Consumers obviously prefer rewards cards for the cash back, airline miles, hotel stays, or other rewards they accrue through their spending. Some recent data suggests that rewards cards benefit retailers as well by boosting the customer base and higher sales. The data show that consumers who pay with cards tend to spend more than those who pay with cash, a phenomenon known as “ticket lift.” Debit and credit card transactions are two to four times larger than cash transactions. Likewise, when a merchant starts to accept cards, average transaction size usually jumps 10 to 15 percent. The charts posted below […]
As with many institutions or policies, there are costs and benefits of implementation. For electronic payments in the U.S., interchange helps to fund a system that moves trillions of dollars annually. This is accomplished almost instantaneously, with a guaranteed payment to merchants, higher average transaction values, rewards to consumers, and state-of-the-art security features like tokenization. In the U.S., the costs and benefits of the current system are reflected in the data and the two charts below: Credit: Contrary to popular belief. The U.S. does not have the highest credit interchange rates in the world. According to Lafferty Research, the U.S.[…..]
Summary GE Appliances has been a major contributor to the Kentucky economy for over a century. As a manufacturer, its impact on the overall economy extends far beyond what it produces: It creates thousands of jobs within the state and adds billions of dollars to the regional and national economy. We estimate that the company, through its Kentucky operations and capital investments alone, adds over $9 billion to the nation’s gross domestic product and $5 billion to the Kentucky economy. It employs nearly 6,000 people in the state of Kentucky and creates another 7,000 jobs in the state as well.[…..]
Neither Snow nor Rain nor Unfunded Liabilities: The Consequences of the Underfunded Postal Retiree Health Benefits
Jared Whitley, MBA, and Ike Brannon, PhD Capital Policy Analytics December 2017 Introduction The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) needs to achieve a modicum of financial stability if it is going to perform the services that it is constitutionally empowered to take on. However, these days it is teetering on insolvency: In the last decade alone it has accumulated over $60 billion in debt, and it has no viable plan for reducing that debt or even returning to positive cash flow without taxpayer assistance. The USPS blames much of its fiscal morass on a legislative requirement – originally devised by[…..]
This article originally appeared in the Cato Blog. Click here to read the full article. By Ike Brannon and Gordon Gray Ike Brannon of Capital Policy Analytics and Gordon Gray of the American Action Forum warn against an attempt in the lame-duck session to revive ‘‘orphan’’ tax breaks not made permanent at the end of 2015. The authors write that ‘‘the very presence of a year-end extenders package serves as a de facto substitute for genuine reform, and distracts lawmakers from undertaking a comprehensive tax reform that is long overdue.’’
This article originally appeared in the Cato Blog. Click here to read the full article. By Ike Brannon Should big-city governments be giving valuable city property to its wealthy residents for a pittance? The answer to that is not dependent upon political party or ideology, it would seem, yet it remains the standard practice nearly everywhere. The property in question consists of the parking lanes in neighborhoods and main thoroughfares, and the cost of this giveaway is immense: Besides the loss in foregone revenue it adds greatly to traffic congestion, depresses demand for businesses in those areas, and contributes to[…..]
This article originally appeared in Regulation Magazine. Click here to read the full article. By Sam Batkins and Ike Brannon A good many politicians have elevated the need to reduce income inequality as the paramount purpose of economic policy in the immediate future. There are many ways to pursue such a goal, of course, but the easiest and most popular— at least of late— is to simply reduce the income of the wealthy. Such a maneuver usually doesn’t improve anyone’s well-being beyond government employees and contractors, but it is a way for the government to demonstrate its dedication to The[…..]
This podcast originally appeared in the Cato Daily Podcast. Click here to view original posting. Featuring Ike Brannon Market pricing of on-street parking could save commuters time and energy, but locals don’t like it. Ike Brannon comments.
This article originally appeared in The Hill. Click here to read the full article. By Ike Brannon It seems as if everyone has woken up to the problem of opioid abuse at once and wants to do something about it. In March, Politico assembled a working group to “confront the opioid epidemic.” In May, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced the creation of a statewide heroin task force that he charged with ending the heroin and opioid crisis in the state. And in June, a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee approved a 93 percent increase in funding to combat opioid addiction[…..]
My View: Debt Side Story: Corruption and a Big Labor Agenda Define Obama’s Response to Puerto Rican Debt Crisis
This article originally appeared in Deseret News. Click here to read the full article. By Jared Whitley Puerto Rico My heart’s devotion Let it sink back in the ocean Always the hurricanes blowing Always the population growing And the money owing… So begins Puerto Rican darling Anita in West Side Story’s signature song, “America.” Little did she know how prophetic her words would become. The not-so Rich Port has accumulated debt of $73 billion — a crushing 70 percent of its annual GDP — much of it owed to bondholders who, curiously, want their money back.
This article originally appeared in the Hill. Click here to read the full article. By Logan Albright Congress has been trying to tread a very fine line on the path to rescuing Puerto Rico from the fiscal mess it’s gotten itself into. On the one hand, conservative Republicans will not tolerate anything resembling a bailout. On the other hand, left-wing Democrats want to see investors (whom they indiscriminately, and inaccurately, label “Wall Street”) take a haircut. A letter from Vermont socialist and quixotic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders to his colleagues implores them to “stand with the working people of Puerto[…..]
This article originally appeared in the Weekly Standard. Click here to read the full article. By Ike Brannon Following the reintroduction of the Puerto Rico debt legislation this week, it appears that the battle over how to restructure the insolvent island may soon be headed for a Congressional vote. The basic problems with previous approaches to fixing what ails the island have been papered over, to be conveniently ignored until the bill passes and Congress can move on to the next thing. The biggest flaw with previous legislative attempts to construct a plan to fix Puerto Rico’s finances is that[…..]