Markets

Zimbabwe, in attempt to protect its currency—already a close neighbor of worthless—has decided to close its stock exchange.

If there is no market for the currency, then it has little value in terms of purchasing power. If there is no convertibility of the currency into other currencies, then there is both high risk in holding the currency and reduced interest in holding it.  And so reduced purchasing power.

If the currency has little value and limited convertibility—or either alone—there is little interest in investing in the country or in simply buying its goods or selling foreign goods in—especially if the investments must be done in the domestic currency.

Distractions

Much is being made of the cybersecurity threat, the national security threat, that the People’s Republic of China’s Huawei represents. For instance, Senator Ben Sasse (R, NE) has said it’s good for the British government to be removing Huawei from the core of the British Internet.

Senator Mark Warner (D, VA):

Huawei has been and will continue to be a national security threat….

Senator Tom Cotton (R, AR) on the Brits’ initial decision to allow Huawei into their Internet infrastructure:

[t]he Chinese Communist Party (CCP) will now have a foothold to conduct pervasive espionage on British society.

New Case Rates and Death Rates

Current data indicate a reduction in new (read: confirmed) cases of Wuhan Virus—45,000 cases on Independence Day vs 50,000 cases the day prior.  Fun with statistics: that’s a 10% drop—wow.

It is promising, but a single datum isn’t very dispositive.

What really interested me, though, is this, also presented in the article at the link:

In contrast to the surge in positive diagnoses, the death rate has slowed mostly to the hundreds a day in recent weeks, from a peak of more than 2,000 daily during several weeks in April.

And:

Revolution

On the eve of the 2008 Presidential election, then-Presidential candidate Barack Obama (D) bragged

We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.

In 2015, then-Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (D) insisted

[D]eep seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.

Current Progressive-Democratic Party Presidential candidate Joe Biden is declaring via tweet

Joe Biden @JoeBiden · 14h
We’re going to beat Donald Trump. And when we do, we won’t just rebuild this nation — we’ll transform it.

A Judicial Error

The Supreme Court has ordered a restructuring of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: its single director, removable only for inefficiency, neglect of duty, or malfeasance in office, among other things, was an unconstitutional abridgment of Executive Branch authority.

Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the Court, said that the

setup meant the CFPB’s director was unaccountable to the executive branch, creating an unconstitutional diminishment of presidential power.
“The CFPB’s single-director structure contravenes this carefully calibrated system by vesting significant governmental power in the hands of a single individual accountable to no one[.]”

And then,

An Efficient Labor Market

A writer, published in Wall Street Journal‘s Letters, responded to the idea that emphasis on education credentials over actual experience averred that the emphasis isn’t at all misplaced.

It’s more likely that there is a limited number of high-wage jobs available and that the market has efficiently set the wage based on the supply/demand curves.

This is a remarkably ill-informed claim, assuming as it does that we actually have an efficient market in labor.

Such a market cannot exist, though, in an environment where unions have monopoly power over labor in the industries in which they operate, nor can it exist in an economy with such widespread minimum wage mandates.

Becoming Happy

It’s what Thomas Jefferson said a while ago:

If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people, under the pretence of taking care of them, they must become happy.

If the people become happy, though, they—we—would have little need for so large a government. And that would put a lot of bureaucrats, and most importantly, politicians out of business.

That is what today’s Progressive-Democrats and too many establishment Republicans fear, even above fearing failing our nation—being unnecessary.

Statehood for DC?

That’s the House Progressive-Democrats’ plan. They voted on the thing last Friday.

One of the rationalizations for the move is this, from the District of Columbia’s “shadow senator” Paul Strauss:

DC [he’s cited as saying], created in July 1790, pays more federal taxes than any other non-voting territory and does not receive proportional services for their population, which is larger than those of Wyoming and Vermont.
“We are essentially a donor state,” he said.

That’s not an argument for statehood, though. It’s an argument for ending the transfers of citizens’ and their business’ tax monies from one State/territory/District to another other than in times of regional emergency.

Victory for Competitive Free Market Pricing

So far, hospitals will be required to publish the prices they negotiate with their insurers. This will facilitate the public’s ability to comparison shop for hospital procedures and services so as to drive down costs to the public through competition.

The American Hospital Association had sued in Federal court to block a new Trump administration rule that required such publication, but the judge presiding, Carl Nichols, granted the government’s motion for summary dismissal.

Aside from withstanding the inevitable sequence of appeals, a significant part of what’s left, now, is a requirement for hospitals to publish their success rates for various types of procedure and service.

The Party of Economic Sense

A Sunday editorial in The Wall Street Journal provides some pretty dispositive data concerning State economic behaviors during the present Wuhan Virus situation.

The baseline: the national unemployment rate for May was 13.3%.

Ten States remained above even 15% in their individual unemployment rates:

  • Nevada 25.3%
  • Hawaii 22.6%
  • Michigan 21.2%
  • California 16.3%
  • Rhode Island 16.3%
  • Massachusetts 16.3%
  • Delaware 15.8%
  • Illinois 15.2%
  • New Jersey 15.2%
  • Washington 15.1%

These States also had some of our nation’s most draconian lockdown requirements.