In the ‘Something More with Chris Boyd’ interview, Brill discusses the state of the economy.
“…. There are specific issues with regards to our trade relationship with China. But not only with China, with other of our major trading partners around the world. We are better off with good intellectual property laws. We are better off with lower tariff and non-tariff barriers. We need a process that takes us from where we are forward and not backwards, of course.”
Brill said, “If we take a market-based approach, which we think is a conservative strategy to addressing climate change, we want to use price signals, and a carbon tax is a price signal. It negates the need for…the regulatory toolbox that’s currently being deployed…and allows the market to find…the most efficient way to get emissions down.”
On CNBC’s ‘Closing Bell,’ Alex Brill discusses the US Supreme Court’s ruling in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc. to require out-of-state sellers to collect the same sales tax that in-state resellers must collect.
“The trade news is a negative at the moment. Going forward I don’t think this is the way to grow the economy by slapping tariffs on the way that we’ve seen. Whether this is strategic or not is yet to be determined. Whether there will be some grand deal that’s going to be worked. But this is clearly something that should be concerning to employers. Not just those guys who are directly on the list today, but really who is safe? Some industries might be. Maybe it’s the hospitals, some really domestic type industries that don’t care so much about what is happening in our trade patterns. But I think a lot of folks are rightfully concerned about a new uncertainty in public policy.”
“”Opioid abuse is an epidemic in the United States, claiming more than 42,000 lives in 2016 alone (CDC 2017c). In addition to its devastating impact on families and communities, the opioid epidemic is costing the US economy tens of billions, if not hundreds of billions, of dollars annually. The types of costs attributable to opioid abuse – health care costs, criminal justice costs, and lost productivity, for example – are fairly well understood, as is the economic impact of the crisis at the national level,”writes the report which was authored by Alex Brill of the American Enterprise Institute and Scott Ganz of Georgia Institute of Technology.”
“There is a real wide variation when we think about how this epidemic has affected different parts of the country…. What we tried to do is allocate these costs by state and even by county. And what we find in that result is in a per capita basis, places like District of Columbia, New Hampshire, Connecticut, these are really leading states in these non-mortality related costs. When we think about total costs, meaning adding in the cost of lost life, West Virginia just shoots to the top of the list.”
“It’s a staggering cost for a county with 23,645 people in rural Southern West Virginia, a region also struggling with the loss of coal jobs. Boone County’s opioid-related economic cost comes out to $8,734 per person, the AEI study found.”
While discussing the recent job report and unemployment rate, Alex Brill said “it’s a phenomenal number in terms in job creation. Unemployment rate another phenomenal number. Our unemployment rate is basically stuck at 4.1. Last time it was five months in a row was back to 2012 when it was double the rate it is today. So we are seeing an economy near full employment with numbers that are really surprising this late in the cycle.”
“[Alex] Brill noted that other developed countries have already begun to reduce, or have proposed reducing, their corporate rates in response to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (P.L. 115-97), which has in turn prompted some concerns of a “race to the bottom” of countries competing with each other by shrinking their corporate tax revenue base. If the United States reverted to a 35 percent corporate rate or even just partially undid the rate cut, it could put itself at an even greater competitive disadvantage than it was in before the TCJA’s passage, Brill said.”