Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.Oil Wars 2016 - US vs Russia vs Saudi Arabia vs Iran - Nadeem_Walayat
2.Crude Oil Price Crash Triggering Global Instability, Trend Forecast 2016 - Nadeem_Walayat
3.Stock Market Crash - Last Week was The 2nd and Final Warning... - Clive_Maund
4.Stock Market Crash Apocalypse or Bull Market Severe Correction? - Nadeem_Walayat
5.TShipping Said to Have Ceased… Is the Worldwide Economy Grinding to a Halt? - Jeff_Berwick
6.Crude Oil Price Crash Catastrophe, Independant Scotland Literally Begging to Rejoin the UK - Nadeem_Walayat
7.Summers: Global Economy Can't Withstand Four 2016 Fed Hikes - Bloomberg
8.Gold And Silver: New World Order: Public Be Damned, Preferably Dead - Michael_Noonan
9.Rigged U.S. Ttreasury Bond Market Double Barreled Hidden Q.E. To Infinity - Jim_Willie_CB
10.Major Stocks Bear Market Awakening - Zeal_LLC
Last 5 days
UK Interest Rates, Economy GDP Forecasts 2016 and 2017 - 6th Feb 16
Gold Price, Mining Stocks Rocket Higher - 5th Feb 16
Crude Oil Price Bottoms and Blues - 5th Feb 16
Gold and Silver: Ripe for a Recovery! China May well Change the Game - 5th Feb 16
How Pension Plans are Responding to Financial Repression - 5th Feb 16
Senior Gold Producer Goldcorp Takes Large Stake in Nevada's Gold Standard Ventures - 5th Feb 16
Tips for Smart Oil and Natural Gas Investing 2016 - 5th Feb 16
Another Corporate Giant Is Leaving the U.S. – What This Means for You - 4th Feb 16
TPP is Economic Warfare, Trade Can Make Everyone Worse Off / Governments are Stupid - 4th Feb 16
Gold and Stock Markets Inflection Points Galore - 4th Feb 16
Putin Cries Dyadya (Uncle), Is Saudi Arabia Listening? - 4th Feb 16
Gold Price Golden Bottom? Video - 4th Feb 16
Look North for Value-Priced Growth in Healthcare Biotech Stocks - 4th Feb 16 - TLSReport
BrExit EU Referendum - Britain's FINAL Chance for Freedom From Emerging European Superstate - 4th Feb 16
HUI Now Confirming Gold Price Move Higher - 4th Feb 16
Crude Oil Price Forecast 2016 As Good As It Gets - 4th Feb 16
Gold and Silver More 'Flight To Safety' Active February - 3rd Feb 16
Raytheon Company: A Defensive Stock for a Defensive Market - 3rd Feb 16
Is Silver Really a Weak Link - 3rd Feb 16
Gold to Beat Stocks 2016? - 3rd Feb 16
David Chamberlain Cameron, Britain's Last Chance for Freedom From Emerging European Super State - 3rd Feb 16
EU UK Draft or Daft Agreement By Donald Tusk to Members of the European Council in Full - 2nd Feb 16
Europe: Why It's Going to Get a Lot Worse Before It Gets Better - 2nd Feb 16
The Next Generational Bust Is Coming, Stock Market 70% Collapse - 2nd Feb 16
The Coming Stock Market Decline May be a Monster - 2nd Feb 16
S&P 500 Has Likely Entered a New Bear Phase - 2nd Feb 16
How and Why To Move Your Assets Offshore Before the Financial Collapse - 2nd Feb 16
Central Bank Created Silver Price Rally - 1st Feb 16
The Fed Is Not Hiking Rates: Risk Assets To Perform - 1st Feb 16
US Dollar and US Treasury Bonds Big Picture - 1st Feb 16
BOJ Negative Interest Rates Central Banking Crime Syndicate's War on Cash for Triggering Panic Consumption - 1st Feb 16
Elites Set to Wipe Out Stock Market Shorts Before Next Downwave... - 1st Feb 16
Stock Market A-B-C Correction Unfolding - 1st Feb 16
Nice week for Gold : It’s All about Sentiment - 31st Jan 16
Silver Price Breaks Higher on Rising Anxiety - 31st Jan 16
Stocks Bear Market Rally Underway - 30th Jan 16
Gold And Silver Current Prices Do Not Matter - 30th Jan 16
Gold Price Potential Upside 2016 - 30th Jan 16
Stock Market Bears Pulverised by BOJ Knock Out Punch, Non Technical Take Video - 30th Jan 16
Lacy Hunt: Inflation and 10-Year US Treasury Yields Headed Lower - 30th Jan 16
The Curious Case of Copper... - 30th Jan 16

Free Instant Analysis

Free Instant Technical Analysis


Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Global Financial Crisis 2016

President Obama's State of the Union Address Fuzzy on Maths

Politics / US Politics Feb 14, 2013 - 02:51 PM GMT

By: Money_Morning

Politics

Martin Hutchinson writes: President Obama's State of the Union Address on Tuesday night was high on rhetoric but short on math.

As with most Obama speeches, it was beautifully delivered. However, even where I agreed with the ideas, I couldn't quell a nagging suspicion that the numbers simply didn't add up, and indeed likely missed by a lot.


And let's face it, some of the ideas in the speech were just plain bad.

The Bad Ideas
At the top of the list was the proposed increase in the minimum wage to $9 an hour. It's sounds nice, but reality is a different story.

Economists pretty much universally agree that high minimum wages have the opposite effect: They increase the ranks of the unemployed.

Now admittedly, $9 an hour isn't likely to increase unemployment in costly areas like New York City or coastal California.

New York City Comptroller John Liu has already sent me an e-mail complaining that $9/hour is equivalent to only $4.97 in his overpriced city.

But it will certainly push up joblessness in St. Louis, Houston or Cleveland, where living costs are lower than the national average.

Of course, Houston can look after itself with high oil prices and a decent local economy, but you can't tell me that a $9 an hour minimum wage won't increase unemployment in Cleveland or even St. Louis, let alone in rural areas.

It's a bad idea, which fortunately won't get far in a Republican Congress. But it wasn't the only one.

His insistence that Congress must immediately address global warming, and his threat to do so by executive action if it didn't, are deeply controversial.

The reality is that global warming "investments" have already cost U.S. taxpayers billions upon billions, with very little to show for it. In fact, the extra $12 billion of wind power subsidies tucked into the "fiscal cliff" deal-- one fifth of the first year's tax increases-- is just the latest example.

What's more, when you look at the Antarctic as well as the Arctic, and at the global climate as a whole, there's evidence that global warming has at least paused since 1998, and that even by 2100 it will be limited to the 1-2 degrees Celsius change that we can easily handle without subjecting ourselves to infinitely costly command-and-control policies.

The Good Ideas
But the President's speech wasn't all bad.

President Obama made a considerable amount of sense on education. In fact, Education Secretary Arne Duncan is one of his most impressive Cabinet members.

He does want to increase access to early childhood education, the problem with which is that studies seem to show the current program does little good.

Coming from a different education system, my main beef with U.S. K-12 education is how slowly it goes in the early years.

Without any special coaching in Great Britain, I started calculus at 11. Here in the states, my son didn't get to it until he was undergoing the tribulations of college applications as a high school senior - far too late for him to have the reliable grasp of it necessary in a modern economy.

However, Obama's better education idea is to combine high school education with community colleges, so that those graduating high school have a vocational qualification that makes them useful to local employers.

If nothing else, that makes them employable if their dream job flames out. I now regret that my son, educated within 200 yards of the giant Tyson's Corner mall, didn't get a qualification in Mall Management - something a modern economy can always use!

The Fuzzy Math
The main problem I have with the speech, however, is the cost of his proposals.

Obama said specifically "Nothing I'm proposing tonight should increase our deficit by a single dime."

Then during the speech he proposed:

■15 manufacturing innovation institutes;
■An Energy Security Trust for new energy research;
■A "fix it first" program for more infrastructure spending;
■A big expansion of early childhood education;
■Incentives to companies to hire the long-term unemployed;
■Tax credits to businesses that invest in low-income couples;
■New spending on combating cyber-attacks.

That's without counting initiatives like the minimum wage and more regulation that provide a drag on the economy but don't cost the government any money directly.

Put politely, his numbers don't add up.

Eager to find something to like, The Financial Times declared that a potential U.S.-EU free trade agreement was "the centerpiece" of the speech. But that's nonsense - it was in one sentence out of over 6,000 words. But it's still a good idea.

In the end, it was a well-delivered speech, and there were some good ideas in it I hadn't heard before.

But let's face it, the government's overall current priority must be to reduce the budget deficit, and Obama's package as a whole was a hindrance, not a help to that objective.

Source :http://moneymorning.com/2013/02/12/u-s-economy-recovery-doesnt-fool-struggling-americans/

Money Morning/The Money Map Report

©2013 Monument Street Publishing. All Rights Reserved. Protected by copyright laws of the United States and international treaties. Any reproduction, copying, or redistribution (electronic or otherwise, including on the world wide web), of content from this website, in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited without the express written permission of Monument Street Publishing. 105 West Monument Street, Baltimore MD 21201, Email: customerservice@moneymorning.com

Disclaimer: Nothing published by Money Morning should be considered personalized investment advice. Although our employees may answer your general customer service questions, they are not licensed under securities laws to address your particular investment situation. No communication by our employees to you should be deemed as personalized investent advice. We expressly forbid our writers from having a financial interest in any security recommended to our readers. All of our employees and agents must wait 24 hours after on-line publication, or after the mailing of printed-only publication prior to following an initial recommendation. Any investments recommended by Money Morning should be made only after consulting with your investment advisor and only after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Money Morning Archive

© 2005-2016 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

Biggest Debt Bomb in History