Economics

In kicking off the New Year, Washington has become the first state with a minimum wage of more than $9 an hour, as it joined seven other states in similar measures that index their minimum wage rates to inflation. Including workers in all industries, Washington’s minimum wage increased 37 cents to a record high of $9.04 an hour (the rate for workers who are 14 or 15 years old is $7.68), which went into effect the first day of the New Year.

Voters beware the salesmen who come with hat in hand, pitching shiny or miraculous services and benefits for a bargain bottom price and the promise of a profit. Your wallets and blank checks are their target.

With a ballooning price tag and doubts about federal funding, it is increasingly obvious that voters were sold a bill of goods by the backers of California’s high-speed train to nowhere....

American taxpayers are sending over $100 million per year to a bloated international bureaucracy that has morphed into a “cartel enforcer” for welfare-state politicians seeking to prevent tax competition, according to a new study.

As the U.S. economy suspends in a prolonged, comatose state, high joblessness and uncertainty among young Americans have incited youth discontent with the federal government’s fiscal and economic blunders. A new poll conducted by Generation Opportunity, a non-profit organization that educates young Americans on the nation’s current political and economic affairs, surveyed individuals between the ages of 18 and 29 on issues such as government spending, national security, and Washington leadership.

On Friday the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) closed and sold off four more banks, bringing the total shuttered this year to 84. The FDIC’s Deposit Insurance Fund paid out $358 million to enable the transactions to take place, with additional losses being borne by the failed banks’ new owners. Through 2010 the FDIC has paid out $76 billion and the total is likely to exceed $100 billion by the end of this year.

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