In Newsweek the pundit claims that “double-digit inflation is back”: “The way inflation is calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics has been ‘improved’ 24 times since 1978. If the old methods were still used, the CPI would actually be 10 percent.” If Ferguson is right about inflation, it leaves two possibilities. Either our statistics on the size of the economy in current-dollar terms–which ought to be easier to compile than any numbers on inflation–are hopelessly flawed. Or the real (that is, inflation-adjusted) size of the economy is shrinking rapidly. Instead of 1.8 percent real growth, in the last few months we’ve been going through something more like 7 percent real shrinkage. (Nominal growth, remember, has to equal inflation plus real growth.) Is that even remotely plausible? Does Ferguson believe this rate of shrinkage is compatible with even the modest job increases we’ve seen? Or does he doubt the unemployment stats too?
The Democrats swept to power in Congress by campaigning in a way that has been successful for Democrats for generations. “Republicans will take away your health care,” they said, after having focus-grouped it. Now we are preparing for a 2020 campaign in which Donald Trump and Republicans can as easily ... Read More
What a weasel word “collusion” is. In Washington, Senator Richard Burr (R., N.C.), chairman of the Intelligence Committee, has now seen fit to pronounce that, after two years of investigation, the panel has found no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian regime. Meanwhile, in a ... Read More
Jussie Smollett, the Trump-despising star of television’s Empire who has said he was attacked by two guys yelling a pro-Trump slogan, has now hired the lawyer for Trump’s lawyer to defend him in any criminal matters that may emerge from what he claims is a vicious January 29 attack. Michael Monico, a ... Read More
'The most important political event of the twentieth century,” wrote Irving Kristol in 1976, “is not the crisis of capitalism but the death of socialism.” Plenty of self-described Marxist and socialist regimes existed throughout the world, Kristol recognized. It was rather the ideas behind such regimes that ... Read More
Jussie Smollett’s story has always sounded a little . . . extraordinary. Smollett, who appears on the television series Empire, says he was attacked on the streets of Chicago at 2 a.m. by two men who shouted racial and homophobic abuses at him, beat him, doused him with bleach, and fastened a noose around ... Read More