Ted Cruz Just Revealed The 1 Question He’d Ask Hillary During A Debate

Presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz said he has one issue in mind that presumed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton has absolutely no way to refute. It’s not Benghazi or what information her emails contained. Cruz would ask Clinton about the state of the economy if he gets to meet her in a face-to-face debate.

“We’ve seen for two terms now the big government policies you and Barack Obama advocate don’t work. Why should anyone believe a third term of the same failed policies would produce anything different?” Cruz said in an interview with The Federalist.

Cruz said the facts are that Americans are struggling to make ends meet and have been suffering over the past eight years. He said the most affected are those Clinton is hoping will vote for her, namely young people, Hispanics, African-Americans and working moms.

“Over the last six-and-a-half years, the rich have gotten richer and hard-working men and women across America have seen their lives get harder and harder,” Cruz said while at a campaign stop in Nashville.

The numbers back up the Texas senator’s statements. According to U.S. Census data, the median household income for American families in 2008 was $52,029. Government data from 2011 shows the median household income was at $50,500 that year.

Financial experts said the real difference is in individual wages and that noteworthy information is in Social Security numbers because all wage earners pay into Social Security. Figures show 50 percent of workers in the United States earned either equal to or less than $26,965. Another 16 percent made between $26,965 and $41,212. That means 66 percent of Americans earn equal to or less than $41,212 a year.

The top 10 percent of American families are the only ones that saw substantial income growth in 2011, according to government numbers. At the other end of the spectrum, more than 47 million Americans are on food stamps. Experts said these extremes show how much the middle class has declined in recent years.

According to Market Watch, there hasn’t been any real improvement for wage earners over the past two years–and 2016 doesn’t look any brighter. A survey of 1,100 American companies indicates that 98 percent of employers surveyed are giving average pay hikes of 3 percent for non-management employees in 2016. That is the same as in 2015 and 2014.

“To a large extent, 3 percent pay raises have become the new norm in corporate America,” says Sandra McLellan, senior compensation consultant at Towers Watson, the global professional services company conducting the survey.

Cruz said he would expect Clinton would respond to his economy question with rhetoric about income inequality. However, he already has an answer to that.

“And then I hope to come right back at her with: I emphatically agree income inequality is a tremendously important problem. That’s why it is such a compelling indictment of your record that it’s increased dramatically under your policies,” Cruz said.

Cruz, a former college debate champion, said it would be unwise to travel down the road of scandals with Clinton. It would take too much time and wouldn’t win voters over to the Republican message, he said.

“And frankly, the key to winning in 2016 is running a populist campaign of hard-working men and women against the bipartisan corruption of Washington, which Hillary embodies,” Cruz said.

He hopes to change the narrative that the Democrats represent working people while Republicans are rich and out of sync with the majority of Americans. Cruz said that narrative could be easily accomplished in his campaign.

“My dad came to America with nothing, washing dishes, making 50 cents an hour. When I was in high school, my parents went bankrupt,” Cruz said. “Hillary and Bill Clinton have made hundreds of millions of dollars exploiting their government service.”

Cruz is enjoying a surge of support. His poll numbers went up to double digits after the first Republican presidential debate in Cleveland. His name was the most searched for name on the Internet during the event, according to analytics.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

The ‘Not Enough Jobs’ Scenario: An Economic Fallacy (But Possibly An Accurate Forecast)

Editor’s note: This article first appeared at Forbes.com.

Once again, a scholar with impressive credentials is broadcasting the gloomy notion that Americans face a job-poor future. The insufficient-jobs scenario appeared in George Mason University economist Tyler Cowen’s book “Average Is Over a couple of years ago. It resurfaced again recently in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Vivek Wadhwa, “a fellow … director of research … and distinguished scholar” at several prestigious universities, wrote that we need “a new version of capitalism” for “dealing with our jobless future.”

The crux of Wadhwa’s argument is his belief that technological progress will result in a society divided between a technologically savvy elite, who will prosper mightily, and a larger number of Americans whose jobs will be rendered obsolete and won’t be able to find new jobs. There’s an obvious fallacy here: If technological progress reduces employment opportunities, then why are hundreds of millions of people still working in the technologically and economically advanced countries of the world? What is it with these intellectuals and the recurring nightmare that progress results in a dearth of jobs?

An incident that the late economist Milton Friedman related comes to mind: While visiting a populous but undeveloped Asian country several decades ago, Friedman saw a gang of workers using shovels to excavate a hole where a building’s foundation would be laid. Friedman noted that the job would be completed much more quickly if a modern excavating machine were used. His host replied that a deliberate decision had been made not to use such a machine because the government wanted to maximize employment. Friedman’s rejoinder was to the effect that if the goal were to maximize employment in the country, they should ban the use of shovels and equip a far larger number of laborers with spoons. It doesn’t require great vision to realize that a fully employed nation of spoon-wielding ditch diggers would remain a very poor place.

Can anyone doubt that technological progress has led to economic advancement? The economic principle is elementary: As worker productivity increases (that is, as more wealth is produced from fewer units of labor) prosperity rises, too. When improved agricultural productivity has bankrupted farmers and resulted in our food supply being produced by an ever-smaller percentage of Americans, what has happened to all those ex-farmers? They found employment in new fields, thereby increasing the number and variety of goods and services produced. In other words, more wealth was created; and that is how a society achieves higher standards of living for the masses.

What has just been described is Schumpeter’s process of creative destruction. Old jobs that produce things of less value become obsolete, and new jobs producing things of higher value take their place. This is the natural evolutionary course of free markets.

Any notion that there is a ceiling to the number of potential jobs ignores an elementary and undeniable economic truth—namely, that there is no limit to the potential number of jobs because there is no limit to mankind’s wants. As technology makes it possible to produce what are considered the modern necessities of life (cars and cell phones in addition to the traditional necessities of food, clothing, and shelter), more workers will be available to produce and provide new goods and services that entrepreneurs are dreaming up every day of the year.

Is there anything that can inhibit or halt the natural tendency of entrepreneurs in market economies to generate new job opportunities? Yes, indeed. Government intervention—excessive and costly regulations, wealth-and capital-depleting taxation, misallocation of resources via government spending programs, depreciating currency, etc.—can stifle economic activity, discourage business formation, and cause job opportunities to dry up.

What is scary about Wadhwa’s thesis and related plans (such as Hillary Clinton’s proposal for government to lay a heavier, more controlling hand on American entrepreneurs and businesses) is that their ill-conceived policies will produce results opposite to what they claim to be seeking. There will be less employment instead of more.

When Wadhwa says we need a new “capitalism” that redistributes more wealth and provides everyone with a taxpayer-supported guaranteed income, he is doing two destructive things: First, he is perpetrating a pernicious lexicographical hoax, proposing a new form of statism that is a repudiation of free markets—i.e., that is anything but “capitalism.” A more honest statement would be “It is time to replace capitalism with greater government control of economic activity.” The second destructive aspect of his suggestion is his apparent blindness to the fact that maximum economic freedom—true capitalism—is the world’s best hope for expanding job opportunities. To jettison capitalism and replace it with a greater degree of statism will impede economic growth, squelch the growth of businesses, and consequently hinder job creation, to the economic detriment of those who are hoping for jobs.

There will be enough jobs for Americans only if the political planners surrender their mad ambition to direct the economy from Washington.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

A Commonly-Reported Myth About $15 Minimum Wage Just Got Entirely Obliterated

It is wrong to assume that raising the minimum wage for fast food workers to $15 an hour will only raise the restaurant’s prices by 4 percent, according to multiple economists.

The 4 percent figure came from a study by Purdue University economists Richard Ghiselli and Jing Ma. The study and presumed effects on fast food prices have made multiple rounds in cyberspace. The only problem is the numbers are wrong, according to others doing the math.

Economists with the Heritage Foundation claim prices will actually go up by one-sixth to account for increased labor costs. Labor costs typically make up one-third of the average fast food restaurant’s costs. A jump from $9 an hour to $15 an hour would raise pay by more than 50 percent. The 50 percent jump would then be multiplied by the 30 percent standard labor cost. The Heritage Foundation says the Purdue economists made a basic math error when they added median costs.

Another problem with the Purdue study is that journalists are using the lowest available projected figure. The study itself predicts that prices would increase between 4 and 25 percent in order to adjust for higher wages. The other option, according to the study, is to reduce product size by 12 to 70 percent. The study also doesn’t take into account what would happen nationally if the minimum wage saw such a dramatic increase. Studies have centered on regions, such as the region around New Jersey and Pennsylvania. In that region, raising the minimum wage hasn’t had a detrimental effect on jobs. That may not be the case nationally, economists say.

“There could be quite large shares of workers affected, and research doesn’t have a lot to say about that. We can’t assume that because the proposal is out of sample, it’s going to blow up. But we have to be less certain about the outcome,” said Jared Bernstein, a former White House economist now at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The Center typically favors higher minimum wages.

Other research shows that raising the minimum wage would, in fact, raise fast food prices by at least 22 percent. Diana Furchtgott-Roth, Senior Fellow and Director of the Manhattan Institute, presented her testimony on Economic Policies for the 21st Century to the New York Wage Board on June 22, 2015, in response to the state considering raising the minimum wage. Roth said substituting direct labor, which could include automation, would lead to a price increase of around 15 percent. However, prices could go much higher than that.

“To assume that prices would not increase with a 66 percent labor price hike is economic naïveté,” Roth said in her submitted testimony.

There are many other negative effects, according to Roth. One of the biggest will be closing job opportunities to the less-skilled and younger workers. Employers paying $15 an hour will expect their workers to have more skills, and that will leave a lot of people out of the loop. Half of those earning minimum wage are under 25 years old, and 21 percent of those are teens, she said.

“Raising the wage for fast food workers from $8.75 to $15.00 would harm the very people it is intended to help—poor and low-skill New Yorkers. If the wage floor is raised, they would have fewer job opportunities and less chance of climbing the career ladder,” she said.

Roth said the inevitable price escalation would mean fewer customers and less purchasing of higher-priced services. The customer base of fast food restaurants, which typically are lower income people, would have to pay more. She also predicted that smaller, locally-owned establishments would be more apt to close.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

The CEO Who Raised Minimum Wage To $70,000 Just Got Smacked With A HARSH Dose Of Reality

When Dan Price announced back in April that he was going to set the minimum annual salary of every employee in his small Seattle business at $70,000, he found himself in a super-storm of publicity, much of it highly favorable to the CEO of Gravity Payments. But now — in the city that’s become the virtual epicenter of the debate about and the grand experiment for a radically higher minimum wage — it seems that Price is unable to overcome the force of economic gravity, as his credit card payment processing firm has reportedly fallen on hard times.

In writing about the price of harsh reality that Price is now paying, The New York Times has certainly tried to paint the businessman in a most glowing light, calling his effort “a swashbuckling blow against income inequality.” The left-leaning paper goes on to cite the unintended consequences of Price’s “swashbuckling” foray into what many might call a fantasyland of economics and capitalism:

…a few customers, dismayed by what they viewed as a political statement, withdrew their business. Others, anticipating a fee increase — despite repeated assurances to the contrary — also left. While dozens of new clients, inspired by Mr. Price’s announcement, were signing up, those accounts will not start paying off for at least another year.

In addition, notes the Times article, Price had to hire new employees — at the artificially high salary — to handle the flood of new business inquiries and applications. And then there were the existing employees who saw the abrupt raises given other workers as unjustified, unfair, and altogether disconcerting. Some gave up and quit.

“Two of Mr. Price’s most valued employees quit, spurred in part by their view that it was unfair to double the pay of some new hires while the longest-serving staff members got small or no raises,” reports The New York Times.

The Fox News coverage of the problems for Gravity Payments points out the hard personal times that have quickly befallen the man many hailed as a hero — a hero of the movement to make workers’ pay more in line with that of a company’s executives. Price slashed his $1 million pay package to help offset the $70,000 salaries he abruptly imposed for his staff of 120.

“I’m working as hard as I ever worked to make it work,” [Price said] in a video that shows him sitting on a plastic bucket in the garage of his house. “I’m renting out my house right now to try and make ends meet myself.”

And then there’s the nasty family feud that’s been touched off by Price’s sudden decision to up his company’s minimum wage far beyond the $15-an-hour mark recently mandated for the city’s businesses by the Seattle City Council. The Fox News report points out that Price’s older brother filed a lawsuit within days of the announcement of the pay hike, the impact of which was heard round the world of progressive politics:

Lucas Price, who owns 30 percent of the company, accuses his brother of taking millions of dollars out of the company while denying him the benefits of his minority ownership.

The lawsuit has forced Gravity to pay mounting legal fees at a time when the new salary scale is being eaten up by profits.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

One Major Accomplishment Obama Touted Right Before His Reelection Just Got Blown To Bits

President Obama’s economic recovery has now been proven to be worse than anyone thought. New figures provided by the Bureau of Economic Analysis show that economic growth in almost every quarter since 2012 was weaker than previously calculated.

The result is that Gross Domestic Product growth from 2012 to 2014 was only 2%, not 2.3%. “In dollar terms,” an Investor’s Business Daily article notes, “the revisions cut more than $100 billion from the nation’s economic pie.” It also means that President Obama has presided over an economic recovery — now more than six years old — that is far worse than all the previous 10 stretching back 70 years.

However, in a February 2009 interview on NBC’s “Today” show, Obama was referring to the pace of economic recovery when he said, “If I don’t have this done in three years, then there’s going to be a one-term proposition.”

President Bush’s recovery after the 2001 recession — attacked by Democrats as too little – proves to be stronger that Obama’s. After 24 quarters, Obama’s GDP is up a mere 13.3%. By this point in the Bush recovery, GDP had grown 18%.

Obama’s recovery – the worst since World War II — has vastly underperformed even his own projections. The administration’s fiscal 2010 budget pegged 2010 growth at 3.2%. Actual growth was 2.5%.

The revisions cut growth in the third quarter of 2014 by one percentage point. At the time the 5% increase was announced, Obama proclaimed that, “America’s resurgence is real.” Administration officials used the figure to counter Republican predictions of damage to the economy from the Affordable Care Act. The revisions announced this week also showed that the economy’s slight contraction of .2% in the first quarter of 2014 was revised upward to .6%

This summer, Obama told The Daily Show host Jon Stewart that the economy “by every metric, is better” than when he took office.

h/t: Wall Street Journal

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth