Economics Roundtable

May 2014 Payroll Employment

After 76 months, we finally got back to the prerecession level of payroll employment.

Click on the image to get a bigger version.


The best summary of the state of our economy is the graph (below) of employment as a fraction of population for people over 16 years old. The decrease is large, but the most troubling feature of the graph is the flat trend .

Click on the image to get a bigger version.

Graph-of-the-Year Candidates

Donald Marron likes European interest rates. Click on the image to get a bigger version. Can you find three distinct subperiods?

Brad DeLong favors the U.S. gdp gap.

Remember M1?

Money Supply M1 growth is now over 20% per year over a 12 month lag. M1 growth has touched 20% before, but not with excess reserves of $1.6 trillion. Where is M1 headed?

Click on the chart for a larger version.


The Economics Roundtable is sponsored by EconModel.

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Stumbling and Mumbling

"An extremist, not a fanatic”

November 24, 2015, 10:34 am, 1581305

Is Labour heading for "civil war"? Colin Talbot says yes. Simon says no. I'm inclined to agree with Simon. There has always been tension in the party between socialists and social democrats: "Labour is a broad church" is one of the oldest cliches in ...

November 21, 2015, 8:34 am, 1580104

"I've read everything ever written in economics, and I've decided it's all rubbish." John McDonnell probably didn't mean to say something this cranky, but it's one interpretation of his call for a "a new economics."

The thing is, Labour doesn't need new economics at all. ...

November 20, 2015, 8:34 am, 1579625

Is there a case for ever-rising state pensions which redistribute from young to old? Madsen Pirie thinks not. The image of pensioner poverty, he says, "does not accord with present day reality for most pensioners":

Some 86% of pensioners live in households with assets in excess of ...

November 18, 2015, 10:34 am, 1578348

Why was Keynes wrong? In his 1930 essay (pdf), Economic possibilities for our grandchildren he predicted that:

the standard of life in progressive countries one hundred years hence will be between four and eight times as high as it is to-day.

This looks like being ...

November 17, 2015, 10:34 am, 1577704

Immigration is a great way of reducing poverty. A new paper (pdf) by John Gibson at the University of Waikato and colleagues has established this in a neat way.

Each year, Tongans wanting to migrate to New Zealand are randomly given permits to do ...

November 13, 2015, 8:34 am, 1576020

David Cameron's letter (pdf) to Oxfordshire County Council has been widely criticized, but I fear there's one thing his critics are under-playing.

Cameron wrote:

I would have hoped that Oxfordshire would instead be following the best practice of Conservative councils ...

November 10, 2015, 10:34 am, 1573933

Simon asks a good question: "why is there this presumption that we should be governed by a meritocratic elite?"

There are good reasons why we shouldn't be. One, as Simon says, is that in a representative democracy, politicians should represent the people*. This isn't merely ...

November 9, 2015, 10:34 am, 1573127

The possibility of a strike by junior doctors has more profound political significance than generally realized.

What I mean is that we should regard Jeremy Hunt's proposal to change their working conditions as part of a general trend - resulting from ...

November 7, 2015, 10:34 am, 1572058

The difference between Blairites and the left isn't merely one of policy prescriptions. It's also about the diagnosis of capitalism. John Rentoul's response to my post yesterday alerts me to this fact.

Here's what I mean. To a large extent, New Labour's thinking ...

November 6, 2015, 10:34 am, 1571487

I've noted before the paradox of Blairism - that people who were so keen that Labour should modernize in the 1990s are now themselves out-of-date. Philip Collins' piece in the Times today shows what I mean.

He contends that the profit motive and business are ...