The Economics Quarterly: 2018Q1

bulls and bears

by Wes Walker via libertyisftw.org GDP GROWTH DATA The preliminary estimate for the first quarter of 2018 was 2.3%, which extended the period of time the GDP growth rate has been 2.0% or higher to over a year. The final growth figure for the fourth quarter of 2017 was 2.9%. There has not been a negative GDP growth rate since the first quarter of 2014. GDP Growth Rate (1/1/2002-05/4/2018) INFLATION RATE DATA The inflation rate rose to 2.4% in March, the seventh month with an inflation rate above 2%. The…

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Trade Wars: Rarely Won And Costly To Americans

Illustration of ocean cargo and the words, "Trade War"

by Lynda Bryant-Work “Trade wars are good, and easy to win.” So President Trump tweeted after announcing the United States would impose steep tariffs on imported. This after already imposing other tariffs that are directly affecting other American businesses and industry. But the Great Depression years would indicate that nothing could be farther from the truth. Trade wars are bad – call it the tariff trickle-down theory –  like real wars, they hurt people. Those who remember the last trade war or have even read about it know the damage…

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Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act: No Tariff Goes Unpunished

photo of Senator Smoot and Congressman Hawley, authors of the Smoot-Hawley trade tariff of the 1920s that many economists consider a major contributing factor to the onset of the Great Depression in America and internationally

by Lynda Bryant-Work As President Donald Trump rolls out more and more tariffs and trade partners are angered – the warnings of the 1930 Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act are ignored by the administration. Most Americans have not heard of the legislation and have no conception of how disastrous it was, as once again the pendulum swings from free trade to protectionism. The tariff act is a story and piece of history of a bill going off the rails, off a cliff and helping sink the world economy. Senator Reed Smoot, Republican…

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Tariffs – Retuning Another Engine that isn’t Broken

By Janice Barlow “Many people want the government to protect the consumer. A much more urgent problem is to protect the consumer from the government” – Milton Friedman   AS OUR NATION ROLLS ALONG, it seems that not a day goes by without some new drama hitting the airwaves from Washington. If it isn’t someone being fired or resigning, it’s a knee-jerk reaction to a horrific event, like modifying the Second Amendment because of a school shooting in Parkland, Florida, or a tweet-storm from the Commander-in-Chief about North Korea. We…

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The Economic Pulse

by Wes Walker via libertyisftw.org If you got a business – you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” -Barack Obama, 2012 The Bureau of Economic Analysis released its initial number for Q4 2017 on Friday, and the usual media forces have turned it over as much as it probably bear to be turned over, but it is still worth mentioning a couple of things about the “advance” number. At 2.6%, it is considerably below the 3.0% number that was broadly expected by the market, but this cannot simply…

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