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The Politics of False Correlation – Regulations and Job Growth

This is an excellent example of garbage journalism. You have Greta Van Susteren arguing that small businesses are being strangled by overwhelming regulations. Okay. Where’s the data? Instead of arguing the data, Greta Van Susteren simply tells Paul Krugman to ask small businesses why they aren’t hiring. What’s wrong with that? What is wrong with simply asking a business owner about his business behaviors? Well, most of the time, business owners have not sat down and thought about why they do the things that they do. Secondly, many business owners do not delineate between federal, state and local regulations. They see this as all – government regulations. Finally, I should add that Americans are terrible at explaining why we embrace certain behaviors.

From the Economic Policy Institute:

The most common general studies are of environmental regulations, and these have consistently failed to find significant negative employment effects. Moreover, studies suggesting that regulations have broad negative effects on the economy offer little persuasive evidence.

Some well-executed studies have found that certain regulations led to job losses in particular areas, but most studies of various industries suggest that regulations had either a close to neutral or small positive effect on employment levels.

The problem with our economy is not some mysterious “regulations” that are holding our economy hostage. The problem with our economy is a lack of demand. Consumers are not spending. There’s overwhelming data to support this. Simply put, there’s a large number of consumers who don’t have a job. These consumers are not spending. There are large numbers of Americans who are living with economic uncertainty. They may only have part-time work. They may be working at a company at which they have seen their fellow coworkers get laid off. This atmosphere will cause most of us to be apprehensive about spending. We really and truly don’t need any mysterious “regulations” to explain our economic woes.

By |2013-04-09T19:48:15-04:00April 8th, 2013|Economy|Comments Off on The Politics of False Correlation – Regulations and Job Growth

More Gun Violence

Yesterday, in Houston, Texas, the sound of gunfire once again rang out. Another school shooting. According to the Houston Chronicle, there was some sort of altercation. Within a flash, three people were dead. It has been almost 24 hours. We really don’t have much information. We do know that a suspect has been arrested. That’s about it.

Prominent politicians in Texas have offered prayers. There’s nothing wrong with prayers. To those who believe, prayers are essential. Hopefully, prayers lead to enlightenment and… action.

There are some who believe that there’s simply nothing that can be done, that gun violence is an insurmountable problem. It is part of having a society of 300 million people, part of having a society that is free. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it. I don’t believe that sitting around and saying that guns aren’t the problem is an answer. I don’t believe that we should talk this issue to death before we decide to act. I don’t believe that we have to come up with perfect legislation before we do something to try to curb gun violence.

If your child were running around with a plastic baseball bat and whacking you and others with it, would you wait for the perfect solution or would you act? (more…)

By |2013-01-24T20:44:28-04:00January 23rd, 2013|Mass Shooting|3 Comments

The Fat Discussion

An article in today’s New York Times discusses why America is so obsessed with fat. The author tries to tell us that in several large studies there has not been a correlation between fat and mortality. The author is correct. Just because you’re fat, that doesn’t mean you’re going to die early. Unfortunately, the author does not take this far enough. He’s arguing that several studies show that just because you are fat does not mean that you have a higher risk of dying early. (more…)

By |2013-01-07T20:29:28-04:00January 4th, 2013|Healthcare|Comments Off on The Fat Discussion
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