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 .

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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.

The Classic Economic Models cover micro, macro, and financial markets.

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U.S. Food Policy (Parke Wilde)

"U.S. Food Policy and Economics from a Public Interest Perspective”

October 20, 2016, 11:03 am, 1685255
In a commentary for WBUR this week, my faculty colleagues Will Masters and Jennifer Hashley write about Massachusetts Ballot Measure #3, which would ban the sale in Massachusetts of eggs, pork, and veal from confined production methods.

This debate is commonly described as a tension between animal welfare ...

October 17, 2016, 1:03 pm, 1684274
In Biting the Hands that Feed Us(Island Press, 2016), food lawyer Baylen Linnekin offers a libertarian appeal for reduced food regulations.

Like many such books, Linnekin reviews a long littany of well-meaning business people whose enterprises were thwarted by silly rules and regulations that fail to serve a ...

September 18, 2016, 11:03 pm, 1674075
In early 2015, FDA wrote a warning letter to KIND Snacks, calling out the company for using the term "healthy" on nut-filled snacks that -- among other things -- had a level of total fat level exceeding the official standards for "healthy" foods.

At the time, media sources ...

September 18, 2016, 11:03 pm, 1674077
The Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) is a classic industry-funded front group, secretive about its funding sources and utterly mercenary in its writing.

I once enjoyed debating soda policy in New York City with J. Justin Wilson from CCF in Episode 1 of a series of roundtables organized ...

September 18, 2016, 11:03 pm, 1674074
By Melissa Hudec and Parke Wilde
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is proposing a new Nutrition Facts Panel that identifies added sugars (rather than just mixing added sugars in with all other sugars).

The proposed label supports a recommendation from the 2015 Dietary Guidelines ...

September 18, 2016, 11:03 pm, 1674076
There are few roles in the U.S. food system as tough as being an immigrant farmworker ... especially one without documentation. There has been enormous advocacy in recent years to improve farmworker wages and working conditions.
Yet, in addition to advocacy, it is worthwhile to stay informed about the economic ...

September 18, 2016, 11:03 pm, 1674072
In this skeptical and critical video about canned food drives, from Adam Ruins Everything and Upworthy, a food bank administrator offers a good balanced summary of the main point:

Canned food drives don't suck, [but] they're not the most efficient way to give.

To allow food banks and food pantries to ...

September 18, 2016, 11:03 pm, 1674070
by Parke Wilde and Yue Huang
The U.S. Trade Representative this fall released the text of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a controversial trade agreement for the United States and other countries that border the Pacific Ocean.

Critics argue that the TPP will endanger U.S. food safety, ...

September 18, 2016, 11:03 pm, 1674071
by Ellen Messer
We lost two Pats in 2015. And I’m not talking about season-ending injuries to gigantic players on our favorite New England football team, but about two small heroes in Team America’s fight against hunger.

One, Patricia Kutzner, founded the World Hunger Education Service ...

September 18, 2016, 11:03 pm, 1674073
I enjoyed a recent interviewwith Project Bread, a leading anti-hunger organization in New England and organizer of the annual Walk for Hunger in Boston.

What is the biggest cause of food insecurity in the United States?
There are multiple reasons why people lack sufficient income to meet ...