Sep 1, 2017

White House ties tax cuts to wage growth

Carolyn Kaster / AP

Top White House economic advisor Gary Cohn made the biz network rounds this morning, in support of a tax reform package that remains woefully short on specific details. But one thing Cohn told CNBC could raise economist eyebrows:

We will hire people. When you hire people you compete for labor. When you compete for labor you drive wages.

Reality check: Cohn's statement may sound like Econ 101, but it hasn't proven true lately. Wage growth has been stubbornly sluggish — even declining in recent quarters — compared to where many economists think it should be given current unemployment levels, GDP and corporate cash piles. Part of this is may be tied to slow productivity growth, which Cohn didn't mention in his comments. Moreover, past corporate tax cuts have a mixed record when it comes to creating new jobs.

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World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

Countries where novel coronavirus cases are falling may be hit with a "second peak" if they relax restrictions too soon, World Health Organization emergencies chief Mike Ryan warned during a briefing Monday. "We're still very much in a phase where the disease is actually on the way up," he added.

By the numbers: Brazil on Monday recorded for the first time more deaths from the novel coronavirus in a single day than the United States, Reuters notes. Brazil reported 807 deaths from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, compared to 620 in the U.S. for the same period.

Palantir CEO reflects on work with ICE

Palantir CEO Alex Karp told "Axios on HBO" that there have "absolutely" been moments he wished the company hadn't taken a contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

  • "Did I suffer? ... I've had some of my favorite employees leave," Karp told "Axios on HBO."

Michigan governor won't apologize for coronavirus lockdown

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer defended the strictness of her state's coronavirus lockdown in an interview with "Axios on HBO," saying it was necessary — despite the protests that have drawn national attention — because of how quickly the state's cases were rising.

The big picture: Whitmer, who has been a frequent target of President Trump, insisted that she had to act in the face of a lack of federal leadership — and that thousands more people in her state would have died without the lockdown.