It has been a busy couple of weeks. I was in Washington, D.C. for a new class I will be teaching next year on the interactions of government and business. That took a great amount of time and energy I do not mind telling you. It will be lots of fun and a great learning experience going forward. Also, this week was the North Dakota Demographics conference. This was the third one and I helped plan all of them as well as presenting at them. This time I had a research poster, a presentation on Demographics & Taxes, and I was part of a panel discussion on cities in North Dakota.
I was in Washington this week and had a chance to read a bunch of material regarding the tariff plan. The notion of expanding employment in the U.S. with these tariffs is really silly. It is clearly the case the primary metal production employment has been on the decline as seen here.
Once again it is my honor to be named a Focus Economics top economics and finance blogger. When I started this activity a few years back it was not really with the intent of gaining any notoriety. As an academic discipline Economics actually embraced blogging as a way of discussing ideas and theories relatively early so it was simply a form of engagement with the public and my profession. I really enjoy blogging though and hope to continue it for a long time to come. And okay the notoriety is nice too. You can find the address of the website listing the award recipients below:
Sometime tomorrow, or perhaps today depending on when I get this post completed, President Trump will announce tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. Rather than engage in a knee jerk response that free trade is always the best approach I think it would pay to be a little more circumspect about the outcomes. First, is free trade beneficial to all parties? Well yes and no.
Grand Forks released retail sales tax collections which are for the month of December 2017. There are various different ways to look at the number. It is a .31% increase over December of 2016. An increase is an increase I suppose, though it should be cause for concern if the general optimism permeating the economy surrounding the tax cut happened to miss Grand Forks. The January and February releases for this year, which represent sales tax collected in November and December of 2017, are around 6.5% less than this time last year. It is also the case that 17 of the last 38 months have been lower than year ago values for sales tax collections.