A Hypocrisy in Texas

The Texas State government has passed a law making it illegal for government entities in the state of Texas to enter into a transaction with an abortion provider or an abortion provider’s affiliates.

Austin, the State’s capital, thinks it knows better and is working to get 150 stacks folded into its 2020 city budget to fund abortion services.  Here’s Austin city council member Greg Casar, making plain the hypocrisy:

In Austin, we believe and announce that everyone has a right to healthcare. We believe and announce that abortion is healthcare, and we refuse to back down on protecting our continuance basic rights.

Gun “Control”

The Wall Street Journal‘s student-written Future View column turned to gun control recently, and Rasmus Haure-Peterson, a philosophy and economics major at the University of Oxford, had a thought in his letter.  He wrote, in part,

Given the spree of mass shootings, some targeted gun-control measures are needed for the sake of a safer America, even if they curb some people’s rights on the margins. But gun-rights advocates won’t make that concession unless they know that giving an inch won’t cost them a mile.

Student Loans and Scams

Folks are growing concerned about the magnitude of, and problems associated with, the massive student loan situation, and the some are even calling it a scam.

Defaults have fallen for most forms of consumer debt as the economic expansion continues. Mortgage delinquencies last quarter hit a historic low. But severely delinquent student loans have soared since 2012 and are now 35% of “severe derogatories”—more than credit cards (23%), auto loans (21%), and mortgages (11%).

This “scam” is laid at the feet of the CBO during the Obama administration.  It’s certainly true that the CBO misread the situation, perhaps even negligently so.

An Economic Misunderstanding

The Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday that the two-year budget deal will increase our annual deficits significantly over the next ten years.  That puts a premium on Republicans regaining the majority in the House, retaining/expanding its majority in the Senate, and retaining the White House, with an emphasis on Conservative Republicans in that mix.  That’s for another post, though.

What…triggered…me was this bit at the end of the article CBO Director Phillip Swagel:

The nation’s fiscal outlook is challenging. To put it on a sustainable course, lawmakers will have to make significant changes to tax and spending policies—making revenues larger than they would be under current law, reducing spending below projected accounts, or adopting some combination of those approaches.

Standing Tall

Great Britain has said that it will abide by British law regarding cross-border movement of persons. European Union law will no longer have applicability, with effect from 31 October, Great Britain’s departure date from the EU.  Unless the EU agrees, and begins concretely, to negotiate in good faith a serious departure régime.

Oh, the hoo-raw.  How dare those Brits follow through instead of kowtowing to their betters in Brussels?

Rebecca Staudenmaier, writing at the link, also mischaracterizes the move.

Naivete and Hong Kong

Bill McGurn usually does better than this.  He suggested

If the governments in Beijing and Hong Kong would show an ounce of that humility, the protests might be over tomorrow.

Presumably that would include an apology by Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam, per his piece’s headline.

It’s hard to believe, though, that McGurn would be this naive. Lam’s apology, and PRC and Hong Kong government “humility” would be nothing more than empty, unbelievable words. Lam needs to fully withdraw and cancel, as though it had never existed, the extradition bill that her PRC masters instructed her to put forward, not merely HIA it.

The Purpose of a Company

The Business Roundtable thinks we need to change our view of the purpose of the companies we own.

CEO group urges firms to remember obligation to society, employees, and customers

And

The Business Roundtable said Monday that it is changing its statement of “the purpose of a corporation.” No longer should decisions be based solely on whether they will yield higher profits for shareholders, the group said. Rather, corporate leaders should take into account “all stakeholders”—that is, employees, customers and society writ large.
“Each of our stakeholders is essential,” the new statement says. “We commit to deliver value to all of them, for the future success of our companies, our communities and our country.”

Because Politics, not Policy

Even the more moderate Progressive-Democratic Party Presidential candidate, Joe Biden (more moderate? He says he’s the most Progressive of them all, but never mind that, just now), says Party should appoint him because—he can beat Trump.  His wife says so.

Speaking at a bookstore in Manchester, NH, Dr Jill Biden urged voters on Monday to consider the “electability” of her husband, former Vice President Joe Biden, ahead of the 2020 Democratic primaries….

She went on:

I know that not all of you are committed to my husband, and I respect that, but I want you to think about your candidate, his or her electability, and who’s going to win this race[.]

People Power

Hong Kong style.

Hong Kong’s pro-democracy demonstrators braved torrential rain to hold their largest rally in weeks [last Sunday], a show of strength led by more moderate protest leaders who advocated peaceful resistance to Beijing’s tightening grip on the city and sought to ramp up pressure on officials to respond to their demands.
Hundreds of thousands of mainly black-clad protesters of all ages rallied in Victoria Park, the starting point of some of the biggest demonstrations through 11 weekends of unrest, with crowds overflowing into the streets. The organizers said more than 1.7 million people attended the rally.

The Fed, Policy, and Political Interference

The Wall Street Journal, in a piece about the relationship between Federal Reserve President Jerome Powell and President Donald Trump, had a question:

Who should shoulder the blame for a slowing US economy: President Trump? Or Fed chief Jerome Powell?

The question presents a false choice. Neither is to blame because there is no “blame” to be had. Economic cycles (“cycle” is a loose term in economics; it implies a temporal regularity that doesn’t exist) come and go on market forces, especially in a reasonably free market economy.