Powell and Trump

Nick Timiraos, writing in Friday’s Wall Street Journal, is concerned with messaging from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell to President Donald Trump—is Powell being too subtle, or does he need to answer more explicitly, Trump’s often heated admonishments?  Timiraos is concerned particularly against the backdrop of the often deprecatory nature of Trump’s opprobrium.

This is headed into a cul-de-sac, though.

The question of Fed messaging—to Trump or anyone else—shouldn’t even come up. The Fed’s role is to maintain stable pricing, full employment, and low interest rates.

Full stop.

Government vs Charity

Which is to say, Government welfare/wealth redistribution vs private charity.  Progressive-Democratic Party Presidential candidate and Senator (I, VT) Bernie Sanders has given the Progressive-Democrats’ game away.  The subject is private donors giving hundreds of millions of their own money to fund scholarships at colleges and universities.  Sanders tweeted that

Mr Smith’s gift was “extremely generous” but added that the “student crisis will not be solved by charity. It must be addressed by governmental action.”

Robert Smith is Vista Equity Partners CEO, and his gift was directly to Morehouse College class of 2019: he’s covering 100% of their college debt.  Other private donor gifts include

Market Demand

In a Letter to the Editor in a recent Wall Street Journal, Thomas Michaels wrote,

John E Stafford asks why “starting salaries for public-school teachers in many states are under $40,000 a year….” The answer is supply and demand. There are more “qualified” teaching graduates looking for a job than there are openings in their desired location. Union protection and state-mandated benefits assure that placeholders stay in place. Market theory says that when there are more goods available than the market requires, the price goes down.

A bit of basic high school-level economics, a subject that isn’t taught in high school very much.

Medicare-for-All and Middle Class Taxes

Even Stephen Colbert wants to know: under Progressive-Democratic Party Presidential candidate and Senator Elizabeth Warren’s (D, MA) payment scheme for her Medicare-for-All scheme, will middle class Americans’ taxes go up? He put the question to her in so many words:

You keep being asked in the debates how are you going to pay for it, are you going to be raising the middle-class taxes…. How are you going to pay for it? Are you going to be raising the middle-class taxes?

Warren’s answer:

Continued Intransigence

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker makes it clear.

Britain has still not proposed any workable alternatives to the Northern Ireland “backstop” within the Brexit withdrawal agreement, the EU said on Monday.


President Juncker underlined the commission’s continued willingness and openness to examine whether such proposals meet the objectives of the backstop. Such proposals have not yet been made[.]

Juncker knows full well that the “backstop” is not just a deal-breaker, it’s a non-starter for the British. It demands that a core feature of the Brexit vote three years ago was so that Great Britain gets control of its own borders back, yet the “backstop” requires Great Britain to surrender its Irish border to the EU.  That can only be taken as a first step to dismantling Great Britain.

A UAW Strike

The United Autoworkers Union sent 49,000 members and employees of GM out the door and on strike Sunday night.  The strike will hammer GM plants in Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, Kentucky, New York, and Texas among other areas.

Here is another case of a union saying it won’t let a business operate at all, unless and until that business’ managers surrender completely and give the union everything it wants.

Strikes are legalized extortion and a refusal to negotiate in good faith.  It’s impossible to reach an honest deal with a gun in management’s ear.

Oil Strikes and our Economy

“Economists” cited by The Wall Street Journal say that the Iranian/Houthi strikes against a couple of major Saudi Arabian oil production facilities are unlikely to do much to our economy. Despite their anonymity, those…sources’…assessment is accurate.

Among other things, we’ve made ourselves essentially self-sufficient in oil and natural gas production, have become the world’s leading producer, and we’re a net exporter of oil and natural gas.  That last, especially, means we’ll easily be able fill any shortfall from the Saudis’ damage.  (Production cuts from that damage are likely to be short-lived in any event.)

In addition,

Interest Rate Foolishness

Mario Draghi, in his last act as European Central Bank MFWIC, has lowered ECB benchmark interest rates and set the central bank on a long-term campaign of bond-buying.  His…idea…is to stimulate inflation and push the inflation rate to more normal levels.

Couple things about this.  The Wall Street Journal thinks this commits Draghi’s successor to this foolishness for the long term.  Of course, it does not.  His successor can undo this business when he takes office.  The difficulty will be solely within that successor’s political courage.

Regulatory Capture

America’s automotive companies want ever stricter emissions standards.  Or so says Fred Krupp, President of the Environmental Defense Fund.

This, of course, is nonsense.

If car companies truly want stricter emission standards, they can do so without the cover of a government mandate.  Nothing is stopping them from setting and meeting their own stricter standards.  This is, after all, a (largely) free market economy, and it’s at the heart of a (largely) free nation.  Car companies can make their own decisions without Big Brother’s instruction.

Unions for Socialism

That’s the situation in Oregon, the new front-runner for socialism in the US, surpassing even California.

[T]he Oregon AFL-CIO wants voters to limit self-checkout kiosks in grocery stores.

The State’s Attorney General still has to sign off on the union’s ballot measure, ironically titled the Grocery Store Service and Community Protection Act, but that’s a formality in a State that favors Antifa violence over law and order and actual protection of communities.

The union claims—and it’s serious—that

self-service checkouts add “to social isolation and related negative health consequences” for shoppers.


…contribute to retail workers feeling devalued….