Weekend Talking Points, Labor Day Edition

Weekend Talking Points, Labor Day Edition

Weekend Talking Points, Labor Day Edition

A blog about business, finance, and economics.
Sept. 3 2010 9:07 AM

Weekend Talking Points, Labor Day Edition

Tax Cuts Coming? The  Washington Post says the Obama administration is "seriously weighing" tax cuts for businesses. Economically, this will win a few plaudits . Politically? Probably should have thought about this earlier in the year.

Panda Huggers vs. Yellow Perilmongers . In honor of Labor Day, Robert Dreyfuss takes a penetrating look in The Nation at how the issue of China's growth and trade is twisting America's labor-left thinkers into knots . Apparently if you—like James Galbraith of the University of Texas—don't talk tough enough about Chinese labor and trade abuses, you risk being labeled a " panda hugger ."

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There goes that pay raise. If you want a sense of why American workers (the ones who still have jobs) feel like they're on a treadmill, have a look at the Kaiser Family Foundation survey released this week . The average worker is now contributing just shy of $4,000 to cover her health insurance premium, which is up 147 percent from a decade ago. How many people's salaries have increased that much in 10 years?

Open season on Cash for Clunkers. This study  says "the effect of the program on auto purchases was significantly more short-lived than previously suggested. We also find no evidence of an effect on employment, house prices, or household default rates in cities with higher exposure to the program." Jeff Jacoby from the Boston Globe calls it "a deplorable exercise in budgetary wastefulness, asset destruction, environmental irrelevance, and economic idiocy. Other than that, it was a screaming success."

—Good news for artists in Delaware. The stimulus package has few defenders these days, but one place where stimulus did work is the nonprofit sector. A study from Johns Hopkins shows particularly high job growth between 2007 and 2009 in nonprofit arts and entertainment, ambulatory health, and primary and secondary schools. States where nonprofit job growth was the highest: Delaware, North Carolina, and Louisiana. 

James Ledbetter is the editor of Inc. and the host of Panoply’s podcast Inc. Uncensored.