Subject: Obamacare poverty trap and Keystone XL (AEI Economics Ledger) If you have trouble reading this message

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NEW AEI SCHOLAR — Robert Doar joins AEI as the inaugural Morgridge Fellow in Poverty Studies

Economic opportunity
What the official poverty measure leaves out. Robert Doar: “In leaving out all that government does to help the poor, the official measure focuses on what poor Americans are able to earn for themselves. It is a measure of their independence and ability to work and earn a sufficient amount to support themselves and their families on their own — which is what they want. And that is why it is so troubling that America’s official poverty measure now stands at 15% or 46.5 million Americans.” Obamacare will cost 2.5 million jobs . . . Stan Veuger: “When the Congressional Budget Office announced on Tuesday that by 2024 the equivalent of 2.5 million full-time jobs would be lost due to the impact of the Affordable Care Act, much more than it claimed before President Obama’s re-election, I expected that even the law’s most ardent supporters would be somewhat upset. Surprisingly, they were not. Instead of worrying about job losses, liberals celebrated the CBO’s prediction that people will ‘choose’ to work less.” . . . and reduce worker compensation by 1 percent. Scott Gottlieb: “CBO is being forced to acknowledge how Obamacare collides with some seemingly obvious economic principles. CBO is estimating that the law will reduce labor force compensation by 1 percent from 2017 to 2024, twice the reduction it previously had projected.” Subprime mortgages hurt the poor the most. Ed Pinto: “Low-income and minority borrowers have suffered disproportionately from subprime lending. This has taken the form of high rates of default and foreclosure, neighborhood blight, and extreme home price volatility.”

An energy revolution
Fact-free opposition to Keystone XL. Benjamin Zycher: “Now that the State Department has reported the obvious — that the Keystone XL pipeline would have virtually no effect on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions or on global temperatures — the opponents of the project are bringing the heat.” NEW RESEARCH — Tax policy and the social costs of driving. Emma Bennett: “Increasing the gasoline tax and other driving-related taxes while repealing inefficient regulations can encourage more optimal transportation decisions by Americans.” The problem with a carbon tax. Benjamin Zycher: “The standard assumption about the superior efficiency of a carbon tax relative to bans and energy consumption standards is deeply problematic for both scientific and political reasons.”

Are the best days of the economy over?
PODCAST — A question-and-answer session on productivity, innovation, and growth with Stephen Oliner

CBO says the new normal is here to stay. Jim Pethokoukis: “The long-term, anti-employment impact of the Affordable Care Act is, unfortunately, not the worst bit of news from the Congressional Budget Office. More disturbing and important is the CBO’s gloomy US economic forecast. . . . Beyond 2017, CBO expects that economic growth will diminish to a pace that is well below the average seen over the past several decades.” Emerging-market currency turmoil. Desmond Lachman: “As Federal Reserve tapering has become a reality, the currencies of a number of major emerging market economies including Brazil, India, Indonesia, South Africa and Turkey, have come under considerable market pressure. There is every reason to expect that such pressure is likely to persist as earlier emerging market capital inflows reverse.”

Some positive developments
The wage gap between men and women is closing. June O’Neill: “Women's wages have been rising relative to those of men because women have been increasing their work-related skills, most notably through advances in education. In addition, women have been accumulating more years of continuous work experience.” Net neutrality held at bay, for now. Richard Bennett: “The net-neutrality debate rages on, even though we know which policy works best: the one we have now. Unfettered Internet has unleashed innovation and growth for the past 20 years. The FCC should put the future of communications ahead of agency pride.”

Mark your calendar
Today! January employment situation data released 2.11 Janet Yellen Humphrey Hawkins Testimony: House 2.12 AEI Event: Banks and governments: What’s the deal? 2.13 Janet Yellen Humphrey Hawkins Testimony: Senate 2.13 Jobless claims 2.18 AEI Event: The Detroit bankruptcy: Conflicts and implications

Keep up with AEIecon
Get up-to-the-minute updates on Twitter @AEIecon. Read more from the American Enterprise Institute economic policy team at www.aei.org/economics. Contact Abby at abby.mccloskey@aei.org if you have questions for the economics team. Sign up for a weekly copy of the LEDGER here. If you were forwarded this message, click here to subscribe to AEI newsletters. Click here to unsubscribe or manage your subscriptions. American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research | 1150 Seventeenth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036 | 202.862.5800 | www.aei.org

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