Articles

Hicks: Obama pitches gender pay gap to the gullible

If we separate people into two groups by age, education, gender, race, occupation or almost any other factor, their average wages differ in some way. But this sort of comparison doesn’t tell us much. If we use statistical methods that account for multiple characteristics, wage differences for most factors disappear.

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Hicks: Medical firms are largest perpetrators of fraud

Medicaid and Medicare fraud is where the real money lies, costing taxpayers some $100 billion a year, or 10 percent of total costs. This is many times more than the highest estimate of fraud in all other assistance programs combined. Nearly all of this fraud is perpetrated by health care providers.

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Hicks: Inflation could precede real economic recovery

The new Keynesian model suggests that a government stimulus might work to temporarily boost consumption or investment just like the old Keynesian model does. But the new model requires businesses and households to adjust their buying because of fears of expected inflation.

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Hicks: Choke Russian ambitions with a Fed strategy

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: Marriage patterns add to income inequality

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 people

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 work

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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