Donald Trump Is Not as Bad as We Thought He Would Be. He’s Worse. Far Worse.

Since Donald Trump's inauguration as president, the following has occurred in the United States of America: Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington had to file a complaint "to notify the new president that he was officially in violation of his lease for the Trump International Hotel down the street from the White House. The lease that …

The Worst Possible Inaugural Address, By the Worst Possible President

Donald Trump is now the president of the United States, and on his very first day, with his very first speech, he has managed to redraw the picture of America to which we are used. Before Trump, we were accustomed to an America that engaged the world with confidence and strength. An America willing to …

Donald Trump Is a Threat to the National Security of the United States and the Security of the World

And yes, I mean every word in the title of this blog post. Here is why. To start, let it be noted that Donald Trump, by himself, can do more to disrupt international security and stability than can most latent geopolitical threats out there: A Donald Trump presidency poses a top-10 risk event that could …

What Happens when the Minimum Wage Is Raised?

Well, among other things, you get employers looking for ways to replace human workers with automated ones. To be sure, the process of worker automation is inevitable regardless of whether there has been an increase in the minimum wage. But if you are a human being interested in keeping a job, minimum wage increases--especially sharp …

The Democratic Party’s Failure on Trade Policy

As anyone who follows the news is aware, Barack Obama's biggest legislative goal for his second term is to pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement. He may well get fast-track authority in order to push for passage of the agreement, and the agreement may yet pass. I hope that he does get fast-track authority, and …

In which Venezuela Achieves a Dubious Milestone

Q: What do toilet paper and Venezuelan currency have in common? A: Absolutely nothing, as toilet paper is more valuable than is Venezuelan currency. No, seriously. And of course, toilet paper is hard to find in Venezuela. Thank goodness that the Venezuelan government is taking the responsible approach to this economic mess. Just kidding! It actually …

The Latest Pie-in-the-Sky Idea in Los Angeles

So, Los Angeles has decided to increase its minimum wage to $15 per hour. I'm sure that there are a host of people rejoicing over this alleged act of economic justice, but remember that actions have consequences: BERGMAN: Caroline Styne owns more than half a dozen high-end LA eateries. She says of every dollar that …

The Trade Policy Clown Show of 2015

Great nations are not normally in the habit of allowing childish temper tantrums to dictate economic policy. Great nations are even less inclined to sacrifice an excellent economic deal because of a temper tantrum. And yet, when we examine the frantic and immature back-and-forth regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership Act, we see that the United States--a …

So Much for Expecting Enlightenment on Trade Policy

I had harbored some hope that politicians would behave like adults when it came to addressing the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. As noted in my previous post, the benefits of free trade are clear and overwhelming, the American public appears more ready to accept and support trade deals, and there is bipartisan cooperation between congressional Republicans …

Things Are about to Get Even Worse in Venezuela

In its finite wisdom, the Maduro regime in Caracas--which has turned just about everything that it has touched to a disaster--has now decided to tackle the issue of food distribution: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has promised to nationalize food distribution in the South American nation beset with record shortages of basic goods, runaway inflation and …