7 Outcomes of Legalized Marijuana in Alaska (or not)

<h2><a href=""><img class="alignleft size-medium wp-image-2670" alt="marijuana" src="" width="200" height="300" /></a>Marijuana in Alaska?</h2> <p>As the ballot measure allowing citizens to vote on the legalization of recreational marijuana in the State of Alaska moves forward, I started to think about some possible changes we might see in our state if the measure passes. The following are the top 7 changes our state might see if recreational use of marijuana becomes legal:</p> <p>1)    Tok will become the #1 tourist destination in the state and Fast Eddy’s will change its name to Whoa Dude.</p> <p>2)    A new State law will require all vending machines to carry Funyuns and Peggy’s pies.</p> <p>3)    Sharing a single joint with several people while enjoying Alaska’s scenery will be known as a “Hatcher’s Pass”.</p> <p>4)    The average length of Air Force One refueling stops in Alaska will increase by 17%.</p> <p>5)    Whether or not university students should be allowed to carry firearms on campus will

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ACA Market Distortions May Not Allow Cancelled Policies To Be Reissued

<h2><a href=""><img class="alignleft size-medium wp-image-2652" alt="healthcare" src="" width="300" height="199" /></a>It may not be possible for 5,000,000 people to get their insurance back.</h2> <p>Over 5,000,000 people have lost their existing health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Even though they liked their health insurance, they were not able to keep it. These people then experienced significant sticker shock when they went to purchase health coverage in the new Exchanges. The President's solution is to reauthorize health insurance companies to reissue the "banned" policies for an additional year.  Forget for a moment the debate about whether the President has the ability to unilaterally modify the requirements of the ACA, the greater immediate concern for those who lost their insurance is: Can insurance companies actually turn those policies back on? What the President doesn't understand is that it isn't that easy.</p> <p>Let's consider the health insurance market at the aggregate level. While I've never worked

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Fiscal Policy

Fiscal Policy Hasn’t Been In Vogue Since 1953

<h2>The Other Fiscal Cliff Resides In a Chart</h2> <p>While running some queries on Google's Ngram Viewer, a phrase-usage graphing tool searching over 5.2 million books in Google's digital library, I came across a rather startling trend. When comparing the use of the terms "monetary policy" and "fiscal policy" I discovered that discussion of fiscal policy in the literature has been falling since about 1953, while the discussion of monetary policy has been rising substantially (see chart below). The last time fiscal policy was a substantial topic in literature was during WWII and it has been falling dramatically since the end of the Cold War in 1989. Coincidence or design? What has caused this shift? Is it a cause or symptom of our current high dependence on monetary policy?</p> <p><iframe name="ngram_chart" src="" height="378" width="678" frameborder="0" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> <p><em>Dr. Holly A. Bell is an Associate Professor teaching business and economics at the Mat-Su College

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Why The Fed’s Monetary Policy is Failing

<h2><a href=""><img class="alignleft size-medium wp-image-2622" alt="Debt" src="" width="300" height="199" /></a>"There are studies that indicate that economic growth slows when public and private debt exceeds 260% to 275% of GDP. The U.S. hit the 260% level in 2000."</h2> <p>A recent paper by Hoisington Investment Management Company (<a href="" target="_blank">available here</a>) does an excellent job describing why the Federal Reserve is, and will continue to be, unsuccessful in its efforts to engineer economic growth by devaluing the U.S currency and attempting to increase inflation through persistent “Quantitative Easing”. They cite four factors:</p> <p>1)    <b>The Fed’s Forecast</b>: If the Fed’s forecasts were consistently right, we could have confidence that their actions might positively impact the economy. However, their forecasts for GDP and inflation have been “consistently above the actual outcomes”. They assume higher stock prices will lead to more spending because people feel wealthier if their portfolio is rising. This “wealth effect” has not occurred,

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From – Obamacare’s Authoritarian Problem

<h2><a href=""><img class="alignleft size-medium wp-image-2638" alt="Obamacare" src="" width="300" height="226" /></a>Consumer choice trumps coercion every time.</h2> <p>David Harsanvi at argues why your judgement about which healthcare option is best for you is better than the collective judgement of 51.1% of the electorate.</p> <p>"Let me put it this way: There's this Chinese restaurant near my house. It's not the cleanest place, granted. And the folks who "work" there are, it seems, completely uninterested in my dining experience. The food is priced accordingly. But I love the dumplings. It's really all that matters to me. There's another Chinese place nearby. This one is newer. It has a friendly and attractive staff. It offers me clean silverware, and I walk on expensive contemporary tiles. All that classy stuff is nice, and it's also embedded into the price of my dumplings -- which are no better. I don't want to pay for the tiles. I just

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Offshore Corporate Tax Havens Shift Burden to Individual Tax Payers

<h2>" haven abusers force other Americans to shoulder their tax <a href=""><img class="alignright size-medium wp-image-2627" alt="tax" src="" width="300" height="249" /></a>burden."</h2> <p>U.S. PIRG, an organization I don't generally have much in common with, published an interesting and informative report on offshore corporate tax havens. While I don't necessarily agree with the causes of the problem the author suggests, I agree with the effects.</p> <p>From U.S. PIRG:</p> <p>"Many large U.S.-based multinational corporations avoid paying U.S. taxes by using accounting tricks to make profits made in America appear to be generated in offshore tax havens—countries with minimal or no taxes. By booking profits to subsidiaries registered in tax havens, multinational corporations are able to avoid an estimated $90 billion in federal income taxes each year. These subsidiaries are often shell companies with few, if any employees, and which engage in little to no real business activity.</p> <div dir="ltr" data-font-name="g_font_154_0" data-canvas-width="289.72533961296097">Loopholes in the tax code make it legal

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A Busload of Silicon Valley Programmers: The Senator John McCain Solution to Obamacare

<h2><a href=""><img class="alignleft size-medium wp-image-2618" alt="Obamacare" src="" width="198" height="300" /></a>Is the private sector the solution to a public sector problem?</h2> <p>I haven’t been blogging much lately. This is primarily due to the overall heightened state of daily outrage I’ve been walking around in for about the last year and a half. A friend told me this morning that this is a privilege reserved for those of at least 70, but I’m an old soul who has been telling cars to slow down since I was in my 20’s. I can’t live by your outrage privilege rules, man.</p> <p>I try to touch on issues and perspectives others aren’t addressing and I’ve found those subjects difficult to find lately, but Senator John McCain helped me out this morning. I was watching Fox News while eating my scrambled egg whites (another sign I might be 70) when the Senator suggested—and I paraphrase—that the solution to

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What Might “Obamacare” and the Healthcare Industry Look Like in 2038?

<h2><a href=""><img class="alignleft size-medium wp-image-2606" alt="Obamacare" src="" width="240" height="300" /></a>"Regardless of government healthcare mandates or other regulatory policies, market forces are always at work...Obamacare is a bad idea that may only get worse."</h2> By Holly A. Bell Regardless of government healthcare mandates or other regulatory policies, market forces are always at work and will mold the healthcare market to adjust to the new regulatory environment. If governments are unable to regulate away market forces, what impacts might the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act have on the healthcare market twenty years after full implementation? Using a basic economic principle, we can make some predictions about costs and demand and infer how the healthcare market and regulators might respond. <h3>Third party payer systems</h3> The primary goal of the Affordable Care Act is to ensure all American’s have affordable healthcare by creating a system of available and affordable health insurance. By doing so the government

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Configuration Unemployment: Measuring Structural Problems in a Contemporary Economy

<h2><a href=""><img class="alignleft size-medium wp-image-2600" alt="unemployment" src="" width="300" height="300" /></a>"The fact that it has not disappeared from the planet, and could potentially return to countries like the U.S. under the right conditions,makes sector analysis as a measure of structural unemployment look more like the cyclical model"</h2> <p>By Holly A. Bell</p> <p>In a recent article, Paul Krugman asked: “Is there any point to economic analysis?”.  The reason for his frustration is that “Beltway conventional wisdom has settled on the proposition that high unemployment is structural, not cyclical, even though there is now a bipartisan consensus among economists that the opposite is true.” Using the narrow definition of structural unemployment, Dr. Krugman is exactly right. When utilizing economic models for structural unemployment, we would expect employment disruptions in specific industries and areas of the country, including high unemployment in the vanishing sectors and shortages of workers in the emerging area of the economy. The

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market efficiency

High Frequency Trading: Do Regulators Need to Control this Tool of Informationally Efficient Markets?

<p><a href=""><img class="alignleft size-medium wp-image-2570" alt="market efficiency" src="" width="300" height="199" /></a>From the Cato Institute:</p> <p>High Frequency Trading (HFT) is a form of algorithmic trading where firms use high-speed market data and analytics to look for short term supply and demand trading opportunities that often are the product of predictable behavioral or mechanical characteristics of financial markets. Some opponents have argued that these practices create risk and require aggressive regulation.  In a new paper, professor of business Holly A. Bell argues that HFT is already being effectively regulated by the market and its participants.</p> <h3><a href="">Click here to read the Holly A. Bell paper</a></h3> <h3><a href="">Return to home page</a></h3>

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