After three extravagant and costly days of trying to “save the world” at the United Nations Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development, the final outcomes were announced to the world. More than $500 billion was pledged to the so-called “sustainability” cause by governments, Big Business, and multilateral development banks. Also, a 50-page agreement bizarrely dubbed “The Future We Want” was adopted by virtually every national government on Earth. It was hardly everything UN supporters had sought, but progress was certainly made on moving their vision forward.

 

When President Obama boasts of the number of jobs created during his administration, the numbers he cites may be correct, but he doesn't count the other jobs that were lost during his administration. His critics cite the latter. Both can claim to be right because they are talking about different things.

What has been the net effect? During this administration, the proportion of the working age population that has a job has fallen to the lowest level in decades. The official unemployment rate does not count the millions of people who have simply given up looking for a job.

 JBS CEO Art Thompson's video news update for July 9-15, 2012.

 What happens when we define "fairness" as equality? Do we increase the productivity, output, and overall standard of living in society by treating the most successful as undeserving and overly compensated winners in the “lottery of life”? Would we have better movies, better technology, more freedom, more excellence, more jobs, less poverty, and more global competitiveness if the government had forced Steve Jobs and Meryl Streep to step aside in order to produce more mandated equality or in order to benefit their competitors?

 Farmers are celebrating the defeat of a proposed federal law that would have barred children from operating power equipment on private land, which would have barred kids from helping with milking cows and feeding animals, amongst other restrictions.

Disregarding the state’s mounting budgetary woes, California lawmakers green-lighted the first phase of construction on a controversial high-speed rail line that has become littered with financial hiccups and logistical roadblocks.

After conferring with the city’s business administrator, Scranton, Pennsylvania, Mayor Chris Doherty announced on Wednesday, June 27, that all 398 city employees would be getting minimum wage, starting with their next paycheck. Doherty said the city doesn’t have the money to pay everyone their full salary: "I’m trying to do the best I can with the limited amount of funds that I have. I want the employees to get paid. Our people work hard…I just don’t have enough money, and I can’t print it in the basement."

Contrary to President Obama's claims, laying off public-school teachers won't hurt educational outcomes or the economy; in fact, it will do just the opposite says the free market Cato Institute’s Andrew Coulson.

 

Having taught economics at a number of colleges for a number of years, I especially welcomed a feature article in the June 22nd issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education, on how economics courses with the same name can be very different at different colleges. It can also be very different when the course is taught by professors in the same department who have different approaches.

The recent public-employee union controversy in Wisconsin is part of a global phenomenon, and every U.S. government unit will face the same crisis. Governor Walker stood up to the teachers' union in his state by saying that he wouldn't back automatic pay increases for teachers and other public workers that had increased state costs.

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