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The Wisconsin plan to give a Taiwan-based multinational billions of dollars the state may never recover illustrates that the real race to the bottom is not globalization, but the sprint among governments to see who can run up the highest tab for jobs that may or may not result.
Wisconsins multi-billion dollar package to entice Foxconn to set up an LCD flat screen plant in Kenosha is the latest example of encouraging companies to play states and municipalities against each other in a vicious cycle of taxpayer pitted against taxpayer. On its way to snaring one of the largest economic…

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Donald Trumps pledge to Make America Great Again requires nothing less than reigniting economic growth and prosperity. Wealth creation is essential. Yet as Congress pivots to tax reform — which is crucial to the wealth creation that will put the nation back on the prosperous path — the president can take matters into his own hands by issuing an executive order to index capital gains for inflation.
President Trumps absolutely best economic policy so far has been his relentless rampage against onerous, burdensome, costly, prosperity-killing regulations on business. And the…

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Last week, West Virginia Governor and coal mogul Jim Justice announced to a Trump rally that he was becoming a Republican. This week, he started negotiating over his price: A proposal for a big federal government subsidy to try to bail out the struggling Appalachian coal industry. But is encouraging the regions communities to think that a fading industry can be rescued really the solution to Appalachias economic woes?
President Trump has promised to save the coal industry, largely by reducing regulations such as revising the EPAs Clean Coal Plan. But the Environmental Information…

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There is a certain beauty to securitization that will never be appreciated again for what happened. It is an expression of genius, masterful innovation equally as powerful for shaping our world as the jet engine or the transistor. In many ways, this bit of financial majesty has done more than either of those, and that is precisely the problem.
The idea behind the process is simple enough, as these things usually are. There are various motivations for any financial institution to hold any asset. Securitization brought together several factors which allowed for these demands to be met…

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“I won’t tell you that the world matters nothing, or the world’s voice, or the voice of society. They matter a good deal. They matter far too much. But there are moments when one has to choose between living one’s own life, fully, entirely, completely - or dragging out some false, shallow, degrading existence that the world in its hypocrisy demands. You have that moment now. Choose!” –Oscar Wilde
Sometimes you need to sit alone on the floor in a quiet room in order to hear your own voice and not let it drown in the noise of others.
I am sitting on that floor now, and thinking — and…

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The argument between the Trump administration and its critics over a sustainable rate of economic growth raises profound questions about Americas future. Have we entered a prolonged period of slow growth? If so, how does that alter society and politics? Or will the right policies raise growth to past levels?
If you havent paid attention, heres a brief overview of the debate.
In its budget, the White House projected annual inflation-adjusted economic growth of 3 percent over the next decade. This almost equals the average rate of 3.2percent since 1950. Meanwhile, the…

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The Trump Administrations protectionist/mercantilist policies, which got underway with killing the Trans Pacific Partnership days after the inauguration, is open to criticism from a political party that understands economic policy and trade. Unfortunately, there doesnt seem to be one.
If the past six months have proven anything, it is that populism is difficult to implement in office. But Democrats have taken the exact opposite lesson, introducing an economic platform that promises to do many of the things that Donald Trump claimed he would do, just better, faster and bigger. The…

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If you caught assorted television commercials being run by New York State government in recent years, you might think that the Empire State finally has its act together. Heck, one or two of those commercials even touted lower taxes.
Dont be fooled. Like so much on television, none of this has anything to do with reality.
In fact, New York remains a costly tax mess. And matters actually look like theyre getting worse.
First, understand that the tax burden in New York, as illustrated by a host of comparative studies, still ranks among the weightiest across the 50 states. For example,…

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Sterling reached a new 11-month high against the dollar earlier today, but the dovish take away from the Bank of England has seen sterling reverse lower. It has now fallen below the previous day’s low, and a close below there ($1.3190) would confirm the bearish key reversal pattern. Support near the week’s low just below $1.3100 is holding, and if that goes, the $1.30 level can be tested. A break of $1.2930, the low from the second half of July needs to yield signal a more significant correction.
Sterling has been sold across the board, and it is particularly pronounced against the…

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The first Iranian shah was crowned in 1796. Agha Mohammad Kahn, a leader of the Turkmen Qajar tribe of Azerbaijan, had unified the former Persia setting his capital in the small village of Tehran near the ancient Persian city of Ray, now Shahr-e Rey. He was assassinated the very next year.
Throughout the 1800s, the reign of the Qajar dynasty was characterized as cushioning the imperial forces of Tsarist Russia against those of British India. Modern Iran would not truly be born until 1901. That was the year when the British-owned Anglo-Persian Oil Company obtained exclusive rights to…

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Some supporters of the immigration bill endorsed by President Trump claim the legislation would move the United States toward an immigration system more like Canadas. As a Canadian, let me offer two pieces of advice: 1. It would do no such thing. 2. In Canada, there is growing support for allowing more immigrants, not fewer. In fact, economic growth demands it.
The immigration bill introduced by Senators Tom Cotton and David Perdue would slash legal immigration to the United States by 50 percent from a million to 500,000 in 10 years. Conversely, Canada already allows 300,000…

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Early in my teaching career, a student named Jon told me about an exciting investment. All through high school, he had been collecting plate blocks of postage stamps. At the time, postage stamps were printed fifty stamps to a sheet and the four stamps in a two-by-two block next to the sheet’s serial number were called a plate block.
Plate blocks were rare because no one had ever thought to save them. Why would anyone want the two-by-two square of stamps next to the serial number? How often does anyone use four stamps to mail a letter?
Then, unexpectedly, plate blocks became a collectible….

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Real export growth was basically nonexistent in 2015 and 2016. In fact, exports actually declined by 0.3 percent last year – the first decline since the recession – after barely inching forward by 0.4 percent in 2015. While an assortment of factors come into play here – in particular, slow growth among our trading partners – it should not be ignored that the U.S. has been absent on the world stage in terms of advancing free trade for more than a decade now.President George W. Bush was active and productive on the trade front. In fact, by signing into law nine free trade deals covering…

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The so-called Big Six of Republican policy makers has now laid out general guidelines for tax legislation. The group including House Speaker Paul Ryan, Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn favors a long list of items income tax rate cuts, more generous business deductions, changes to the taxation of foreign income, and so on.
This agreement might seem to make tax changes inevitable. President Trump has said that…

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As if from some bizarro world given what is taking place now, in October 2013, Republicans in Congress actually attempted to force restraint on the Obama administration. The primary issue was Obamacare. No budget agreement could be reached by September 30, as the Senate controlled by Democrats steadfastly refused to negotiate the Republican Houses proposal to defund provisions for the health insurance law. Without an appropriations resolution in lieu, the result was a federal shutdown lasting 16 days in total.
While all that was going on, US T-bill rates rose. The equivalent yields on…

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