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Donald Trump has had a lot of success in business, but how would he be for the economy as president? Here's how his economic policies would play out.

This story was originally published in October 2015. With Election Day almost here, it's worth taking another look at what the U.S. economy may look like under a President Trump. Also, check out our Donald Trump Stock Portfolio, which we'll be tracking until November 8. The sections below on immigration, taxes and trade have been updated.

There's no denying Trump has done a good job of making himself rich -- he's worth somewhere between $4.5 billion and $10 billion, depending who you ask. Can he make the rest of America rich, too?

The economy isn't something Trump looks forward to tackling. In a January interview with "Good Morning America," Trump offered up a bleak assessment of the U.S. economy but added that, in terms of fixing it, it's a task he'd rather skip.

"We're in a bubble," he said. "And, frankly, if there's going to be a bubble popping, I hope they pop before I become president because I don't want to inherit all this stuff. I'd rather it be the day before rather than the day after, I will tell you that."

In an April interview with the Washington Post, Trump reiterated his doomsday view of the economy, suggesting we might be headed for recession. But this time around, he appeared more open to the idea of his being in charge of finding remedies. "I can fix it. I can fix it pretty quickly," he said. And most recently, he maligned the Federal Reserve for creating what he says is a "false economy."

Many Americans appear to believe that is the case and that, more broadly, a Trump presidency would be good for the economy. According to a March CNBC All-America Survey, Americans rate Trump and Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton evenly on key economic issues. And a recent CNN/ORC poll shows Trump rating higher than Clinton on the economy among voters.

Trump has certainly been this election cycle's most riveting figure. He initially focused his attention on immigration reform, calling for a wall to be built between Mexico and the United States and demanding the deportation of 11 million undocumented immigrants. He has wavered on that last point as of late

He has since rolled out other policies and positions: a major tax code overhaulrepeal and replace Obamacarerenegotiate or "break" NAFTA; stop hedge funds from "getting away with murder" on taxes; reforming the Veteran's Administration; and impose import tariffs as high as 35%. All while keeping the deficit in check, growing the economy and leaving entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security untouched. Immigration remains a major pillar of his campaign, and he has moved on to the question of Muslim immigration as wellHe has laid out a plan to make Mexico pay for the wall, too.

Trump has made plenty of enemies along the way as well, including but limited to fellow GOP contenders Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, Fox News journalist Megyn Kelly, the media in general and even the Pope.

Those who fear Trump's plans should find common cause with those who love them: "I'm not sure how much of what he actually says today will be his positions a year from now," said Michael Busler, professor of finance at Stockton University.

Trump's own campaign has suggested he is playing "a part" to garner votes.

While Trump certainly has some grandiose ideas -- and equally lofty rhetoric to accompany them -- deciphering the exact nature of his economic policies is a complex task, according to John Hudak, a fellow in governance studies at Washington, D.C.-based think tank the Brookings Institution.

Not to mention the fact that if he does make it to the Oval Office, Trump won't have a free pass from Congress, even if it remains under the control of the Republican Party (as you'll see, many of his positions don't exactly hew closely to GOP policies).

Taking legislative hurdles out of the equation, what will the U.S. economy and markets look like if Trump becomes No. 45.

Trump's Expensive Immigration Plan

Trump's immigration plans cost him a handful of business deals, but they might cost the United States much more.

The American Action Forum, a right-leaning policy institute based in Washington D.C., estimates that immediately and fully enforcing current immigration law, as Trump has suggested, would cost the federal government from $400 billion to $600 billion. It would shrink the labor force by 11 million workers, reduce the real GDP by $1.6 trillion and take 20 years to complete (Trump has said he could do it in 18 months). 

"It will harm the U.S. economy," said Doug Holtz-Eakin, president of the American Action Forum and chief economic policy adviser to Sen. John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign. "Immigration is an enormous source of economic vitality."

The impact would be felt on both supply and demand.

A number of industries that depend heavily on cheap immigrant labor would be devastated -- especially agriculture. "There would be an abrupt drop in farm income and a sharp rise in food prices," said John McLaren, professor of economics at the University of Virginia with expertise in international trade, economic development and the political economy.

Companies that sell to the immigrant population would be affected as well, leading to decreased revenues for local businesses and a loss of American jobs.

"Immigrants, whether they are legal or illegal, always spend a portion of their earnings in the location where they have their jobs," McLaren said. "And in a lot of our urban centers, this is actually an important part of the economy."

He pointed to the case of Postville, Iowa, where in 2008 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raided a slaughterhouse and meat packing plant, detaining 389 undocumented workers (and jailing 300 of them). The raid caused most of the more than 1,000 immigrants not caught to leave the town of 2,300, devastating the local economy in the process.

He also noted his own research, which suggests each immigrant creates 1.2 local jobs for local workers, most of which go to U.S. natives. "Obviously, those jobs would disappear if the undocumented were just yanked away," he said.

It is worth noting that Trump appears to have backed away from his mass deportation stance slightly as of late, outlining priorities that would lead to the deportation of what The Washington Post estimates would be 5 million to 6.5 million immigrants. He has warned, however, that "anyone who has entered the United States illegally is subject to deportation."

Trump has also discussed reducing the number of jobs held by legal immigrants, namely by increasing the prevailing wage requirements for H-1B visas (visas that allow U.S. employers to recruit and employ foreign professionals) -- an element of his plan that is often overlooked. The Republican contender's thesis is that doing so would force companies to give jobs to domestic employees instead of overseas workers. The maneuver would benefit some, but not most.

"If I'm an American software programmer, I probably would benefit somewhat from making it harder for highly-skilled software programmers from elsewhere," McClaren said. "It's really hard to argue that the country, as a whole, benefits from that. It would be bad for most Americans, and it certainly would be bad for corporations."

An extreme anti-immigration policy could also cause collateral damage to the American image. "What's the American brand after we've rounded up 11 million people and sent them packing?" said Jim Pethokoukis, a columnist and blogger at the American Enterprise Institute, a center-right think tank based on Washington, D.C. "Do people still view America the same way?"

Perhaps it's a good thing the real estate magnate's immigration plans are essentially impossible to implement

Tax Cuts for Everyone, and Deficits, Too

Trump's tax plan, unveiled in September, is perhaps the most detailed proposal he has put forth yet. It essentially entails implementing tax cuts across the board and literally sets forth a scenario in which the lowest earners get to send a form to the IRS reading, "I win."

"His tax plan is one of the most dynamic and pro-growth tax plans out there," said Merrill Matthews, resident scholar at the Institute for Policy Innovation, a Texas-based, right-leaning think tank. "You would find a huge amount of new business investment and companies willing to put their money out there to begin growing the economy."

Trump's tax plan stacks up fairly well against his fellow Republican presidential contenders. It isn't as drastic as proposals put forth by Ted Cruz and Ben Carson but does, like most GOP tax structures, favor the rich. Perhaps the biggest distinguishing feature of Trump's proposal is his hard cap on business taxes at 15%, which might be especially appealing to freelancers and the self-employed.

But there's a catch: Trump's tax plan would reduce revenue enormously, and the federal budget deficit would almost inevitably skyrocket.

Nonpartisan tax research group the Tax Foundation calculates that Trump's plan would cut taxes by $11.98 trillion over the course of a decade. It would lead to 11% growth in the GDP, 6.5% higher wages and 29% larger capital stock as well as 5.3 million jobs. However, it would also reduce tax revenues by $10.14 trillion, even when accounting for economic growth from increases in the supply of labor and capital.

"That tax cut would produce faster economic growth and a bigger economy -- as long as you pay zero attention to the fact that it would dramatically increase the deficit and budget debt," said Pethokoukis.

Trump in August adjusted his platform, calling for a top income tax rate of 33% rather than a past plan for 25% as well as the full expensing of capital investment and a deduction for childcare costs. The Tax Foundation notes that the change will reduce the revenue loss from his original plan, but it will depend significantly on how wide the new bracket thresholds are. 

Trump has promised to reduce spending, though he hasn't explicitly said how. Moreover, he has said he will maintain entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare, two of the costliest parts of the federal budget.

"It reduces federal revenue by maybe a quarter. You can construct the United States at 75% revenue, but you have to have a plan for how you'd get there," said Alan Cole, an economist with the Center for Federal Tax Policy at the Tax Foundation, a non-partisan research think tank, based in Washington, D.C. "If there weren't any spending cuts that materialized, you would see the deficit widen substantially the moment the plan was enacted."

In the face of such an enormous deficit, creditors might begin demanding higher interest rates on U.S. bonds, and the markets would be spooked.

"I can't imagine markets would react well to it. I can't imagine global investors looking to relocate will look on a United States that is driving deliberately over a fiscal cliff," said Holtz-Eakin. "Sending the U.S. into a debt spiral where you're borrowing interest on previous borrowing will generate a market reaction that will be far from benign and that will, I think, in the end overwhelm the beneficial effects."

Of course, just because Trump hasn't yet explained how he will cut spending doesn't mean he won't. "It's not unusual for a politician to say, 'I'm going to cut spending,' and not give specifics," Matthews said.

Changing Views on Health Care

In his 2000 book, The America We Deserve, Trump touted universal health care and laid out an ideology on the subject that, frankly, looks pretty un-Republican. On the campaign trail, he has promised to "take care of everyone." But his campaign health care plan, released in March, sings a different tune.

The Trump camp finally outlined some of the details of his vision for health care reform in America after months of leaving voters to put together the pieces on his ideas about the issue. The seven-point plan calls for the repeal of Obamacare, the allowance of purchases of health insurance across state lines and block-grant Medicaid to states, among other things.

"This strikes me as a mixture of what is mostly Republican orthodoxy...with a couple of oddball proposals," said Roger Feldman, professor of health policy and management at the University of Minnesota. One of the unique aspects of the plan: allowing consumers to re-import drugs from overseas.

At a February town hall event hosted by CNN, Trump was critical of Obamacare, noting that "rates are going up 25, 35, 45, 55 percent," and emphasized that he is not receiving campaign money from insurance or pharmaceutical companies "so I can do what's right."

"I don't think [Trump's health care proposal] is based on economic analysis, I think it's based on channeling a populist dislike of insurance executives," said Feldman in an October interview. "If he really tried to do the things he said he would do the insurance industry would be in the crosshairs."

The ability for consumers to buy their health insurance in other states is perhaps the health-related proposal Trump has discussed most on the campaign trail. The idea is not new -- such a bill was introduced in Congress a decade ago -- but it is impactful.

When pressed for detail on his plan at the February 25 Republican debate hosted by CNN, Trump focused on the state lines issue, repeating on a handful of occasions his proposal to get rid of "the lines" around each state "so we can have real competition."

"You get rid of the lines, it brings in competition," he said. "So, instead of having one insurance company taking care of New York, or Texas, you'll have many. They'll compete, and it'll be a beautiful thing."

"I think it could be a potentially significant improvement in insurance," Feldman, who in 2011 co-authored a paper on consumer response to a national marketplace for individual health insurance, said. "It would do that by allowing people to buy insurance in states with fewer regulations, and that would, in turn, cause a restructuring of the health insurance industry."

Based on a pre-Obamacare baseline, Feldman and other researchers concluded such a system would result in seven million more people being insured by opening up the insurance markets to more competition.

Of course, not everyone agrees.

"It doesn't actually achieve you much," said Matthews, pointing out that a policy in another state may not translate to access to the network of physicians and pre-negotiated prices locally-purchased policies often afford. "It's not a bad idea, but it is no panacea."

Too Tough on Trade?

Trump likes to talk trade. And while has said he is a "free trader," he has also clarified he doesn't like the deals the U.S. has done, such as NAFTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The Art of the Deal author has promised to negotiate better agreements.

"One of the things that's often lost is that [Trump] has a strong business background, he understands how commerce works," Hudak said. "He has more business training than any American president we've ever had."

But the ramifications of some of Trump's proposals might be less than ideal.

Take China, one of his top talking points. He has proposed negotiating with the country to prevent it from manipulating its currency and keeping it too low for American manufacturers -- and workers -- from competing.

"The reality is that when China devalues its currency, the goods that they produce become cheaper, and as a result, while we may lose some manufacturing jobs, the rest of the population gets to buy things a lot cheaper than they would if the products were made [in the U.S.]," said Busler. "The jobs he would bring back are yesterday's jobs."

In November, Trump released his full plan for U.S.-China trade reform, in which he pledged to immediately declare it a "currency manipulator," force it to uphold intellectual property laws and end its "illegal export subsidies and lax labor and environmental standards," among other measures, in order to help American manufacturers -- and workers -- compete.

Trump has also pinpointed imposing tariffs on imported goods, for example, suggesting a 35% tax on automakers that manufacture cars in Mexico. Such a maneuver might bring jobs back stateside, but it might not. Instead, it could just mean people paying more for what they're buying.

"If he puts 35% taxes on products, the manufacturing will still not come back to the U.S., and all it will mean is U.S. consumers have to pay 35% more for the products that are made outside the country," said Busler.

"American consumers would end up paying more for things, and that hurts the economy if you're putting tariffs on those other things," said Matthews.

The Trump Effect

Trump's brand has contributed an enormous amount to his net worth -- he says more than $3 billion. But how will that Trumpiness translate to the White House? Perhaps not well.

"That off-the-cuff, gruff, tell-it-like-it-is approach that Donald Trump has may be great for headlines and a stadium full for supporters, but what unguarded comments like that from a president do is make dramatic fluctuations in the world economy, in stock markets in the United States and in the world," said Hudak. "Think about how much the market reaction is to the choice of two or three words from the Federal Reserve chairman."

The words chosen by American officials can have serious economic repercussions, and the country -- and the world -- have equally high expectations for their commercial and diplomatic capabilities. The blunt way of speaking that has made Trump so popular among Republican voters could be detrimental once he's in the Oval Office.

"His brand of rhetoric would actually make for profound economic instability," Hudak said. In an October interview with The Hill, Trump warned of a looming recession and stock market bubble and targeted Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen in his comments. "She's keeping the economy going, barely," he said. Such comments coming from a presidential candidate are one thing -- coming from the president of the United States they would be another.

But Trump is a smart guy, and may be able to adjust. Matthews pointed to the Clinton administration, which took a few months to settle in.

"You wonder if the Trump administration would be the same until they got things under control, or got him under control," he said.

Not everyone agrees.

"I think Donald Trump is good for the Republican Party, and I think he's good for the country," Busler said. "Donald Trump is not afraid to face the public and raise his voice, even if it is politically unpopular."

Source : thestreet
Categorized in News & Politics

On economic matters, would Hillary Clinton mirror her husband Bill's centrist outlook, or follow along the lines of Obama's more liberal initiatives? Clearly, she'd be different from Bernie Sanders.

This story was originally published in January. With Election Day almost here, it's worth taking another look at what the U.S. economy may look like under a President Clinton. Also, check out our Hillary Clinton Stock Portfolio, which we'll be tracking until November 8. The introduction and sections below on Wall Street regulation, taxes and corporations have been updated.

When it comes to matters of Wall Street regulation, taxes, trade and boosting wages, what would Hillary Clinton do?

Would she mirror her husband Bill, who embraced former Goldman Sachs executive Robert Rubin's vision to repeal the Glass-Steagall Act, deregulate the telecom industry and sign the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, which exempted credit-default swaps from government oversight? 

Or would she follow in the footsteps of President Barack Obama, who signed the Affordable Care Act, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act and created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on the way to raising taxes on the country's highest earners for the first time since the late-1990s?

Clinton's detractors warn that she'll cave in to the same bankers who hosted her lucrative speeches before their members. The former secretary of state's unwillingness to make those speeches public bolstered Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign during primary season, giving ample fodder to a movement that has won sizable support for efforts to reshape the country's banking system.

The former New York senator has sought to deflect warnings that she is loathe to upset Wall Street by touting her support for Dodd-Frank and measures such as strengthening the Volcker Rule, which imposes a "risk fee" on banks that make speculative bets with funds from their own accounts. She's also said she would seek to pass the "Buffett Rule," which would close tax loopholes by establishing a higher minimum rate for those in the highest income bracket.

Clinton appears to want to appeal to middle-class voters with retirement savings accounts as well as consumer advocates who warn that the Democratic Party has a history of Wall Street appeasement that rivals that of the Republicans.

"If she is thinking about a policy issue, she's going to want to hear from the business side, the consumer side, the labor side, and in that regard, her positions may not be starkly black-and-white," said Tracy Sefl, a Democratic strategist and former Clinton campaign staffer. "She likes to bring together multiple voices."

Here's how Clinton plans to deal with the overarching issues affecting the country's economy -- and what effects her actions will have (assuming she's able to push her agenda through Congress):

Wall Street Regulation

During the primaries, Sanders was relentless in calling for the breakup of the country's largest banks. Clinton, on the other hand, has taken a more nuanced approach. While Sanders has said he'd reinstate Glass-Steagall within his first year in office, Clinton has countered that more must be done to regulate hedge funds and other entities within the so-called "shadow banking" system. 

Since clinching her party's nomination, Clinton's focus has turned away from the Democratic primary and is now on Donald Trump and the Republicans. It's a change of course that will allow Clinton to emphasize that while she wants to expand Dodd-Frank, Trump and the rest of the Republican field wants to repeal it.

Coming just seven years after unemployment spiked to 17% in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, Clinton clearly wants to run on a platform of tougher Wall Street enforcement. And for good reason. Some 67% of the U.S. populace wants a president who favors stricter regulation of financial institutions, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll conducted in October 2015. Even Republicans to the tune of 58% said they want a candidate willing to toughen Wall Street oversight.

"It's no surprise that people who were hurt by the crisis want to be protected from Wall Street," Dennis Kelleher, president of Better Markets, a non-profit organization that lobbies for strict enforcement of Dodd-Frank, said in a phone interview from Washington. "Given the hostility of the American people toward financial institutions, no one can get elected, saying they're going to side with Wall Street."

 

And that puts Clinton in a tight position. Her opponents have on numerous occasions called for Clinton to make public the transcripts of her paid speeches to many of the country's largest financial institutions. The New York Times editorial board in February wrote Clinton should "show voters those transcripts," and GOP operatives are reportedly searching high and low for indications of what she might have said. Clinton has said she will release the transcripts if and when everyone else in the race follows suit on all of their speeches, but suspicions are high that Clinton doesn't want those speeches made public for fear they would reveal a politician eager to please bankers.

For her part, Clinton has steadfastly insisted that being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to speak to financial firms doesn't preclude her from supporting Dodd-Frank or the Consumer Protection Act, the cornerstone of Obama's financial reforms. In a Feb. 11 debate with Sanders, Clinton said she would seek to re-insert regulations that Republicans took out of the bill in exchange for passage.

First and foremost was a bank tax to help pay to implement the law. Second was the so-called Volcker Rule, aimed at discouraging banks from making risky investments.

"This would be a sensible, moderate way to address banks taking risks," Jeffrey Frankel, macro-economics professor at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, said in a phone interview from Cambridge, Mass. "Republicans have consistently tried to limit funding on the enforcement agencies, both the Consumer Protection Bureau and existing ones. These are steps to raise a little money for enforcement and tax the riskier activities of the big banks."

Clinton has also proposed levying a "graduated risk fee every year on the liabilities of banks with more than $50 billion in assets, and other financial institutions that are designed by regulators for enhanced oversight." Those fees, Clinton says, would be scaled "higher for firms with greater amounts of debt and riskier, short-term forms of debt." Clinton likens it to a deterrent, a rainy day fund. 

She would also seek legislation to hold executives accountable by extending the statute of limitations for major financial crimes to 10 years from 5 years, and requiring that executives lose bonus pay when a bank pays a fine related to their bad decisions. Additionally, Clinton has also called for addressing executive compensation schemes that Kelleher says "induce and incentivize recklessness."

Unlike Sanders, though, Clinton doesn't support restoring Glass-Steagall, which was passed in 1936 in the throes of the Depression to separate commercial banking from investment banking. She insists that even if Glass-Steagall hadn't been repealed, Lehman Brothers, AIG and Bear Stearns, among others, wouldn't have been prevented from making risky bets.

Rather than focusing on Glass-Steagall, Clinton counters that a different kind of regulatory framework is needed to monitor hedge funds and other non-bank institutions, adding that Dodd-Frank could be used to break up banks, if that's what was required.

Nonetheless, a group of 170 economists who support Bernie Sanders' more aggressive plans to regulate Wall Street signed a letter arguing that Clinton's plan doesn't sufficiently reduce risk in the financial system, leaving the government vulnerable to institutions deemed too big to fail.

"Sanders overstates the banking part of finance, and Clinton overstates the shadow banking part of finance," Kelleher said. "Clinton has to continue to talk about importance of regulating the shadow banking system but she needs to also address the too big to fail banks on Wall Street. They're both right but they both have more work to do."

Remaking the U.S. Tax Code

This is a biggie, and strikes at the heart of the conflicting world views of the two major parties.

To highlight her differences with the Republican candidates, Clinton has been emphasizing in campaign speeches that as president she would seek to close the so-called "carried interest loophole." In effect, the provision allows money managers and hedge fund operators to treat fees on their clients' investments as capital gains, which are taxed at a maximum rate of 23.8% rather than the 39.6% rate applied to ordinary income.

Closing the loophole, and raising taxes on short-term capital gains, are being pitched as concrete steps aimed addressing income inequality, an issue resonating with both Democrats and Republicans.

 

The carried interest loophole allows "individuals making more than $450 million a year on average are taxed at a lower rate than teachers making around $50,000 on average," wrote Morris Pearl, former managing director of Black Rock, the asset management firm. "There is no more striking example of the cost of corruption than tax loopholes that benefit the 1%."

Congress considered doing away with the carried interest loophole back in 2012 when Rep. Dave Camp, a Republican who chaired the Ways & Means Committee, proposed a sweeping tax reform plan that included treating carried interest as regular income. Yet even as the House approved such a measure, it died in the Senate.

Along these same lines, Clinton in January announced a plan to levy a 4% "surcharge" on people earning more than $5 million, generating about $150 billion over 10 years. That's not going to retire the national debt, but it does send a message at a time when her Democratic rival Sanders is gathering strength from progressives insisting that government take substantive actions to address income inequality.

Essentially, if you're super-rich or make most of your money investing, your taxes will probably go up under a President Clinton. 

Raising taxes on the wealthy doesn't necessarily hurt the economy, said Michael Lind, a senior fellow at New America, a Washington-based think tank. Tax rates on the highest wage earners was higher before the 1980s when the economy was growing faster, he said.

"The real question is the 'dead-weight loss' of tax avoidance, tax evasion because rich people have the resources as well as the incentives to avoid paying taxes," Lind said in a phone interview. "That's a loss to the economy, and has a very real impact on raising the deficit."

To lower the federal deficit, it will likely be necessary for the next president to widen the tax burden for those earning less than $250,000 through increases in sales or consumption taxes, he added. This is not part of Clinton's plan.

Critics of Clinton's tax plan say that higher investing taxes -- that are already too high -- will hurt economic growth by disincentivizing investment. Legendary investor Warren Buffett, a Clinton supporter, has said, however, that higher taxes on investing won't stop the rich from doing so

According to the Tax Foundation's analysis, Clinton's plan would raise tax revenue by $498 billion over the next decade on a static basis. However, when taking into account what it says would be a dip in economic output incurred by the plan, it would end up collecting $191 billion.

U.S. Corporations, Trade and Foreign Policy

While U.S. corporations may differ with Clinton on taxes, she proved her worth as secretary of state in negotiating free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea.

Yet it was in Mexico where Clinton may have forged her most significant achievement when she helped to negotiate an agreement with Mexico and its state-run oil and natural gas company Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) to open drilling rights in the Gulf of Mexico. The agreement, made on behalf of U.S. energy companies, was hashed out in December 2013 with the signing of the U.S.-Mexico Transboundary Agreement, which established a framework to allow U.S. companies to work with Pemex to develop oil reserves that straddle the underwater boundary between the two countries.

The agreement was approved by Congress, signed by Obama and hailed as a landmark achievement by the American Petroleum Institute.

Working for the Obama administration, Clinton also helped to lay the groundwork for the Trans-Pacific Partnership even as she has changed her position on the trade treaty as a presidential candidate. The sweeping agreement, negotiated in closed meetings with 11 Pacific Rim nations, lays out myriad rules to lower import tariffs. 

Yet trade treaties have proven to be political liabilities as many Americans believe they send jobs overseas, and Clinton was quick to distance herself from the TPP, which Congressional leaders have said isn't likely to be considered until after the November elections, despite President Obama's emphatic support of the agreement. 

In an interview with PBS, Clinton said that she was "worried about currency manipulation not being part of the agreement. We've lost American jobs to the manipulations that countries, particularly in Asia, have engaged in." Her flip-flop on TPP, however, has opened her to criticism from both Sanders and Republican candidates.

The same can be said of her support for authoritarian regimes such as Hosni Mubarak's Egypt and military coup that ousted Honduras's democratically elected president Manual Zelaya. Both cases reflect the historic economic underpinning of U.S. foreign policy: to open markets for U.S. corporations.

While supportive of U.S. corporations doing business abroad, Clinton has been critical of efforts by some companies to skirt U.S. taxes by executing mergers with non-U.S. entities. Paradoxically, that's a position she shares with GOP frontrunner Trump, who has condemned the use of so-called tax inversion deals.

In November, Trump sided with Clinton when she slammed New York-based Pfizer Inc. for attempting to execute a $150 billion merger with Ireland's Allergan PLC in order to change its headquarters, thereby leaving "U.S. taxpayers holding the bag." The sides scrapped the deal in light of new rules from the Treasury Department aimed at squashing it. (The Obama administration has been especially aggressivein its handling of inversions and deal-making.)

But despite the current rhetoric, Clinton is likely to continue to support free trade, which is widely considered to be good for the economy

"She is positioning herself as Obama's heir on issues such as trade," said Kyle Kondik, managing editor of politics website Sabato's Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia's Center for Politics, in an interview from Charlottesville, Va. "Yes, she did flip on the Trans-Pacific partnership but that's likely to be settled before she would enter office."

Clinton has taken a harder line on drug pricing, which could have a major impact on the pharmaceutical industry. Clinton rolled out a plan to lower prescription drug costs in September 2015 and announced additional initiatives in September of this year, including the establishment of a dedicated consumer oversight panel to protect consumers from aggressive price hikes. Her plan may very well lower prices, but it could also rock pharmaceutical companies. 

Wages and Jobs

On the campaign trail, Clinton has increasingly described herself as "progressive," an indication that she wants to position herself to the left of where she might have been in the past.

That past included serving on the board of directors at Walmart for six years (1986-92) at a time when the company's worker relations were infamous, and helping to build strategy for an Arkansas governor who rode the centrist Democratic Leadership Council's push for free trade, tough-on-crime policies and welfare reform straight to the White House.

The DLC, of course, closed its doors back in 2011, a clear sign that the party has moved left.

And now Clinton wants to show that she has moved left as well, especially on issues of union organizing, immigration and raising the minimum wage, Kondik added. 

"We can expect a high level of continuity with Obama's policies if she's elected," Kondik said. "While she has tried to move to left a little bit to satisfy the more populist wing of the part, I don't think she is naturally more liberal on economic issues than Obama is, she might actually be less but she's moved to where the party is, which has become more liberal over time."

At the top of that list is wage stagnation, a direct product of income inequality, which is arguably a product of a tax code with elements that Democrats have called regressive. As James Surowiecki wrote recently in the New York Review of Books "the top 1% of earners take home more than 20% of the income, and their share has more than doubled in the last 35 years. Over that same period, wages and household incomes have risen only slightly."

Forcing employers to raise salaries probably begins with raising the federal minimum wage. Since 2009, that's been $7.25 an hour. Clinton has proposed a $12 minimum wage target nationally but has also been supportive of the labor-led fight for $15, saying that the $15 target should be implemented where allowed regionally. When pushed by Sanders at an April debate, she said she would sign a bill setting the federal minimum wage at $15 and later clarified her stance that such a bill would have to have certain stipulations in it.

Whether or not raising the minimum wage would hurt the economy is a source of much debate -- and policy papers -- from competing think tanks, industry lobbyists and labor unions. Yet accepting that some change and displacement would occur, raising the minimum wage may actually be a net longer-term positive for the economy, argues New America's Lind.

 

"Obviously, businesses that would be unable to pay a higher minimum, whatever it is, would suffer," Lind said. "But having a minimum wage that drives low-wage businesses out of existence arguably is a good thing, as it can force businesses to invest in technology rather than labor, which is a good thing from the point of view of overall national productivity."

Reality With Republicans Controlling Congress

To get any of these proposals enacted, Clinton would likely have to barter with a House of Representatives that likely will remain in Republican hands (although Trump at the top of the GOP ticket might change that). Assuming that Clinton is elected president and the Democrats fair poorly in mid-term elections, which is customary, Clinton runs the risk of being the first Democratic president to serve without ever having her party control the House.

As a result, raising the minimum wage or increasing taxes on higher earners would probably require a grand bargain with Republicans that might have to include lowering the corporate tax rate.

"Because the political situation will probably be much like it is now, her ability to pass landmark legislation would be blocked," Kondick said. "If you thought Obama's relationship with the House was bad, I don't see why Clinton's would be better. We could be looking at more stalemate.

Whether such an impasse could be broken would depend on one party gaining significant momentum coming out the election in November. Ultimately, though, Clinton's ability to move her economic agenda will rest on how she decides to govern. Will it be through the centrist positions of her husband's administration, the liberal doctrines of Barack Obama or the populism of Bernie Sanders?

 

Only Hillary knows.

Source : thestreet

Categorized in Others

For the last week, about half of the SEJ Team has been in Vegas for Pubcon 2016. It was a fantastic experience filled with learning, networking, and events. This is honestly my favorite event of Pubcon week. Everyone gets a little (or a lot) dressed up and just has a good time.

This year’s event was held a Caesar’s Palace, right on the Las Vegas Strip. The event included a cocktail hour with open bar, followed by dinner, which was delicious, the awards ceremony, and then more networking.10 2016 2317

The Photo Booth (Yes, Really)

Dinner is tasty, the open bar is amazing, the ice sculpture vodka luge is always impressive, but my favorite part of the evening is getting in the photo booth with the SEJ team.photobooth1photobooth2

SEJ is a fully remote team, so I truly believe this opportunity to get to know each other and be a little silly is an important part of developing a strong team dynamic.

Networking

Each year, this event is paired with Pubcon in Las Vegas, which means attendees of the US Search Awards include some of the top influencers in our industry. Before and after the event I had a great time networking and meeting people I only work with online. I also managed to score a new Marketing Nerds podcast guest, which was one of my goals for the week!

I have to admit; networking doesn’t come particularly natural to me. Luckily, last week’s podcast was on just that. Listening to Kelsey, Debbie, and Amanda’s episode on the flight over was super helpful. If you struggle to network, I highly recommend their episode titled “How to Network Like a Boss”10 2016 2248

2016 US Search Awards Winners

There are dozens of categories from PPC to search to content marketing. Here is a rundown of a few of the winners.

Best Use Of Search > Retail

Point It & Microsoft Store – Surprise Product Launch

Best Use Of Search > Finance

Catalyst & HSBC – Driving Deposit Growth Through Search

Best Local Campaign

Wordstream & Firstline Locksmiths – Locking Up The Local Serp

Best Use Of Search > Travel / Leisure

Wordstream & Insightcuba – Setting Sail For New Travel Markets

Best SEO Software Suite

Searchmetrics

Best Low Budget Campaign

Bmc Software – Itil Guide SEO Campaign

Best PPC Campaign

Nebo – Nebos Gsma Mobile World Congress 2016 Paid Media Campaign

Best SEO Campaign

Go Fish Digital – Mining For Seo Wins Against The Biggest Jewelry Companies On Earth

Best Use Of Content Marketing

Go Fish Digital & 1776 – Innovation That Matters 2016 Data Campaign

Best In-house Team

Milliporesigma Digital Acquisition Marketing Team

Best Small PPC Agency

Salesx, Inc

Best Large PPC Agency

Point It

Best Small SEO Agency

Go Fish Digital

Best Large SEO Agency

Stone Temple Consulting

Young Search Professional

Erika Schmidt, Digital Strategist & PPC Warrior, Intuitive Digital

Mitch Larson, Ad Operations Analyst, Aimclear

US Search Personality

Eric Enge, President, Stone Temple Consulting

Lifetime Achievement Award

Brett Tabke

Source : searchenginejournal

Categorized in Search Engine

Romania extradited another suspect indicted in the Italian Mafia Brussels (IMB) case: Filip Lucian Simion. According to the DoJ, Simion has been charged with several counts of distribution of controlled substances by means of the Internet.

IMB was shut down in May after an international investigation. A total of 10 suspects were arrested in Belgium and surrounding areas. One suspect, Leonardo Cristea, had already been extradited by Romania to face the charges in the indictment.

FPcharges.PNG

Arrests were made on May 3, 2016, in a joint U.S./European enforcement sweep. A total of ten individuals were arrested during early morning raids throughout Bruges, Belgium and surrounding areas. Both extradited defendants, Filip Lucian Simion and Leonardo Cristea, were arrested as a pair in Bucharest, Romania. The remaining suspects/defendants will be prosecuted in Belgium.

In addition, local buyers who purchased MDMA from IMB have been arrested, court documents reveal. Packages were traced from the source to the US recipient. “In 2014 and 2015, several defendants were charged and convicted in the District of Colorado for distribution of MDMA sourced by the organization,” the DoJ wrote. According to court documents, the defendants provided law enforcement with information on IMB, Tor, and Bitcoin.

CD Defendent.PNG

Both indicted men have been charged with all relevant exportation charges. Leonardo Cristea and Filip Lucian Simion were charged with with conspiracy to distribute and import controlled substances into the United States. Both were charged with separate counts of importation of controlled substances and aiding and abetting. However, the nine count indictment charged only Simion with the conspiracy to launder money.

Simion made his initial court appearance on Monday, October 17, 2016 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kristen L. Mix.

If either men get convicted, they face a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment.

The DoJ credits the investigation, arrest, and extradition to the following agencies:

Denver Illicit Digital Economy Working Group, comprised of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the Internal Revenue Service, in partnership with the Romanian Central Anti-Narcotics Unit in Bucharest, Romania, and the Belgian Federal Judicial Police, East Flanders Drug Unit in Dendermonde, Belgium. Other United States and international agencies assisting the working group in this investigation included: the Boulder County Drug Task Force, the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office, the Boulder County District Attorney’s Office, U.S. Customs and Border Protection offices nationwide, the Department of Justice Office of International Affairs, ATF Atlanta, DEA Chicago, Europol, and Eurojust.

One last note of interest. In the court documents, investigators note that they are not capable of intercepting encrypted communications from RedPhone, Wickr, WhatsApp, and Signal.

SignalIMB.PNG

Source : deepdotweb

Categorized in Deep Web

The American government has cited Chinese Internet controls as a trade barrier in a report that comes as Beijing tries to block its public from seeing news online about the finances of leaders’ families.

Chinese filters, which block access to websites including the Google search engine and social media such as Twitter, are a “significant burden” on businesses, the U.S. Trade Representative said in an annual report on trade conditions.

It gave no indication Washington plans to take action but highlights the economic cost of pervasive Chinese censorship that also draws criticism from human rights and pro-democracy activists.

On such issues, Washington is at odds with Beijing, which sees strict control over information as essential to protecting the Communist Party’s monopoly on power.

China restricts access to online materials by requiring traffic to pass through state-controlled gateways linked to the global Internet. Controls have been tightened since President Xi Jinping became party leader in 2012.

The filters, known informally as the Great Firewall of China, are in line with Beijing’s advocacy of “Internet sovereignty,” or allowing governments to impose control on the freewheeling Internet within their borders. Xi called in a speech in December for the creation of a global “governance system” for cyberspace.

This week, Chinese Web users have been blocked from seeing news reports about documents from a law firm in Panama that say relatives of political figures including Xi own offshore companies.

State media have carried brief reports on the revelations but with no mention of Chinese figures.

Chinese regulators block access not just to websites operated by human rights or pro-democracy activists but also to dozens of news, entertainment and social media services that operate freely in other countries.

“Outright blocking of websites appears to have worsened over the past year, with eight of the top 25 most-trafficked global sites now blocked in China,” the USTR says in its National Trade Estimate.

It said much of the blocking appears to be arbitrary, including a home improvement website in the United States.

Asked about the complaint, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said Beijing welcomes foreign investment and protects the rights of foreign companies.

“Polices aimed at attracting foreign investment will not change, nor will policies to protect their lawful rights and interests and to create a good business environment,” said Hong Lei on Friday at a regular briefing. “We hope all countries can respect another nation’s choice of the route for Internet development, Internet management and Internet public policy, as well as its right to participate in regulating the international Internet.”

Foreign and local companies in China that rely on the Internet for sales, accounting and other internal functions complain the filters hinder their operations.

Almost 80 per cent of companies that responded to a survey released in January by the American Chamber of Commerce in China said they were “negatively impacted” by the controls.

More than half said they were blocked from using online tools or accessing information. Only 5 per cent said they were not hindered in any way.

Chinese also complain the filters hamper their ability to interact with customers or business partners abroad or apply to foreign universities. Some get around the filters by using virtual private networks, or VPNs, that route traffic through unblocked websites, but Beijing has begun to block them as well.

“This censorship not only prevents this country’s people from getting information quickly, but it also, bit by bit, isolates China’s Internet companies internationally,” said a posting on the Sina Weibo social media service signed by Bao Beibei, an investment manager for a Beijing technology company.

U.S. officials previously have labeled Beijing’s Internet controls a barrier to business but have yet to file a complaint in the World Trade Organization or take other action.

In 2011, the U.S. trade envoy, Ron Kirk, asked Beijing to explain its controls, citing WTO rules that require member governments to publish details of restrictions that might affect business. Kirk said the filters create “commercial barriers” that hurt U.S. companies.

The USTR never indicated whether Chinese authorities replied.

In 2009, a WTO panel ruled China’s censorship system for movies improperly restricted imports and Beijing promised to change it.

Chinese authorities have released few details of how they pick which online material to block.

When asked about specific incidents, government spokespeople sometimes suggest a technical problem abroad must be to blame. However, researchers have traced some blockages to servers operated by state-owned China Telecom Ltd.

The controls have allowed Chinese Internet services such as search engine Baidu to flourish by blocking or slowing access to foreign competitors such as Google that dominate other global markets.

Source : theglobeandmail

Categorized in Search Engine

Well, that's a relief. 

Samsung's initial pleas for customers to stop using and return their Galaxy Note7 devices with faulty batteries weren't particularly fruitful, but now that the recall is official and replacement devices are arriving en masse, the plan is working. 

Approximately half of recalled Note7 devices have already been exchanged, Samsung announced Thursday. 

"Samsung Electronics America, Inc. announced today that about half of all recalled Galaxy Note7 phones sold in the U.S. have been exchanged through Samsung’s voluntary recall. Additionally, 90 percent of Galaxy Note7 owners have been opting to receive the new Galaxy Note7 since the phones became widely available on Wednesday, September 21," the company's press release said. 

Note that this is only the U.S. — there's still a good number of faulty Note7s in other parts of the world. Up to 2.5 million defective Galaxy Note7 phones were shipped worldwide; approximately 1 million of those were in the U.S. 

After a slew reports of batteries catching fire, Samsung reacted and advised customers not to use the devices, later issuing an official recall. The company also pushed a firmware update to faulty devices, which warns users the phone should be turned off and returned immediately.

Many companies and organizations — including the New York City subway and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission — warned or outright forbid people from using Note7 phones until they exchange them for a new, properly working device. 

Source : http://mashable.com/

Categorized in Science & Tech

When it comes to search, it can often seem that Google is the only show in town, so it’s interesting to note that Microsoft’s Bing search engine is now powering as many as 20% of the UK’s online searches.

Comscore reports that Bing has surpassed 20 percent market share in the UK. So what’s driving this growth? Reports suggest that strategic syndication partnerships with firms like Gumtree and new services such as Bing Shopping and Bing Ads Editor for Mac have helped too

Raven Beeston of Bing UK says: “These figures clearly demonstrate Bing’s growing presence within the search market. We’ve already seen great success, and our journey is only just getting started. Over the past year, we’ve announced syndication partnerships, and new product launches, showcasing Microsoft’s ongoing commitment to search. Bing understands the conversations that consumers are having, and empowers marketers to harness these insights to make meaningful connections.”

Do you use Bing as a searcher or an advertiser to driver your sales?

Source : http://tamebay.com/2016/09/bing-gains-20-share-of-uk-search.html

Categorized in Search Engine

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has described the US economy as “false,” saying that the central banking system is intentionally keeping interest rates low to prevent a new economic collapse.

“We have a very false economy,” Reuters reported Trump as saying in answering to a journalist’s question while campaigning in Ohio on Monday.

“They’re keeping the rates down so that everything else doesn't go down,” Trump added in response to the question, which was about a possible rise in interest rates by the Federal Reserve this month.

“At some point the rates are going to have to change,” Trump said.“The only thing that is strong is the artificial stock market.”

The ideas on rebuilding the US economy offered by the billionaire in an interview to Fortune magazine in April have been dubbed as questionable by some, while others argue that his approach may work out just fine. 

“We have to rebuild the infrastructure of our country. We have to rebuild our military, which is being decimated by bad decisions. We have to do a lot of things. We have to reduce our debt, and the best thing we have going now is that interest rates are so low that lots of good things can be done – that aren’t being done, amazingly,” Trump said back in April.

Meanwhile, Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton has not been so radical in her future plans concerning the US economy. However, she promised to support a shakeup in the top ranks of the Federal Reserve in an effort to increase diversity and minority representation within the Fed, Clinton’s campaign said in a statement back in May.

“The Federal Reserve is a vital institution for our economy and the wellbeing of our middle class, and the American people should have no doubt that the Fed is serving the public interest,” the statement said.

“That's why Secretary Clinton believes that the Fed needs to be more representative of America as a whole and that common sense reforms – like getting bankers off the boards of regional Federal Reserve banks – are long overdue.”

The Fed is currently headed by a board of governors based in Washington along with a dozen regional bank presidents spread across the US. The board is nominated by the White House and then approved by the Senate. Regional bank presidents, on the other hand, are chosen by their boards of directors, which are chosen by the banking industry and by Washington Fed governors.

Source : https://www.rt.com/usa/358365-trump-fed-false-economy/

Categorized in Others
The deputy head of the presidential administration, Vyacheslav Volodin, has said that Russia has more internet freedom than the United States, where people receive prison sentences for online comments about President Barack Obama.

Volodin was giving a press conference in the central Russian city of Tambov, where a local reporter asked him to comment on the possibility of introducing a rule that would require social networks to obtain ID from their users “so that people could know who is on the other side of the internet.” The official replied that unlike many countries, Russia has chosen self-regulation on the internet and he saw no need to change this.

“Now we are capable of solving various issues through self-regulation and a ban on distribution of information about illegal drugs, suicide and extremism. Society has a need for this.”

He also noted that Russia had more internet freedom than other nations, in particular the United States.

“Take a look at the legal practice. Have you ever heard about the legal proceedings initiated by [Russian] civil servants and senior officials against ordinary internet users over even the most harsh statements made on the internet?” Volodin asked journalists.

A woman in the audience answered that a man had once attempted to sue her for dissemination of discrediting materials about him on the internet, but failed as police and prosecutors refused to recognize her material as unlawful. “You can see that prosecutors protect you. And if you take a look at the US statistics, even over the past six months, you will see that several people there received prison sentences between 12 and 18 months for their posts about President Obama,” Volodin told journalists.

“Ask yourselves – who has more democracy – us or them?” he concluded.

The official did not specify which legal cases he was talking about, but this could be the arrest of John Martin Roos – a 61-year-old Wisconsin man who was detained in April this year for threatening the US president on social media. Police also found weapons and several pipe bombs as they searched Roos’ home. He has not yet been sentenced. In 2013, Donte Jamar Sims from Florida was sentenced to six months in prison plus one year of supervised release for making threats to President Obama over Twitter.

In August 2014, Russia introduced a law requiring all blogs with 3,000 daily readers or more to follow many of the rules that exist in conventional mass media, such as tougher controls on published information and a ban on the use of explicit language. The restrictions include the requirement to verify information before publishing it and to abstain from releasing reports containing slander, hate speech, calls for extremism or other banned information such as advice on suicide.

In July this year, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law a package of anti-terrorist amendments that allow automatic blocking of websites for promoting extremism and terrorism and require all communications companies, including internet providers, to retain information about their clients’ data traffic for three years and to hand it over to the authorities on demand (one year for messengers and social networks). Providers also must keep records of phone calls, messages and transferred files for six months.

 

Source : https://www.rt.com/politics/358296-internet-in-russia-is-freer/

Categorized in Science & Tech

A pilot project launched by Google’s startup incubator and a British IT company will target potential Islamic State recruits – and also the American far right – with new software that pairs violence-related search entries with anti-extremism ads.

Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) has made extensive use of online and social media platforms to spread its vision of radical Islam or lure recruits to wage jihad in Syria and Iraq.

Now the world’s largest search engine has announced an unconventional project that aims to help counter extremists’ propaganda messages and de-radicalize those in danger of falling under their influence.

Jigsaw, a technology incubator run by Google, has teamed up with London-based startup Moonshot CVE to design technology capable of redirecting a potential Islamist browsing for IS-related words and phrases to creative anti-extremist messages or videos.

Called ‘The Redirect Method,’ the program operated in trial mode for eight weeks from January to March, according to the Christian Science Monitor. It reached over 320,000 people searching for IS-associated keywords, from the terrorist group’s slogans to the names of buildings in Islamist-held areas.

The users’ metadata was collected during the eight-week trial and was used to send them advertisements and links to anti-extremism videos. Altogether, over half a million minutes of videos were watched by the ‘targets.’

But the pilot project was not restricted to making new videos and other content. Instead, Jigsaw and Moonshot CVE have drawn upon anti-IS video content already available on YouTube.

“It’s not just we need a huge amount of investment, we need content that’s authentic and credible,” said Vidhya Ramalingam, co-founder of Moonshot CVE, which curated English language videos for the pilot program.

“We can present people who are searching with dangerous content with options, rather than serving them with a menu curated by ISIS.”

Yasmin Green, head of research at Jigsaw, was quoted by the Intercept as saying: “The branding philosophy for the entire pilot project was not to appear judgmental or be moralistic, but really to pique interest of individuals who have questions, questions that are being raised and answered by the Islamic State.”

The Jigsaw project to date includes 30 ad campaigns and 95 unique ads in English and Arabic, but the de-radicalization effort will not be limited to Islamic State.

In a second phase – set to begin later this year – Moonshot CVE and US-based company Gen Next are planning to deploy the same technology to blunt far-right messages in North America.

“The interesting thing about how they behave is they’re a little bit more brazen online these days than ISIS fan boys,” Ross Frenett, co-founder of Moonshot, told the Intercept.

“In the UK, if someone in their Facebook profile picture has a swastika and is pointing a gun at the camera, that person is committing a crime. In the US, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.”

While the project team admits that it is difficult to evaluate the qualitative results so far, it insists it could be a powerful anti-extremism tool in future.

Source : https://www.rt.com/news/358675-google-counter-isis-propaganda/

Categorized in Science & Tech
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