Casey Mulligan, Economix

Obamacare and Retirement Savings - 1/31/13

Under the act, wages and salaries of people receiving health insurance in the law’s new “insurance exchanges” will be subject to an additional implicit tax, because wages and salaries will determine how much a person has to pay for health insurance.

Thomas A. Hemphill, Waheeda Lillevik, and Mark J. Perry, The American

Manufacturing's Skills Gap - 1/29/13

It is generally acknowledged that there is a shortage of skilled manufacturing workers in the United States, but estimates of the size of the shortage vary widely. At a time when unemployment in the United States remains stubbornly high, and while the U.S. manufacturing sector may be in the early stages of a renaissance, having a shortage of skilled workers is a serious challenge that needs to be addressed.

Alfred Gusenbauer, Project Syndicate

America's Comeback - 1/29/13

As other advanced economies become increasingly services-based, the US is reindustrializing thanks to its rich energy reserves. Meanwhile, American universities still attract the world’s best and brightest in many fields, most notably in science and technology. And the country’s other longstanding advantages – flexibility, capacity for renewal, economic mobility, international regulatory strength, and the ... More

Updated 10:39 pm, Saturday, January 26, 2013 1 of 2 View: Larger | Hide Darrell Steinberg, Cal

California's Diminished Expectations - 1/28/13

Beneath Jerry Brown's flowery evocations of "bold pioneers" who followed "every failure with an even greater success," Brown tacitly acknowledged during his State of the State speech last week that California's present isn't what it once was. Before they rendezvous with destiny, Californians must confront their stark new reality.

Scott Rausmussen, Rausmussen Reports

Washington's Foolish Options - 1/28/13

Only the foolish options offered by Washington politicians are unpopular. Cutting benefits or raising taxes are unpopular. Giving voters more control over their own lives makes sense just about everywhere except in the halls of Congress, however.

Diana Furchgott-Roth, Washington Examiner

Obama and Shrinking Unions - 1/25/13

On Wednesday, the Labor Department publishes 2012 data showing that during President Obama's first term the unionization rate -- the percentage of American workers belonging to unions -- declined faster than during two terms of President George W. Bush. Who would have guessed?

Donald Boudreaux, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Father of Public Choice - 1/25/13

Whether the government be a monarchy of the sort Americans discarded in 1776 or a republic of the sort we have now, Jim Buchanan insisted that economists and political scientists recognize that all people who make political decisions — voters, bureaucrats, politicians — are just as self-interested and mistake-prone as are business executives and other folks in the private sector.

Edward Glaeser, City Journal

The GOP and the City - 1/24/13

The cities-as-foreign-territory approach is bad politics for the Republicans: after all, successful cities like New York and Houston surge with ambitious strivers and entrepreneurs, who should instinctively sympathize with the GOP’s faith in private industry. The Republican move away from the cities is also bad for the cities themselves, which have hugely benefited—and could benefit a lot more—from... More

Steve Yoder, FiscalTimes

Tax Hell Gets Hotter - 1/24/13

If it’s any comfort to know someone is feeling your pain this tax season, look no further than Nina Olson, the National Taxpayer Advocate at the IRS. She recently told lawmakers that the tax system they’ve helped create requires almost 60 percent of us to hire professional tax preparers and another 30 percent to pay $50 or more for commercial software.

Arnold Kling, The American

16 Tons of Keynesianism - 1/22/13

As the old song goes, after 16 tons of Keynesian economics, all we have to show for it is that we are deeper in debt.

Stacy Swimp, Flint Journal

Right-to-Work and Black Workers - 1/22/13

From 2000 to 2010, the black population of the U.S. increased by 12.3 percent, or 4.27 million.  But 70 percent of the overall increase occurred in the 22 states that had right to work laws on the books at the time, even though slightly fewer than half of all black Americans resided in them in 2000.

Robert W. Wood, Forbes

Fleeing California? Not So Fast - 1/21/13

Leaving is not always easy. A California resident is anyone in the state for other than a temporary or transitory purpose.

Todd J. Zywicki, Minding The

Sarbanes-Oxley For Universities - 1/21/13

It has traditionally has been assumed that universities, as ostensibly charitable organizations, would be run with an eye on the public good, thus formal restraints on self-dealing, conflicts of interest, and rules that apply to private corporations would not  be necessary.  Today, however, universities are big businesses riven with self-interest.  And there is little evidence that charitable purpose plays any role in their... More

Richard Fisher, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

Ending Too Big To Fail - 1/18/13

There is an injustice of being held hostage to large financial institutions considered “too big to fail,” or TBTF for short. I submit that these institutions, as a result of their privileged status, exact an unfair tax upon the American people. Moreover, they interfere with the transmission of monetary policy and inhibit the advancement of our nation’s economic prosperity.

Jim Tankersley, Washington Post

Industrial Boom Absent Unions - 1/18/13

U.S. manufacturers have added a half-million new workers since the end of 2009, making the sector one of the few bright spots in an otherwise weak recovery. And yet there were 4 percent fewer union factory workers in 2012 than there were in 2010, according to federal survey data. On balance, all of the job gains in manufacturing have been non-union.

E.D. Hirsch, City Journal

Language and Upward Mobility - 1/17/13

Vocabulary size is a convenient proxy for a whole range of educational attainments and abilities—not just skill in reading, writing, listening, and speaking but also general knowledge of science, history, and the arts. If we want to reduce economic inequality in America, a good place to start is the language-arts classroom.

Stephen Eide, Boston Herald

Unhealthy State Budgets - 1/17/13

Nationwide, state and local governments have found themselves in the odd position recently of having to reduce their workforces in order to pay for the health benefits of retired employees. Though the state and local fiscal outlook has improved somewhat, growth in retiree health care costs is still unsustainably outpacing growth in revenues.

Nicole Gelinas, Washington Examiner

Hurricane Sandy and the Entitled - 1/15/13

Washington isn't interested in chopping entitlement spending. In fact, both parties are now creating a new entitlement: no-questions-asked disaster aid, on demand and without apology.

Noah Smith, Atlantic

Robots and Labor - 1/15/13

How do we fairly distribute income and wealth in the age of the robots? In a world where capital earns most of the income, we will have to get more creative.First of all, it should be easier for the common people to own their own capital - their own private army of robots. That will mean making "small business owner" a much more common occupation than it is today (some would argue that with the rise of freelancing, this is... More

Sheldon Richman, Reason

Against Government Debt - 1/14/13

Thomas Jefferson's favorite economist, Destutt de Tracy (1754-1836), had some harsh things to say about government borrowing, and we'd do well to rediscover Tracy's wisdom.

John O. McGinnis, National Affairs

Innovation and Inequality - 1/14/13

The most important effect of technology on the American economy is not the minting of more millionaires, but the creation of a continual stream of new ideas and products that are quickly enjoyed by everyone.

Annie Lowrey, New York Times

Washington's Boom... - 1/11/13

...financed by you.

Anthony York and Chris Megerian, Los Angeles Times

Jerry Brown's Budget - 1/10/13

The governor wants to overhaul how the state funds its nearly 10,000 public schools and may cut court and prison spending. He's also targeting a university system he sees as bloated and inefficient, and he wants to attach strings to some of its funding.

Amity Shlaes, Bloomberg

James Buchanan - 1/10/13

The economic school founded by Buchanan, known as public-choice theory, casts a sketpical eye on government officials and bureaucrats and points out that their work might serve the public less than a very private.

Joel Kotkin, newgeography

America's New Tech Geography - 1/10/13

The fastest growth over the past decade in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics-related) employment has taken place not in the most fashionable cities but smaller, less dense metropolitan areas.

Howard Husock, National Affairs

The Risks of Quasi-Capitalism - 1/08/13

Critics of capitalism  have launched a movement that risks changing the essential character of the market economy. This movement does not seek to dismantle the foundations of capitalism, but rather to transform its goals and basic purpose by proposing new, alternative corporate forms that might best be called "quasi-capitalist." There is a variety of such forms, but they have in common a key underlying assumption: that... More

George Leef, Minding The

How Law Schools Evade Competition - 1/08/13

In almost every state, those who want to take the bar exam and become licensed to practice law must first graduate from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association. As Lawrence Velvel, dean of the Massachusetts School of Law noted in a recent essay, the ABA insists on keeping... More

Cliff Asness, The American

We Are The 98 Percent - 1/07/13

The only way to finance a big European-style state is to have it paid for by massive taxation of everyone, mostly the middle class. Right now, we are avoiding honest debate on this fact.

Matt Ridley, Matt Ridley's Blog

Rational Pessimism: Europe - 1/07/13

It's possible to be an optimist about the pace of worldwide human development, but still be pessimistic about Europe, which seems intent on making its future as bad as it can.

Paul Davidson, USA Today

Obamacare and Hiring - 1/04/13

Many businesses plan to bring on more part-time workers next year, trim the hours of full-time employees or curtail hiring because of the new health care law, human resource firms say.

Nicole Gelinas, New York Post

An Unlucky Year for Wall St. - 1/04/13

When an Atlanta-based firm bought the New York Stock Exchange just before Christmas, everybody yawned. But it’s a sign of accelerating changes on Wall Street.

Diana Furchgott-Roth, Washington Examiner

Tax Reform Resolution - 1/03/13

This New Year's resolution for Congress should be pro-growth tax reform. That means permanent, sensible tax laws -- not a system that lasts one year, two years or 10, sending us over a "fiscal cliff" at the end.

Charles Lane, Washington Post

An "F" For Holding Down Tuition - 1/03/13

The bloat on many U.S. campuses is now a significant cause, along with cutbacks in state spending, of the surge in tuition, which, in turn, is an obstacle to upward mobility for an entire generation of young Americans.

John Browne, TownHall

Entitlement Cliff - 1/02/13

It is no understatement to say that if the finances of major entitlement programs are not brought into balance, the United States will be brought to its knees financially.

Mohamed El-Erian, CNBC

No Grand Cliff Bargain - 1/02/13

Some were hoping for a "grand bargain." Others were willing to settle for a "mini bargain." Instead Congress delivered a "micro deal."