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May 11, 2015

"Ten Tax Hikes That Slammed Middle-Class Families: Courtesy of NC Democrats"

North Carolina's Civitas Institute on our always-unhappy Left.

The news that North Carolina’s state General Fund budget revenue is now predicted to come in $400 million above original estimates caused the Left to go into full spin mode. For months, liberal progressives were fretting about the end of Western Civilization as we know it due to earlier projections that revenue this year would come in below the amount used to set the budget.

Somehow blind to the irony, first they were upset that revenue may be too low this year, now they are upset that revenue may be too high. We are used to the narrative coming from the Left that government never has enough money, but now that revenues are higher than expectations liberals suddenly find compassion for taxpayers.

Related: "NC budget surplus: Leftists hardest hit".

"Why couldn’t $130 million transform one of Baltimore’s poorest places?"

Excellent question.

Some clues here: "Baltimore's Decline" and "My Baltimore Business Problem".

May 06, 2015

"Government Assistance and Work"

Economist Adam Ozimek attacks the claim that government assistance to low-income workers benefits big businesses that employ them such as Wal-Mart.

May 05, 2015

Three from The American Interest on the troubles of the "blue model"

"How Blue NYC is Strangling Itself".

New York City could be facing fiscal death by expensive bus stations. 

"Big Blue is Killing Upstate New York".

Upstate New York is dying—and big blue is its killer. 

'Reform for Relief'” Coming to Blue Cities".

Chicago is broken — and Democratic ideas can’t fix it, at least at the local level.

"Companies can't find workers who can hold a conversation or show up on time"

I'd like to see data from 10, 20, and 30 years ago, but this sounds pretty bad:

According to the latest supplemental survey from the New York Fed's manufacturing and business leaders surveys, employers in the New York area are facing two main problems: finding workers who can show up on time and workers who can hold a conversation.

The survey showed that in April, 65% of manufacturing employers had difficulty finding punctual workers and 60% had trouble finding workers with interpersonal skills.

Among business leaders, a broader survey group, 42% had trouble finding punctual workers while about 48% had trouble finding workers with interpersonal skills. 


"Greens against the poor"

Fine piece by Stephen Moore about who bears the cost of the extreme environmentalists' policies.

May 04, 2015

California once was the future of the U.S. It may well still be.

Read it and weep. Joel Kotkin:

What we are witnessing the breakdown of a once-expansive, open society into one dominated by a small group of plutocrats, largely in Silicon Valley, with an “amen” crew among the low-information donors of Hollywood, the public unions, the green lobby, and wealthy real estate developers favored by Brown’s pro-density policies. This coalition backs Brown and helps maintain the state’s essentially one-party system. No one is more adamant about reducing people’s carbon footprint than the jet set of Silicon Valley or the state’s planning elite, even if they choose not to live in a manner that they instruct all others.

"Economists: Don’t leave home without one"

From the McKinsey Quarterly:

As business leaders seek to stay ahead of the curve, they should ensure that somewhere in their range of view are the ideas of economists. Not forecasts or models or the dry parade of graphs and equations found in the typical introductory textbook, but rather economists’ insights and ideas, which sometimes have an enormous impact on the evolution of industries and also have been put to use in very practical and profitable ways by real companies. I am an economist, so this assertion may seem a bit self-serving. But I wouldn’t make it if there weren’t powerful evidence in its corner.

"This Is How Long Your Business Will Last, According to Science"

Very surprising. I suspect, at a minimum, omitted variables, but I haven't read the study yet.

Daepp, now a graduate student at the University of British Columbia, analyzed Standard and Poor’s Compustat — a database of every publicly traded company since 1950 — using a statistical method called survival analysis. What she and her advisers found is that a company’s mortality rate was not affected by it’s past performance or even its products.

May 03, 2015

"The people who nailed the horrific Q1 GDP number have bad news about Q2"

If they get two far-from-consensus predictions in a row correct, it might well be time to pay attention.

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