Raising the minimum wage: Figures don’t lie, but liars figure

By Don Todd Both the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) are strong proponents of raising the minimum wage.  For instance on July 18, 2012, Mary Kay Henry the President of SEIU emailed her members the following: “Together with organizations like the National Employment Law Project, CREDO, and Moms Rising, the 99 percent are […]

Rosy retail forecasts are humbug

By Robert Romano The saying “so goes retail” should be ringing in everyone’s ears as we head into the Christmas shopping season, kicking off with so-called Black Friday on November 28 — the day retailers supposedly go “in the black” after being “in the red” all year long. On October 7, the National Retail Federation proclaimed “Optimism Shines as National […]

Read the fine print, QE is not really over

By Robert Romano “[T]he Committee decided to conclude its asset purchase program this month. The Committee is maintaining its existing policy of reinvesting principal payments from its holdings of agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities in agency mortgage-backed securities and of rolling over maturing Treasury securities at auction. This policy, by keeping the Committee’s holdings of longer-term securities at sizable […]

Why the end of QE produced lower interest rates

By Robert Romano You’ve heard it a bazillion times. The end of quantitative easing by the Federal Reserve — since August 2007 it has added $3.6 trillion to its balance sheet — will mean interest rates have to rise. Because, well, they have to. At first, there was some truth to the claim. In 2013, after the Fed said it […]

House Republicans push to make subprime, higher risk lending easier?

By Robert Romano By now, the causes of the mortgage crisis that nearly wrecked the global economy in 2007 and 2008 are common knowledge. Too many high risk loans were made, too much credit boosted housing prices to the moon, too much leverage was taken on by financial institutions, and then, when the bubble came crashing down, not enough capital […]

What would happen if we treated food like Obamacare?

-By Brad Tidwell In recent debates about Obamacare, there’s been a theme pushed by many opposing the Hobby Lobby decision to not pay for certain kinds of birth control — #NotMyBossBusiness. The idea is businesses should not be able to make health care decisions for their employees. The problem is that this is already happening — and not just with […]

New report highlights need for Zero to Zero sugar policy

By Rick Manning Trade policy discussions often end up in debates between perceived winners and losers with big businesses anxious to enter new markets pushing for “free trade” and protectionists arguing to restrict foreign made products into the country. Agricultural trade policy is dramatically murkier with debates about foreign government subsidies and the impact those giveaways have on the domestic […]

Help Wanted: One in six men aged 25-54 not working

By Tom Toth Five years into Obama’s presidency, the United States looks very different than it did in years past. Over 10.2 million American men between the ages of 25-54 — about seventeen percent of that age group — are not currently working. Two thirds of them have given up on looking for work altogether. As a comparison, in the […]

Is Congress planning to charge you mortgage insurance even if you put 20 percent down?

By Robert Romano Senate Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Banking Committee have agreed in principle on a plan to unwind the nearly $5 trillion Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) and to, they say, “create a mortgage insurance fund for the system to protect taxpayers against future bailouts.” Under the proposal, S. 1217, supported by the Obama administration, lending institutions will […]

Now is the time to tackle sugar subsidies, pass Zero to Zero plan

By Rick Manning The 2014 Farm Bill has finally been put to bed.  One of the most contentious pieces of legislation that faces Congress every five years, the headline from this latest round in the fight against agriculture subsidies is more of the same. Millions of dollars were spent in lobbying and public relations, and at the end of the […]

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