America’s Leading Small Business Association Endorses Dave Brat for 7th District

The National Federation of Independent Business, NFIB,  the nation’s and Virginia’s leading small-business association, has endorsed Dave Brat in the 7th District congressional race.
“Dave Brat is clearly the best choice for small business,” said Lisa Goeas, NFIB vice president for Political and Grassroots.
“He’s an economics professor, and he’s served on the Joint Advisory Board of Economists, Richmond Metropolitan Authority, and several other business and investment boards,” Goeas said.
“He’s worked with government to improve economic conditions for businesses, and he understands the leadership Washington needs in order to create a pro-growth environment.

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The Affordable Care Act and the New Economics of Part-Time Work

Casey B. Mulligan | Mercatus Center, George Mason University

Starting this year, the United States’ working population will face three major employment disincentives resulting from the very benefits the Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides:

  1. an explicit tax on full-time work,
  2. an implicit tax on full-time work for those who are ineligible for the ACA’s health insurance subsidies, and
  3. an implicit tax that links the amount of available subsidies to workers’ incomes.

A new study published by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University advances the understanding of how much these ACA taxes will reduce overall employment, and why. It concludes that the reduction will be nearly double that projected by previous analyses. Labor markets ultimately will reduce weekly employment per person by about 3 percent—translating to roughly 4 million fewer full-time-equivalent workers.

Below is a brief summary of this important update. Please see “The Affordable Care Act and the New Economics of Part-Time Work” to read the entire study and to learn more about author Casey B. Mulligan, a professor of economics at the University of Chicago. Continue reading

Ocean Drilling Makes Good Sense

By Michael W. Thompson, the Jefferson Journal

The economic benefits from drilling off Virginia’s coast for natural gas and oil far exceed the cost of possible environmental impacts. That is the conclusion of a new study by the Thomas  Jefferson Institute for Public Policy. The estimates for gas and oil reserves in this new study are from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and are current as of a couple of months ago.

New seismic mapping of the ocean floor will begin sometime next year if all goes as planned. With the new technologies available since the last time the Outer Continental Shelf was mapped (over 30 years ago), most experts expect vast reservoirs to be found — quite possibly more than BOEM has estimated.

This new Jefferson Institute study, Oil and Gas Potential Off Virginia’s Coast, makes a strong case that we should produce these reserves in a sensible and environmentally responsible
manner. Continue reading

Joel Salatin: Government-Backed Relay Foods Expansion is “Market Manipulation”

Last week Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced that the popular online grocer Relay Foods is going to invest $710,000 to increase their sales in Virginia. A press release from the governor’s office states that the move will create 75 new jobs in the City of Richmond, where Relay Food’s head fulfillment center is located. In three years it is projected to increase sales of locally-sourced food by $3 million.

Many officials, including state legislators from both sides, support the expansion of Relay Foods citing it as a way to boost Virginia’s economy and the agricultural industry. The Virginia Free Citizen reached out to farmer Joel Salatin, who’s Polyface Farm is one of the 200 Virginia farms vending to Relay Foods, to hear his opinion of a government choosing to financially support a business.

“While we appreciate what Relay Foods has brought to the local foods table, we at Polyface do not sanction taxpayer-funded market manipulation, regardless of how apparently noble the subsidy may appear,” Salatin stated in an email. “Picking winners and losers in the marketplace is not the government’s job. Doing so inevitably skews success toward people who can schmooze bureaucrats rather than toward those who can best deliver goods and services.” Continue reading

Cost of Living Index Reveals Richmond’s Location Advantage

Lower housing balances Richmond Region’s living costs

By Greater Richmond Partnership, Inc.

RICHMOND, Va — The cost of living in the Richmond area is equal to the national average, according to research conducted by the Greater Richmond Partnership and released on Thursday, Aug. 28, by the Center for Community and Economic Research.

The research, published in the ACCRA Cost of Living Index, reports that Richmond’s national cost of living is 100.2, or just 2/10th of a percentage point higher that the national baseline of 100. The region’s housing costs, which carry the most weight in the survey since housing is usually a family’s largest single expense, are well below the national average. Local costs for groceries, utilities and health care were slightly higher than the national average.

Richmond came in at well below the average cost of living compared to other well-known metro regions including New York City, Washington D.C. and Chicago. This data provides an important comparison to larger communities in the Partnership’s business attraction program and how relocating businesses and professionals may fare in a new market. Continue reading

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