Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.China Crash, Greece Collapse, Harbingers of Stock Market Apocalypse Forecast 2015? - Nadeem_Walayat
2.Gold Price Awaiting Outcome of Greece Crisis - Clive_Maund
3.Gold Price Peculiar 6 Month Cycles - Rambus_Chartology
4.Gold Price Just a Little Bit More - Bob_Loukas
5.8 Unprecedented Extremes Indicate a Stock Market Bubble in Trouble - EWI
6.Gold And Silver – Without Either, You Will Be Greeced - Michael_Noonan
7.Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics - James_Quinn
8.China Crash, Greece Crisis Harbingers of Stocks Bear Market? Video - Nadeem_Walayat
9.Gold and Silver Record Shorting - Zeal_LLC
10.Markets Big Deflationary Downwave Quick Reference Guide... - Clive_Maund
Last 5 days
Reasons Why the Greek Crisis Will Only Get Worse - 30th July 15
The War On Cash: Why Now? - 30th July 15
Greece - The IMF Experts Flunk, Again - 30th July 15
Threat Of Cyber Warfare the “Other Reason To Own Physical Gold” Warns Rickards - 30th July 15
The 5 Biggest Myths and Lies about the Middle East - 30th July 15
Greece, Diversion, and the New World Order - 30th July 15
Ibuprofen Warning - The Pain Killer that can Kill You! - 29th July 15
More Ritholtz on Gold, and Another Response - 29th July 15
Crude Oil Price Is Lower – and You’re Richer - 29th July 15
U.S. Home Sales Market Is Dead – This Chart Proves It - 29th July 15
Greece- What Happens When Economists Talk Politics - 29th July 15
The Gold - U.S. House Prices Ratio As A Valuation Indicator - 29th July 15
Will Crude Oil Price Decline Continue? -Video - 28th July 15
Gold & Silver Money Has Devolved Into Debt and Plastic - 28th July 15
Buy and "Own Gold Krugerrands" Says Money Expert Jim Grant, Very Bullish on Gold - 28th July 15
How to Protect Yourself from China's Crashing Stock Market - 28th July 15
Quantum Geopolitics - 28th July 15
Gold Mining Stocks to Weather the Storm - 28th July 15
Stock Market Bulls Beware! - 28th July 15
Will Chinese Stock Market Crash Affect the US? - 27th July 15
Crude Oil Price Under $48! - 27th July 15
Are We Seeing a Trend Reversal with U.S. Interest Rates? - 27th July 15
How to Know When the Gold Bear Market is Over - 27th July 15
Gold Bear Market Phase III - 27th July 15
Silver Bull Hammer Buy Signal - 27th July 15
Gold Cracks Support and Plunges to New Lows - How Low Will Price Go? - 27th July 15
Commodity Markets Breakdown Of 2015 Is Now A Fact - 26th July 15
Gold Price at a Five-Year Low: Here’s What to Do - 26th July 15
Stock Market Primary III Inflection Point - 26th July 15
Central Banks and Our Dysfunctional Gold Markets - 25th July 15
Gold And Silver - The US Dollar Does Not Exist, Part II - 25th July 15
How Wall Street Put Apple Stock in Animal House - 25th July 15

Free Instant Analysis

Free Instant Technical Analysis


Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Stock Market Bubble in Trouble

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

© 2005-2015 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