Economy

Trump Will Use 4 Real Estate Business Tricks to Rebuild the U.S. 

Jay N. Rollins: “Trump’s real estate background provides him with the outline for how to fix the economy:”

  • “Spend money on the asset using debt”
  • “Make improvements that, when completed, will generate more income (in this case, infrastructure to improve commerce)”
  • “These new improvements will lead to more business, which will generate more cash flow (in this case economic growth)”
  • “The hope is that increased cash flow will outpace the growing debt”

“When it works, it can be very profitable. When it does not work, the project could end up in Chapter 11, like Trump’s New Jersey casinos.”

Why a Wall Won’t Keep America’s Newest Immigrants Out

Washington Post: “…new research suggests that picture of U.S. immigration may be changing fast. Analysis from Jed Kolko, chief economist at job search site Indeed, shows that recent immigrants are much more likely to be highly educated and to have found jobs in industries involving computers, mathematics and science than the immigrants who came before them. If these immigrants are taking jobs from natives, those jobs are increasingly likely to be highly skilled and highly paid ones.”

“Recent immigrants are also much more likely to come from Asia compared with previous waves. Among immigrants who came to the U.S. in the past five years, one-third were born in Latin America, and 12 percent in Mexico. That’s down from previous years: Looking at the U.S. immigrant population overall, half of those 25 and older were born in Latin America and 27 percent were born in Mexico, Kolko says.”

“The decline in immigrants from Latin America has been offset by a surge from Asia. In the past five years, 45 percent of immigrants to the U.S. were born in Asia, especially India, China and the Philippines. Among the overall U.S. immigrant population, those born in Asia make up only 30 percent.”

A New Private-Public Partnership to Train Workers

Derek Thompson: “The U.S. government has the money to retrain workers, but not the curriculum. Companies have the expertise to teach relevant skills, but won’t spend the money. So why not bring them together to create a government-backed corporate retraining program, one in which Washington pays companies for only those curricula that raise workers’ wages? That’s the gist of a proposal, ‘Toward a New Capitalism,’ from the Aspen Institute’s Future of Work Initiative, which was co-chaired by Senator Mark Warner and former Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels.”

“It is called ‘pay for performance.’ Here’s the idea in a nutshell. A young worker comes to Derek’s Factory to make freezers. After a year, I decide freezers are a terrible business, so I spend a couple thousand dollars training the young worker to make dishwashers. If she’s great at it, and her wages rise, the government will pay back Derek’s Factory a certain portion of my training cost. And what if the young worker leaves for Goldberg’s Factory? Doesn’t matter. I still get the same compensation from the government.”

Presidents Have Less Power Over the Economy Than You Might Think

Neil Irwin: “…presidents have far less control over the economy than you might imagine. Presidential economic records are highly dependent on the dumb luck of where the nation is in the economic cycle. And the White House has no control over the demographic and technological forces that influence the economy.”

“We all have a tendency to think that a president whose policies we disagree with will be bad for the economy and the stock market. But looking at markets in such starkly political terms can lead to bad decisions. Ask a conservative who refused to invest in stocks while they notched a 182 percent gain during the Obama presidency — or a liberal who shorted stocks after Donald J. Trump won in November.”

Data Show the “American Dream” Is a Fallacy and Americans Still Don’t Realize It

Quartz: “Economists at Harvard University recently published research on actual and perceived economic mobility in the United States and four European countries. They found an American public in denial. The data show that Americans believe the chance that a person who is born into the bottom 20% of households in income in the US can reach the top 20% in adulthood is more than 50% higher than in reality.”

“The researchers also discovered that, within the US, an overly optimistic outlook about economic mobility is concentrated in the parts of the country where actual mobility is lowest.”

How Clearing Criminal Records Puts People to Work

CityLab: “There are nearly 70 million Americans with a prior arrest or conviction. The mark on their record follows them around, sometimes for 30 or 40 years.”

“Enter expungement, sealing, and set-aside. These legal terms sometimes refer to different processes state to state, but they end with the same result: prior offenses not showing up on background checks for employment. Depending on the state, a criminal record can effectively remove every right a citizen has—like the right to vote, serve on a jury, run for office, or even travel internationally. Going through expungement restores those rights.”

“A recent study put the national cost of the employment penalty for former prisoners and those convicted of felonies at $78 to $87 billion annually.”

Where Could Trump Find an Example of a GOP-Led Clean Energy Plan? Texas

“Even without a carbon tax, Trump could implement a successful, Republican-led clean energy transition. And there’s one place he can turn for an example: Texas,” Marilu Hastings writes for Dallas News.

“Texas’s main power grid operator is expected to cut carbon dioxide emissions 28 percent below 2005 emission levels by 2035, or 61 million tons per year, as new, efficient plants and renewables replace older, dirtier coal-fired power plants. This will easily surpass any carbon-dioxide reductions called for in the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan.”

“Clean energy has created jobs in Texas. In 2014, the governor’s office reported that 1,300 Texas companies employ more than 100,000 people in the renewable energy sector. According to Carlton Schwab, chief executive of the Texas Economic Development Council, these new jobs pay average annual salaries of more than $78,000.”

The Origin of Your TV Set Is a Simple Lesson in the Dangers of Ignoring Globalization

Quartz: “Donald Trump is right. The US doesn’t make TV sets anymore, and it’s mind-boggling that an industry that once supported as many as 100 American manufacturers churning out millions of devices each year went from startup to standard-bearer to extinction in 50 years’ time.”

“But the US president-elect is wrong when he casts the sector’s demise as a failure of globalization. US television manufacturing wasn’t killed by bad trade deals or competition from cheap labor abroad. It was done in by its own inward focus on the domestic market and its own failure to see the global opportunities at hand—and it won’t be resurrected by protectionist trade policies that encourage businesses to repeat these mistakes.”

Is Trump’s Tariff Plan Constitutional?

Rebecca Kysar: “…the path to imposing tariffs — along with taxes and other revenue-generating measures — clearly begins with Congress, and in particular the House, through the Origination Clause. When presidents have raised (or lowered) tariffs in the past, they have tended to do so using explicit, if sometimes wide-ranging, authority from Congress.”

“True, tariffs are no longer used to raise money, but to protect domestic industries, and to punish foreign ones. But they unquestionably still produce revenue. And while tariffs on imports are aimed at foreigners, they affect domestic industries that use or compete with imports; they can also have an enormous impact on the overall economy by raising consumer prices. Allowing the executive to circumvent the House to enact otherwise unfavorable tax policies that affect Americans is what the clause is designed to avoid — that those furthest removed from the people have the ability to tax them.”

Why Men Don’t Want the Jobs Done Mostly by Women

Claire Cain Miller: “The jobs that have been disappearing, like machine operator, are predominantly those that men do. The occupations that are growing, like health aide, employ mostly women.”

“One solution is for the men who have lost jobs in factories to become health aides. But while more than a fifth of American men aren’t working, they aren’t running to these new service-sector jobs. Why? They require very different skills, and pay a lot less.”

“They’re also seen as women’s work, which has always been devalued in the American labor market.”

What Donald Trump Doesn’t Get About the Minimum Wage

“In the past, he [Mr. Trump] has said raising the minimum should be left to states, an idea also advanced by Andrew Puzder, the fast-food executive Mr. Trump tapped for labor secretary. What they fail (or refuse) to see is that state and local raises, while laudable, are not a substitute for a federal raise,” The New York Times Editorial Board argues.

“One problem with this state-by-state approach is that poverty is perpetuated in large areas, especially in the South, with its historical antipathy to labor protections.”

“Regional disparities in minimum wages lead, in turn, to unhealthy imbalances in the collection and distribution of taxes. The federal government tends to collect more tax revenue from states with higher minimum wages and send more in federal aid to states with low minimum wages, a transfer that becomes increasingly lopsided without a single, robust federal minimum wage.”

What History Has to Say About the Economy Trump Will Inherit

Bloomberg Markets: “Research suggests factors beyond the control of any U.S. president, not their actual policies, set the course of the economy. Yet with voters, President-Elect Donald Trump will secure much of the praise or blame when it comes to the impact of his agenda over the next four years.”

“Here are six charts that illustrate the economy that Trump — who wants to focus on “jobs, jobs, jobs” — will inherit from President Barack Obama and how it compares with historical standards.”