In last week's Liberty Update, we highlighted the Heritage Foundation's 2022 Index of Economic Freedom…
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Image of the Day: More Economic Freedom = Higher Standard of Living

In last week's Liberty Update, we highlighted the Heritage Foundation's 2022 Index of Economic Freedom, which shows that Joe Biden has dragged the U.S. down to 22nd, our lowest rank ever (we placed 4th in the first Index in 1995, and climbed back up from 18th to 12th under President Trump).  As we noted, among the Index's invaluable metrics is how it demonstrates the objective correlation between more economic freedom and higher citizen standards of living, which this graphic illustrates:

 …[more]

May 19, 2022 • 12:53 PM

Liberty Update

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The Trump Economic Bump, Round II Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, June 11 2020
This accumulating positive economic news reaffirms the merits of the Trump Administration’s deregulatory and lower-tax agenda.

Friday morning found Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer in a funereal mood, their grim visages one of near-mourning. 

The occasion for their gloom came in the form of a stunningly positive monthly jobs report that markets and the rest of America celebrated, but wouldn’t allow them even the hint of a smile during their statements. 

Perhaps the prospect of a federal “blue state bailout” and $3 trillion Heroes Act evaporating before their very eyes had them down.  Or perhaps it was the obvious vindication that the positive news provided to President Trump’s deregulatory economic thrust amid the global coronavirus pandemic. 

In any event, it was truly astonishing news. 

Entering Friday morning, economists had almost universally anticipated another 9 million American jobs lost, and a rise in the unemployment rate to 20%.  Instead, the Labor Department announced that the U.S. economy came roaring back to life in May, creating 2.5 million jobs and reducing the unemployment rate to 13.3%. 

That wasn’t just a stunning reversal of the two preceding months, it was the largest monthly gain in new jobs in history

Additionally, even those positive numbers likely don’t capture the full measure of positive rebound, since the jobs survey was completed mid-month while lockdowns across the nation continued to ease.  As the nation further reopens through the summer, the recovery numbers should accelerate even more. 

In response, the Dow rose nearly 1,000 points in a single day, capping a week in which it rose nearly 7%.  It is now up nearly 50% just since it’s bottom two short months ago, and almost back at its pre-coronavirus record high.  Meanwhile, the Nasdaq actually did reach a new all-time high this week. 

While some naysayers often claim that stock markets are detached from the “real” economy, what all of this reveals is that investors and markets correctly anticipated this sudden surge and burgeoning recovery more accurately than economists and others who assumed a more sluggish rebound. 

And lest one assume that all of that merely reflects the rising tide of a broader global recovery, the U.S. is actually outpacing the rest of the world.  Whereas American markets have reached or surpassed their pre-pandemic highs, European markets remain down 16% and Hong Kong’s down 19%.  Further, whereas the economies of Canada, Britain, Japan, Mexico, China, Germany, France, Italy and the European Union generally contracted in the first quarter of 2020, the U.S. economy actually grew. 

The good news didn’t end there, however. 

New home sales rose 21% in May – not from April, but from the previous May when the U.S. economy was surging.  Similarly, the Federal Reserve announced this week that consumer optimism rebounded in May.  “Consumers grew comparatively more optimistic about labor market outcomes with earnings growth, job finding, and job loss expectations all slightly improving,” it said in its monthly survey. 

This accumulating positive economic news reaffirms the merits of the Trump Administration’s deregulatory and lower-tax agenda. 

Whereas other industrialized economies were already stagnating or even contracting heading into the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. entered with its healthiest economy in history.  Employers literally couldn’t fill all of their open positions, as the number of available jobs exceeded the number of unemployed Americans by nearly 1 million for several months.  Black and Hispanic unemployment stood at record lows, and markets continued to notch record highs. 

President Trump maintained that pro-growth agenda into the pandemic, signing an executive order last month commanding all federal agencies to “combat the economic consequences of COVID-19 with the same vigor and resourcefulness with which the fight against COVID-19 itself has been waged.”  The order instructed agencies to “address this economic emergency by rescinding, modifying, waiving, or providing exemptions from regulations and other requirements that may inhibit economic recovery.” 

We’re already witnessing the positive payoff from that ongoing deregulatory effort, contrary to expectations, from the jobs front to the housing market to stock indexes. 

The obvious risk now is that Americans carelessly ignore the policies that have elevated the U.S. economy over the rest of the world, and allow the policies that produced nearly a decade of stagnation throughout the Obama Administration to return. 

They’d be wise to learn from history rather than repeat it. 

Quiz Question   
How many days does it take the average U.S. household to consume as much electrical power as one single bitcoin transaction?
More Questions
Notable Quote   
 
"Lawmakers continued to raise concerns about the Internal Revenue Service at a Congressional hearing this week as the agency deals with billions in misspent dollars, hefty processing backlogs, and complaints over poor customer service.Lawmakers lobbed questions at the tax-collecting agency during the House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee hearing.'The program has an annual improper payment rate…[more]
 
 
—Casey Harper, The Center Square
— Casey Harper, The Center Square
 
Liberty Poll   

Should any U.S. government agency have a function called the "Disinformation Governance Board" (See Homeland Security, Department of)?