“Seattle’s Chinese American veterans to receive long overdue honor from U.S.”

I saw this Seattle Times article while visiting my hometown, and it struck me as relevant, as the Trump administration is now deporting veterans, willy nilly. From the article.

When the [Second World] war began, the United States government had not yet repealed the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, the nation’s first immigration ban on a specific ethnic group. The law severely limited Chinese immigrants from entering the country and becoming naturalized citizens for more than 60 years, until the end of 1943.

This meant that while up to 20,000 Chinese Americans served in the military during World War II, about 40% were not even granted citizenship, according to the Chinese-American World War II Veteran Congressional Gold Medal Act.

Turning to the present, Trump now deporting military veterans, in violation of federal rules. From a recent GAO report:

 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has developed policies for handling cases of noncitizen veterans who may be subject to removal from the United States, but does not consistently adhere to those policies, and does not consistently identify and track such veterans. When ICE agents and officers learn they have encountered a potentially removable veteran, ICE policies require them to take additional steps to proceed with the case. GAO found that ICE did not consistently follow its policies involving veterans who were placed in removal proceedings from fiscal years 2013 through 2018. Consistent implementation of its policies would help ICE better ensure that veterans receive appropriate levels of review before they are placed in removal proceedings. Additionally, ICE has not developed a policy to identify and document all military veterans it encounters during interviews, and in cases when agents and officers do learn they have encountered a veteran, ICE does not maintain complete electronic data. Therefore, ICE does not have reasonable assurance that it is consistently implementing its policies for handling veterans’ cases.

The moral and ethical bankruptcy of this administration is breathtaking.

Down, Down, Down: 10 Year Yields in Advanced Countries

Perusing the last issue of the Economist, I noted that among advanced economies, only Greece (180 bps), Spain (87 bps), Australia (133 bps), South Korea (112 bps) and Chile (108 bps) had larger declines in the ten year yields than the US (81 bps).

Of these, one could argue Greece and Spain declines were attributable to a decline in default risk, leaving only Australia, South Korea and Chile.

Figure 1 below illustrates what has happened to 10yr-3mo, 10yr-2yr and 5yr-3mo spreads over the past year (indicated by vertical green line)

“[L]et’s have Bretton Woods again.” Arthur Laffer 1982

And maybe other folks, up for the Fed? Well, Judy Shelton says gold might be the way to go…

That’s from an interview Erik Brynjolffson, Tod Loofbourrow and I conducted back in 1982 for the Harvard International Review. So, if Obama’s November 2008 election could’ve caused the Great Recession that started in December 2007 (and the Lehman Brothers collapse in September of 2008) as Laffer has claimed, why not Bretton Woods redux?

CEA Chief Economist Casey Mulligan on the Eve of the Great Recession

(Well, actually, the recession had been underway for nearly ten months, and after Lehman Brothers, on October 26th, 2008). Or why I worry about the White House economic policy management team.


The medium term fundamentals point toward more real GDP, more employment, and (to a lesser degree) more consumption. Some employment and real GDP declines may occur in the short run, but they will be small by historical standards. Professor Cooley recently explained “The losses to date represent less than .5% of the work force. In the relatively mild recession of 2001 to 2002, job losses equaled about 1% of the work force. In the much more severe recession of 1981 to 1982, job losses totaled nearly 3% of the labor force–six times today’s figure. And in the (truly) Great Depression–invoked, now, with an alarmist frequency–job losses between 1929 and the trough in 1933 were 21% of the labor force.” Note that 21% over 3 1/2 years is an average decline of 2% every quarter for 14 consecutive quarters! If employment declines 2% in even one quarter, or 5% over a full year, I will admit well before 2010 that a severe recession is happening and that my 2010 forecasts are unlikely to be attained.

According to the BLS, national nonfarm employment was 136,783,000 (SA) at the end of 2006, as the housing price crash was getting underway. Real GDP was $11.4 trillion (chained 2000 $). Barring a nuclear war or other violent national disaster, employment will not drop below 134,000,000 and real GDP will not drop below $11 trillion. The many economists who predict a severe recession clearly disagree with me, because 134 million is only 2.4% below September’s employment and only 2.0% below employment during the housing crash. Time will tell.

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