The $1.7 Trillion F-35 Fighter Jet Program Is About To Get More Expensive

“The GAO notes that it would be more cost-efficient to hold off on buying F-35s until they are operationally tested than it would be to pay for the aircraft now and upgrade them later.

But, of course, when did cost efficiency and the military go hand-in-hand? There’s a reason Lockheed Martin brags about building parts of the F-35 in 48 different states, and that’s not because it saves money. The F-35 has been as much an expensive make-work program for military contractors as it has been a vital part of America’s national defense—and in that regard the cost overruns and eventual upgrades might be seen as a feature rather than a bug.

Production of the F-35 fighter was originally supposed to cost about $200 billion, but the price tag has already ballooned to about twice as much. Recently, Lockheed Martin warned that supply chain issues and inflation could cause further delays and cost overruns. Monday’s GAO report confirmed that construction is running behind schedule, with about 28 percent of the 553 completed jets having been delivered late.”

Why Should a Drug be Illegal or Legal? Part Three: Costs and Benefits of Implementing Drug Bans: Video Sources

I used to support legalizing all drugs. Then the opioid epidemic happened. German Lopez. 2017 9 12. Vox. https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/4/20/15328384/opioid-epidemic-drug-legalization Dopesick Reinforces These Pernicious Misconceptions About Opioids, Addiction, and Pain Treatment Jacob Sullum. 2021 11 17. Reason. Two Courts Debunk Widely Accepted Opioid

Abbott’s border policy cost the U.S. almost $9 billion in just 10 days

“Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s short-lived policy of requiring state troopers to conduct secondary inspections of trucks crossing into Texas from Mexico cost the United States almost $9 billion in just 10 days, Axios reported Tuesday.

The policy, which Abbott enacted on April 6, snarled truck traffic at the border and led to a protest by Mexican truckers that stopped trade at some major crossings. On April 15, Abbott ended the double inspections, for which he’d received withering criticism from both sides of the border and the aisle, after striking deals with the governors of the four Mexican states that border Texas.

Per Axios, Abbott implemented the policy “in response to the Biden administration’s announcement that it would lift Title 42,” a Trump-era public health policy that denied migrants entry into the United States.

An analysis by the Perryman Group showed that the U.S. lost an estimated $8.97 billion in GDP due to delays at the border, while Texas alone lost $4.23 billion.”

Biden’s Build Back Better Plan Contains One Potentially Helpful Housing Program

“Homelessness is a major issue in the U.S., and is inherently intertwined with the cost of housing. In fact, in a recent poll, respondents from the 20 metro areas that experienced the largest population growth between 2010–2019 listed both the cost of housing and homelessness as their top two concerns, and by almost identical margins (86 and 87 percent, respectively). The average cost of rent has increased nearly 20 percent within the last year alone, and since 2001, in nearly every state, rents have risen at a faster rate than incomes.

But simply offering rental assistance without a simultaneous increase in the supply of housing would only serve to exacerbate the cost problem, as a larger amount of money would chase after the exact same amount of inventory. In fact, the U.S. is currently as many as 5 million houses short of meeting estimated demand.

Of the roughly $150 billion which the Build Back Better Act appropriates toward housing, more than half is put toward dubious use, via rental assistance programs. About a third of that portion, though, is specifically tailored toward the construction or rehabilitation of more affordable housing units to increase the overall supply, which could help drive down costs.”

“The Build Back Better Act does fund the establishment of a “competitive grant program,” the Unlocking Possibilities Program, to incentivize “streamlining regulatory requirements and shorten[ing] processes, [and] reform[ing] zoning codes.” As with any grant program, its efficacy will be dictated by its implementation, but with more than $4.26 billion appropriated, there is plenty of breathing room to potentially make a difference.

In an ideal scenario, of course, there would be as few zoning restrictions as possible, allowing developers to simply respond to the needs of the community without requiring the government’s stamp of approval. While public funding to incentivize a reduction or simplification of red tape is better than the status quo, it is still not a perfect solution.”

How Mandatory Paid Leave Hurts Low-Income Workers

“Because paid leave is costly, when firms provide this benefit, they change the composition of their employees’ total compensation by reducing the value of workers’ take-home pay to offset the cost of providing paid leave. While some workers prefer this mix in their pay packages, others don’t. In particular, mandated leave would be a hard trade-off for many lower-paid women who would prefer as much of their income as possible in the form of take-home pay.

In fact, polls show that when women learn of the trade-offs inherent in any government-mandated paid-leave policy, their support for such a policy collapses.”

“A well-cited NBER paper looks at Denmark’s very generous paid leave policy and finds that before having children, women’s hours, employment, and wages are equal to those of men, but that these metrics all worsen relative to men after having children. Another recent NBER paper expands on this research and shows that while this divergence also exists in the United States, it’s significantly smaller here.”

A new government study shows how Trump’s tariffs have backfired

“Economists Aaron Flaaen and Justin Pierce, who describe their study as “as the first comprehensive estimates of the effect of recent tariffs on the US manufacturing sector,” argue that the data shows that any benefits from protection from foreign competition have been more than canceled out by retaliatory tariffs from trading partners and an increase in the cost of components sourced from abroad.

As a result, US manufacturing has seen job losses and higher prices for consumers.”