Some Americans Getting 99 Weeks of Unemployment Payments

Unemployment 99 weeks
Some American workers collecting 99 weeks of unemployment

With the national unemployment rate at 9.7%, there are now 14.9 million jobless American workers. This is the highest number ever recorded since the 1950s. Some American workers have been collecting unemployment payments for as long as 99 weeks.

This situation was made possible by the multiple extensions of the unemployment insurance program passed by the federal government in attempting to deal with the continuing recession. This is the longest period that American workers have ever collected unemployment payments since the program began. [Read more…]


Americans Suffer, While Government Workers Prosper

Yet another travesty is unfolding before our eyes in these United States of America. While tens of millions of Americans continue to struggle through difficult economic conditions, with hundreds of thousands more losing their jobs every month, tens of thousands more losing their homes and their businesses, and millions more facing salary cuts and pay freezes, government employees are prospering and getting rewarded financially more than ever.

As the economy struggles, incomes fall, and business bankruptcies and mortgage default rates remain at all time highs, the federal government spending is booming and its employees are enjoying increased hiring and higher salaries. [Read more…]


After the Fall: Saving Capitalism from Wall Street and Washington | by Nicole Gelinas | 2009

Robust financial markets support capitalism, they don’t imperil it. But in 2008, Washington policymakers were compelled to replace private risk-takers in the financial system with government capital so that money and credit flows wouldn’t stop, precipitating a depression.

Washington’s actions weren’t the start of government distortions in the financial industry, Nicole Gelinas writes, but the natural result of 25 years’ worth of such distortions.

In the early eighties, modern finance began to escape reasonable regulations, including the most important regulation of all, that of the marketplace. The government gradually adopted a “too big to fail” policy for the largest or most complex financial companies, saving lenders to failing firms from losses. As a result, these companies became impervious to the vital market discipline that the threat of loss provides. [Read more…]


Government Workers Make 45 Percent More Than Private Sector Employees

A new report from the Bureaus of Labor Statistics that was released today, shows that almost 15 million Americans are currently out of work and unable to find jobs. Worse still, those with jobs have not seen their wages increase much in the last 10 years. However, government workers are enjoying a boom in hiring and generous salary increases thanks in large part to very cushy pensions and other benefits. [Read more…]


America’s ‘Free’ Falling Economy

Investor’s Business Daily | Feb. 1, 2010

The latest index of economic freedom shows America falling fast, being ranked for the first time as “mostly free.” We’ve fallen behind Canada, and it’s look out below.

Our accelerating descent into a command-and-control economy with government pulling the strings is taking its toll.

The Heritage Foundation’s 2010 index of leading economic indicators shows that the land of the free is only mostly free, falling to eighth in the world from sixth last year, now sandwiched between Canada and Denmark. [Read more…]


Swerving Off the Path to Prosperity

Townhall | by Ed Feulner | Jan. 26, 2010

When future historians characterize this era, chances are they won’t label it as America’s “golden age.” Indeed, they may well mark 2010 as the year the United States became the home of the “mostly free.”

That’s the finding of the latest “Index of Economic Freedom,” an annual compendium published by The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal.

The U.S. earned an overall score of 78 out of a possible 100 points in the Index. That was good enough for eighth place, globally. But that score was down 2.7 points from last year’s. It’s the biggest drop recorded among the world’s 20 largest economies. The decline was comparable to Venezuela’s (down 2.8) and Yemen’s (down 2.5), two poster children for bad economic behavior. [Read more…]


How Data On Income Distribution Are Misunderstood And Misapplied

Investor’s Business Daily | by Thomas Sowell | Jan. 8, 2010

Most intellectuals outside the field of economics show remarkably little interest in learning even the basic fundamentals of economics. Yet they do not hesitate to make sweeping pronouncements about the economy in general, businesses in particular, and the many issues revolving around what is called “income distribution.”

Famed novelist John Steinbeck, for example, commented on the many American fortunes which have been donated to philanthropic causes by saying:

One has only to remember some of the wolfish financiers who spent two thirds of their lives clawing a fortune out of the guts of society and the latter third pushing it back.

[Read more…]


Don’t Tax You. Don’t Tax Me. Tax That Guy Behind the Tree!

American Thinker | by Thomas Sowell | Jan. 8, 2010

Politicians like Barack Obama try to make you believe that someone else will pay the tax he wants to impose. For example, President Obama said he will increase taxes only for those making more than $250,000 per year. Other politicians, at other times, have told us that we will tax corporations rather than individuals, or tax some other out-of-favor group or product (sin tax) rather than the majority of individuals or the general sales tax.

The problem is that in reality, the guy behind the tree is the vast majority of us…yes, the same people who were promised that they would not pay the proposed tax increase. This is quite easy to see in some examples. [Read more…]


Jobs or Snow Jobs?

American Thinker | by Thomas Sowell | Dec. 8, 2009

President Obama keeps talking about the jobs his administration is “creating” but there are more people unemployed now than before he took office. How can there be more unemployment after so many jobs have been “created”?

Let’s go back to square one. What does it take to create a job? It takes wealth to pay someone who is hired, not to mention additional wealth to buy the material that person will use.

But government creates no wealth. Ignoring that plain and simple fact enables politicians to claim to be able to do all sorts of miraculous things that they cannot do in fact. Without creating wealth, how can they create jobs? By taking wealth from others, whether by taxation, selling bonds or imposing mandates. [Read more…]


The Financial Crisis: What We (Still) Haven’t Learned

Acton Institute | by Samuel Gregg | Nov. 18, 2009

It’s over a year now since the 2008 financial crisis spread havoc throughout the global economy. Dozens of books and articles have appeared to explain what went wrong. They identify culprits ranging from Wall Street financiers overleveraging assets, to ACORN lobbying policy-makers to lower mortgage standards, to politicians closely connected to government-sponsored enterprises such as Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae failing to exercise oversight of those agencies.

As time passes, armies of doctoral students will explore every nook and cranny of the 2008 meltdown. But if most governments’ policy responses to the crisis are any guide, it’s apparent that many lessons from the financial crisis are being ignored or escaping most policy-makers’ attention. Here are five of them. [Read more…]


The Market, School of Virtue

Acton Institute | by Stephen Grabill | Nov. 4, 2009

Does the market inspire people to greater practical virtue, or does it eviscerate what little virtue any of us have?

Far from draining moral goodness out of us—as many think—the free market serves as a “school of the practical virtues.” Rather than elevating greed and self-sufficiency, the market fosters interdependence and cooperation. Its rewards do not go to those who are the most isolated, self-absorbed, or cut off from society, but to those who sustain mutually prosperous relationships with others. [Read more…]


In Defense of Capitalism

Capitalism Freedom Private PropertyFrontPage Magazine | by Vasko Kohlmayer | Sep. 18, 2009

“Capitalism is an evil, and you cannot regulate evil… you have to eliminate it and replace it with something that is good for all people,” concludes Michael Moore in his latest documentary Capitalism: A Love Story.

Moore’s fulmination is neither surprising nor atypical in this era when capitalism finds itself under all-out assault. Having become something of a derogatory term, capitalism gets faulted for almost every societal problem and ill. Blamed for exploitation, poverty, fraud, alienation, crime, racism and nearly everything else, capitalism is increasingly cast as the great villain of our time. [Read more…]


The French Model

The Washington Times | by Richard W. Rahn | Aug. 26, 2009

Why does it appear France is bouncing back more quickly from the recession than the United States? France has long been known for having an economy that suffered from too much government interference, too-high taxes and destructive union activity. Yet it grew 1.4 percent in the second quarter of 2009, while the U.S. economy continued to decline.

The United States and Britain have had the largest “stimulus” programs of the major economies (as measured by increases in government spending and deficits relative to gross domestic product) and yet they are not moving toward recovery as rapidly as most other countries that had far smaller stimulus programs or none. [Read more…]


The Assault on American Business

The message from Washington is clear and getting louder by the day. If you run a successful business you face excessive government regulations and higher levels of taxation for years to come. The more productive and profitable you become, the more you will be forced to pay for the privilege of operating in this country. This threat is real and it appears that many companies and business owners are taking steps to protect themselves.

President Obama’s anti-business and anti-competitive campaign messages made executives and business owners apprehensive ahead of the January 2009 presidential inauguration and the Democrats obtaining control of Congress. Coming in the midst of one of the worst financial crisis and economic recessions in recent memory these promises had predictable results: businesses aggressively cut expenses, decreased their capital expenditures, drastically reduced their payrolls, and hunkered down to weather the current crisis and deal with the long-term consequences of punitive government actions. [Read more…]


From Crisis to Creative Entrepreneurial Liberation | by Anthony B. Bradley | May 6, 2009

Necessity is the mother of invention, said Plato, and the truth of the proverb has been borne out once again. Necessity is generating entrepreneurial energy amid America’s current economic crisis, according to a new study by the Kansas City-based Kaufman Foundation. The study reveals an increase in business startups during 2008, as the recession was taking hold. The rise is consistent with similar previous trends, such as the boomlet occurring after the tech bust of the 1990s. Throughout human history, a nation’s best resource in time of crisis has been the unleashed creative and entrepreneurial spirit of its citizens.

According to the study, U.S. entrepreneurship rates increased for lowest-income-potential and middle-income-potential types of businesses from 2007 to 2008 but decreased for the highest-income-potential types of businesses. In other words, the highest growth rates were among necessity-inspired everyday Americans. The entrepreneurial spirit embedded in all human persons has been stirred in women and men at all levels of society. [Read more…]


Orthodox Christianity And Capitalism: Are They Compatible?

AFR – The Illumined Heart | Kevin Allen | Apr 17, 2009

Writer, attorney, and university professor Chris Banescu discusses the economic, moral and spiritual issues surrounding the “capitalist” economic model and whether it serves the best interests of Christians living the life of the Beatitudes, in this interview with Kevin Allen host of The Illumined Heart podcast on Ancient Faith Radio.

Orthodox Christianity And Capitalism: Are They Compatible? – 4/17/09 [audio:|titles=Orthodox Christianity And Capitalism Are They Compatible?|artists=Chris Banescu]

[Read more…]


Is Rand Relevant?

The Wall Street Journal | by Yaron Brook | Mar. 14, 2009

Ayn Rand died more than a quarter of a century ago, yet her name appears regularly in discussions of our current economic turmoil. …her magnum opus, “Atlas Shrugged,” is selling at a faster rate today than at any time during its 51-year history.

There’s a reason. In “Atlas,” Rand tells the story of the U.S. economy crumbling under the weight of crushing government interventions and regulations. Meanwhile, blaming greed and the free market, Washington responds with more controls that only deepen the crisis. Sound familiar? [Read more…]


Here’s What’s Happening to the Economy

American Thinker | by Randall Hoven | Mar. 12, 2009

I think I have it figured out, roughly. And I’m ready to assign blame. If my narrative is not exactly true, it is a hypothesis that appears to fit the facts. This particular hypothesis is conspiracy-free, although I still think something is really fishy about the timing of the financial crisis, peaking as it did just when McCain started leading in the polls. But until we see some smoking guns, no conspiracy theory from me. [Read more…]


The 2 Percent Illusion

Wall Street Journal | Feb. 26, 2009

Take everything they earn, and it still won’t be enough.

President Obama has laid out the most ambitious and expensive domestic agenda since LBJ, and now all he has to do is figure out how to pay for it. On Tuesday, he left the impression that we need merely end “tax breaks for the wealthiest 2% of Americans,” and he promised that households earning less than $250,000 won’t see their taxes increased by “one single dime.”

This is going to be some trick. Even the most basic inspection of the IRS income tax statistics shows that raising taxes on the salaries, dividends and capital gains of those making more than $250,000 can’t possibly raise enough revenue to fund Mr. Obama’s new spending ambitions. [Read more…]


Fool’s Golden State

Investor’s Business Daily | February 19, 2009

The world’s leading maker of microprocessors plans to create 7,000 jobs in new and expanded plants that will churn out computer chips 30% more powerful than the current generation of chips. But California-based Intel won’t make them in California.

Instead, the company is expanding in Oregon, Arizona and New Mexico. Anywhere but California, which is now so unfriendly to business, even its home-grown firms don’t want to expand there.

This is bad news for the Golden State, which has one of the worst business environments in the country. And it won’t be helped a bit by the recent budget deal reached between Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Democrat-led legislature. [Read more…]


The Decline of California

The Wall Street Journal | February 17, 2009

If you thought Washington’s stimulus debate was depressing, take a look at the long-running budget spectacle in California. The Golden State’s deficit has reached $42 billion, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is threatening to furlough 20,000 state workers (go ahead, make our day), and as we went to press yesterday Democrats who control the legislature had blocked lawmakers from leaving until they finally get a deal. [Read more…]


‘Atlas Shrugged’: From Fiction to Fact in 52 Years

The Wall Street Journal | by Stephen Moore| January 9, 2009

Some years ago when I worked at the libertarian Cato Institute, we used to label any new hire who had not yet read “Atlas Shrugged” a “virgin.” Being conversant in Ayn Rand’s classic novel about the economic carnage caused by big government run amok was practically a job requirement. If only “Atlas” were required reading for every member of Congress and political appointee in the Obama administration. I’m confident that we’d get out of the current financial mess a lot faster. [Read more…]


A Primer on Capitalism

Capitalism Freedom Private PropertyIn today’s turbulent financial times and difficult economic conditions, a lot of unjustified criticism and unwarranted accusations have been laid at the doorstep of capitalism. Many in the mainstream press and academia, a majority of politicians, and a large number of Americans have jumped on the bandwagon and unfairly blame capitalistic principles for the huge mess that we are in. Such widespread confusion evidences a misunderstanding by many Americans of how value is actually created in society and what capitalism really represents.

All societies, in order to prosper, grow, and take care of its citizens must create new value to sustain its economy and support an expanding population. Common sense and experience dictate that there are only three (3) possible ways for anyone in life to have, create, or obtain value (monetary or economic) or acquire any assets (property) to be able to live or sustain oneself or one’s family: [Read more…]