Some Prosperity Data

Courtesy of the Census Bureau, via Just the News and The Wall Street Journal. These data concern the last year.

  • median household income rose to more than $68,700 just over the last year, a 6.8% year-on-year rise
  • black median household income rose to $66,500—up 7.9%
  • Hispanic median household income rose to $56,100—up 7.1%
  • women median income rose to $47,300—up 3%
  • poverty rate fell to 10.5%
  • child poverty rate fell to 14.1%

These are all highs (or lows) over the last several decades, and the sizes of the changes are historically large, also.

Couple Critical Errors

…in an otherwise well-intended and worthy effort. California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) wants to make it possible for prison inmates who have been trained in firefighting and have place[d] themselves in danger assisting firefighters to defend the life and property of Californians to join fire departments after they’ve been released from prison.

Long-time readers of my blog know that I am a firm believer in rehabilitation and redemption, and this move would open one path to each of those.

There are a couple of tweaks, though, that are necessary for making this a truly effective move. One is this: Newsom has signed into law

Open New York City for Operation

Open New York City for Operation

The city currently is closed down by order of Da Mare Bill de Blasio (I know, different city. Same guy, though, functionally), and that’s causing a lot of damage, and not just economic.

More than 160 business leaders, including executives at Citigroup Inc, Mastercard Inc, and Nasdaq Inc, have signed a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio warning of New York City’s deteriorating condition in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and growing anxiety over public safety, cleanliness, and other quality-of-life issues.

De Blasio’s response? No. Gimme money first.

Equal Protection

Recall that California, earlier this year, enacted a law requiring gig employers to reclassify those folks from contractors to formal employees—with all of the employee expenses that entails: half the payroll taxes due, retirement benefits, health benefits, paid time off, etc, etc, etc.

In response, a number of companies who’ve centered their business models on gig employees, have sued and have been fighting to force the law—AB-5—onto this fall’s ballot for the actual citizens to decide.

Related to the law and the hoo-raw surrounding it, are some additional consequences illustrated by this:

Funding the Police

Senator Josh Hawley (R, MO) wants to do that, so he’s introducing the David Dorn Back the Blue Act that would authorize DoJ to

raise the salaries of state and local police forces all across the country—except in cities that have chosen to defund law enforcement in the wake of nationwide protests and riots.

And

If the bill becomes law, police departments will have new federal funding at their disposal allowing them to increase the salaries of officers “up to 110 percent of the local median earnings, and would exclude cities that defund their police[.]”

Protection

…and extortion. Leaders of many unions are threatening exactly that if they don’t their way.

Unions representing millions of workers, from teachers to truck drivers, pledged to ramp up protests in the leadup to the presidential election, with walkouts aimed at forcing local and federal lawmakers to pass police reform and address what they described as systemic racism.

Actually, it’s the union leaders:

…labor leaders from America’s biggest public and private sector unions said they would organize walkouts….

More the public sector than private sector unions: AFSCME, SEIU, and NEA.

Some Labor Day Questions

First published in 2015, I’ve updated it for today.  In an ideal world, I’ll be able to update it again next year, with a yet more optimistic tone.

The Wall Street Journal asked some questions on Labor Day 2012, and supplied some answers.  Here are some of those questions and answers, which remain as valid this Labor Day.

An Urging

New York State’s governor, Andrew Cuomo (D), has taken to asking those who’ve left the State to return—especially the rich and especially to New York City.

New York City’s mayor, Bill de Blasio (D), has taken a more blasé attitude. He’s in the What, Me Worry? camp; folks will come back. Even the rich.

I have to ask, though.

Why would anyone want to return to New York City? De Blasio has made the place unlivable, and the Internet has made the place unnecessary.

Student Debt

In an article about Progressive-Democratic Party Presidential candidate Joe Biden’s plan for reducing student loan-centered debt, The Wall Street Journal asked

What do you think would be an effective way to reduce student loan debt in the US?

Getting government out of the way of the economy so graduates can get jobs and pay their debts is the first and most critical step.

For the future, we need to require colleges and universities to publish the median and mean first-five-year annual incomes for their various majors.

Maybe Not So Much

Some economic news from the end of last week:

The latest jobless claims figures from the Labor Department, which cover the week ending August 1, show that more than 1.18 million workers sought aid last week….
Economists surveyed by Refinitiv expected 1.41 million new claims.

And

Continuing claims, the number of people receiving benefits after an initial week of aid fell by 844,000 to 16.1 million.

The data coincide with the expiration of the $600/week Wuhan Virus-related payments added to ordinary unemployment payments, so that’s not a driver of this sharp labor improvement; although the impending end of the addendum could have had some impact. The overall improvement in our economy is the driver.