Category Archives: economy

Do We Spend Money On the Right Things?

In Delaware, we give away tens of millions to companies like Fisker Automotive and Bloom Energy. Bloom Energy has increased its hidden surcharge to Delaware's electric customers from 67 cents a month in January to 3 dollars and 83 cents next month. This could amount to a total subsidy in the hundreds of millions over the next 10 years. Bloom promises to create 900 jobs. As a downpayment, Bloom is advertising 10 jobs currently. What if that money were invested in a Delaware infrastructure bank? Imagine a fund to help rebuild our old water infrastructure and make our power more reliable. Imagine a fund that would build physical infrastructure like our local airports in each county. Kent could become a cargo hub for less than a million dollars according to my sources. Several industries have passed on us because our water infrastructure is insufficient. We waste a great deal of Read more

Guest Opinion on Immigration Reform

Amnesty Driven by Voodoo Economics By Jonathon Moseley Voices calling for amnesty do not really understand economics or free enterprise. They offer garbled misconceptions -- with graphs. But they would be kicked out of the economics courses I took in business school. The pro-amnesty camp argues from "voodoo economics." Amnesty will grow the economy, they argue. Well, if there are more people, technically the economy will be bigger. But each person may be poorer. A growing economy is only 'better' if the economy grows faster than the population increases. Otherwise, each individual is worse off among a larger crowd. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) measures total activity -- not household income for each individual family. Amnesty will create a worse economy for everyone, even if total GDP is larger. (Actually, amnesty just transfers workers from Mexico to the U.S.A., so there Read more

Are Americans Being Played?

The economy is quite good, profits for big companies are up, stocks are around all time highs, big banks are running strong, and big government tax revenues are up. Should I say the economy is good for the big crowd, big business, big banks, big insurance, big energy, and big government. Yet growth is terrible, 1.2% (oh wait they changed how they calculate growth 1.7%), unemployment is still around 7.4% even with the nifty new way they count it. The U-6 is about double that. Working people are going backwards in income. Minority unemployment is absurd, but white poverty rates are rapidly heading to that of minorities--misery doesn't enjoy company. Why are there two economies? One for them and one for us? Why is the American system being gamed by those who are able to have the best lobbyists that money can buy? The tax system, procurement policies, regulations, and even laws Read more

Delaware’s Economic challenge pt.1

The new unemployment numbers have been published. Delaware is stagnant with 7.1% unemployment. State of Delaware’s officials take comfort from the fact that we are lower than the national average of 7.3%. The problem is that while the national rate is ever so slowly declining, ours is not moving. I have some areas which I believe are holding us back inspite of some positive initiatives from state officials. First, I would like to hear from you. Let’s have an open forum on the economy. (Actually my article disappeared and I don’t have time to retype it). I think there are 7 areas that we are lagging in. Infrastructure, utility rates, less competitive corporate rates, ineffective education strategy, inefficient land use, we are too tied to best practices and not next practices, and we need to better leverage our higher education institutions. Your thoughts?

Obama Team Struggles With Accuracy To Explain Cuts

President Obama and top administration officials are struggling with accuracy in explaining the impact of billions in federal budget cuts known as sequester that kicked in Saturday morning -- even getting called out by a Capitol Hill superintendent about furloughs for support staffers. Carlos Elias, the Capitol Building superintendent, sent out a memo Friday reminding staffers that the current sequestration plan does not include “reductions in force or furloughs” and that “pay and benefit of each of our employees will not be impacted.” Though not directly mentioning Obama by name, Elias also said in the memo that a “high-ranking official said employees that clean and maintain the U.S. Capitol will receive a cut in pay.” Hours before the memo was released, the president, in what appears to be the administration’s attempt to maximize the potential impact of the cuts, Read more

Obama, Spending Cuts Will Begin Friday

Congress effectively missed the deadline to avert the automatic spending cuts, originally passed into law in the summer of 2011. President Obama will officially enact the cuts by the end of the day Friday – but there will be cuts. As the White House has come to acknowledge, the impact of the cuts will – for the most part -- not be felt immediately. The billions of dollars in budget cuts are most likely going to phase in over the next few months. Furloughs of government workers will begin several weeks from now. Administration officials say the impact of this and other cuts will build up over time; President Obama describes the effect on the economy as a “tumble downward.” But some fiscal hawks see a silver lining, in that the sequester will force the government to trim the waste in order to shield higher-priority items. Already, the White House budget office is recommending Read more

European Economic Turmoil

Nothing seems to satisfy the investors. Great Britain did everything the big bond guys say they wanted, austerity through radical spending cuts and tax hikes. They were rewarded with slow economic growth prospects and downgraded from AAA. Italian voters have rejected the austerity path of pay the bankers first followed by the current government, and the bond markets are in a turmoil. The French decided to pretend they can just tax the rich and their economy is in standstill. The outflow of capital to bail out everyone else is helping slow the mighty German economy based strongly upon exporting to a world cutting back. Is there a catch 22? If you do not control debt your economy implodes, if you follow the IMF path of austerity, you suffer short term slowing and they still lower your ratings. There is no wonder policy makers are confused. I believe the casualty in this could be the multinational Read more

Obama’s Claims Are False on Sequester Responsibility

The Washington Post's Bob Woodward Maintains that the commander-in-chief need look no further than his own White House if he wants to blame someone for this sequester disaster. Woodward, who works as an associate editor at the Post, said the $85 billion in automatic spending cuts that are set to begin on Friday are surrounded by "misunderstanding, misstatement and all the classic contortion of partisan message management." The cuts amount to a total of $1.2 trillion over 10 years. "Obama personally approved of the plan for Lew and Nabors to propose the sequester to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid," asserted Woodward. "They did so at 2:30 p.m. July 27, 2011, according to interviews with two senior White House aides who were directly involved." Woodward also cited comments attributed to Nabors. "Nabors has told others that they checked with the president before going to see Reid," Read more

U. S. Workplace More Competitive than ever

In one of my stump speeches, I often remarked that we need to improve the economy because the college educated people are taking the high school educated's jobs and they are taking the dropout's jobs, who are taking the youth's jobs which is creating 40% and more youth unemployment. Young people are not learning the soft skills from those valuable first jobs, while the families of others are struggling to survive. This problem is creating long term social disruption. This is one of the reasons for my focus on inclusive economic development. Now Newsmax has an interesting article giving statistical credence to my assertion. Nearly half of employed college graduates in the United States hold down jobs that don’t require a four-year college education — including 323,200 waiters and waitresses, 115,520 janitors and cleaners, and 83,028 bartenders. A new report from the nonprofit Read more

Port of Wilmington Bill Up Thursday

UPDATE: House Passed with an amendment on a 40 to 0 vote. SB 3 w/SA 2, Senator Marshall's bill to provide an extra step of General Assembly approval before the Port of Wilmington is privatized by lease, sale, or other transfer is on the agenda in the house tomorrow after passing the Senate last week. The House Economic Development/ Banking/ Insurance/ and Commerce Committee voted to release the bill today. It is reported that an amendment to expedite the approval process by sending any privatization proposal to the Joint Bond Bill committee then requiring its report to be voted up or down by the General Assembly, will be presented. Read more

The Good News: Obama Rejects Trillion Dollar Coin

The Obama Administration rejected the trillion dollar coin idea floated by some progressive economic lunatics. The idea is lunacy because once the U. S. created such a coin to fund the deficit, it could create 16 more to pay off the debt. Such a move as the trillion dollar coin would hyper-inflate the currency cutting the value of the money in half. The fear of more would cause an international run on the dollar and a sell of American debt. We would become dependent on monetizing the debt instead of bringing money into our economy to fund it. Good for them. The bad news is that we are doing the same thing on the installment plan except instead of owing the money to ourselves, we are letting the bankers own the debt. At least with the trillion dollar coin idea, we would not have to pay the money back. Over the last few years, we have engaged in quantitative easing, which has increased Read more

Democrats Don’t Want a Deal

Compromise:  When Republicans agree to do what Democrats want even if they believe it will harm the country.   That seems to be sole focus of the media on the so called fiscal cliff.  The media drumbeat has been a constant refrain to watch to see if Republicans stand in the way of President Obama and force the country off the fiscal cliff.  The fact is the country is already heading off a fiscal cliff by following current spending patterns.  We do not even have a budget.  We just appropriate wild sums of your money then tell the Congressional Budget Office to make sense of it. For those who think the problem is the GOP if negotiations fail, read this.  Nancy Pelosi is working overtime to ensure failure so she has an issue to run on to retake the house.  That is fine, but letting her do it while putting the responsibility elsewhere is media malpractice. The facts are that the Read more

Eurozone Sinks

According to the Financial Times, the Eurozone has sunk into another recession.  The UK is not part of the Zone and helped the EU overall avoid falling into an official recession.  France grew barely after shrinking barely the previous quarter which was just revised downward (who knows maybe this one will be as well.), but France is fighting hard to keep its economy stuck in no growth mode with its new socialist government.  German growth is a mere 2 tenths of a percent.  With the major economies stalled, there is no wealth to redistribute. In the U. S., we are trying to look more like Europe.  High marginal tax rates, high debt, bailouts, government dominated health care, artificially mandated green energy, and a welfare state seem to equal an economy stuck in neutral in Europe, I wonder why around half of American voters think it will be different here in spite of the obvious slow Read more

How Long Before This is Us (U.S.)?

Spain is begging for a Eurozone banking Union to bail it out of its mess.    Is the Trillion dollar a year spendthrift U. S. on the same path?
The head of Spain’s biggest bank has made an impassioned plea for Europe to adopt a so-called union of its eurozone banks as an “essential” route out of the region’s crisis http://link.ft.com/r/YIQXNN/A5M9A0/GKTDKD/R3WXB1/YGOUZV/ID/h?a1=2012&a2=11&a3=14

673 Economists Signed on to Endorsement of Romney Economic Plan

Almost 700 ecomomists have publicly endorsed the Romney plan, the question is will you? The Obama propaganda machine tells you that the choice is going back to the Bush Policies or forward with Obama Policies. They say nonsense. In response, former President Bill Clinton said at the Democratic National Convention that Mr. Romney would return to “the same old policies that got us in trouble in the first place.” No, the Romney plan rejects such policies, including perpetual support of poorly regulated housing-finance agencies, such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which got us into the mess. Mr. Romney also argues against the easy-money policy by the Federal Reserve that helped lead to the crisis. Critics complain that Mr. Romney’s tax proposals favor the rich. Actually, he wants to eliminate or limit deductions from special provisions in the tax code for high-income Americans Read more

Action File 40% Premium Hike

Attention job creators, Karen Weldin Stewart is proposing a 40+% increase to Delaware’s Worker’s Compensation Rate. The Delaware Department of Insurance has issued a Notice for a Public Hearing for November 2, 2012, 10 a.m. at the Department of Justice, 820 North French Street, 6th Floor, Wilmington, DE 19801. This could result in higher unemployment and business cash flow challenges. Anyone interested in making comments - written or oral - please read the following: The hearing will be conducted in accordance with the Delaware Administrative Procedures Act, 29 Del. C. Chapter 101. A party has the right to present evidence, be represented by Delaware counsel, and to appear personally or by other representative. The Delaware Department of Insurance is obligated to reach its decision based on the evidence received. Comments are being solicited from any person. Read more

Pro-Business is Pro-Labor

Dover is seeing falling unemployment and a surge of private investment.  I outlined the plan less than two years ago.  We have since stood for deregulation, controlling spending and taxes, and yes business incentives such as tax credits and cutting impact and building permit fees. We cut electric rates and resisted tax hikes. We simplified zoning and sign regulations. Has it worked?  Redner's is the latest example among many which includes Kraft's expansion, Calpine, and others.  But the LLC did take advantage of incentives to redevelop vacant commercial buildings. These incentives included a partial waiver of building permit fees and property taxes on the value of the improvements -- measures approved earlier this year by City Council to provide an incentive to redevelop vacant commercial and industrial properties, she said. “This is exactly the type of project we were hoping Read more

Recession Coming?

We never recovered from the last recession and another one may be on the horizon. Corporate earnings are down and the forecasts are even worse. This is not good news. If it is true we will add a lot of Democrats starting with the President to the unemployment line. No President has survived a recession hitting like this during his reelection to my memory. Certainly not a President since we bought into the notion that the federal government should protect us from the ravages of the business cycle with the exception of the “savior from the Depression”, FDR.

A Defining Moment: HB 392

Representative John Kolwalko AKA Job Killier is trying to take away your right to choose with a single player health system along with colleagues Senator Bruce Ennis, Rep. Jaques, and Rep. Osienski . §1622. Insurance Reforms. Insurers regulated by the Delaware Insurance Department are prohibited from charging premiums to eligible participants for coverage of services already covered by the Health Security Authority. The State Insurance Commissioner shall adopt, amend, alter, repeal and enforce all such rules and regulations and orders as may be necessary to implement this section I call it single player not payer because the bill makes government the only real player in health care. The power is not really with consumers and medical professionals. You would be stuck in a system where your only real choice is to pack up and leave the state or abide by the health board's decisions. Read more

The Unemployment President Takes Aim At Romney Job Record

Faced with poor unemployment news for almost 4 years, the administration went on the offensive against Governor Romney's job creation record. They claimed the following. Even as the rest of the country was enjoying a brightening economy, during Romney's term Massachusetts plummeted to 47th out of 50 states in job creation; manufacturing jobs declined at twice the national average; and for the first time since 1995, its unemployment rate was above the national average. Long-term debt ballooned by more than $2.6 billion -- leaving the people of Massachusetts with the highest per capita debt of any state in the nation. State spending increased every single year, and Romney raised taxes and fees by $750 million per year -- leading to a higher state and local tax burden of $1,200 for every Bay Stater. Over his term, fees at public colleges skyrocketed by 63 percent, and during his first Read more

Delaware GOP Statement on Millsboro Plant Closing

Wilmington, Delaware – May 28, 2012 – John Sigler, Chairman of the Republican State  Committee of Delaware issued the following statement regarding the imminent closing of theVlasic® Pickle  plant due to reconsolidation by its parent company, Pinnacle Foods: “I was saddened to learn of the closing of the Vlasic Pickle plant in Millsboro, Delaware. This unfortunate closing will cost Delaware residents more than 200 full time jobs and many more seasonal jobs. Equally sad will be watching the ripple effect this latest closure has on Millsboro and surrounding communities. This is yet one more example of the "jobless recovery" affecting Delaware residents -- and one more reason to end one-party- rule over state government in Dover. “The Markell administration has proven ineffective in preventing more people from losing their livelihoods and preventing businesses like Vlasic from Read more

Is America a Free Market or Crony Capitalism?

1 in 4 Americans think government management of the economy is better than a free market.  The problem is that they are often the affluent who are manipulating the government for their benefit. The pink slime (lean meat texture)  issue is a great example.  The issue is overblown and the government was right to approve it for addition to ground beef, but it was wrong to not require labeling.  The protein is not as good as muscle protein because it comes more from connective tissue.  How did  they get an exemption from the labeling requirements?  They had good lobbying. TARP is another example.  The Troubled Asset Relief Program was promoted well.  America faced an economic meltdown (due partially to bad government policies) that would have been a depression as deep as 1893 or 1920.    Not to act to restore liquidity in the banking system would have been just short of treason. Read more

Delawareans Losing Confidence In the Economy

According to a recent Gallup poll, the state with the biggest drop in confidence in the economy is Delaware. Economic confidence dropped in all states and the District of Columbia in 2011, reflecting the overall decline nationally. The declines range from a low of 3 points in Idaho and West Virginia to a high of 22 points in Delaware. In fact, Delaware's decline was steep enough that it fell from one of the 10 most confident states to one of the 10 least confident. Delawareans were right to lose confidence. We went from some key indicators like unemployment being significantly better than the national average to coming closer to tracking it. Delaware had leaders like du Pont, Castle, and Carper who stayed ahead of the curve. Now we seem to be hit with one issue after another. Some of the big gains turned out to have job leakage to other countries. This leaves us with certain Read more

The Real Numbers of Underemployed

"Gallup finds underemployment, without seasonal adjustment, at 18.4% in mid-December -- up from 18.1% at the end of November and similar to the 18.5% of a year ago. Over the same period, unemployment increased to 8.7% from 8.5% at the end of last month. Read more at GALLUP.com." Bill Wilson, of Americans for Limited Government, explains why the government numbers are a little different. According to former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich, employment needs to grow by at least 90,000 a month just to keep up with the growth of the population. But, since the fall of 2008, the civilian labor force has actually shrunk from 154.7 million to 153.8 million, a contraction of about 900,000. It's not that fertility suddenly dropped or there was a massive plague. It should have grown by 3.24 million since then, but it didn't. Which means working age adults are simply not being counted by Read more