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.


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"The Library of Economics and Liberty”

September 30, 2014, 6:04 am, 1343557
(September 30, 2014 05:45 AM, by Art Carden) Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal has joined The Oatmeal, XKCD, and Botched Spot as one of my favorite comics. This particular installment was especially brilliant. It proposes a browser plug-in that makes the opportunity cost of military hardware explicit. The night... (0 COMMENTS)

September 30, 2014, 2:04 am, 1343395
(September 30, 2014 12:50 AM, by Bryan Caplan) I often argue that popular ideas are deeply mistaken.  I attacked everything from nationalism and militarism to Tiger Parenting and labor market regulation.  There's one utterly corrupt outlook, though, that I almost never bother to criticize.  As soon as I... (0 COMMENTS)

September 30, 2014, 2:04 am, 1343394
(September 30, 2014 02:41 AM, by David Henderson) This discussion is related to the time inconsistency of optimal policy, which occurs when the government cannot implement an optimal tax policy because the stated policy is inconsistent with the government's incentives over time. Consider a proposal made by the... (1 COMMENTS)

September 29, 2014, 6:04 pm, 1343240
(September 29, 2014 04:02 PM, by Art Carden) Pete Boettke has a great post on the intellectual legacy of Ludwig von Mises at Coordination Problem (HT: Pete Boettke via Twitter). With speculation about the possibility of a shared Baumol-Kirzner Nobel Prize, this is an interesting time to be... (0 COMMENTS)

September 29, 2014, 12:04 pm, 1342994
(September 29, 2014 11:45 AM, by Art Carden) This is an edited version of my comment on this Reddit thread. OP had offered this quote from his microeconomics professor: "Government is the only institution which is allowed to hold a gun to your head and force you to... (0 COMMENTS)

September 29, 2014, 12:04 am, 1342667
(September 28, 2014 10:30 PM, by Scott Sumner) Many pundits, especially highly intelligent liberal pundits, often fall into the trap (fatal conceit?) of assuming that because they can't explain why the market would do something, the market must be wrong. But markets are almost infinitely subtle. A commenter... (0 COMMENTS)

September 29, 2014, 12:04 am, 1342666
(September 29, 2014 12:04 AM, by Bryan Caplan) When the American left complains about domestic poverty, you might think the American right's standard response would be either:1. "What poverty?  By any sensible standard, the 'American poor' are rich."2. "America doesn't have a poverty problem; it's the American poor... (0 COMMENTS)

September 28, 2014, 6:04 pm, 1342639
(September 28, 2014 09:45 PM, by David Henderson) My wife and I took a break from work yesterday to channel surf. We found Alfred Hitchcock's classic North by Northwest and we were hooked, staying with it to the end. At the end, there is an exciting chase at... (0 COMMENTS)

September 27, 2014, 2:04 pm, 1342314
(September 27, 2014 12:55 PM, by Scott Sumner) Paul Krugman likes to mock extremely talented conservative economists every time they make a statement that seems inconsistent with the textbook AS/AD model of demand shock-created recessions. And yet as far as I can tell, the views of people like... (1 COMMENTS)

September 26, 2014, 2:04 pm, 1341923
(September 26, 2014 02:04 PM, by Bryan Caplan) The Social Security Administration's latest "Actuarial Note" is as fascinating as actuarial notes get.  Its main lessons:1. Social Security used to be a great deal.  The poorest one-earner couples born in 1920 got a real return of 9.18%; the richest... (0 COMMENTS)