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A Fake Farm Crisis?

June 10th, 2015

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“Just about everyone agrees that we need more farmers.”  Really?  That was the first sentence of a New York Times oped by Mark Bittman.  I love farmers, and I get teary at Paul Harvey’s “So God Made a Farmer.”  I recently gave a speech to the Soybean Expo in Fargo.  Farmers have done an extraordinary job driving down the price of food.  Back in 1950, the average American family spent almost one-third of its income on food.  By … Continue Reading →



What Can You Do To Help Kids?

June 2nd, 2015

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If our leaders were better at math, would we have smaller deficits?  Stephen Harper of Canada (economist) and Germany’s Angela Merkel (chemist) are pretty good at numbers.  Both preside over roughly balanced budgets.  If you’re worried about budgets and worried about math education, here’s what you can do:  Support the kickstarter campaign to bring the Math Arrow into classrooms.  The Math Arrow is an amazing new matrix of numbers that I created.  Based on the Math Arrow, Sproglit, LLC has … Continue Reading →



Slick Oil or Oil Slick?

May 15th, 2015

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I’m not surprised oil prices have popped up in the past few months. Europe is finally showing a pulse. Spain, France and even Italy have moved out of the intensive care unit, making it easier for them to sneer at feeble Greece’s plight. The U.S. benchmark crude now bobs at $60 a barrel, way up from its March low of $44. (Unfortunately, higher gasoline prices are starting to pinch U.S. consumers.)

So now, of course, fidgety and foaming speculators are … Continue Reading →



Paging Dr. Zhivago: Putin Should See You Now

April 23rd, 2015

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Dr. Zhivago just premiered on Broadway.  I didn’t see Vladimir Putin at opening night.  He could learn much about Russia and himself.   TIME magazine published my argument:

After the Soviet Union splintered in 1991, I took a few days off from my job at the White House and visited St. Petersburg, Russia.   Strolling through the flaking walls of the Hermitage, I realized that communism’s problem was not failing to keep up with the rising standards of 1980s America. … Continue Reading →



Oil Makes for a Slippery Baton

April 16th, 2015

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Why did so many economists wrongly forecast a quick boom from lower gas prices?  In today’s Investor’s Business Daily I explain why:

“Ping” is a terrible sound. In 2008 the U.S. Olympic men’s and women’s 100-meter relay teams fumbled their batons and heard pings as the dropped batons bounced around the track in Beijing. Economies have metaphorical batons, too, when certain sectors must transfer growth to others, say from trains and cement to consumer goods like socks and trousers. But … Continue Reading →



Skin in the Game and Healthcare Spending

March 23rd, 2015

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“Skin in the game.” That’s a key to human behavior. If people don’t have skin in the game, they take extra risks. If you’re gambling in a casino with “House money,” you’ll roll the dice more recklessly. If you rent a car, you might stomp on the accelerator. Have you ever driven a rental car to a car wash or stood in the sun waxing it? Of course not. You don’t care how grimy it gets!

I’m a fan of … Continue Reading →



Why Does the Abercrombie Guy Shiver?

March 16th, 2015

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The strong dollar is starting to wallop U.S. tourism. Those euro- and ruble-carrying jet-setters are stuck at home. Canadians, too, may skip Florida and fly straight to Cancun, where the loonie buys tequila at less than Miami prices. No wonder New York hotel occupancy slumped 4.7 percent in January — worse than Boston, which was buried under several feet of snow. Last week (when the dollar traded at 1.08 to the Euro) while appearing with Maria Bartiromo I warned … Continue Reading →



Don’t Drop the Baton!

February 11th, 2015

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Did you ever drop the baton in a relay race? On my high school swim team, I jumped into the pool too soon, before my teammate touched the wall. The referee poked me in the head with a gaff pole they use on crazed sharks. The Jersey Shore was a tough place to grow up. Too much spare fishing tackle.

Right now the U.S. economy is trying to pass a fragile baton. As I explained on TV with Maria BartiromoContinue Reading →



Does the January jobs report live up to the hype?

February 8th, 2015

Does the January jobs report live up to the hype?

Click on the image to see the video… Continue Reading →



Pass the baton: Consumers should take advantage of cheap gas

February 8th, 2015

Pass the baton: Consumers should take advantage of cheap gas

Click here to see the videoContinue Reading →