Jobs and Inflation: Gradually and Then Suddenly

By Ben Hunt – Re-Blogged From Wolf Street

If you’ve been reading my notes immediately before and after the June Fed meeting (“Tell My Horse” and “Post-Fed Follow-up”), you know that I think we now have a sea change in what the Fed is focused on and what their default course of action is going to be. Rather than looking for reasons to ease up on monetary policy and be more accommodative, the Fed and the ECB (and even the BOJ in their own weird way) are now looking for reasons to tighten up on monetary policy and be more restrictive. As Jamie Dimon said the other day, the tide that’s been coming in for eight years is now starting to go out. Caveat emptor.

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Applebee’s Franchise Owner Forced To Cut 1,000 Jobs After New York’s Minimum Wage Hike

By Andrew Kerr – Re-Blogged From Western Journalism

The CEO of Apple-Metro Inc., a company that operates about 40 Applebee’s restaurants in the New York metropolitan area, said he’s been forced to cut at at least 1,000 servers in the past year as a result of New York’s recent minimum wage hike.

“We have 1,000 less servers this time this year than we did this time last year,” Zane Tankel told Fox Business’ Stuart Varney on Monday.

That amounts a two-thirds reduction of his total workforce, Tankel said. Continue reading

Minimum Wage Hurts More Than it Helps

By Jeremy Frankel – Re-Blogged From iPatriot

There has been much discussion and debate over whether to raise the minimum wage, and this debate is still going strong.

The positions range from minimum wage advocates who are part of the #FightFor15 movement, claiming that everyone should make enough money to live on; to opponents of a minimum wage, who believe that minimum wages are counterproductive to both employees and businesses, in the sense that anyone whose work isn’t worth the minimum wage wouldn’t be hired, or that the business cannot afford the minimum wage and therefore, no one has a wage at all, since the business cannot operate.

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The Forgotten Depression of 1920–1921

By Brian Maher – Re-Blogged From The Daily Reckoning

The year is 1921…

America is less than three years removed from triumph on the Western Front. It’s the dawn of the Roaring Twenties… and the Jazz Age.

Warren Gamaliel Harding is America’s czar.

And the nation is sunk in depression…

U.S. industrial production plunged 31% between 1920 and 1921. Stock prices plummeted 46%… and corporate profits a crushing 92%.

Unemployment ran as high as 19%. Storefronts everywhere gaped empty.

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Proof That This Economic Recovery Narrative Is False

By Sol Palha – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

The financial media has provided reams of data trying to lay out the case that this economic recovery is real. Many of the statistics provided do indeed support the theme that the outlook is improving.  One must, however, keep these two facts in mind when looking at the data:

  • The Fed poured huge amounts of money into this market.  Minus the money, this so-called economic recovery would have never come to pass
  • Due to the low-interest rate environment, corporation borrowed money on the cheap and poured billions into share buybacks since the crash of 2009.

Hence, while some of these statistics paint a rosy picture, the outlook is far from rosy as two key leading economic indicators have failed to confirm this recovery from the onset.

The Baltic Dry index is trading 92% below its all-time high. Now imagine the Dow was in the same position and the press instead of calling it a crash, made the assertion that we were in the midst of a raging bull market. You would think they were insane.  Well, the same analogy applies today; this index clearly indicates that there is no recovery on a global basis and that hot money is creating the illusion of one. Remove this excess cash from the system, and the economy together with the stock market will collapse.

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Harvard Study Shows Minimum Wage Increases Kill Businesses

By Keely Sharp – Re-Blogged From Eagle Rising

While there are McDonald fry cooks out protesting for $15 an hour to flip burgers and almost always get our orders wrong, some of us can actually see the harm in minimum wage hikes.

When wages are increased, then a business must then charge more for their product in order to cover the costs, due to inflation. For example, you may go from $7.25 an hour to $15 an hour, but now a gallon of milk jumps from $4 to $8. So you aren’t really able to afford anything more than you were in the first place, and it hurts the businesses.

A new Harvard Business School study found that minimum wage hikes lead to closures of small businesses. “We find suggestive evidence that an increase in the minimum wage leads to an overall increase in the rate of exit,” the researchers conclude.

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Whatever Happened to the Invisible Hand of Capitalism?

By Vitaliy Katsenelson – Re-Blogged From Contrarian Edge

When I was growing up in the Soviet Union, our local grocery store had two types of sugar: The cheap one was priced at 96 kopecks (Russian cents) a kilo and the expensive one at 104 kopecks. I vividly remember these prices because they didn’t change for a decade. The prices were not set by sugar supply and demand but were determined by a well-meaning bureaucrat (who may even have been an economist) a thousand miles away. If all Russian housewives (and househusbands) had decided to go on an apple pie diet and started baking pies for breakfast, lunch and dinner, sugar demand would have increased but the prices still would have been 96 and 104 kopecks. As a result, we would have had a shortage of sugar — a very common occurrence in the Soviet era.

In a capitalist economy, the invisible hand serves a very important but underappreciated role: It is a signaling mechanism that helps balance supply and demand. High demand leads to higher prices, telegraphing suppliers that they’ll make more money if they produce extra goods. Additional supply lowers prices, bringing them to a new equilibrium. I am slightly embarrassed as I write this, because you may confuse me for an economist — I am not one. But this is how prices are set for millions of goods globally on a daily basis in free-market economies.

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