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)
Alex Benson Articles
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
Case Law The seminal Supreme Court case that deals with the issue of birthright citizenship is United States v. Wong Kim Ark, from 1898. In Wong Kim Ark the Court held that a child of transient Chinese nationals, but born in the United States, was automatically a citizen at the time of his birth. The Court wrote, in part: The Fourteenth Amendment affirms the ancient and … [Read more...] about Is President Trump’s executive order on birthright citizenship constitutional? (Part 2)
President Trump did something earlier this week that many thought he was incapable of doing: he surprised. In an interview with Axios posted this past Tuesday, October 30, the President voiced his intention to issue an executive order ending the longstanding Executive Department practice of conveying automatic “birthright citizenship” on all persons born in the territorial … [Read more...] about Is President Trump’s executive order on birthright citizenship constitutional? (Part 1)
Socialism is not only death and repression, it is anarchy, too. Under socialism there is no means of coordinating economic activity. The planners plan for five years or they plan for ten, but the best they can do is guess what goods are needed and where they are needed most. Economic calculation is impossible without prices, and prices are impossible without property. Socialism … [Read more...] about Op-Ed: The intellectual bankruptcy and historical ignorance of democratic socialism (Part 2)
Never in the history of the world has there been a more destructive weapon actually deployed than socialism with power. With the end of the Cold War and the collapse of communism in eastern Europe, the West looked to be rid of this most destructive ideology for good. Recently, however, an increasingly large faction within the Democrat party in the United States has embraced the … [Read more...] about Op-Ed: The intellectual bankruptcy and historical ignorance of democratic socialism (Part 1)