Economic Analysis

Hicks: Choke Russian ambitions with a Fed strategy

March 8, 2014
Mike Hicks
The Soviet, er ... Russian, invasion of Ukraine offers a nice reminder of JFK’s old dictum that domestic policy can defeat us, but foreign policy can get us killed. As we pay higher gasoline prices, we ought to think about the world as it is and our options.
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Hicks: Public policies muddle minimum wage debateRestricted Content

March 1, 2014
Mike Hicks
Late last month, a Congressional Budget Office study on a proposed minimum-wage hike concluded that raising the minimum wage 39 percent, from $7.25 to $10.10, would reduce employment by roughly 500,000 jobs.
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Hicks: Marriage patterns add to income inequalityRestricted Content

February 22, 2014
Mike Hicks
After World War II, Americans began to marry later in life and with far fewer geographic restrictions. The “marriage market” shifted from small towns to colleges and workplaces. So, educational attainment, not race and religion, became a more important factor.
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Hicks: It's irrational to dislike most rich peopleRestricted Content

February 15, 2014
Mike Hicks
The plain fact is, of the households with earnings in the top fifth, only 0.0016 percent earn more than half their income from stock dividends. Simply put, most rich households work. It is also plainly true that someone else’s riches don’t come at the expense of the rest of us. There is not a finite amount of income.
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Hicks: Sustainable middle class now built on workRestricted Content

February 8, 2014
Mike Hicks
America's middle class was first built upon an unsustainable combination of low-productivity, high-wage jobs in large factories. The second half of the 20th century saw a different middle class emerge, with workers across many industries applying high-value-added human capital to the production of goods and increasingly services.
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Hicks: Policy levers to fight poverty hit their limitationsRestricted Content

February 1, 2014
Mike Hicks
The big lesson on research and data about poverty is the limited effectiveness of public policy. For healthy people in long-term poverty, nearly all have made at least one of the big three mistakes: quitting high school, using drugs or having kids without a partner.
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Hicks: Consumption inequality is the real issueRestricted Content

January 25, 2014
Mike Hicks
No economic facts are likely to steer the policy debate away from income inequality. This is mostly because today’s discussion is simply a convenient way to change the subject from other policy failures.
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Hicks: Labor markets respond to choices, good or badRestricted Content

January 18, 2014
Mike Hicks
There are many causes to income inequality, most significantly that labor markets value different skills in different ways.
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Hicks: Fed might as well throw in the towel on easingRestricted Content

January 11, 2014
Mike Hicks
At the Philadelphia meeting of the American Economic Association, economist Charles Plosser argued that the continued quantitative easing should be quickly reduced.
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Hicks: North Korea is epitome of an economic systemRestricted Content

January 4, 2014
Mike Hicks
The U.S. economy is not a system; it is a series of markets that by their very nature cannot be organized. The People’s Republic of Korea is the contemporary bastion of economic systems; North Korea is the most centrally planned state of modern times.
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Hicks: Fed's easing plan barely makes an impactRestricted Content

December 28, 2013
Mike Hicks
The Federal Reserve’s recent decision to ease efforts to stimulate the economy were widely expected. What was unexpected about the announcement was just how minimal the changes were.
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Hicks: How to cut labor costs? Improve quality of lifeRestricted Content

December 21, 2013
Mike Hicks
Attractive regions will attract households with greater location choices. These households will inevitably be better educated and command a higher income. However, all things being equal, workers in these places will not require quite as high a wage to live in these places as they would to live in a less-desirable place.
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Hicks: Hoosiers get bargain with IEDC, study showsRestricted Content

December 14, 2013
Mike Hicks
Over the past few weeks, the research center in which I work published three studies evaluating the role of economic development programs in Indiana. The results held surprises and some not-so-surprising findings.
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Hicks: Health reform among forces stifling economyRestricted Content

December 7, 2013
Mike Hicks
Over the next couple of weeks, I will be traveling to many of Indiana’s cities to explain my 2014 economic forecast. I will tell audiences that the national economy will perform poorly, and that we will not return to pre-recession employment numbers this year.
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Hicks: Economic geography changed with labor

November 30, 2013
Mike Hicks
In 1940, vibrant cities had big factories, rail yards and lots of associated workers. In 2010, vibrant cities had lots of people in many occupations whose product is mostly consumed locally. This doesn’t mean there aren’t a few fantastic towns with factories, but it is the vibrant town that ultimately makes the difference.
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Hicks: Let's debate gay marriage in our homes

November 23, 2013
Mike Hicks
I have written that the marriage amendment is a poor use of our legislators’ time, but I believe we should have an honest discussion about the matter.
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Hicks: News media often misread rotten job numbersRestricted Content

November 16, 2013
Mike Hicks
At first blush, 200,000 new jobs noted in the latest jobs report would be welcomed news, as it is almost half the number of jobs we need each month to return labor markets to normalcy by the end of the decade. Alas, the Department of Labor publishes much more detailed data, and in that lurk dark shadows of a still-stagnant economy.
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Hicks: A different 1 percent pack a big influenceRestricted Content

November 9, 2013
Mike Hicks
Veterans of our large wars have returned to remake the world. The more recent wars have been fought by a mix of regular and citizen soldiers, and so I believe will leave a lasting mark on our nation.
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Hicks: Better ways to help minimum-wage workersRestricted Content

November 2, 2013
Mike Hicks
Much of the rhetoric about the costs and benefits of the minimum wage is pure bunk. Life as an adult minimum-wage worker is tough, but not because of salaries.
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Hicks: Odds of Affordable Care Act failure keep risingRestricted Content

October 26, 2013
Mike Hicks
It is far too early to call the rollout of the Affordable Care Act a failure; most new programs have rocky starts. But this one has most of the signs of inevitable failure. If the situation doesn’t remedy itself quickly, the complete redo of the law will be hastened considerably.
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Hicks: Economists don't know why economy is ailingRestricted Content

October 19, 2013
Mike Hicks
The first slowdown seems to have been at least partially remedied by the Federal Reserve’s massive purchase of assets known as quantitative easing, the most recent of which was accompanied by a marked short-term improvement in the economy. That improvement seems to have run its course.
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Hicks: Welcome this debate, even if it ain't prettyRestricted Content

October 12, 2013
Mike Hicks
Voters' expressing only anger and frustration over D.C. politics simply won’t do. It is intellectually lazy, cowardly and un-American to wish that everyone should settle their argument like this is a school playground.
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Hicks: Sometimes it's about spending, not taxesRestricted Content

October 5, 2013
Mike Hicks
No matter the result of last week’s budget debate, we are in need of a serious discussion about tax and spending policy.
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Hicks: We'll spend more and more on health careRestricted Content

September 28, 2013
Mike Hicks
Like most Americans, I am confused by the ACA. I don’t have a spare couple of months to read it in its entirety, but am certain there are things about it I will like and some I will detest. On balance, though, it is increasingly clear that it will require Herculean fixes.
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HICKS: Yellen understands the Fed's conflicting rolesRestricted Content

September 21, 2013
Mike Hicks
With Janet Yellen as the clear front runner for Federal Reserve chairwoman, rampant speculation regarding her approach to monetary policy fills blogs and editorials.
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