Tuesday , June 25 2019
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Tuesday afternoon links – Publications – AEI

Summary:
AEI Tuesday afternoon links 1. Chart of the Day I (above) shows graphically the close relationship over time between: a) rising annual US employment over time, which reached an all-time last year of 155.8 jobs, and b) annual US trade deficits for goods, which also reached an all-time record high in 2018 of 1 billion. According to Protectionist-in-Chief Trump, international trade deficits were the hobgoblins he was committed to reducing during his presidency because countries like China, Japan, and Mexico are “stealing our businesses, stealing our jobs, and stealing our money.” “We can’t continue to allow China to rape our country,” he told crowds in Fort Wayne, Indiana and he vowed in Portsmouth, New Hampshire “to end our chronic trade deficits.” Well, Trump certainly hasn’t succeeded

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AEI
Tuesday afternoon links

Tuesday afternoon links - Publications – AEI1. Chart of the Day I (above) shows graphically the close relationship over time between: a) rising annual US employment over time, which reached an all-time last year of 155.8 jobs, and b) annual US trade deficits for goods, which also reached an all-time record high in 2018 of $891 billion. According to Protectionist-in-Chief Trump, international trade deficits were the hobgoblins he was committed to reducing during his presidency because countries like China, Japan, and Mexico are “stealing our businesses, stealing our jobs, and stealing our money.” “We can’t continue to allow China to rape our country,” he told crowds in Fort Wayne, Indiana and he vowed in Portsmouth, New Hampshire “to end our chronic trade deficits.” Well, Trump certainly hasn’t succeeded in his campaign pledges to reduce the US trade deficit and he might also need some remedial trade theory and history lessons, which are illustrated above, about the following  reality:  You can having rising employment and rising trade deficits at the same time, without the adverse economic consequences and “job stealing” the president imagines in his childish understanding of international trade.

2. The Market Does Provide the Optimal Amount of Family Leave argues Don Boudreaux:

Anyone who can pass an Econ 101 exam understands that if government were to mandate more paid family leave most workers would be made worse off. The reason is that employers would respond to such a mandate by reducing the value of workers’ take-home pay (or of workers’ other fringe benefits, such as employer contributions to workers’ pension funds). A mandate that forces employers to increase the portion of workers’ pay that takes the form of paid leave is a mandate that forces employers to decrease the portion of workers’ pay that takes the form of cash or of other fringe benefits.

And here’s a market-based solution to paid family leave that requires no new government regulation or mandates:

If there is both a large number of workers who attach much value to paid family leave and a large number of workers who attach little value to such leave, many employers have incentives to attract workers from both groups by offering at least two pay packages of equal cost: Package A with no paid family leave but with higher take-home pay, and Package B with paid family leave but with lower take-home pay.

3. Quotation of the Day I is from C.S. Lewis, “God in the Dock: Essays on Theology (Making of Modern Theology)“:

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be “cured” against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.

4. Interesting Facts of the Day. The largest single mass lynching in U.S. history? It took place on March 14, 1891, in New Orleans when a mob slaughtered 11 Italian-Americans (and see Wikipedia listing here). In all, about 50 lynchings of Italians have been documented in the period from 1890 to 1920. And between 1870 and 1940 Italians were second only to blacks in the number of lynch victims. Riparazioni?

Tuesday afternoon links - Publications – AEI

5. Chart of the Day II (above) shows annual US oil production from 1920 to 2018. From the previous peak of 3.5 billion barrels in 1970, conventional oil production steadily declined and fell below 2 billion barrels during the seven-year period from 2004-2010 during a period when concerns about “peak oil,” rising gas prices that nearly tripled from January 2002 to September 2005, CO2 emissions and dependence on foreign oil motivated Congress to enact the Renewable Fuel Standard in 2005 and expand it in 2007. But then the technology-fueled Great American Shale Revolution supercharged US oil production, which doubled from about 2 billion barrels in 2011 to slightly more than 4 billion last year. That eye-popping 2X increase in US oil production in only seven years is arguably the most remarkable energy success story in US history, maybe in world history. Peak what?   

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6. Socialized Medicine Blinds. Thousands Of Elderly Patients Go Blind In Britain Due To Eye Surgery Rationing.

7. In Socialist Venezuela, Even Graves Aren’t Safe. In the BBC video above, you’ll see how most of the graves at Caracas’s largest cemetery have been looted, for jewelry, gold teeth, and even bones, which can be sold for use in rituals. The grave-robbing in Caracas is a striking metaphor for the miserable and complete failure of Venezuela’s socialism, coming soon to America if Sanders, Warren and AOC have their way…..

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8. Tweet of the Day (above) features Johan Norberg discussing the failure of “democratic socialism” in Sweden, see the full segment here.

9. Quotation of the Day II is from Walter E. Williams on the “college diversity obsession“:

There is one area of college life where administrators demonstrate utter contempt for diversity, and that’s in sports. It is by no means unusual to watch a college basketball game and see that the starting five on both teams are black. White players, not to mention Asian players, are underrepresented. Similar under-representation is practiced in college football. If you were to explore this lack of racial diversity in sports with a college president, he might answer, “We look for the best players, and it so happens that blacks dominate.” I would totally agree but ask him whether the same policy of choosing the best applies to the college’s admissions policy. Of course, the honest answer would be a flat-out no.

10. Video of the Day (below) features Thomas Sowell discussing reparations, who also wrote this back in 2000:

Slavery itself was not unique to Africans. The very word “slave” derives from the name of a European people — the Slavs, who were enslaved for centuries before the first African was brought to the Western Hemisphere. The tragic fact is that slavery existed all over the world, for thousands of years. Unfortunately, irresponsible demagogues have also existed for thousands of years.

Tuesday afternoon links
Mark Perry

Mark Perry
Mark J. Perry is concurrently a scholar at AEI and a professor of economics and finance at the University of Michigan’s Flint campus. He is best known as the creator and editor of the popular economics blog Carpe Diem. At AEI, Perry writes about economic and financial issues for American.com and the AEIdeas blog.

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