Tag: Economics

June 22, 2018: Ep. 748 Why Are They Still Pushing Us?

In this episode I address the continued calls for violence from the radical left and the potential consequences. I also discuss a brilliant analysis of the handling of the Clinton email investigation and how it may actually benefit President Trump.

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June 5, 2018: Ep. 735 Why The Rush To Shut This Guy Up?

In this episode I address the curious circumstances behind the rushed arrest of George Papadopoulos. What is the Mueller probe hiding? I also address the response by Ben Shapiro to yesterday’s show. Finally, I address the key takeaways from yesterday’s ruling in the gay marriage, wedding cake, case and some critical new economic figures.

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Debunked: “The U.S. Ranks #1 in Child Poverty”

Authored by: Matt Palumbo

“We have the highest rate of childhood poverty of any major country on Earth” said socialist Senator Bernie Sanders back in 2015.

By “major” by meant among the 35 nations within the OECD nations, and there is a study to back up the claim. According to a 2012 UNICEF report, the United States ranks almost dead last when it comes to child poverty, 34th place out of 35 countries. The study also claimed that childhood poverty in the U.S. is 23.1 percent, which is 8.1 percentage points above the overall poverty rate in the U.S. in 2012 (that discrepancy will make sense later).

The fatal flaw in the study can be summarized in a single sentence: it doesn’t measure poverty, it measures inequality. Or put differently, it measures relative poverty, not absolute poverty. In context of the study’s methodology, poverty is defined as a (a child living in a) household earning below 50% of the median income in a country. That fact alone greatly exacerbates the number of “poor” in a sample, especially in countries with greater amounts of income inequality (like the U.S.).

In the U.S., real median personal income for an individual was $31,099 in 2016. The poverty threshold for an individual that year was set at $11,770. If the U.S. defined poverty by Oxfam’s criteria, the poverty line would be increased to $15,549, which would obviously increase the number of people in poverty (on paper), without changing anyone’s income. While America’s childhood poverty rate in the Census statistics (15.6 percent in 2016) is slightly higher than the overall poverty rate (12.7 percent in 2016), it’s drastically lower than the 23+ percent rate UNICEF arrived at.  Forty-eight percent lower, to be more specific.

Just take a look at some of the nations on the list that are ranked as having less child poverty than the U.S. in UNICEF’s report: Bulgaria (18.8% child poverty),  Lithuania (15.4%),  and Slovakia (11.2%).  The average monthly income in Bulgaria is $416, $655 in Lithuania, and $853 in Slovakia. Given that the U.S. poverty line for an individual is $11,770, and the average incomes for citizens in those three countries would put one below the U.S. poverty line, it’s impossible to believe they could somehow have less child poverty than the U.S.

UNICEF did issue an updated report in 2014 – this time changing the definition of poverty further, to anyone in a household earning below 60 percent of the median national income. America is a country where a full-time minimum wage worker earns more than 91.3% of the world, so it’s no surprise that UNICEF literally has to redefine poverty to portray America in a negative light.



Is Obama to Thank for the Trump Economy?

Authored by: Matt Palumbo

The stock market is on a historic tear, unemployment is at records low, inflation remains under control, and the labor participation rate may finally began to tick upwards once again.

But should we be thanking Trump? Not according to the partisans.

  • “Here are two words we won’t hear President Trump say tonight about the economy — ‘Thanks Obama‘”   says Chuck Schumer.
  • “I don’t understand why, well, maybe I do why the folks in the Trump administration won’t admit that the economy was doing well under President Obama,” CNN’s Don Lemon. (Humorously, a conservative guest quipped in response that Trump should thank Obama for not being President anymore).
  • In December 2017, Obama himself decided to pat himself on the back for the economic landscape under Trump. “As we took these actions, we saw the U.S. economy grow consistently,” former President Obama “We saw the longest streak of job creation in American history by far, a streak that still continues by the way.”

While I’d agree that the typical person credits the President (regardless of who it may be) far too much for the positive or negative state of the economy, that doesn’t mean we can’t prove that things are better off than had Obama remained in office.

How do we know? We can look at the Congressional Budget Office’s predictions for economic growth in past reports, and compare them to realized growth under Trump.

For instance, in 2016, the CBO projected real economic growth of 2.2 percent in 2017, and 2.1 percent growth in 2018.

Growth came in relatively close in 2017, at 2.3 percent, but 2018 is where things begin to diverge. Remember, it wasn’t until the end of 2017 that Trump signed his tax package – the main catalyst we’d expect for growth under his presidency.

As one writer for Investors Business Daily noted:

Last June (2017), the CBO said GDP growth for 2018 would be just 2%. Now it figures growth will be 3.3% — a significant upward revision. It also boosted its forecast for 2019 from a meager 1.5% to a respectable 2.4%.

“Underlying economic conditions have improved in some unexpected ways since June,” the CBO says. Unexpected to the CBO, perhaps, but not to those of us who understood that Trump’s tax cuts and deregulatory efforts would boosts growth.

Economists agree too.

The Wall Street Journal polled a number of business, financial and academic economists on if Trump in January 2018 on who was more responsible for the current economy, most of which “suggested Mr. Trump’s election deserves at least some credit” for the upturn. Additionally, a majority said the president had been “somewhat” or “strongly” positive for job creation, gross domestic product growth and the rising stock market.

Are we supposed to believe that it’s a coincidence that business confidence and the stock market didn’t begin their recent liftoff until after Trump was elected? The Dow Jones Index’s 1-year gain following Trump’s victory was the largest post-election bull run since 1945.

If the market loved the Obama presidency, it sure has a weird way of showing it.