Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Category Archives: Economics

Fewer IRS Audits again this year

English: Anti-United States Internal Revenue S...

The whining from IRS Commissioner John Koskinen began almost from the day he was sworn in as the latest head of the dreaded agency back in December: not enough funding, not enough agents, not enough audits, too many responsibilities, nobody cares, oh darn.  Last year the IRS audited less than 1 percent of all returns from individuals, the lowest rate since 2005. Whined Koskinen, this year “the numbers will

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Senator Levin Castigates Caterpillar for Using Legal Loopholes

Caterpillar logo

Caterpillar logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Using the power of the bully pulpit as chairman of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Michigan Senator Carl Levin attacked Caterpillar on Tuesday for using loopholes in the law to save the company an estimated $2.4 billion in taxes since 2000. Executives from Caterpillar as well as the company’s accounting firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) were called on the carpet for

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Connecticut’s Governor as King Canute

Seal of the Governor of Connecticut.

Seal of the Governor of Connecticut. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This article first appeared at the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, March 31, 2014:

King Canute appears to have been reincarnated in the body of Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy. On Thursday, the governor announced, with great fanfare, that by raising the state’s minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, he will be simultaneously raising people out of poverty, restoring business confidence, and bringing days of wine and roses back to the Nutmeg State:

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UN Report Criticizes Biofuels Mandates

Dual-fuel gas station at Sao Paulo, Brazil. Al...

Dual-fuel gas station at Sao Paulo, Brazil. Alcohol (ethanol) and G gasoline (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last week the British newspaper Telegraph leaked a portion of the report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) due to be released today, in which Robert Mendick, the paper’s chief reporter, said the UN now officially warns that growing food for fuel rather than for people hurts the environment and starves people. Said Mendick:

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Connecticut Raises its Minimum Wage to $10.10 an Hour

Governor's Agreement With State Employees

Governor’s Agreement With State Employees (Photo credit: CT Senate Democrats)

In a remarkable display of hubris and economic ignorance, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy proudly announced on Thursday that his state is the first to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour:

This is just a step in moving people in the right direction.

We will be lifting people out of poverty in the state of Connecticut. Increasing the minimum wage is not just good for workers, it’s also good for business.

What the new law will really do as it is phased in over the next three years is

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Tesla Sales Model Upsetting Traditional Auto Dealers

Tesla S, close-up on the rear.

Tesla S, close-up on the rear. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In Washington State, Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of Tesla Motors, has created a way to sell his cars without having to go through a car dealer: by persuading the state legislature to

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The Minimum Wage: Economists and Weather Forecasters

English: Murray Rothbard in the 90's

Murray Rothbard in the 90′s (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, March 21, 2004:

Establishment economists defending interventionist statist policies like the minimum wage really ought to get out more. Weathermen, when they head home after work, are going to be confronted immediately with the reality of their forecasts and the consequences of being wrong. Economists are rarely if ever visited by the consequences of their predictions when they turn out badly.

One such is Jared Bernstein, who has spent his professional life locked up in a cubicle somewhere,

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ARMs are Costing People their Homes

Subprime Crisis No Barrier to Affordable Housing

Subprime Crisis (Photo credit: woodleywonderworks)

Back in September, the Associated Press took a close look at U.S. census data and learned that the supposed economic recovery was leaving an awful lot of people behind. One segment is homeowners who bought the dream of owning a home using ARMs – adjustable rate mortgages – and who are now finding out how these sub-prime mortgages really work. They are working to

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Fed Transcripts from 2008 Reveal Experts to be Clueless and Confused

English: President Barack Obama confers with F...

President Barack Obama confers with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke following their meeting at the White House. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Followers of the Fed have carefully analyzed the 1,865 pages of transcripts it released in February of its eight regularly scheduled meetings and six emergency meetings in 2008 and have concluded that these experts were clueless and unaware of the opening economic abyss yawning before them. Even the New York Times was forced to admit, following its review of the documents, that

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Latest Survey: Small Business will lay off Workers if the Minimum Wage is Raised

Bob Funk, the entrepreneur who founded and now operates Express Employment Professionals (claimed to be the largest privately owned employment service in the country), holds that the best way to determine the impact of a proposed law is to ask those who would be directly affected. It reduces confusion, avoids extended discussions among economists who have never held a real job in their working lives, and eliminates spending on empirical studies designed with the desired outcome in mind. Said Funk:

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Huge Increases in ObamaCare Premiums are Coming

When Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius sought to quell concerns about rising premiums under ObamaCare last week she said: “The increases [we’re seeing] are far less significant than what they were prior to the Affordable Care Act.” This was an echo of one of Sebelius’ spokesmen at HHS, Joanne Peters, who told Fox News, “Since the Affordable Care Act became law, health-care costs have been slowing and premium growth has slowed to the lowest rate in years … making it easier for [small] businesses to offer coverage.”

These claims surprised health insurance company officials who

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British Think Tank Predicts Financial Catastrophe for US

Titled “The Government Debt Iceberg”, the latest report from The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) in London was meant primarily for British eyes, but there’s enough in there to concern Americans worried about how

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President Proposes Doubling the tax Subsidy for the Poor

President Obama’s proposal to double the earned income tax credit (EITC) for the working poor on March 4 came with all the attendant benefits such an expansion would provide: it would reduce poverty while encouraging people not working to get a job. It would expand the existing law to cover an additional 16 million families with 30 million children.

In his State of the Union Address in January, the president warned this was coming,

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Mike Rowe Touches the Third Rail of Retailing: Walmart!

Mike Rowe, the popular host of Dirty Jobs on the Discovery Channel and frequent voice behind ads for Ford, Caterpillar, Motorola and Lee’s Jeans, learned how thin his popularity is among some of his fans when he touched the third rail of retailing: Walmart. In his voiceover of Walmart’s ad appearing during the Olympics, Rowe announces the retail giant’s plans to

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The New York Times Continues to Shrink

In its press release issued on Thursday the New York Times did its best to put lipstick on its pig, noting declines in earnings per share over the last quarter and the last twelve months but claiming that this represented great progress and

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Latest CBO Outlook Ignores Birth Rates and Tipping Points

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, February 5, 2014:

Just reading the headlines, the average citizen is likely to think that now that the deficits are under control Washington can focus on problems elsewhere. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated in May that the current year’s deficit would come in at $560 billion, half what it was just two years ago. In its report released on Tuesday, it was pleased to note that

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Rosy CBO Report Leaves out Critical Factors

At first reading the latest report on the government budget and the economy released on Tuesday by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is all sunshine and roses. In its summary of the 182-page report the CBO noted that deficits this year (from last October to next September) will be even lower than initially estimated, dropping to $514 billion, down from $680 billion last year and $1.1 trillion in 2012. And, in the very short run at least, further declines in deficits are expected through 2015, perhaps touching a low of

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Argentina’s economy is cratering, again

While Wall Street declined by 3 percent over global growth concerns last week, few were noting or even interested in the 11 percent decline in the Merval, Argentina’s stock market index. It hit a high of 5,970 on Tuesday, January 21, the day before the Argentina government devalued its currency, and closed at 5,337 on Monday. The peso itself has been in decline far longer, having lost nearly

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Moody’s blames Obamacare “uncertainty” for its downgrade of health insurers

In announcing credit rating firm Moody’s downgrade of all health insurers, Senior Vice President Stephen Zaharuk placed the blame firmly and directly on the Obamacare rollout and implementation:

The ongoing and unstable and evolving environment is a key factor for our outlook change. The past few months have seen new regulations and announcements that impose operational changes well after product and pricing decisions were finalized.

Translation: health insurers could lose their shirts if

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Highland Park, Michigan, is Teetering on the Brink of Bankruptcy

The final straw for Highland Park, Michigan, may have arrived in the form of a letter from Fifth Third Bank last month announcing it is ending its monthly checks that have provided life support for the city inside of Detroit for the last three years. One of three banks sending checks to the city, Fifth Third said in its letter dated December 12 that it is

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Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.

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