Welcome to the “recovery.” Economic policies have consequences, and poor economic policies have miserable consequences.
The index, compiled from a survey of NFIB members, shows that business owners are concerned about the economy. The number of owners expecting business conditions to improve in six months fell 8 percentage points and the number expecting their sales to rise slid 5 percentage points. Nearly a quarter of those surveyed say their biggest problem is weak sales.
Owners said they are scaling back plans to hire and to buy equipment. That’s a troubling sign for the U.S. labor market, which is struggling to gain traction.
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It’s nice to know that so many people are amenable to spending cuts. However, it depends on what the meaning of “thoughtful” is.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 66% of Likely U.S. Voters think that, as the nation searches for solutions to the federal budget crisis, thoughtful spending cuts should be considered in every program of the federal government.
My goal is to cut spending in the programs that (1) are not the purview of the federal government, (2) are ineffective, and (3) create a dependency society. Coupled with tax reform that adds back many of those who currently pay zero federal income tax, and I’d say we’ve got ourselves a reasoned fiscal program.
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The Institute for Justice has taken on a Washington state case in which the government refuses to allow competition on a ferry route and has given a monopoly to one company. Washington’s Utilities and Transportation Commission has thus declared that the existing ferry company is the winner, and that’s the way it will be. This despite the fact that we know consumers win when competitive forces are at play.
The ferry needs to have 25 passengers to break even. During the tourist season the two ferries, which can carry more than 400 passengers between them, are usually packed. But during the winter there are only a handful of days the ridership pays for all the expenses. The Courtneys argue if there was competition, services would be better and ridership would increase year-round, bringing in enough business for two companies to survive.
Allowing the monopoly is Washington’s Utilities and Transportation Commission. Asked by the legislature recently to defend its position, the commission wrote, “a single, regulated provider can maintain service without the threat of having customers drawn away by a competing provider.”
Actually, you WANT there to be the threat that customers will be drawn away. That is called a market force, which provides the incentive for all competitors to improve their services and lower their costs.Read full article » No Comments »
American students are outperformed on the worldwide stage so this survey information shouldn’t be a surprise.
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The findings, out today from the Center for American Progress, a Washington think tank that champions “progressive ideas,” analyze three years of questionnaires from the Department of Education’s National Assessment of Educational Progress, a national test given each year.
Among the findings:
•37% of fourth-graders say their math work is “often” or “always” too easy;
•57% of eighth-graders say their history work is “often” or “always” too easy;
•39% of 12th-graders say they rarely write about what they read in class.