After President Trump enacted tariffs against their goods, the Chinese government responded with $34 billion in retaliatory tariffs. Among the US goods hit by these tariffs were soybeans, which before the tariffs enjoyed a lucrative export trade in China. The market after the tariffs, however, has been a different story. Before the tariffs, in the first seven weeks of the … [Read more...] about Retaliatory tariffs almost completely dry up US soybean exports in the China
Alex Benson Articles
This past Saturday, massive crowds descended on the Champs Elysees in Paris to protest high fuel prices in France and President Emmanuel Macron's fuel tax. The protesters were stopped by police before they could reach the Elysee Palace. The protesters, angry with the high price of fuel in the French Republic and agitating against the President’s tax proposal from last year that … [Read more...] about French fuel tax sparks violent protests
According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), first estimates of GDP growth for the third quarter show the economy growing at a 3.5% annualized rate. This is down from 4.2% growth in the second quarter. The largest driver of growth was consumer spending, followed by business investment and government spending. The latter two measures contributed negligibly to the ongoing … [Read more...] about Quarterly GDP growth tops 3% for third time in the past two years
Read Part 1 here. It is important to note that the effect of the carbon tax is not double counted. The carbon tax raises tax rates generally, and so market actors react to the $100 billion income tax with the knowledge that taxes are actually higher than $100 billion. This insight is obvious when thinking about taxes that are “closer to home,” but is often forgotten when … [Read more...] about A (wonky) case against a carbon tax (Part 2 of 2)
With the recent blue wave of Democratic success in retaking the House of Representatives, we are likely to see a return of many policy proposals typically associated with the left side of the political aisle. One of those proposals is surely to include a carbon tax of some kind. Proponents argue that the carbon tax -- especially one that is made revenue-neutral by a reduction … [Read more...] about A (wonky) case against a carbon tax (Part 1 of 2)
Numbers According to the monthly report of the US Census Bureau, retail sales came in higher in October -- rising by 0.8%, following declines in both September and August. The October numbers are up 4.6% over last year, and total sales for the period of August through October of 2018 were up 5% from the same three-month period one year ago. The strongest element of the … [Read more...] about Weekly Economic Review: Holiday season and labor market looking strong?
According to production figures published by OPEC, Venezuela’s state-owned oil company Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA), continues to have a record-breaking year, and not in the way they would hope. In April, the socialist government in control of the world’s largest oil reserves failed to have its oil company produce at a rate any higher than it did 70 years ago. This … [Read more...] about Pending Chinese help, Venezuelan oil production falls to lowest level since 1949
President Trump’s ability to get rid of birthright citizenship by executive order If Dean Eastman, Senator Jacob Howard, and other proponents of the “jurisdictional allegiance” theory of the original meaning of the citizenship clause of the 14th Amendment are correct, then President Trump does have the power to change the practice by executive order. The President of the … [Read more...] about Is President Trump’s executive order on birthright citizenship constitutional? (Part 4)
Original meaning of the citizenship clause The only real debate about the meaning of the citizenship clause comes from constitutional originalists, of which the overwhelming majority are considered politically conservative. More liberally inclined judicial minds, for the most part, either consider the original meaning of the clause irrelevant for the purpose of determining … [Read more...] about Is President Trump’s executive order on birthright citizenship constitutional? (Part 3)
West Texas Intermediate Crude (WTI), the grade of crude oil used as a benchmark for pricing in energy markets, ended this Friday down again; closing at $59.87. This marks the tenth consecutive day the benchmark oil price has fallen, heralding the longest continuous decline in oil since 1984. WTI entered bear market territory on Thursday, reaching 20% decline from its recent … [Read more...] about Oil in longest bear market in over 30 years
The midterm elections are over. Finally. What does that mean? Well, no more commercials, for one thing, but it also might (and the contingency of this prediction cannot be emphasized enough) mean a slow return to fiscal sanity. Historically, budgets tend to stabilize, and deficits tend to shrink, when government is divided. It has been a long time since we have had divided … [Read more...] about Deficit shrinks when government is divided — will it happen this time?
This week, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released data on job openings for the month of September. Openings were down slightly from the month of August -- 7.009 million openings in September as compared to 7.293 million in August. However, the August numbers showed a record high number of job openings, and therefore September evidenced a labor market that remains very … [Read more...] about Weekly economic report: Wages rise, more job openings than unemployed to fill them, unemployment claims near record low