This week marks the 40th anniversary of the Staggers Rail Act of 1980, which deregulated American freight…
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Happy 40th to the Staggers Rail Act, Which Deregulated and Saved the U.S. Rail Industry

This week marks the 40th anniversary of the Staggers Rail Act of 1980, which deregulated American freight rail and saved it from looming oblivion.

At the time of passage, the U.S. economy muddled along amid ongoing malaise, and our rail industry teetered due to decades of overly bureaucratic sclerosis.  Many other domestic U.S. industries had disappeared, and our railroads faced the same fate.  But by passing the Staggers Rail Act, Congress restored a deregulatory approach that in the 1980s allowed other U.S. industries to thrive.  No longer would government determine what services railroads could offer, their rates or their routes, instead restoring greater authority to the railroads themselves based upon cost-efficiency.

Today, U.S. rail flourishes even amid the coronavirus pandemic…[more]

October 13, 2020 • 11:09 PM

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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. 

Question of the Week   
Which one of the following was the first 20th century presidential candidate to call for a Presidential Debate?
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Quote of the Day   
 
"We can return to the explosive job creation, rising wages and general prosperity we had before the pandemic. We can have economic freedom and opportunity, and resist cancel culture and censorship. We can put annus horribilis, 2020, behind us and make America great again, again. We can do all this -- if we make the right choice on Nov. 3.The New York Post endorses President Donald J. Trump for re-…[more]
 
 
—The Editors, New York Post
— The Editors, New York Post
 
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