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Showing posts from February, 2014

Quiz: Unemployment and minimum wage

The federal minimum wage was first created in 1938 as part of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Since then, it has been raised eight times. It was raised in 1955, 1961, 1966, 1974, 1977, 1989, 1996, and 2009.

In each of those cases, conservatives predicted that raising a minimum wage would result in higher unemployment. A similar prediction was also made in 1938 when the minimum wage was instituted in the first place.

For 50 points in Frank's Great Economic Quiz, how often have predictions of higher unemployment due to an increase (or creation) of the minimum wage turned out to be true?

FTC settles charges against Fantage.com

A children’s online entertainment company has agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it falsely claimed it was abiding by an international privacy framework known as the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor that enables U.S. companies to transfer consumer data from the European Union to the U.S. in compliance with EU law.

According to a complaint filed by the FTC, Fantage.com, the maker of a popular multiplayer online role-playing game directed at children ages 6-16, deceptively claimed, through statements in its privacy policy, that it held current certifications under the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor framework. The U.S.-EU Safe Harbor framework is a voluntary program administered by the U.S. Department of Commerce in consultation with the European Commission.

To participate, a company must self-certify annually to the Department of Commerce that it complies with the seven privacy principles required to meet the EU’s adequacy standard: notice, choice, onward transfer, security, data integrity…

That's not how taxes work

There are lots of times when I simply look at someone and wonder how in the world he or she managed to get a high school diploma. This happens to me a lot actually. However, I seem to notice the most when it comes to conversations about economics or taxes.

Therefore, as my way of venting about some of the reckless stupidity that I see on a regular basis, I am creating this blog's How Did You Get A High School Diploma? Award to recognize some of the really stupid people that I encounter in my daily life.

My inaugural How Did You Get A High School Diploma? Award goes to the tax preparation client I had recently who insisted that the $8,000 she pulled out of her retirement account last year wasn't taxable because she didn't have the custodial withhold taxes from her check.

No, really.

This woman spent 20 minutes telling me that I didn't know how to do my job because I didn't know that someone could circumvent a tax liability by simply not having taxes withheld from a…

U.S. exports reach $2.3 trillion in 2013

The United States has set another annual record for the fourth consecutive year by exporting $2.3 trillion in goods and services in 2013, according to data released today by the Bureau of Economic Analysis of the U.S. Commerce Department.

The data also reveals that U.S. exports supported nearly 10 million American jobs in 2013. In December alone, the American companies exported a total $191.3 billion of goods and services.

“As the numbers prove, American entrepreneurs will continue to outperform their competitors in the global marketplace, as long as they are given a level playing field,” said Export-Import Bank Chairman and President Fred P. Hochberg. “Under the strategic direction established by President Obama’s National Export Initiative, we continue to export more goods at a record pace. By exporting $2.3 trillion in U.S. goods and services and supporting 10 million American jobs, America’s exporters continue to make critical contributions to our economy.”

Exports of goods and s…