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Articles about the work of Michael Barone

Michael Barone on Obama's Jobs Speech
futureofcapitalism.com

Michael Barone's latest column is about President Obama's jobs speech: "Pathetic promises....Political payoffs....Pettifoggery." Mr. Barone reports: "Nearly one-quarter of this latest stimulus package -- sorry, American Jobs Act -- is aid to state and local government, to keep teachers and other public employee union members on the job and paying dues to the unions."

Read More...


Barone on Buses
futureofcapitalism.com

Michael Barone's latest Washington Examiner column is about how private-sector inter-city bus lines are solving a problem better than government can: "an older technology has been improved and adapted to fill a need while government dithers. The old technology in this case is buses. While the Obama administration has been desperately seeking to spend $53 billion on so-called high-speed rail lines, private businessmen have developed Chinatown and Megabus lines that provide intercity service that has attracted legions of price-conscious travelers....The buses have bathrooms, AC power outlets, and free Wi-Fi. They're not as fast as the much more expensive Acela train, but they tend to run on schedule."

Read More...


Barone on the Budget
futureofcapitalism.com

Michael Barone, writing in the Washington Examiner:

He has encouraged the pliant press to depict Republicans' opposition to "revenues" -- translated into English that means tax increases -- as "intransigence."

But it's Obama who has been intransigent about insisting on tax increases that voters endorsed tepidly at most in 2008 and that they clearly repudiated in 2010.

Obama promised to fundamentally transform America and he and his party have managed to increase the federal government's share of gross domestic product from 21 percent to 25 percent -- a huge policy change. They are striving now to keep it at that level, permanently.

Republicans want to reverse that enormous policy change, and many are ready to denounce any debt limit deal that leaves them short of that goal.

Read More...


Michael Barone on Cutting Government
futureofcapitalism.com

Michael Barone has a new column out on recent poll data:

Evidence comes from pollster Scott Rasmussen. He asked likely voters -- his usual sample, which tilts more Republican than all adults -- whether increased government spending is good or bad for the economy.

The results were unambiguous. Good for the country? Twenty-eight percent. Bad for the country? Fifty-two percent....

Further evidence comes from a poll conducted by Magellan Data and Mapping Strategies in the always key state of Ohio, where unemployment is well above the national average and job growth has been minimal for a decade.

Read More...


Michael Barone Gets It
futureofcapitalism.com

New Michael Barone column:

The fact that the private-sector economy has not responded as administration economists expected and confidently predicted should be a wake-up call.

It shows the limits of expert knowledge and of the ability of political actors to make optimal economic choices.

The intellectual firepower of this administration may be high. But so was the intellectual firepower of the postwar British Labour governments that nationalized steel and auto companies and the railroads.

That didn't turn out so well, and for decades the British economy lagged behind those of America and its European neighbors. State capitalism has been tried before. It didn't work.

Market capitalism works better because it doesn't depend on one set of actors to make all the choices.

Read More...


Michael Barone on Cutting Government
futureofcapitalism.com

Michael Barone has a new column out on recent poll data:

Evidence comes from pollster Scott Rasmussen. He asked likely voters -- his usual sample, which tilts more Republican than all adults -- whether increased government spending is good or bad for the economy.

The results were unambiguous. Good for the country? Twenty-eight percent. Bad for the country? Fifty-two percent....

Further evidence comes from a poll conducted by Magellan Data and Mapping Strategies in the always key state of Ohio, where unemployment is well above the national average and job growth has been minimal for a decade.

Read More...


Michael Barone Gets It
futureofcapitalism.com

New Michael Barone column:

The fact that the private-sector economy has not responded as administration economists expected and confidently predicted should be a wake-up call.

It shows the limits of expert knowledge and of the ability of political actors to make optimal economic choices.

The intellectual firepower of this administration may be high. But so was the intellectual firepower of the postwar British Labour governments that nationalized steel and auto companies and the railroads.

That didn't turn out so well, and for decades the British economy lagged behind those of America and its European neighbors. State capitalism has been tried before. It didn't work.

Market capitalism works better because it doesn't depend on one set of actors to make all the choices.

Read More...


Big Government, Big Business, Big Labor
futureofcapitalism.com

Michael Barone has a new column up:

The Obama Democrats, faced with a grave economic crisis, responded with policies appropriate to the Big Unit America that was disappearing during the president's childhood.

Their financial policy has been to freeze the big banks into place. Their industrial policy was to preserve as much as they could of General Motors and Chrysler for the benefit of the United Auto Workers. Their health care policy was designed to benefit Big Pharma and other big players. Their housing policy has been to try to maintain existing prices. Their macroeconomic economic policy was to increase the size and scope of existing government agencies to what looks to be the bursting point.

What we see is Big Government colluding with Big Business and trying to breathe life into Big Labor.

Read More...


Michael Barone on Mitch Daniels
futureofcapitalism.com

Michael Barone has a column on the presidential prospects of the governor of Indiana, Mitch Daniels.

Read More...


Michael Barone's Take
futureofcapitalism.com

Michael Barone's thoughts on the election are available in two Washington Examiner article/posts, here and here.

Read More...


Michael Barone on 2012
futureofcapitalism.com

Michael Barone has a column looking at President Obama's re-election chances in 2012: "American voters are not seething with envy over income inequality and are not convinced that we'll all do better if the government takes away more of Bill Gates' money. Obama, like the academics in whose neighborhoods he has always chosen to live, think they should be seething and that if the message is just delivered the right way they can be convinced."

Read More...


Barone on Income Inequality
futureofcapitalism.com

Michael Barone has some analysis of all that data purporting to show middle-class income stagnating:

My own assumption is that economic statistics have been painting an unduly bleak picture of modest-income America. When we measure real incomes we use inflation indexes, which over time inevitably overstate inflation, because they're based on static market baskets of goods.

The problem is if one item spikes in price, we quit buying it. In addition, inflation indexes cannot account for product innovation and quality increases.

Liberal writers look back to 1973 as a year when real wages supposedly peaked -- just before a nasty bout of inflation. But back then a pocket calculator cost $110. The smartphone you can buy today for $200 has a calculator and hundreds of other devices.

Read More...


Imperial City
futureofcapitalism.com

Michael Barone notices that in the latest Case-Shiller housing index numbers, housing prices are down year-over-year in 18 of 20 markets surveyed. The big exception? Washington, D.C., which is up 3.6%. As Mr. Barone puts it, "we in Washington have this thing called the federal government, which demands that you send it as much of your money as it wants and will put you in jail if you refuse to do so."

Well, it'll put you in jail, unless you're Andrew Stein.

Read More...


Barone on the Texas Boom
futureofcapitalism.com

Michael Barone has a column on the Texas Boom, pointing out that "in the ten years between April 2001 and April 2011," Texas gained 732,800 private sector jobs, while the nation overall lost 2 million. More: "In 1970 New York had 18 million people. In 2010 New York had 19 million people. In 1970 Texas had 11 million people. In 2010 Texas had 25 million people. Don't tell me public policy doesn't account for much of the difference." If Rick Perry runs for president, these are the sort of numbers we'll all be hearing a lot more of.

Read More...


Barone on the Budget
futureofcapitalism.com

Michael Barone, writing in the Washington Examiner:

He has encouraged the pliant press to depict Republicans' opposition to "revenues" -- translated into English that means tax increases -- as "intransigence."

But it's Obama who has been intransigent about insisting on tax increases that voters endorsed tepidly at most in 2008 and that they clearly repudiated in 2010.

Obama promised to fundamentally transform America and he and his party have managed to increase the federal government's share of gross domestic product from 21 percent to 25 percent -- a huge policy change. They are striving now to keep it at that level, permanently.

Republicans want to reverse that enormous policy change, and many are ready to denounce any debt limit deal that leaves them short of that goal.

Read More...


Barone on Buses
futureofcapitalism.com

Michael Barone's latest Washington Examiner column is about how private-sector inter-city bus lines are solving a problem better than government can: "an older technology has been improved and adapted to fill a need while government dithers. The old technology in this case is buses. While the Obama administration has been desperately seeking to spend $53 billion on so-called high-speed rail lines, private businessmen have developed Chinatown and Megabus lines that provide intercity service that has attracted legions of price-conscious travelers....The buses have bathrooms, AC power outlets, and free Wi-Fi. They're not as fast as the much more expensive Acela train, but they tend to run on schedule."

Read More...


Michael Barone on Obama's Jobs Speech
futureofcapitalism.com

Michael Barone's latest column is about President Obama's jobs speech: "Pathetic promises....Political payoffs....Pettifoggery." Mr. Barone reports: "Nearly one-quarter of this latest stimulus package -- sorry, American Jobs Act -- is aid to state and local government, to keep teachers and other public employee union members on the job and paying dues to the unions."

Read More...


Barone on Obama and Reagan
futureofcapitalism.com

Michael Barone writes in the Washington Examiner:

the economic news has not been all that striking. We had a quarter in which economic growth reached 2.8 percent. We've had two months with job growth of better than 200,000.

Peachy. But in 1983, the year before Ronald Reagan's re-election, the gross domestic product rose 8.9 percent not just for one quarter but over the whole year. There were two months when job growth was 729,000 and 660,000.

That's the kind of economic recovery that enables an incumbent president's campaign to run a credible "Morning in America" ad. If the Obama campaign ran one now, it would be fodder for "Saturday Night Live" and Jon Stewart.

Read More...


Freemont and Williston
futureofcapitalism.com

Michael Barone has a wonderful column contrasting Fremont, Calif. (home of Solyndra) with Williston, North Dakota, home of a gas boom:

This tale of two cities has a moral, which is that no political or governmental leader can forecast the future. Barack Obama and his Nobel-Prize-winning energy secretary thought solar panels were a huge growth industry. They bet billions of tax dollars and lost...Fremont and Williston are more evidence, if any is needed, that the collective decisions of participants in economic markets do a better job of allocating resources than the often contributor-driven decisions of a few politicians.

Read More...


Michael Barone on Disability Nation
futureofcapitalism.com

Michael Barone has a column about the growth in the number of Americans receiving federal disability benefits:

In 1960, some 455,000 workers were receiving disability payments. In 2011, the number was 8,600,000. In 1960, the percentage of the economically active 18-to-64-year-old population receiving disability benefits was 0.65 percent. In 2010, it was 5.6 percent....many people are gaming or defrauding the system. This includes not only disability recipients but health care professionals, lawyers and others who run ads promising to get you disability benefits.

Read More...


Michael Barone on Disability Nation
futureofcapitalism.com

Michael Barone has a column about the growth in the number of Americans receiving federal disability benefits:

In 1960, some 455,000 workers were receiving disability payments. In 2011, the number was 8,600,000. In 1960, the percentage of the economically active 18-to-64-year-old population receiving disability benefits was 0.65 percent. In 2010, it was 5.6 percent....many people are gaming or defrauding the system. This includes not only disability recipients but health care professionals, lawyers and others who run ads promising to get you disability benefits.

Read More...


Freemont and Williston
futureofcapitalism.com

Michael Barone has a wonderful column contrasting Fremont, Calif. (home of Solyndra) with Williston, North Dakota, home of a gas boom:

This tale of two cities has a moral, which is that no political or governmental leader can forecast the future. Barack Obama and his Nobel-Prize-winning energy secretary thought solar panels were a huge growth industry. They bet billions of tax dollars and lost...Fremont and Williston are more evidence, if any is needed, that the collective decisions of participants in economic markets do a better job of allocating resources than the often contributor-driven decisions of a few politicians.

Read More...


Barone on Obama and Reagan
futureofcapitalism.com

Michael Barone writes in the Washington Examiner:

the economic news has not been all that striking. We had a quarter in which economic growth reached 2.8 percent. We've had two months with job growth of better than 200,000.

Peachy. But in 1983, the year before Ronald Reagan's re-election, the gross domestic product rose 8.9 percent not just for one quarter but over the whole year. There were two months when job growth was 729,000 and 660,000.

That's the kind of economic recovery that enables an incumbent president's campaign to run a credible "Morning in America" ad. If the Obama campaign ran one now, it would be fodder for "Saturday Night Live" and Jon Stewart.

Read More...


Big Government, Big Business, Big Labor
futureofcapitalism.com

Michael Barone has a new column up:

The Obama Democrats, faced with a grave economic crisis, responded with policies appropriate to the Big Unit America that was disappearing during the president's childhood.

Their financial policy has been to freeze the big banks into place. Their industrial policy was to preserve as much as they could of General Motors and Chrysler for the benefit of the United Auto Workers. Their health care policy was designed to benefit Big Pharma and other big players. Their housing policy has been to try to maintain existing prices. Their macroeconomic economic policy was to increase the size and scope of existing government agencies to what looks to be the bursting point.

What we see is Big Government colluding with Big Business and trying to breathe life into Big Labor.

Read More...


Michael Barone on Mitch Daniels
futureofcapitalism.com

Michael Barone has a column on the presidential prospects of the governor of Indiana, Mitch Daniels.

Read More...


Michael Barone's Take
futureofcapitalism.com

Michael Barone's thoughts on the election are available in two Washington Examiner article/posts, here and here.

Read More...


Michael Barone on 2012
futureofcapitalism.com

Michael Barone has a column looking at President Obama's re-election chances in 2012: "American voters are not seething with envy over income inequality and are not convinced that we'll all do better if the government takes away more of Bill Gates' money. Obama, like the academics in whose neighborhoods he has always chosen to live, think they should be seething and that if the message is just delivered the right way they can be convinced."

Read More...


Barone on Income Inequality
futureofcapitalism.com

Michael Barone has some analysis of all that data purporting to show middle-class income stagnating:

My own assumption is that economic statistics have been painting an unduly bleak picture of modest-income America. When we measure real incomes we use inflation indexes, which over time inevitably overstate inflation, because they're based on static market baskets of goods.

The problem is if one item spikes in price, we quit buying it. In addition, inflation indexes cannot account for product innovation and quality increases.

Liberal writers look back to 1973 as a year when real wages supposedly peaked -- just before a nasty bout of inflation. But back then a pocket calculator cost $110. The smartphone you can buy today for $200 has a calculator and hundreds of other devices.

Read More...


Imperial City
futureofcapitalism.com

Michael Barone notices that in the latest Case-Shiller housing index numbers, housing prices are down year-over-year in 18 of 20 markets surveyed. The big exception? Washington, D.C., which is up 3.6%. As Mr. Barone puts it, "we in Washington have this thing called the federal government, which demands that you send it as much of your money as it wants and will put you in jail if you refuse to do so."

Well, it'll put you in jail, unless you're Andrew Stein.

Read More...


Barone on the Texas Boom
futureofcapitalism.com

Michael Barone has a column on the Texas Boom, pointing out that "in the ten years between April 2001 and April 2011," Texas gained 732,800 private sector jobs, while the nation overall lost 2 million. More: "In 1970 New York had 18 million people. In 2010 New York had 19 million people. In 1970 Texas had 11 million people. In 2010 Texas had 25 million people. Don't tell me public policy doesn't account for much of the difference." If Rick Perry runs for president, these are the sort of numbers we'll all be hearing a lot more of.

Read More...


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Michael Barone

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