Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.London House Prices Bubble, Debt Slavery, Crimea 2.0 - Russia Ukraine Annexation - Nadeem_Walayat
2. Gold And Silver – 2014 Coud Be A Yawner; Be Prepared For A Surprise - Michael_Noonan
3.Sheffield, Rotherham Roma Benefits Plague, Ch5 Documentary Gypsies on Benefits & Proud - Nadeem_Walayat
4.Glaring Q.E. Failure Spotted - Money Velocity Is Falling Rapidly - Jim_Willie_CB
5.Don't Miss the Boat on Big Biotech Catalysts: Keith Markey - Keith Markey
6.Gold Prices 2014: Do What Goldman Does, Not What It Says - David Zeiler
7.Bitcoin Price Strong Appreciation to Be Followed by Declines? - Mike_McAra
8.Gold Preparing to Launch as U.S. Dollar Drops to Key Support - Jason_Hamlin
9.Doctor Doom on the Fiat Money Empire Coming Financial Crisis - Andrew_McKillop
10.The Real Purpose Of QE - It’s Not Employment - Darryl_R_Schoon
Last 72 Hrs
Tesco Profits Panic! Back to Back £5 Off £40 Shop Voucher Promotions - 18th Apr 14
The Obama Game - Is Putin Being Lured Into a Trap? - 18th Apr 14
The Growing Threat to Capitalism - 18th Apr 14
Build Biotech Wealth on Solid Platforms - 18th Apr 14
Has Solar Power Finally Arrived? - 18th Apr 14
Bank Depositor Bail-Ins and Real Assets vs Liability-Based Assets - 18th Apr 14
10 Ways to Screw up Your Retirement - 17th Apr 14
One of Harry Dent’s Three Keys to Market Prediction is Cycles - 17th Apr 14
Obamacare Proof Stocks - 17th Apr 14
Gold, Silver And The Mining Sector: Prepare For A Severe Fall - 17th Apr 14
Hidden Australian Life Sciences Bio-tech Growth Stocks - 17th Apr 14
Disrupting Big Data Status Quo - 17th Apr 14
What the Stock Market Bears Have Been Waiting for... - 17th Apr 14
Copper Is Pathological and Suffers from SAD, but It Has Value - 17th Apr 14
Old World Order New World Order, Chaos And Change - 17th Apr 14
Even The US Government Will Abandon the U.S. Dollar - 17th Apr 14
Gold - Coming Super Bubble - 17th Apr 14
Glaring Q.E. Failure Spotted - Money Velocity Is Falling Rapidly - 16th Apr 14
High-Frequency Insider Trading - 16th Apr 14
Gold Prices 2014: Do What Goldman Does, Not What It Says - 16th Apr 14
These CEOs Will Make Investors Rich - 16th Apr 14
Climate Change, Central Banking And The Faustian Bargain - 16th Apr 14
Every Central Bank for Itself - 16th Apr 14
Social Security, U.S. Treasury Stealing Every Last Penny From Americans - 16th Apr 14
Ukraine Falling to Economic Warfare and Its Own Missteps - 16th Apr 14
Silver and Gold Miners Still Disappoint - 16th Apr 14
Silver, Gold, and What Could Go Wrong - 15th Apr 14
How I Intend to Survive the Meltdown of America - 15th Apr 14
France Wakes Up To The Multicultural Multi-Threat - 15th Apr 14
The Real Purpose Of QE - It’s Not Employment - 15th Apr 14
Peak Coal - 15th Apr 14
Flash Crash, Rigged Markets - What’s the Frequency Zenith? - 15th Apr 14
Forecasting U.S. GDP Growth: A Look at WSJ Economists’ Collective Crystal Ball - 15th Apr 14
Stock Market - Is Something Nasty About to Happen? - 15th Apr 14
How to Trade Your Way To Freedom - 15th Apr 14
Understanding (and Ignoring) the Media Bandwagon Against Gold - 15th Apr 14
When Stock Market Bubble Crashes, Take Refuge in Gold Stocks - 15th Apr 14

Free Instant Analysis

Free Instant Technical Analysis


Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

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

© 2005-2014 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

Free Report - Financial Markets 2014