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Bringing Back Manufacturing Jobs to the U.S.A.: Confronting Tough Realities

Meeting with American corporate CEOs at the White House on the first “working day” of his presidency, Donald Trump warned, “A company that wants to fire all of its people in the United States and build some factory somewhere else, then thinks that product is going to just flow across the border into the United States . . . that’s just not going to happen.”[1]The new president was up against “tectonic forces” in trying to bring back “blue collar” manufacturing jobs to his base using tax policy. Yet the business calculus goes immediately on the basis of financial advantage, and the contours of the “game board” include the various tax and trade policies of countries.


The full essay is at “Bringing Back the Jobs.”

[1]Nelson D. Schwartz and Alan Rappeport, “Call to Create Jobs, or Else, Tests Trump’s Sway,” The New York Times, January 24, 2017.

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Trump: Greatest imaginary jobs president God ever created

One of the most frustrating things about Obama during his eight years in office was how he manipulated economic numbers to make it look like his policies were working. From unemployment to jobs created, Obama turned the manipulation of data…

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A New Year’s Message for Interventionists: Workers Do Best in Unregulated Labor Markets

It’s time to channel the wisdom of Frederic Bastiat. There are many well-meaning people who understandably want to help workers by protecting them from bad outcomes such as pay reductions, layoffs and discrimination. My normal response is to remind them that the best thing for workers is a vibrant and growing economy. That’s the kind […]

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Steelworkers praise Nolan?

If there’s something that’s mind-boggling, it’s how steelworkers still praise the man who isn’t consistently fighting for them. What’s important to understand is that this isn’t about mining. It’s about the liberal agenda, at least with the union leadership. Picture the union president saying “Because of his unabashed and outspoken support for our members, we […]

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Another Lesson from Bastiat: So-Called Employment Protection Legislation Is Bad News for Workers

Frederic Bastiat, the great French economist (yes, such creatures used to exist) from the 1800s, famously observed that a good economist always considers both the “seen” and “unseen” consequences of any action. A sloppy economist looks at the recipients of government programs and declares that the economy will be stimulated by this additional money that […]

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The Productive People in France Need a Frexit

The United Kingdom is getting a lot of attention because voters just chose to leave the European Union. I think this was the smart choice. Yes, there will be some short-run economic volatility, but the long-run benefits should make it worthwhile. Sort of like chemotherapy being painful, but still being much better than the alternative […]

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The Recipe for Job Creation: Less “Help” from Washington

The American economy is in the doldrums. And has been for most this century thanks to bad policy under both Obama and Bush. So what’s needed to boost growth and create jobs? A new video from Learn Liberty, narrated by Professor Don Boudreaux (who also was the narrator for Learn Liberty’s superb video on free […]

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A Grim Final Year for Obamanomics

What’s the most important economic statistic to gauge a society’s prosperity? I often use per-capita economic output when comparing nations. But for ordinary people, what probably matters most is household income. And if you look at the median household income numbers for the United States, Obamanomics is a failure. According to the Census Bureau’s latest […]

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Obama, Redistribution, and Jobs: Always Wrong, Never in Doubt

Let’s dig into the issue of whether the United States should become more like France. In a 2014 study for the National Bureau of Economic Research, Stanford University’s Robert Hall wrote about America’s sub-par economic performance. His opening line was basically a preemptive refutation of Obama’s claim – made during the State-of-the-Union Address – that […]

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Obama’s Legacy? Dismal and Declining Labor Force Participation

I normally enjoy working for the Cato Institute since it’s a principled and effective organization. But every so often, my job requires an unpleasant task, and watching the State-of-the-Union Address as part of Cato’s live-tweeting program counts as one my least enjoyable experiences since joining the team. But let’s make lemonade out of lemons by […]

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Bernie Sanders Is (Sort of) Right about Europe Being a Role Model for the United States

Bernie Sanders, Vermont’s pseudo-socialist senator, thinks that America can learn from Europe. He’s right. But he’s also wrong. That’s because he thinks that Europe is a role model to emulate rather than a warning signal of mistakes to avoid. Needless to say, that’s borderline crazy. Heck, even President Obama has pointed out that the United States […]

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Obamacare study confirms Obama’s economic failures

A few days ago, I shared how Obama likes to massage data to make it look like his economic policies are working. Unemployment rate goes down? It’s not because people are finding jobs. Instead, it’s because their unemployment benefits have run out or they have become so discouraged from not finding a job that they have abandoned looking for a job. Meanwhile, food stamp usage has climbed to record highs because those same people are forced to rely on government handouts in order to eat and survive. Now we learn from a new study that Obamacare is supplying another piece of the Obamanomics puzzle that prove how the administration is manipulating data to hide his failure. According to the study by Families USA, one in four people who bought health insurance on their own couldn’t afford needed care — despite data that shows how Obamacare reduced the ranks of the uninsured. “Simply having health insurance is no guarantee that consumers can afford to pay for health care,” the study says. “Health insurance involves different types of costs that consumers must pay out-of-pocket — ranging from a health plan’s deductible to copayments at a doctor’s office. These expenses add up, and […]

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Obamacare study confirms Obama’s economic failures

A few days ago, I shared how Obama likes to massage data to make it look like his economic policies are working. Unemployment rate goes down? It’s not because people are finding jobs. Instead, it’s because their unemployment benefits have run out or they have become so discouraged from not finding a job that they have abandoned looking for a job. Meanwhile, food stamp usage has climbed to record highs because those same people are forced to rely on government handouts in order to eat and survive. Now we learn from a new study that Obamacare is supplying another piece of the Obamanomics puzzle that prove how the administration is manipulating data to hide his failure. According to the study by Families USA, one in four people who bought health insurance on their own couldn’t afford needed care — despite data that shows how Obamacare reduced the ranks of the uninsured. “Simply having health insurance is no guarantee that consumers can afford to pay for health care,” the study says. “Health insurance involves different types of costs that consumers must pay out-of-pocket — ranging from a health plan’s deductible to copayments at a doctor’s office. These expenses add up, and […]

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Obamanomics: Lies, damned lies, and statistics – Part II

A few months ago I wrote a piece called, “Bureau of Labor Statistics: Lies, damned lies, and statistics” where I documented the realities hidden in some of Obama’s economic policies. Unfortunately, recent news on the economy called for a sequel to be written. According to the talking heads at the White House, and the state-controlled media that rubber-stamps all things Obama, the U.S. economy is well on the way to recovery despite facts proving the opposite: Last week, we were told how unemployment had dropped to 5.4 percent, which makes it the lowest rate since May, 2008. An interesting statistic, since the number of Americans not in the labor force climbed to a near record level of 93,194,000. The Labor Force Participation Rate (the percent of people 16 years old and older who are eligible to work) held steady at 62.8 percent. As of January 2015, the number of Americans receiving food stamps had topped 46,000,000 for forty-one straight months. That means that 14.5 percent of the American population received food stamps every month for over three years, going back to September 2011. During the Great Depression, long bread lines of hungry people waiting for hours to get a meal […]

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Minimum-Wage Laws Are a Triumph of Emotion over Logic

It’s very frustrating to write about the minimum wage. How often can you make the elementary observation, after all, that you’ll get more unemployment if you try to make businesses pay some workers more than they’re worth? But it’s my mission to promote economic liberty, so I’ve written on why government-mandated wages can create unemployment by making it […]

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If You Want to Gauge the Health of the Job Market, Focus on Employment rather than Unemployment

For the past several years, on the issue of jobs, I’ve focused more on the employment-population ratio rather than the official unemployment rate. Both figures are important, of course, but I think the employment-population ratio has more economic meaning since our prosperity ultimately is based on how many people are productively employed. To put this […]

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The Three Best and Three Worst Policy Developments of 2014

Exactly one year ago, we looked at the best and worst policy developments of 2013. Now it’s time for a look back at 2014 to see what’s worth celebrating and what are reasons for despair. Here’s the good news for 2014. 1. Gridlock – I’ve been arguing for nearly three years that divided government is […]

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Video: It’s totally engrossing, extremely depressing, completely believable and hopefully incorrect!

Get Obama Toilet Paper For That Special Someone On Your Christmas Giving List!Or, if that doesn’t HIT the spot, might I suggest The Obama Punching Bag instead?The 25-year DepressionWhile the thoughts espoused in this video are hopefully incorrect, the …

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When Dayton’s priorities changed

This article is rather enlightening: “I learned some important lessons from him. First of all, the importance of a job to someone who doesn’t have one. My job as governor is to do everything I can to provide jobs for the people of Minnesota, those who are unemployed, those who are underemployed, to those who […]

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LTEs from a different planet

There are times when I can’t help but wonder if some of the LTEs weren’t written by space aliens from a different planet. This LTE is one of them. Here’s what’s got me scratching my head in disbelief: Minnesota is among the national leaders again in low unemployment and growth of jobs that provide good […]

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