Benjamin Studebaker

Yet Another Attempt to Make the World a Better Place by Writing Things

Tag: Unemployment

Hillary Clinton’s Problems Go Far Beyond Being “Out of Touch”

Hillary Clinton has been getting reamed for being “out of touch” for comments she made regarding the Clinton family’s wealth.  The Clintons earned $109 million during their first 7 years out of office (for an average annual income of $15.5 million), but she nonetheless claimed that the Clinton family was “dead broke”and in debt when it left the White House in 2001, and that the Clintons are not truly “well off“. While Clinton badly misses the mark here, what’s far more disturbing is the role her husband’s administration played in enriching people like them at the eventual expense of the wider population.

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Minimum Wage: Rational Employers are Not Job Creators

There is a huge, gaping hole in the response right-wing politicians are giving to demands that the minimum wage be raised in the United States–they are assuming that employers generally behave in an irrational, inefficient way. Here’s how.

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Mitt Romney is No Captain Hindsight on Ukraine

Since I last wrote about Ukraine, the Russians have occupied and annexed Crimea, a region that has a 70% majority ethnic Russian population and a major Russian naval base. The United States and the European Union have done even less than I anticipated in response–sanctions have been confined to a few figures in Putin’s administration. At this point, the armchair generals are beginning to come out of the woodwork, with Mitt Romney going so far as to tell us what he believes he would have done had he been elected in 2012. Unfortunately, Romney is no Captain Hindsight, and his proposals only serve to illustrate what a poor choice the American people had in 2012.

 

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The Assimilation of François Hollande is Complete

We are the Borg. Your biological and technological distinctiveness will be added to our own. Resistance is futile.

If the French thought their 2012 election of socialist François Hollande over former president Nicolas Sarkozy meant that they would have their Keynes and avoid austerity, they have been proven fatally wrong. Hollande has just announced plans for a €50 billion austerity package, a cut of 4% of France’s GDP. He has promised to cut taxes on businesses by €30 billion, but this will come in the form of the elimination of a requirement that French businesses fund a family welfare program. Based on the IMF’s multiplier estimate for depressed economies (1.5), France will lose 6% in potential GDP growth over the next 3 years under this plan, potentially resulting in a new French recession. Hollande’s argument for this plan betrays a stunning incompetence on economic matters and illustrates that French voters have been played–there was no democratic alternative to Sarkozy in 2012.

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The Incredible Statistical Difference between Democrats and Republicans

Lately I’ve been reading a book by Larry Bartels entitled Unequal Democracy: The Politics of the New Gilded AgeBartels has conducted an incredible study that produced statistical outcomes I was not, to this point, aware of. Given the amount of time and energy I devote to politics, it stands to reason that the general public is not aware of them either, and it is absolutely imperative that, so long as this remains a democracy, every citizen be made aware of what Bartels has found, so I set out today to communicate these figures to whoever might be out there reading, in the hope that perhaps they will be shared more widely.

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