Trump in Jerusalem

May 21, 2017 at 3:05 pm

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President Trump's visit to Jerusalem is an opportunity to celebrate the city's remarkable success under 50 years of unified Israeli rule, I write in my column for the Sunday Las Vegas Review-Journal. Please check the full column out by clicking here.

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Walmart Workers

May 19, 2017 at 3:47 pm

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Toward the end of a New York Times news article about rising online sales at Walmart comes this passage:

It has also cut back on labor costs, relying more on automation. Customers at many stores can now make purchases through self-checkouts.

The company has begun testing drones to handle inventory at its labyrinthine warehouses. In March, the company received a patent for a process in which drones would transport products between departments in stores.

The Times doesn't say so, but it's almost as if increasing state and local minimum wage laws, combined with the federal mandate to provide health insurance to employees, have helped make Walmart decide that it's more cost-effective to do some jobs with machines instead of with humans.

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Cooperman's Incentives

May 19, 2017 at 12:51 pm

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At Bloomberg News, Matt Levine comments on the settlement between the Securities and Exchange Commission and money manager Leon Cooperman:

It is a little disappointing as a matter of incentives. What if he's totally right? What if he did nothing wrong, and could prove it in court, but would rather pay $5 million in settlement costs than $8 million to lawyers? What incentives does this settlement create for the SEC to go after the next dubious insider trading case?

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Times Tax Coverage Goes Off The Rails

May 18, 2017 at 9:09 am

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Tilted New York Times coverage of Trump's proposed tax cut is the topic of my column from earlier this week. Please check out the full column at the New York Sun (here), Reason (here), and Newsmax (here).

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Allan Meltzer

May 14, 2017 at 11:22 am

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Allan Meltzer died last week, as the Wall Street Journal noted in an editorial. I interviewed him back in 2012 for a column about his book Why Capitalism?

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BuffettCare

May 14, 2017 at 11:12 am

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Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting comment that it is health care costs, not high corporate tax rates, that are hurting American businesses is the topic of my column in Sunday's Las Vegas Review-Journal. Please check out the full column by clicking here.

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Comey's Other Sin

May 12, 2017 at 3:26 pm

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Democrats were mad at FBI director James Comey for his (mis)handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation. Republicans were mad at him for his handling of the investigation into Russian influence on the presidential election. But there's a third way in which the Comey-era FBI — from September 2013 onward — screwed up. That involves the illegal leaks to the press about insider trading cases, about which I wrote here, here, here, here, and here.

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Welfare Reform Paved Path For ObamaCare Repeal

May 10, 2017 at 10:59 am

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Welfare reform as a precedent for ObamaCare repeal is the topic of my column this week. Please check out the full column at the New York Sun (here), Reason (here), and Newsmax (here).

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Rattner Versus Reagan

May 7, 2017 at 10:35 pm

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"Trump Tax Plan Brings Out the Reagan Revisionists" is the headline over my column in Sunday's Las Vegas Review-Journal, which is a rebuttal to Steven Rattner's New York Times piece of last week. Please check out my full column, revisiting the Reagan tax cuts and responding to Rattner's criticism of them, by clicking here.

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Access To Obama White House Paid Off For Corporate Executives

May 1, 2017 at 11:14 pm

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A new National Bureau of Economic Research study showing stocks outperformed after company executives had meetings at the Obama White House is the topic of my column this week. Please check the column out at the New York Sun (here), Reason (here), and Newsmax (here).

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Trump Tax Cut

May 1, 2017 at 11:03 pm

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The arguments against President Trump's proposed tax cuts are the subject of my column for the Sunday Las Vegas Review-Journal. Please check out the full column by clicking here.

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David Brooks on Trump

April 28, 2017 at 3:15 pm

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David Brooks writes:

You've got to give him credit — Donald Trump is a lot more adaptable than many of his critics.

Many of them reacted to Trump's shocking election victory in the fall with the view, which was justified at the time, that Trump represented a unique and unprecedented threat to the republic. He was a populist ethnic nationalist aiming to drag this country to a very ugly place. He was a crypto fascist, aiming to undermine every norm and institution of our democracy.

Many of us Trump critics set our outrage level at 11. The Trump threat was virulent, and therefore the response had to be virulent as well.

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The Yellen GDP Growth Rate

April 28, 2017 at 9:17 am

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The Commerce Department had barely announced the news that the GDP growth rate for the first quarter of 2017 was a weak 0.7% before Twitter started assessing the political implications. "Looking forward to the verbal pretzels of Trump apologists about the "Trump bump," tweeted the newest New York Times columnist, Bret Stephens.

Well, since he asked, here goes (though I am hardly a "Trump apologist": Maybe the GDP figure isn't Trump's fault, or Obama's, but has more to do with the Federal Reserve running around raising interest rates while talking about how great the economy is doing. The "Trump bump" in the stock market has been undeniable and has to do with expectations of future earnings, which would have been lower with a President Clinton adding regulations and increasing taxes.

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Cuomo Turns Golden Door Into Golden Handcuffs

April 25, 2017 at 12:44 pm

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Governor Andrew Cuomo's new Excelsior Scholarships, offering free college at public institutions to New Yorkers who do not exceed income thresholds and who agree to stay in the state after college, were the subject of my column last week. Please check out the full column at the New Boston Post (here), New York Sun (here), Reason (here), and Newsmax (here).

The governor responded in the comments section of the Sun.

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Paul Ryan's District

April 25, 2017 at 12:13 pm

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Amy Goldstein's book Janesville: An American Story is the topic of my column this week. The book tells the sad story of what happened after a General Motors factory closed in House Speaker Paul Ryan's hometown. Please check the full column out at the New York Sun (here), Reason (here), and Newsmax (here).

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