The economy remains the biggest political issue today. In many respects, it is always the most important issue for African Americans. Polling data suggests that on socially conservative issues, African Americans are among the most conservative blocs of voters in America. Gallup polling data suggests that on these socially conservative issues, black America is as conservative as Republicans. Why, then, is black America so much in thrall to socialist statism, which invariably embraces amorality on abortion, adultery, gay marriage, and so on.
When Jason West of Vernal, Utah, tried to pay his disputed medical bill last week with 2,500 pennies, he was issued a citation for disorderly conduct. The reason for the charge was that West allegedly dumped the pennies onto the cashier's desk and asked her to count all of them. While the manner in which West delivered his payment may have been a bit extreme (placing rolled coins gently on the desk might have avoided the citation) there was an irony in his case that points to a more important principle than good manners, which are more frequently these days being enforced by the local constabulary, rather than by Emily Post. That is, had he paid the bill with federal reserve notes — backed, really, by nothing more than the promise of the federal government that the paper money has value — then he would have faced no legal problems at all.
The calamitous economic plight of the so-called “PIGS” nations of the European Union (Portugal, Ireland, Greece, and Spain) is well known to the world. Greece is in the spotlight this week, as, according to the New York Times, "[It] took the first step to raise money from the sale of government assets on Monday while a top official at the European Central Bank argued that the country was not insolvent and should not be excused from paying its debts."
There are different ways of calculating unemployment. The data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics culls out those who are not seeking employment, which may include people who no longer need to work (because they have retired, their spouse has found a good job, or because their financial situation improved.) Those Americans no longer seeking work, however, may also include those who have simply given up trying to find a job because the market seems hopeless.
Food prices are rising quickly around the world. Part of the problem is weather. The winter wheat crop in China has been poor. Australia has suffered floods, while Russia has undergone a drought. The earthquake and tsunami in Japan, no doubt, will hammer the very intensive agricultural production of the limited arable land on that archipelago.
America is in the throes of economic hardship. Certain regions of the country, the once thriving Great Lakes Region, the greatest industrial area in the world, and energy-producing states, such as West Virginia and Louisiana, have been particularly hard hit.
The dream of American affluence, however, is alive and well in one part of our nation: the seven suburban counties and cities around the District of Columbia. Two of those, Fairfax and Loudoun, were the only counties in the entire nation that had a median household income in excess of $100,000. Falls Church, which is both a city and a county, had the highest median in the nation at $113,000 per household.
More and more people in affluent societies are turning to gold as a hedge against irresponsible government financial policies. It cannot make these people more comfortable that, in Europe, there has been discussion about trying to keep the teetering government financial systems stable — for awhile, in any event — by having the European Union issue “joint sovereign bonds.” Germany and France have rejected that approach, but if nations like Italy and Spain begin to unravel, then the pressure on France and especially Germany to help shore up neighboring financial systems will grow more insistent.
California is drowning in public debt. The California Legislative Analyst’s office, which is nominally nonpartisan and objective, projects that for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2011, the state will have a deficit of $6.1 billion — over $150 for one year for every man, woman, and child in California.
Central planning seldom makes economic sense. However good a scheme looks on paper in some politician’s office, planned on the taxpayer’s dime, it's probably not worthwhile. If it really was a good scheme, then private enterprise would have already implemented the project.
Government never “stimulates” economic growth. Left quite alone, people engage in rational commerce guided only by enlightened self-interest. More crucially, government cannot predict the real consequences of its efforts to stimulate the economy. Republicans around the country are telling Americans that the ocean of dollars which the federal government spent on the future credit of our children in order to stimulate growth in America is actually being spent in China.