jobs by funding infrastructure, charged tractor-trailer drivers tolls up to $20 on a single trip and $40 in a single day for traveling through the state, according to CNBC.

“We need funds for improved infrastructure, better roads, safer roads, safer bridges, which also creates jobs,” she said during her confirmation hearing, according to Fox News.

American Trucking Association filed a lawsuit against the initiative, calling it unconstitutional, according to CNBC. The suit was dismissed by a federal judge and the ATA has appealed.

Some of Rhode Island’s economic issues are due to its size, lack of a railroad network and few higher education institutions, according to CNBC.

Raimondo’s Senate confirmation hearing took place on Tuesday.

January 28, 2021. Tags: , , , . Economics, Joe Biden. Leave a comment.

According to the logic of liberals, the local minimum wage in San Francisco should be increased to $74.40 per hour

“Affordable” housing is defined by the government as that which does not cost more than 30% of a person’s income.

Source: https://www.census.gov/housing/census/publications/who-can-afford.pdf

In 2019, the average rent for a one bedroom apartment in San Francisco was $3,720 per month.

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/07/01/san-francisco-one-bedroom-rent-price-drops-11point8percent-in-june-zumper.html

If a person works 2,000 hours per year, then according to the math, they would need to earn a minimum of $74.40 per hour in order for the average one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco to considered “affordable.”

Therefore, according to the logic of liberals, the local minimum wage in San Francisco should be increased to $74.40 per hour.

January 21, 2021. Tags: , . Economics. 2 comments.

Amtrack, the government run passenger rail system, purchases soda for $3.40 per serving, and then resells it to customers for $2.00. Meanwhile, McDonald’s purchases soda for 9 cents per serving, and then resells it to customers for $1.29.

Amtrack, the government run passenger rail system, purchases soda for $3.40 per serving, and then resells it to customers for $2.00. So they are selling it at a loss. The taxpayers make up the difference.

Source: https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/amtrak-lost-800m-on-cheeseburgers-and-soda

Meanwhile, McDonald’s purchases soda for 9 cents per serving, and then resells it to customers for $1.29. So they make a profit.

Source: https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:sYIxP3SJKxsJ:https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/04/13/a-trend-the-restaurant-industry-could-do-without/+&cd=13&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

In my opinion, cutting taxes is better than having the government waste the taxpayers’ money.

December 26, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , . Economics, Government waste. Leave a comment.

Kamala Harris supports the Green New Deal. Let’s see what that entails.

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

October 9, 2020

Kamala Harris supports the Green New Deal.

Source: https://www.harris.senate.gov/news/press-releases/harris-statement-on-the-green-new-deal

According to NPR, the Green New Deal offers “economic security” to people who are “unwilling” to work.

Source: https://apps.npr.org/documents/document.html?id=5729035-Green-New-Deal-FAQ

This proves that the people who created the Green New Deal have zero understanding of human nature.

According to the same NPR link, the Green New Deal wants to get rid of fossil fuels and nuclear power.

I wonder what they will do when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing.

Also, acccording to the same source, the Green New Deal also offers “safe, affordable, adequate housing” to everyone.

Meanwhile, I’d like to point out what government provided housing is actually like in the real world.

In the four minute video posted below, the housing conditions at a three bedroom apartment at a public housing project in the Bronx in New York City are absolutely horrible.

There are rats, roaches, and black mold.

There are leaks in every room.

And every time the tenant calls maintenance to ask for repairs, the government employees always make up some bogus excuse for why they can’t fix anything.

And why should the government employees fix anything, when they know they can’t get fired?

And as all of this is going on, the federal government is giving them $30 million per week to make these repairs.

Since they’re not actually making these repairs, what are they really spending that money on?

The video also says that at other apartments in the same building, sometimes there is no heat, sometimes there is no hot water, and sometimes there is even no running water at all.

Here’s the video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pz9PJOrDaXk

October 9, 2020. Tags: , , , , . Economics, Environmentalism. Leave a comment.

Since we started burning fossil fuels on a widespread, global scale, the number of people killed by natural disasters has gotten smaller, not bigger

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

September 28, 2020

Since we started burning fossil fuels on a widespread, global scale, the number of people killed by natural disasters has gotten smaller, not bigger.

Does this mean that we have fewer natural disasters now than in the past?

No.

Instead, what it means is that the huge amount of wealth that we have created by burning fossil fuels has made us better able to withstand natural disasters.

This chart shows the number of people killed (per 100,000 population) by natural disasters by decade.

You can see a bigger version of the chart by clicking this link: https://www.businessinsider.com/natural-disasters-used-to-be-so-much-worse-2015-2

 

September 28, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , . Economics, Environmentalism. 1 comment.

San Francisco elected official Hillary Ronen blames the city’s homeless problem on “Republican ideology.” She is wrong. Here are six reasons why “progressive ideology” is the real cause of the city’s homeless problem.

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

September 1, 2020

Hillary Ronen is an elected government official who gets paid $140,148 per year to work as a member of the legislative body for San Francisco.

In this video, Ronen blames San Francisco’s homeless problem on “Republican ideology.” (Skip to 8:52 in the video).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uw8MACDZ3RI

Ronen is wrong.

“Republican ideology” is not the cause of San Francisco’s homeless problem.

Here six are reasons why “progressive ideology” is the real cause of San Francisco’s homeless problem.

First of all, here is a link to an article that was published by the Atlantic in 2007.

When a developer builds housing, there are three separate and distinct costs: the cost of land, the cost of construction, and the cost of getting a building permit (which the article refers to as the “right to build”).

The article includes this chart:

So in San Francisco, getting a building permit (which the article refers to as the “right to build”) adds approximately $700,000 to the cost of a new home.

And please remember, this cost for the “right to build” is completely separate from the cost of the land, and the cost of construction.

The cost for the “right to build” is determined entirely, 100% by zoning laws, density restrictions, and other local government policies.

Since Hillary Ronen is an elected government official who works as a member of the legislative body of San Francisco, she is one of the people who is responsible for the city’s zoning laws, density restrictions, and other local government policies.

Secondly, here’s another example of how hard it is to get a building permit in California:

http://www.aei.org/publication/texas-great-american-job-machine-solely-responsible-1m-net-us-job-increase-since-2007/

January 23, 2015

… there were more permits for single-family homes issued last year through November in just one Texas city – Houston (34,566) – than in the entire state of California (34,035) over the same period.

Let’s put this into perspective.

Houston is 628 square miles.

California is 163,696 square miles.

So even though California is 260 times as big as Houston, Houston actually issued more new building permits for single family homes in 2014 than did the entire state of California.

Just think about that for a minute.

Those numbers show just how incredibly, ridiculously hard California makes it to build new housing.

Anyone who has ever bought or sold anything at eBay understands that, all else being equal, the bigger the supply of something, the lower price, and the lower the supply, the higher the price.

By making it so difficult to get a building permit in California, the government is causing housing to be far, far more expensive than it would otherwise be.

Third, here is a great article by Thomas Sowell about how the politicians in California have waged war against the construction of new housing.

Fourth, this video also explains San Francisco’s war against the construction of new housing. And please note that it is progressives, social justice warriors, and other left wing activists who are the ones that are most opposed to building this new housing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExgxwKnH8y4

Fifth, in the video with Ronen that I included at the beginning of this blog post, she brags about creating a new government program that gives free illegal drugs to homeless people. (Skip to 7:56 in the video.)

Being high on illegal drugs makes the problem of homelessness bigger, not smaller.

And sixth, the Washington Post published this article, which is called:

“Rand Paul is right: The most economically unequal states are Democratic”

The article includes this chart, which ranks the states by their levels of inequality based on their Gini coefficients.

You can see a bigger version of the chart at this link:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-apps/imrs.php?src=https://arc-anglerfish-washpost-prod-washpost.s3.amazonaws.com/public/NJ6UOCWVE426LBX7NOQN6ECZVU.jpg

The information in the chart verifies the title of the Washington Post article. Blue states have more inequality than red states.

So that’s six different reasons why Hillary Ronen is wrong to blame San Francisco’s homeless problem on “Republican ideology.”

In each and every one of those six cases, it is actually “progressive ideology” that is causing San Francisco’s homeless problem.

San Francisco is waging a very strong, major war against the constriction of new housing.

For Hillary Ronen to blame this on “Republican ideology” is a huge lie.

On the contrary, since Ronen is one of the left wing, progressive, elected government officials responsible for San Francisco’s housing policies, it is Ronen’s own fault that San Francisco has such a big homeless problem.

September 1, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Economics, Housing, Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

Liberal YouTuber Rebecca Watson says, “… you definitely can vote for politicians who will keep their constituents healthy by easing income inequality…” Meanwhile, the Washington Post says, “The most economically unequal states are Democratic.”

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

August 15, 2020

Rebecca Watson is a liberal YouTuber who lives in San Francisco.

At 7:45 in this video, she says:

“… you definitely can vote for politicians who will keep their constituents healthy by easing income inequality…”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3wiCiKNFqk

Meanwhile, the Washington Post published this article, which is called:

“Rand Paul is right: The most economically unequal states are Democratic”

The article includs this chart, which ranks the states by their levels of inequality based on their Gini coefficients.

You can see a bigger version of the chart at this link:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-apps/imrs.php?src=https://arc-anglerfish-washpost-prod-washpost.s3.amazonaws.com/public/NJ6UOCWVE426LBX7NOQN6ECZVU.jpg

The information in the chart verifies the title of the Washington Post article. Blue states have more inequality than red states.

And since Watson lives in San Francisco, I’d like to point out this article from Vanity Fair, which is called:

“San Francisco’s Income Inequality Rivals that of Developing Nations”

This video is called:

“Inside Nancy Pelosi’s District: This Is Not What America Should Look Like”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wh6saOx-Q6s

I’ve watched a lot of Watson’s videos, and I know that she hates and loathes Republican politicians.

It seems to me that Watson is voting for politicians who make income inequality bigger, not smaller.

August 15, 2020. Tags: , , , , , . Economics. Leave a comment.

The Maduro diet: How most Venezuelans lost an average of 43 pounds in two years

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

July 15, 2020

In May 2017, the Washington Post reported:

In a recent survey of 6,500 Venezuelan families by the country’s leading universities, three-quarters of adults said they lost weight in 2016 — an average of 19 pounds… a level of hunger almost unheard-of outside war zones or areas ravaged by hurricane, drought or plague.

In February 2018, Reuters reported:

Venezuelans reported losing on average 11 kilograms (24 lbs) in body weight last year… according to a new university study…

That’s 43 pounds in two years.

Before I explain how this came to happen, I want to start out by explaining what did not cause this to happen.
(more…)

July 15, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Communism, Economics, Food, Military, Police state, Politics, Social justice warriors, Venezuela, War against achievement. Leave a comment.

Black America Needs Fathers

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cuT-g9amfPw

June 3, 2020. Tags: , , , , , . Black lives matter, Economics, Racism. Leave a comment.

United Nations on COVID-19 shutdown: “…mitigation measures that may inadvertently do more harm than good… An estimated 42-66 million children could fall into extreme poverty as a result of the crisis this year… could result in hundreds of thousands of additional child deaths in 2020”

On April 15, 2020, the United Nations published this 17 page report, which is titled: Policy Brief: The Impact of COVID-19 on children.

The report cites the predicted harm that will happen to children in low income countries as a result of the COVID-19 global wide shutdown. Examples of this harm to children include increases in malnutrition, loss of education, increased rates of teen pregnancy, reduced access to health care, reduced rates of vaccination, increased rates of infectious disease, increased rates of water borne illness, and increased rates of death.

The report goes on to explain that some of these negative consequences could have very severe, permanent effects on children.

Page 2 refers to: (all of the bolding in this blog post is mine)

...mitigation measures that may inadvertently do more harm than good

and goes on to say:

…An estimated 42-66 million children could fall into extreme poverty as a result of the crisis this year…

The transition from page 2 to page 3 states:

Economic hardship experienced by families as a result of the global economic downturn could result in hundreds of thousands of additional child deaths in 2020, reversing the last 2 to 3 years of progress in reducing infant mortality within a single year. And this alarming figure does not even take into account services disrupted due to the cri-sis – it only reflects the current relationship between economies and mortality, so is likely an under-estimate of the impact. Rising malnutririon is expected as 368.5 million children across 143 countries who normally rely on school meals for a reliable source of daily nutrition must now look to other sources. The risks to child mental health and well being are also considerable. Refugee and internally displaced children as well as those living in detention and situations of active conflict are especially vulnerable. 

Page 4 states:

As health services become overwhelmed in car-ing for large numbers of infected patients requir-ing treatment, children and pregnant women are less able to access standard care. Children of frontline workers have also had to adapt to alternative childcare arrangements. Children living in areas of armed conflict, who already struggle extensively to access health services may be further excluded from attention and access to the severely stretched health systems. Physical distancing and lockdown measures, restrictions of movement and border closures, and surveillance strategies are all affecting chil-dren in myriad ways. Face-to-face child services – schooling, nutrition programmes, maternal and newborn care, immunization services, sexual and reproductive health services, HIV treatment, alternative care facilities, community-based child protection programmes, and case management for children requiring supplementary personal-ized care, including those living with disabilities, and abuse victims – have often been partially or completely suspended. 

Page 4 ends with this:

While children are not the face of this pandemic, its broader impacts on children risk being catastrophic and amongst the most lasting consequences for societies as a whole.

Page 6 states:

The physical distancing and lockdown measures needed to save lives and supress the transmis-sion of the virus have resulted in a significant reduction of economic activity across all major economies and the resultant global recession…

At a household level, the collapse in income threatens the livelihoods of millions of house-holds with children around the world. Inputting the forecasts from the IMF optimistic scenario into an IFPRI poverty model4 indicates an increase in extreme poverty (PPP$1.90 a day) this year of 84 to 132 million people, approx-imately half of whom are children, compared to a pre-pandemic counterfactual scenario.

Page 7 states:

The worldwide closure of schools has no his-torical precedent…

… The potential losses that may accrue in learn-ing for today’s young generation, and for the development of their human capital, are hard to fathom…

Page 8 states:

Those losses will be greatest for children who, triggered by the pandemic, drop out of school altogether. That possibility becomes greater the longer schools are closed and the deeper the economic contraction wrought by the pan-demic. Experience with HIV in Kenya shows that those children who lose a parent face reduced odds of returning to school. In situations of continuing conflict, children no longer in school may be incentivized to join armed forces or groups, thus perpetuating the cycle of violence.

Page 9 states:

Reduced household income will force poor families to cut back on essential health and food expenditures. Drawing again on the forecast for global eco-nomic growth from the IMF and the historical relationship between GDP growth and infant mortality in the developing world15 , hundreds of thousands of additional child deaths could occur in 2020 compared to a pre-pandemic counterfactual scenario. This would effectively reverse the last 2 to 3 years of progress in reducing infant mortality within a single year.

These estimates focus only on the effects of this year’s global recession on child health and do not account for the multiple ways in which health services are being directly disrupted by the pandemic. This includes reduced access to essential reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health interventions, such as ante-natal care, skilled attendance at birth, and treatment for pneumonia. It also includes the suspension of all polio vaccination campaigns worldwide, setting back the decades-long effort to eliminate the wild virus from its last two ves-tiges, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and to tackle recent outbreaks of the vaccine-derived virus in Africa, East Asia and the Pacific. In addition, measles immunization campaigns have been suspended in at least 23 countries that had cumulatively targeted more than 78 million children up to the age of 9. Meanwhile, chil-dren and adolescents with chronic illnesses, including those living with HIV, are at risk of reduced access to medicines and care.

Child nutrition is a vital concern. 368.5 million children across 143 countries who normally rely on school meals for a reliable source of daily nutrition must now look to other sources. That challenge is made greater by the economic shock facing households, which will negatively affect the diets of children, pregnant women, and breastfeeding mothers. Additionally, hastily implemented lockdown measures risk disrupting food supply chains and local food markets…

Should schools remain closed and cause girls to drop out, we should also anticipate an increase in teenage pregnancy in the year ahead. A recent meta-analysis of the prevalence and determinants of adolescent pregnancy in Africa found that adolescent girls out of school are more than two times more likely to start childbearing than those who are in school.

Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) ser-vices are also at risk of disruption by lockdown measures, posing further threats to children’s health through water-borne diseases. Over 700 children under five die every day from diarrheal diseases related to inadequate WASH services, and this number could rise sharply if existing services collapse….

Page 12 states:

The ultimate impact of the crisis on chil-dren hinges on how much time it will take for the pandemic to end. A longer struggle to contain the virus not only prolongs the pain caused by the pandemic, but raises the pros-pect that the pandemic’s impact will have lingering or persistent effects on children.

For instance, the longer economies are on shutdown, the less likely they are to “snap back”. At the household level, struggling families will increasingly see breadwinners lose their jobs or be forced to sell productive assets in order to survive, with long-running consequences for child poverty. The same holds true for other impacts of the pandemic. The longer schools remain closed, the less likely children are to catch up on learning and essential life skills that support a healthy tran-sition to adulthood. The longer immunization campaigns are suspended, the greater and more costly will be the struggle to eliminate polio and to manage measles outbreaks.

For children caught at the apex of this crisis, there is a genuine prospect that its effects will permanently alter their lives. Children facing acute deprivation in nutrition, protection or stimulation, or periods of prolonged exposure to toxic stress, during the critical window of early childhood development are likely to develop lifelong challenges as their neurological devel-opment is impaired. Children who drop out of school will face not only a higher risk of child marriage, child labour, and teenage pregnancies, but will see their lifetime earnings potential pre-cipitously fall. Children who experience family breakdowns during this period of heightened stress risk losing the sense of support and secu-rity on which children’s wellbeing depends.

Page 13 cites multiple, real world examples of the harm that happened to children as the result of the shutdowns during the Ebola epidemic. This includes substantial increases in the problems of childhood nutrition, lack of health care, lack of vaccinations, and lack of education.

Regarding the effects on vaccination during the Ebola epidemic, the report states:

The proportion of Liberian children under 1 who were fully immunized fell from 73 percent before the epidemic, to 36 percent during the epidemic, and recovered only partially to 53 percent by the end of 2015. Measles cases in Liberian children under 5 rose, likely due to the lapse in vaccination programs. The mean number of monthly cases of measles rose from 12 before the epidemic to 60 immediately afterwards.

I never would have guessed that the measures to deal with a new infectious disease would include reducing the vaccination rates for other, older infectious diseases.

In developing countries all over the world, the shutdown due to COVID-19 is causing huge harm, in multiple different ways, to a very large number of children. Some of these things will have permanent effects on these children for the rest of their lives.

April 20, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , . COVID-19, Economics, Education, Health care. Leave a comment.

How Shutting Down The Economy Much Longer Could Kill Tens Of Thousands Of Americans

https://thefederalist.com/2020/03/30/how-shutting-down-the-economy-much-longer-could-kill-tens-of-thousands-of-americans/

How Shutting Down The Economy Much Longer Could Kill Tens Of Thousands Of Americans

It is vitally important, literally life and death, that the proper costs and benefits are weighed with the decision on how much and how long to shut down economic activity through the pandemic.

By Thomas K. Duncan and Audrey Redford

March 30, 2020

As the coronavirus pandemic continues across the world, leaders and policymakers have scrambled to respond to the growing health crisis. In the United States, multiple state governors have issued statements urging their citizens to follow social distancing guidelines.

Other governors have taken more extreme measures, issuing orders to effectively lock down entire state economies. The current goal of these responses has been to slow the spread of the virus in the hope of reducing the strain on the health-care system. Discussion over the proper precautions is a necessity in such a time.

There have been forecasted estimates of virus-related death totals for the United States from as high as 10 million, to 2.2 million, to more conservative estimates of 5,000. The models used to estimate the potential death rates are not without criticism and repeated adjustment. Sampling bias may be a significant problem. These data errors are an important problem to resolve as policymakers use these models to inform their responses.

Lives Depend on Economic Activity

The difference between social distancing and complete economic shutdowns is too dramatic not to be taken seriously. It is imperative that more testing be conducted to provide better access to data, as well as the health benefits that come with knowing who does and does not have the virus. However, as important as it is to get the cost of not shutting down right, it is also important that policymakers properly weigh the cost of the economic shutdowns themselves.

Getting the cost right is not simply a matter of valuing “profits over people,” as the social media memes may suggest. Rather, even in times of crisis, the ability to operate in a functioning economy is important for the people within it.

The economy is the people, and the people are the economy. The ability to continue to function in a market system does matter to individuals within the system, particularly when the ability of business to remain open and continue to employ them is in question.

We have already started to see some of these human effects as the unemployment has quickly rocketed beyond even the early initial projections. A rise in unemployment is correlated with a number of negative socio-economic effects. For some, these effects can be quite deadly, particularly when the changes are rapid, as is currently the case.

The Longer the Shutdown, the More People Will Be Hurt

The economic predictions for the shutdowns may be as varied as those for the virus itself. The Federal Reserve’s James Bullard has noted that unemployment may rise to as much as 30%. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has estimated a possible unemployment rate of 20%.

Bullard’s number is higher than the unemployment seen in the United States during the Great Depression (25%), and both estimates are significantly higher than the unemployment during the Great Recession (11%). Even if we take the more conservative estimate of 20% unemployment, that is a 16.5% rise in unemployment from its recent historic lows of 3.5% unemployment.

Although it is difficult to estimate how long this downturn may linger, that is a severe shock to the economic system. It is possible that people return to work and economic activity returns in strength in short order after the shutdowns are lifted.

Even then, the costs of shutting down will have been quite large. However, it is also possible that some businesses who had to pause activity for a month or more may not be able to return at all. The recession could be longer than some economists are projecting. If the economy does linger in its downturn, the human costs to the shutdown will inevitably begin to increase.

Possibly 28,797 More Deaths from Opioids

A 2017 National Bureau of Economic Research paper finds a 3.6% increase in the opioid death rate per 100,000 people for a 1% rise in unemployment. There were 14.6 opioid death rates per 100,000 in the United States in 2018. If we use the more conservative estimate of a 20% unemployment rate without a quick return to lower levels, then there would be an estimated 59.4% rise in deaths per 100,000, leading to an increase of 8.7 deaths for a total of 23.3 for opioids.

With a current U.S. population of 331 million, there are 3,310 groups of 100,000, meaning there is potential for an additional 28,797 deaths from opioids annually. Consider that for 2018, the Centers for Disease Control reports that there were 67,367 deaths from all-drug deaths, with 46,802 of those coming from opioid use. The 46,802 deaths were considered an opioid crisis. A possible 75,599 should not be dismissed quickly.

The negative effects will not be felt just through opioid use either. The numerical increase in deaths provided above is only for opioid users, but the all-drug death number will rise as well. In a 2018 study, Bruguera, et al, found that of the 180 drug users they surveyed about use during the Great Recession, 58.3% reported an increase in use while only 25.6% reported decreasing use, resulting in greater all-drug use for the period.

Similarly, Mulia, et al, (2014) connects a rise in alcoholism to economic loss during the Great Recession. The CDC estimates that 2,200 people die in the United States just from alcohol poisoning annually, not to mention the additional alcohol-related deaths that occur. In 2017 alone, there were also 22,246 deaths resulting from alcoholic liver disease. As the jobless rate increases and the economic losses continue to mount, these numbers are likely to rise.

Unemployment Increases Suicide, Homicide

The deaths related to economic downturns go beyond those from chemical dependency, also. The mental toll is not inconsequential. For example, Blakely, et al, (2003) find that being unemployed may also increase the risk of suicide two to threefold. Milner, et al. (2014) similarly finds that unemployment is associated with a higher relative risk of suicide, with prior mental health issues being a key factor in that association. While a study by Kerr, et al, (2018) did not find that unemployment is directly linked to suicides, it did find a significant link between poverty, suicide, and alcoholism.

When breaking the population into age groups, Lin and Chen (2018) do find that unemployment does have a direct impact on older portions of the population, the portion of the population many of the current shutdowns are most meant to protect. Whether it is the direct unemployment effect or the potential poverty produced from the economic shutdown that leads to greater suicides, an increase from the 48,344 suicides and 1,400,000 suicide attempts in the United States in 2018 should give decision-makers pause during their response to this pandemic.

Increased harm to oneself is not the only harm caused by economic downturns. There is also the threat of rising crime in general. Ajimotokin, et al, (2015) estimate that a 1 percent change in unemployment will increase the property crime rate by 71.1 per 100,000 people and the violent crime rate by 31.9 per 100,000 people.

With our estimated 16.5% rise in unemployment, we could see a significant increase in both property and violent crimes. The violent crime also may add to the death toll in this period. Kposowa and Johnson (2016) find that unemployed workers are more than 50% more likely to become homicide victims than those who are employed. They also find people not in the labor force are 1.3 times more likely to be victims than those who are employed. As workers become discouraged due to an inability to find jobs during a recession, their lives as well as their livelihoods are called into question.

The future during such a pandemic is largely uncertain, and misinformation is rampant in the current panic. Policymakers face tough decisions as they navigate the issues of data collection, virus transmission, and economic ramifications of doing too little or too much. It is vitally important, literally life and death, that the proper costs and benefits are weighed with the decision on how much and how long to shut down economic activity through the pandemic.

This article originally appeared from the American Institutes for Economic Research and is reprinted with permission, with slight alterations to implement AP style plus an editor-chosen title and subheds, as is the industry norm.

Thomas K. Duncan, Ph.D., is an associate professor of economics at Radford University. He received his Ph.D. from George Mason University. Audrey Redford is the assistant professor of economics at Western Carolina University. She earned her Ph.D. in agricultural and applied economics from Texas Tech University.

March 31, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , . COVID-19, Economics, Health care. Leave a comment.

March 15, 2020: Bernie Sanders mentions the current “Ebola crisis” two different times. He also implies that multi-millionaires are immune from it.

Yesterday, Bernie Sanders mentioned the “Ebola crisis” twice.

Here are his exact words:

“The Ebola crisis, in my view, exposes the dysfunctionality of our health care system, and how poorly prepared we are despite how much money that we spend. And the Ebola crisis is also, I think, exposing the cruelty and the unjustness of our economy today.”

“We have more income and wealth inequality in America today than at any time in 100 years. And what that means that in the midst of this crisis, you know, if you’re a multimillionaire, no one’s happy about this crisis…”

Here’s video of Sanders saying those words. It’s the second video here, not the first one.

https://twitter.com/Julio_Rosas11/status/1239347669409173505

Here is a transcript of what Sanders says next:

“… if you’re a multimillionaire, no one is happy about this crisis, you’re going to get through it…”

Meanwhile, in the real world, there is nothing in the medical literature that says that multi-millionaires will “get through” either Ebola or the Coronavirus.

And assuming that Sanders meant to say Coronavirus and not Ebola, it is age, not wealth, that is, by far, the bigger factor that determines whether you will live or die.

Here is a chart that shows the death rate by age in China. Source of image https://ourworldindata.org/coronavirus

Click here to see a bigger version of the image.

 

March 16, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , . Bernie Sanders, Economics, Health care. 1 comment.

Attention Natalie Stoclet! Your use of water in the United States does not “affect the water crisis” in Cape Town, South Africa. The real reason that Cape Town has a “water crisis” is because it chose to reject Israel’s offer of help to build desalination plants.

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

March 3, 2020

A writer named Natalie Stoclet recently wrote this article, which is called “I lived a week without using any water – and it showed me just how much we’re affecting the water crisis.”

Stoclet describes the “water crisis” with these words:

663 million people in the developing world don’t have immediate access to water, yet the average American household uses more than 300 gallons of water per day.

Stoclet then explains her attempt to address this problem:

There are many simple ways to conserve, from turning off the tap while brushing your teeth to taking shorter showers.

I went a week without water to try and see how much we really use and found the hardest part was the mental challenge.

That is not logical. The water that Stoclet avoided using during that week did not somehow get magically transported to the countries where those 663 million people live. Her week of conservation did absolutely nothing whatsoever to help any of those people.

Stoclet also wrote:

663 million people in the developing world don’t have immediate access to water. Millions of those may have to walk up to six hours to find it. This is a task often reserved for young children and this often means that they don’t even have time to pursue an education.

You think about cities like Cape Town, which just barely avoided the crisis of running out of water.

The reason that Cape Town has a shortage of water has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with Stoclet’s use of water.

The real reason that Cape Town has a shortage of water is because it chose to reject Israel’s offer of help to build desalination plants.

Israel itself is a very densely populated country, in the desert, with perpetual drought.

If any country should have a shortage of water, it’s Israel.

But according to this article from haaretz.com, this is what desalination has done for Israel:

Over and Drought: Why the End of Israel’s Water Shortage Is a Secret

Remember all the years of being told to conserve ‘every drop?’ Well, times have changed: Today, Israel has so much affordable water, it can offer to export it. So why is this achievement being kept so secret?

There is now a surplus of water in Israel, thanks largely to the opening of several new desalination plants

Those desalination plants did not appear by magic. Instead, Israel chose to build them.

Cape Town, by comparison, chose to reject Israel’s offer of help to build desalination plants.

And Stoclet’s act of going a week without water will do absolutely nothing whatsoever to help the people of Cape Town.

According to the same article from haaretz.com, the cost of desalination in Israel is only 40 cents per cubic meter. That works out to less than 1/5 penny per gallon.

Stoclet wrote the following:

You think about cities like Cape Town, which just barely avoided the crisis of running out of water… Yet at the same time, the average American household uses more than 300 gallons of water per day.

Israel desalinizes that same amount of water – 300 gallons – for less than 60 cents.

And yet, Stoclet’s article has no mention whatsoever of desalination as a way to solve the “water crisis” that 663 million people are experiencing.

Instead, Stoclet mistakenly thinks that her own water consumption somehow “affects the water crisis.”

The 663 million people suffering from the “water crisis” don’t need Stoclet or anyone else to reduce their own use of water. Instead, what those 663 million people need is desalination.

Stoclet also wrote:

It has been made easy for us to treat water as a limitless resource

While it’s true that the earth has a finite amount of water, it’s also true that that water is infinitely recyclable. The water that we drink today is the same water that the dinosaurs drank 100 million years ago. And as long as we build enough enough desalination plants, and the people who use that water are willing to pay 1/5 penny for each and every gallon that they use, then we can indeed treat water as if it is a “limitless resource.”

Note from Daniel Alman: If you like this blog post that I wrote, you can buy my books from amazon, and/or donate to me via PayPal, using the links below:

amazon logo

March 3, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , . Economics, Environmentalism. Leave a comment.

Palestinian workers prefer to work for Israeli employers

https://www.jns.org/report-palestinian-workers-prefer-to-work-for-israeli-employers/

Report: Palestinian workers prefer to work for Israeli employers

Higher salaries, legal protections and lack of discrimination are among the reasons most Palestinians would prefer to work for Israeli firms.

February 16, 2020

The United Nations “blacklist” of businesses operating in Israeli settlements was lauded by the Palestinian leadership following its publication last week, but a recent report indicates that Palestinians actually prefer to work for Israelis rather than Palestinians.

Titled “Why Palestinians prefer to work for Israeli employers,” the report, by Israel-based media watchdog group Palestinian Media Watch, affirms that whenever Palestinian workers have the opportunity to work for Israeli employers, they are quick to leave their jobs with Palestinian employers. The report cites an article in the official Palestinian Authority daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida that praises the Israeli-employment sector.

According to senior PMW analyst Nan Jacques Zilberdik, who co-authored the report with PMW director Itamar Marcus, there are a number of reasons Palestinians prefer Israeli employers.

“First, the salary from Israeli employers is more than double that of the Palestinian sector, but that is not all. Palestinians working for Israelis are protected by the same laws as Israeli workers, including health benefits, sick leave, vacation time and other workers’ rights, whereas these protections are not granted by Palestinian employers. Also there is no gender or religious discrimination in the Israeli sector.”

Speaking on the official P.A. TV show “Workers Affairs,” Israeli-Arab labor lawyer Khaled Dukhi of the Israeli NGO Workers’ Hotline said Israeli labor law is “very good” because it does not differentiate between men and women, Israelis and Palestinians, Muslims and Jews. However, he explained, “Palestinian workers who work for Israelis still suffer because Palestinian middlemen ‘steal’ 50 percent, 60 percent and even 70 percent of their salaries, especially those of women.”

The higher Israeli salaries have been consistent for years, according to surveys published by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics.

The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, Labor Force Survey for the second quarter of 2018 showed that the average daily wage for wage employees in the West Bank was NIS 107.9 ($31.5) compared with NIS 62.6 (18.3) in Gaza Strip. The average daily wage for the wage employees in Israel and the Israeli settlements reached NIS 247.9 ($72.3) in the second quarter of 2018, compared with NIS 242.5 ($70.8) in the first quarter of 2018.

 

February 22, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Economics, Politics, Racism, Religion. Leave a comment.

“Number one: Stop having children with people who don’t support them”

Dave Ramsey is a financial advisor with a radio call in program.

In this case, the caller is an unmarried woman who has three children, all of whom were fathered by the same man, who is an abusive, illegal alien and an identity thief, and who does not pay any child support.

Ramsey starts out his response with the following:

“Number one: Stop having children with people who don’t support them”

Here’s my take on this woman’s behavior:

George Carlin was right when he said the following:

“Think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of ’em are stupider than that.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5lbTU5m59Ns

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rh6qqsmxNs

February 12, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Economics, Immigration, Parenting. 2 comments.

Yes, AOC, we can ‘capitalism our way out of poverty’

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/actually-alexandria-ocasio-cortez-we-can-capitalism-our-way-out-of-poverty

Yes, AOC, we can ‘capitalism our way out of poverty’

January 22, 2020

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez studied economics, but she isn’t exactly known for fluency. But even considering the New York Democrat’s track record of economic illiteracy, her latest comments about capitalism are still a doozy.

Ocasio-Cortez made headlines this week for claiming that the Democratic Party is actually moderate and centrist. It was a silly claim to make, but people largely ignored another part of her comment. She asserted, as a way of dismissing centrist Democrats, that they are fools for believing that we can “capitalism our way out of poverty.”

Actually, congresswoman, we can. Literally billions of people have done so in the very recent past.

The last several centuries of human history demonstrate that capitalism and free trade can work wonders when it comes to expanding global prosperity and reducing poverty.

I don’t know what they taught Ocasio-Cortez in the economics department at Boston University — she might want to demand a refund — but I, along with most undergraduates in the field, learned in my very first year of studying economics the basic fact that capitalism has radically reduced poverty. Students are often taught about the “hockey stick of human history.” Incomes and economic growth were stagnant for centuries and centuries, and then came the advent of market capitalism and the spread of trade. As society shifted away from mercantilism and feudalism toward this new way of operating, economic growth instantly skyrocketed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t9FSnvtcEbg

https://twitter.com/HumanProgress/status/1003750249041747974

(Click on link below to see a larger version of the image)

https://humanprogress.org/article.php?p=1247

https://twitter.com/HumanProgress/status/1003750249041747974

Economic history resembles a hockey stick. For thousands of years, economic growth was negligible. At the end of the 18th century, however, economic growth and the standard of living started to accelerate in Great Britain and then in the rest of the world

— HumanProgress.org (@HumanProgress) June 4, 2018

It can be hard to visualize all of this progress when we’re just talking about abstract economic growth figures at the country level. But as Bill Gates has famously noted, raw poverty data show radical reductions due to capitalism, too.

https://twitter.com/BillGates/status/1086662632587907072

(Click on link below to see a larger version of the image)

https://ourworldindata.org/a-history-of-global-living-conditions-in-5-charts?linkId=62571595

 

https://twitter.com/BillGates/status/1086662632587907072

This is one of my favorite infographics. A lot of people underestimate just how much life has improved over the last two centuries:

— Bill Gates (@BillGates) January 19, 2019

In recent decades, state-run economies such as the Soviet Union collapsed, while markets globally, including in formerly communist nations such as China, liberalized and trade expanded globally. This has resulted in outstanding progress. According to HumanProgress.org:

https://humanprogress.org/article.php?p=1528

The World Bank has just released its latest numbers, and according to them, the proportion of the world population in extreme poverty, i.e. who consume less than $1.90 a day, adjusted for local prices, declined from 36 percent in 1990 to 10 percent in 2015.

Even though world population increased by more than two billion people, the number of extremely poor was reduced by almost 1.2 billion. It means that in the now much-despised era of globalization, almost 130,000 people rose out of poverty every day.

This is no coincidence. A report from the Fraser Institute concluded after comprehensive study that “nations that are economically free outperform non-free nations in indicators of well-being.”

No one is saying that capitalism is perfect, or that further progress doesn’t need to be made. But Ocasio-Cortez gets it exactly wrong when she asserts that we can’t “capitalism our way out of poverty.” It is a historically and economically ignorant thing to say, and it really highlights the mentality that would allow someone, even in this day and age, to embrace an outdated and backward ideology such as socialism.

February 9, 2020. Tags: , , , , . Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Economics. Leave a comment.

Immigration patterns prove that everyone wants to live in a capitalist country. Even the people who claim to be against capitalism never actually move to a non-capitalist country.

Immigration patterns prove that everyone wants to live in a capitalist country. Even the people who claim to be against capitalism never actually move to a non-capitalist country.

January 22, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , . Communism, Economics, Immigration. Leave a comment.

Next Page »