Saturday, March 28, 2015

Higher Minimum Wage Leaves Working Poor Without Childcare

Key Excerpt:

"So when its main expense (labor) increases by more than 36% overnight (from $9 to $12.25 per hour), Cold Hard Facts say: Increase Revenues or Decrease Expenses.
For a non-profit early childhood development center in Oakland which had recently garnered the highest rating in the county, the only way “out” is decreased costs. Parents of the 63 children cared for there—all working poor—pay little to nothing for the care provided five days a week, every week of the year. Because it is a nourishing environment—providing professional care, guided recreation, stories, socialization and pre-school instruction—it is by definition very labor intensive. And much of that labor is provided by minimum-wage teachers’ aids. The immediate, first-year budget shortfall to meet the mandated wage increase: $146,500."

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Progress Report on Obamacare

Progress report on Obamacare. As predicted, it has shrunk the number of firms in the marketplace, raised premiums, and etc

Key excerpt:
"A recent report by HealthPocket, an online insurance marketplace, has revealed that premiums for individual Americans skyrocketed after Obamacare became law.
Drug costs have jumped, too, despite promises to the contrary from the Obama administration. The majority of health plans offered on the exchanges have shifted costs for expensive medications onto patients, according to a study by Avalere Health. In 2015, more than 40 percent of all “silver” exchange plans – the most commonly purchased – charged patients 30 percent or more for specialty drugs. Only 27 percent of silver plans did so last year. Part of the problem is that the health law has quashed market competition.
The president promised in 2013 that “this law means more choice, more competition, lower costs for millions of Americans.” But that hasn’t turned out to be true. According to the Heritage Foundation, the number of insurers selling to individual consumers in the exchanges this year is 21.5 percent less than the number that were on the market in 2013 – the year before the law took effect.
The Government Accountability Office reports that insurers have left the market in droves. In 2013, 1,232 carriers offered insurance coverage in the individual market. By 2015, that number had shrunk to 310.
With competition in the exchanges on the decline, quality is going down, too – just like President Obama said in 2013: 'Without competition, the price of insurance goes up, and the quality goes down.'"
Article: "Looking At Obamacare, Five Years On"

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Does a Growing Economy Require an Expanding Money Supply?

Frank Shostak analyzes if the money supply needs to be expanded when the economy expands. It is mainstream economic theory that as the economy expands, that the Central Bank must print more money. Read the article below and provide your thoughts!

Mises Wire | Mises Institute

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Musk and Tesla

Mention Elon Musk or Tesla, and a myriad of responses are given. Regardless of the responses, the fact is that Musk is attempting to shake up the auto industry. This article from the Daily Bell titled, "Tesla's Musk Continues to Restyle Himself as a Tech Visionary. But Why" is an example of this.

Many states are attempting to ban the sale of Tesla autos in their state. Some states have been successful, as New Jersey comes to mind. This is not because of the fact the cars are electric, but because the cars are sold directly from the manufactures. This is smart by Mr. Musk because the cost of building an electric auto will be higher than its combustion engine equivalent. In an attempt to cut down on costs, selling the car directly from the manufacture is a brilliant move. However, the auto dealers association is lobbying to push for enforcement of the rule of not allowing Tesla to sell cars in those markets. Now, in New Jersey, the current Governor Chris Christie is pondering if Tesla can be allowed to be sold in New Jersey. Read up on this here from this article titled, "Chris Christie will decide if Tesla can sell directly to consumers in New Jersey" 

All of these developments demonstrate how this is quite intriguing, as we Americans pride ourselves in "Free Enterprise".  In a market where buyers and sellers are free to exchange goods and services, it is very efficient--provided that there are no cost, hurdles or barriers of entry(e.g Regulations, increased taxes, fees, etc) that are imposed by the Government. How does Governor Chris Christie know what all the consumers prefer? How does anyone know this? No human can. If the Governor is determining the fate of Tesla, and not the consumers, can we honestly state this is "Free Enterprise"? 

The most effective way to determine if Tesla is a viable auto maker is this:  Allow them to sell their vehicles in the marketplace, and allow the competition with other auto makers to determine the winner. In this situation, the consumer, drives the preference; as it will not be determined by the Governor. 

Friday, March 13, 2015

Sports Stadiums Throw Taxpayers for a Loss

Sports Stadiums Throw Taxpayers for a Loss

Key Excerpt:

"Team owners, however, can always find some city or state willing to fleece taxpayers in the fallacious hope that prosperity will follow. It's a play fake that never fails."