Franchisors Warn Obamacare Will Halve Profits

Franchisors warn Obamacare will halve profitsby Paul Bedard
The International Franchise Association held a convention in Washington this week where most of the Radio Shack, Dunkin Donuts, Curves and other franchisers were grumbling about new federal regulations, especially the impact of Obamacare.

Most, said Atlanta Taco Bell and Kentucky Fried Chicken franchiser David Barr, presumed that the reports about how hard Obamacare will hit them were overblown. “They had their head in the sand,” he told Secrets.

That is until he pulled out his powerpoint showing how funding Obamacare will cut his –and likely their– profits in half overnight. [Read more…]

Economy Is Tanking; Why Are Markets Up?

Markets Up Mitt Romney Responsible by Chris Banescu –
The latest economic data released Thursday confirms what all Americans, especially business owners, already knew.  Economic growth has slowed down to a measly 1.5% (from 2% the previous quarter), job growth continues to languish with nationwide unemployment at a dismal 8.2%, consumer confidence has fallen to its lowest level this year, and consumer spending is also tanking.  Household purchases, which represent approximately 70% of GDP, grew at the slowest pace in a year.  Recent surveys show that Americans have lost approximately 40% of their net worth in the last few years, and poverty rates are reaching levels not seen in this country since the 1960s.

So, why are the markets up?  [Read more…]

Government Spending Does Not Create Economic Growth

Government Spending Does Not Create Economic Growth If you knew a dollar invested in something would wind up losing more than a dollar, would you consider that a good investment?

The government does just that when it starts spending taxpayer dollars or borrowed money which future generations must pay back with interest. In the video below Professor Antony Davies of Duquesne University explains the unseen costs of government spending and the best way to stimulate the economy: the private sector.

Professor Antony Davies explains:

“There’s a misconception that when the government spends money it creates jobs. … What we’re forgetting is that the money doesn’t fall from space. The government obtains the money by taxing or borrowing. And when it does those things jobs are destroyed.

So at the end of the day the government isn’t creating jobs, it’s moving jobs. Jobs leave where the government taxes and borrows and appear where the government spends.” [Read more…]

How China Transformed Its Economy

China Embraces Capitalism China Capitalist by James E. Miller –
In a recent National Public Radio report, the real story behind the monumental land reforms which transformed the communist dystopia of China into a productive powerhouse was revealed.

In 1978, the farmers in a small Chinese village called Xiaogang gathered in a mud hut to sign a secret contract. They thought it might get them executed. Instead, it wound up transforming China’s economy in ways that are still reverberating today.

The contract was so risky – and such a big deal – because it was created at the height of communism in China. Everyone worked on the village’s collective farm; there was no personal property.

In Xiaogang there was never enough food, and the farmers often had to go to other villages to beg. Their children were going hungry. They were desperate. So, in the winter of 1978, after another terrible harvest, they came up with an idea: Rather than farm as a collective, each family would get to farm its own plot of land. If a family grew a lot of food, that family could keep some of the harvest.

[Read more…]

Job Creation Is No Mystery

Job Creation Business Economy Not Government by Tom McClintock –
The government’s continuing failure to address our nation’s gut-wrenching unemployment stems from a fundamental disagreement over how jobs are created in the first place.

We are now in the third year of policies predicated on the assumption that government spending creates jobs.

We have squandered three years and trillions of dollars of the nation’s wealth on such policies, and they have not worked because they cannot work.

Government cannot inject a single dollar into the economy until it has first taken that same dollar out of the economy. [Read more…]

Why 20% Should Be New 25% In Reforming Corporate Rate

Investors Business Daily by Ryan Ellis –

If there’s a common denominator in tax reform and economic growth packages, it’s this: the corporate rate is too high, and needs to come down for the sake of keeping our employers competitive internationally. Even most on the Left have accepted this.

The most common tax-rate target is 25%. Because of how the world has been moving in the direction of low corporate tax rates, however, this is no longer good enough — and might even result in a worse outcome than the status quo.

First, a little background. A generation or two ago, the entire developed world had high corporate income-tax rates. In 1981, the developed nation average was 47%. Canada had a 51% rate. The United Kingdom levied a rate of 52%. [Read more…]

Coddling Misinformation About Taxation

High Taxes Misinformation about Taxation Buffet by Chris Banescu –
Warren Buffett and President Obama claim that the rich do not pay enough taxes. They both blame the American tax code of being unfair and coddling the rich. Both have been pushing the same class-warfare narrative for many years, using current US capital gains and dividends taxation rates as evidence for their big government progressive agenda. Both are spreading misinformation about all the taxes corporations and individuals actually pay.

As far back in 2007, Mr. Buffet, the third-richest man in the world, began criticizing the US tax code for its low tax rates on dividends and capital gains from long-term investments. One of his most infamous statements, one often repeated by the Left to support its punish-the-rich schemes, was made in a speech at a $4,600-a-seat fundraiser for Senator Hillary Clinton in New York:

“The 400 of us [here] pay a lower part of our income in taxes than our receptionists do, or our cleaning ladies, for that matter. If you’re in the luckiest 1 per cent of humanity, you owe it to the rest of humanity to think about the other 99 per cent.”

[Read more…]

Fatal Flaws of Keynesian Economics

Keynesian Economics Failureby Ron Ross –
It’s now clear that the federal government’s massive stimulus spending has not achieved its objectives. Why hasn’t it? It’s important that we have answers to that question.

The stimulus was premised on the economic model known as Keynesianism: the intellectual legacy of the late English economist John Maynard Keynes. Keynesianism doesn’t work, never has worked, and never will work. Without a clear understanding of why Keynesianism cannot work we will be forever doomed to pursuing the impossible.

There’s no real mystery about why Keynesianism fails. There are numerous reasons why and they’ve been known for decades. Keynesians have an unrealistic and unsupportable view of how the economy works and how people make decisions. [Read more…]

America Slouching Towards Fiscal Armageddon

America Slouching Towards Fiscal ArmageddonAmerica is in grave danger. Our government’s out-of-control spending and our politicians’ refusal to implement meaningful budget reforms are leading us towards a fiscal crisis that can undermine our very way of life. We are spending ourselves into oblivion. With each passing day, we are $5 billion in deficit spending closer to the edge of an abyss that can cripple our economy, destroy America’s wealth, and lead to catastrophic social consequences for all current and future generations. Yet our leaders in Washington refuse to face reality and continue to play political games while the country’s budget crisis deepens and the threat grows exponentially.

In February of this year the US federal budget deficit grew by a record $224 billion; the biggest one-month increase in history. Worse still, the 2011 US budget deficit is forecast to reach $1.5 Trillion.  According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) this annual deficit represents the largest budget gap in our country’s history, equivalent to approximately 10% of America’s total economic output.  This follows the enormous $1.3 Trillion deficit racked up for 2010 and will be superseded by an equally disturbing $1.65 Trillion deficit forecast for 2012. [Read more…]

Inflation, Back to the ’70s We Go!

Inflation in AmericaConservatives warned about it, economists predicted it, and now it’s here. Inflation has arrived and it’s taking off like a rocket. IBD reports that wholesale prices, often a precursor to consumer prices, rose at an yearly rate of 8% in February. The story warns: “Food prices today are the highest on record, rising at double-digit rates (see chart). Meanwhile, gasoline tests the $4-a-gallon level, the dollar is weakening and gold is near its all-time high.”

This ominous surge is attributable to very high energy and food prices driven mostly by our government’s reckless spending that’s accelerating rather than abating. Combined with Obama’s suicidal energy policies, continuing political instability across the Middle East, the government’s stifling regulatory hold on our economy, the EPA’s assault on manufacturers and energy producers, and the recent catastrophe and devastation in Japan, a dangerous perfect storm of inflationary and destabilizing factors are emerging which will spell disaster for our economy and negatively affect all American consumers’ purchasing power and wealth. [Read more…]

The Only Way Out for the American Economy

by Steve McCann –
Economic despair reigns in America, as stagnation and mounting debt make our future look hopeless. Yet America is uniquely positioned to rebound and recover our economic preeminence. All that is necessary is a political decision to reverse our energy policy and stimulate domestic production of hydrocarbons. From that would flow a true economic stimulus that would mend many of our ills. [Read more…]

Codes Are Not Enough, Why We Need Ethics

Chuck Colson
Chuck Colson

by Chuck Colson –

At the recently concluded meeting of the American Economic Association, the most contentious issue had nothing to do with economics, per se. It wasn’t about “the economics of the organic food system,” or “the costs and benefits of pollution control,” as two of the seminars were labeled.

No, the behavior drawing the most attention, both inside and outside the profession, was ethics — or more to the point, the lack of ethics — of economists themselves.

According to a recent article in Slate magazine, the call of for a “code of ethical standards” comes in the wake of series of “blows to the prestige of the profession.” These include “housing crisis, the credit crunch, the financial crisis, the recession, the collapse of several European economies, and the overhaul of U.S. banking regulation.” [Read more…]

Economic Lunacy

9/13/2010 – Larrey Anderson –
I know logical lunacy when I see it. I may not be an economist, but as one trained in logic as a philosopher, I have been horrified by the recent economic policies of both Presidents G.W. Bush and B.H. Obama.

Let’s start with Bush and the first TARP bill. My heart broke when Bush announced the TARP program. I understood that the $750-billion blank check (to be spent at the discretion of the next Secretary of the Treasury — who turned out to be tax-cheat Timothy Geithner) might well trigger the end of our constitutional republic. [Read more…]

The Obama Recovery

Obama Recession8/23/2010 – Jeffrey Folks –

During the same week in which the president was vacationing in a $50,000-per-night home in Martha’s Vineyard, half a million Americans were standing in line, waiting their turn to apply for unemployment benefits. Those benefits are about $400 a week, not enough to put food on the table, pay the mortgage and car payments, and cover medical and other expenses. Not only that, but they run out (or used to) at 26 weeks. Even with Congress’s election-year largesse, which has tacked on an additional 73 weeks, unemployment benefits must run out at some point. More and more Americans — those who have begun calling themselves the 99ers — are now arriving at that point. [Read more…]

Economy Needs Heart Transplant, Obama Offering Band-Aid

Economy Needs Heart Transplant Not Band-AidAmerica’s economic situation needs an emergency heart transplant, but Obama and the Democrats keep offering band-aids instead. We need a major change in government economic, tax, and fiscal policies not more government bailouts. Yet the president is doing nothing to reverse the enormous uncertainty fostered by his own administration’s aggressive anti-business and pro high-tax initiatives and rhetoric.

In the latest indication that our president has no clue why businesses are struggling and unwilling to hire, Obama is trying to force through another $30 billion government bailout program to “help banks boost lending to small businesses.” Unfortunately, it’s not the lack of available funds that are stopping businesses from expanding and generating new jobs. It’s the massive economic uncertainty and instability created by misguided government mandates (especially the oppressive regulations of ObamaCare), coupled with the massive tax increases coming in January 2011, that have spooked companies and forced them into defensive economic positions. [Read more…]

Finding John Galt

John Galt8/16/2010 – Henry Oliner –

John Galt is the mysterious hero lurking in the background in Ayn Rand’s infamous novel, Atlas Shrugged. He is the industrialist who went into hiding and led a strike of producers fed up with the physical and moral encroachment from a government of moral supremacists who rationalized theft with childish notions of fairness but no conception of the actual production of wealth. That synopsis should also explain why Atlas Shrugged, first published in 1957, is having a very strong resurgence in popularity.

I meet with two different groups of independent business owners focused in the southeast and their perception of current business conditions is almost unanimous. They are angry. They face conflicting and unclear regulations, and a near certainty of increasing taxes . They are impatient. Many are not profitable and are unable and unwilling to tolerate customers who cannot pay, employees who do not think, banks without judgment, and a government that despises their efforts to create wealth and jobs. [Read more…]

Ronald Reagan: Whatever Happened to Free Enterprise?

President Ronald Reagan
President Ronald Reagan

From the archived pages of Imprimis, the monthly speech digest of Hillsdale College, President Ronald Reagan reminds us that economic freedom is an absolute necessity not only for political freedom, but for all freedom. That freedom must be fought for and protected in every generation. That the business community must join this fight and not remain passive.

“It all comes down to this basic premise: if you lose your economic freedom, you lose your political freedom and in fact all freedom. Freedom is something that cannot be passed on genetically. It is never more than one generation away from extinction. Every generation has to learn how to protect and defend it. Once freedom is gone, it’s gone for a long, long time. Already, too many of us, particularly those in business and industry, have chosen to switch rather than fight.”

President Reagan clearly understood that government action is the biggest threat to our economic freedom and personal freedom. He correctly identified the government as the problem, not the solution: [Read more…]

The New York Times, Cheerleader for Higher Taxes

The New York Times Cheerleader for Higher Taxes
In what can only be described as a partisan, pro-Obama puff piece, The New York Times has now proclaimed on its Economix Blog that tax increases are the best way to “stimulate” our economy and help America reach “fiscal sustainability”:

The single biggest step our government could take this year to address the structural deficit would be to let the tax cuts expire. And a credible commitment to long-term fiscal sustainability should reduce interest rates today, helping to stimulate the economy.

[Read more…]

The Death of the Dollar

Death of the Dollar8/6/2010 – Vasko Kohlmayer –

Nothing can save our financial system in the long run. It is doomed to collapse. This is inevitable, because our government controls and manages its very foundation — the dollar.

The federal government began its takeover of the dollar in 1913 when it established the Federal Reserve Banking System. Prior to that, the dollar was a real store of value. In the period from 1783 to 1913, there was a long period of currency stability with virtually no inflation. If you saved one dollar in 1800, your great-grandchild could buy roughly the same amount of goods with the same dollar one century later. [Read more…]

The Worst of Both Worlds

7/24/2010 – Henry Oliner –

Karl Marx understood that capitalism is intrinsically productive but saw an inherent unfairness in any value other than that provided by labor. Marx also understood that individual incentives to produce would inevitably lead to overproduction and painful contractions. To avoid these contractions and their impact on labor costs, he believed the proletariat should, and inevitably would, exercise control over the means of production. Some true believers insist that he sought a utopian ideal rather than an authoritarian state, but the control of production by the state became essential to their objective. [Read more…]

Wealthy Shift Their Income to Avoid Higher Taxes

6/8/2010 – Robert Frank –
In his Wall Street Journal op-ed Monday, famed supply-sider Arthur Laffer argues that higher taxes on the wealthy rarely work because the wealthy simply shift their income.

President Obama’s upcoming tax increases, he says, are encouraging the wealthy to take cash and income off the table this year, robbing from next year’s growth and spending. As a result, he says “The economy will collapse in 2011.” [Read more…]

Free to Choose

6/9/2010 – John Stossel –

America’s current struggles notwithstanding, life here is pretty good. We have a standard of living that’s the envy of most of the world.

Why did that happen? Prosperity isn’t the norm. Throughout history and throughout the world, poverty has been the norm. Most of the world still lives in dire poverty. Of the 6 billion people on earth, perhaps 1 billion have something close to our standard of living.

Why did America prosper when most of the people of the world are still poor? [Read more…]

Across America 15 Million People Still Unemployed

US Unemployment Situation Grim
US Unemployment Situation is Grim

Across America 15 million Americans are still out of work and unable to find jobs. The latest numbers from the Labor Department indicate that only 41,000 private sector jobs were created last month. Of the 431,000 new jobs added in May, 411,000 were temporary census workers hired by the government. Despite Obama’s assertion, made just days ago, that “the economy is improving and that the economic stimulus legislation passed a year ago was having a positive effect” there is little to cheer about. The president’s unrealistic predictions that “the economy is poised to start adding the jobs people need” were clearly misguided and off the mark.

These are predictable results given how aggressive this administration and the Democrat controlled Congress have been in promoting socialist policies that stifle economic activity and unreasonably punish responsible corporations and businesses. [Read more…]

How to Cripple the Free Economy

Socialist Policies Undermine American Economic Prosperity

The socialist policies implemented by the Obama administration and the Democrat leadership undermine America’s economic prosperity and prolong the misery for millions of companies and workers. Despite passing multi-trillion dollar government tax and spend initiatives, numerous bailouts of failed businesses, and repeated extensions of government benefits, Americans are suffering and the economy is languishing. Nationwide the unemployment rate has risen to 9.9%, while mortgage defaults and foreclosure rates have surged to record numbers.

Even with the tens of billions of dollars Congress has spent on preventing consumer mortgage defaults and home foreclosures, things have not improved much. How could they? Such government bailout measures are temporary band-aids that fail to address the structural problems our economy faces. They only delay the inevitable and push the problem further down the road. It doesn’t matter that house payments are now lower and the government has picked up the tab for a few months. If Americans cannot find a job or raise the capital to start a business they won’t have the money to pay even reduced mortgage payments. [Read more…]

The Welfare State’s Death Spiral

5/10/2010 – Robert J. Samuelson –
Welfare State Death Spiral
What we’re seeing in Greece is the death spiral of the welfare state. This isn’t Greece’s problem alone, and that’s why its crisis has rattled global stock markets and threatens economic recovery. Virtually every advanced nation, including the United States, faces the same prospect. Aging populations have been promised huge health and retirement benefits, which countries haven’t fully covered with taxes. The reckoning has arrived in Greece, but it awaits most wealthy societies.

Americans dislike the term “welfare state” and substitute the bland word “entitlements.” Vocabulary doesn’t alter the reality. Countries cannot overspend and overborrow forever. By delaying hard decisions about spending and taxes, governments maneuver themselves into a cul-de-sac. To be sure, Greece’s plight is usually described as a European crisis — especially for the euro, the common money used by 16 countries — and this is true. But only to a point. [Read more…]