Thursday, July 23, 2009

Federal minimum wage laws hurt those who need help!

Steve Chapman in Reason:
The suspension of disbelief required to support the minimum wage will only take you so far. It's impossible to deny that if it were illegal to pay someone less than a mere $36 an hour, a lot of jobs would vanish. But a small dose of poison is still po ison, and in this case it's being administered to a patient who is already ill.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Moving up to 8.6%: Latest Mass. unemployment rate

Still lagging the U.S. rate. Does this mean Massachusetts will recover slower than the rest of the nation?

Introducing the sociological imagination.

Josh McCabe, former BHI intern, has a new blog, The Sociological Imagination that will try to drag both economists and sociologists closer to each other.

Josh McCabe is a first year PhD student at the State University of New York at Albany where I'm sure he'll drag his teachers closer to the world of Austrian economics.

Hat tip: Organizations and Markets

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The sound of wind in Texas felt like a good idea

The bloom is off the rose! T. Boone Pickens's wind farm dreams meet the gale force of reality.
Plans for the world's largest wind farm in the Texas Panhandle have been scrapped, energy baron T. Boone Pickens said Tuesday, and he's looking for a home for 687 giant wind turbines.

Pickens has already ordered the turbines, which can stand 400 feet tall — taller than most 30-story buildings.

"When I start receiving those turbines, I've got to ... like I said, my garage won't hold them," the legendary Texas oilman said. "They've got to go someplace."

Pickens' company Mesa Power ordered the turbines from General Electric Co. — a $2 billion investment — a little more than a year ago. Pickens said he has leases on about 200,000 acres in Texas that were planned for the project, and he might place some of the turbines there, but he's also looking for smaller wind projects to participate in. He said he's looking at potential sites in the Midwest and Canada.

In Texas, the problem lies in getting power from the proposed site in the Panhandle to a distribution system, Pickens said in an interview with The Associated Press in New York. He'd hoped to build his own transmission lines but he said there were technical problems.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Stuck in a funk: MA biz confidence low

The diminished expectations diminish further.
SPRINGFIELD - The confidence Massachusetts business leaders have in the economy fell slightly last month to 38.2 on a 100-point scale with 50 being neutral, according to survey results released Tuesday by Associated Industries of Massachusetts, a Boston-based business lobbying group.

The state's business confidence had been 39.0 in May. The number had been inching upward after hitting an all-time low of 33.3 in February, said Andre Mayer, senior vice president for research at Associated Industries of Massachusetts.

A year ago, business confidence was 48.9.

"I think this is telling us the same thing we saw in the recent national employment report," Mayer said. "The recession has bottomed out, but we are not seeing a strong recovery."

The national unemployment rate increased to 9.5 percent in June, a 26-year high.

Since the recession began in December 2007, the economy has lost a net total of 6.5 million jobs.

"I think signs are accumulating that an economic recovery that we'd thought was coming in the second quarter of this year won't occur until either very late this year or in 2010," said Michael D. Goodman, director of economics and public policy research at the University of Massachusetts' Donahue Institute.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009