Economics Roundtable

January 2014 Payroll Employment

We are getting closer to the previous peak.

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”

April 18, 2014, 12:04 am, 1257418
(April 18, 2014 12:02 AM, by Bryan Caplan) Almost everyone wants to heavily restrict immigration.  Foreigners will take our jobs, go on welfare, poison our culture, and vote for socialism.  But there's one kind of foreigner almost every country welcomes: tourists.  Sure, locals gripe about their cluelessness and... (0 COMMENTS)

April 17, 2014, 12:04 pm, 1257054
(April 17, 2014 01:28 PM, by David Henderson) Answer: No. But it has become increasingly common for people, even otherwise numerate analysts, to write as if it can. Consider a recent instance. In the Spring 2014 issue of Regulation, Sam Batkins and Mitch Boynton discuss a case in... (3 COMMENTS)

April 17, 2014, 10:04 am, 1257005
(April 17, 2014 09:23 AM, by Scott Sumner) TravisV sent me to the following graph of industrial production: That looks like good news. To see why it is bad new, we need to take a brief digression. The recent recession has been rather unusual. RGDP fell sharply between... (0 COMMENTS)

April 17, 2014, 12:04 am, 1256773
(April 17, 2014 01:04 AM, by Bryan Caplan) Back in 2008, I noted an obscure TARP provision: SEC. 134. RECOUPMENT.Upon the expiration of the 5-year period beginning upon the date of the enactment of this Act, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, in consultation with... (1 COMMENTS)

April 16, 2014, 4:04 pm, 1256603
(April 16, 2014 04:29 PM, by David Henderson) On a flight home from Las Vegas last night, I found the April 14 issue of Time magazine. I hadn't read it in years. On the last page was a feature called "10 Questions." They were 10 questions to "activist,... (2 COMMENTS)

April 16, 2014, 10:04 am, 1256345
(April 16, 2014 09:02 AM, by Scott Sumner) Tyler Cowen directed me to a long interview of Larry Summers. I have two general impressions after listening to the interview: 1. Larry Summers seems brilliant. 2. I disagree with him on just about everything. That got me wondering why... (1 COMMENTS)

April 16, 2014, 12:04 am, 1256136
(April 16, 2014 12:01 AM, by Bryan Caplan) A friend tells you, "I'm thinking of starting a restaurant.  Advise me."  You know that about 60% of new restaurants fail in their first three years - and have no reason to think that your friend would be anything other... (0 COMMENTS)

April 15, 2014, 12:04 pm, 1255811
(April 15, 2014 10:03 AM, by Bryan Caplan) At the IEA blog, Kristian Niemietz points out that expenditure surveys fail to detect most of the tobacco sales visible in national product accounts.  For most goods, the two show broadly the same pattern: with small errors, what people profess... (0 COMMENTS)

April 15, 2014, 12:04 am, 1255527
(April 15, 2014 12:08 AM, by Bryan Caplan) Martin Luther King's "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" defends an odd position: You may morally break an unjust law IF you make no effort to evade the legal punishment for the unjust law you break.In no sense do I advocate... (1 COMMENTS)

April 14, 2014, 10:04 am, 1255151
(April 14, 2014 09:34 AM, by Scott Sumner) In the past 10 years Germany as gone from being the "sick man of Europe" to the star of the eurozone. This partly reflects the strong job creation that preceded the recession, perhaps due to the labor market reforms of... (0 COMMENTS)