Economics Roundtable

Technical Problems 3/9/15

The website was down several hours today, but is back up now.

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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Carpe Diem (Mark J. Perry)

"Mark J. Perry’s Blog for Economics and Finance”

May 21, 2015, 5:33 pm, 1478677

1. Chart of the Day. I haven’t reported on this lately, but the Traffic Volume Trend report was released today and moving 12-month average for total vehicle miles traveled in the US reached a new all-time in March of 3.06 trillion miles. In ...

May 20, 2015, 9:33 pm, 1478050

In an EconLog blog post from December 2013 (“Phase-In: A Demagogic Theory of the Minimum Wage“), GMU economist Bryan Caplan makes some excellent points out the typical legislative process of phasing-in gradual increases in the minimum wage to something like $15 per hour over several years or more like ...

May 20, 2015, 7:33 pm, 1477999

I had a post last week on CD about French economist Bastiat’s use of reductio ad absurdum (reduce to absurdity), a technique he used frequently in the mid-19th century to disprove and discredit the positions of his opponents by taking their unsound arguments to their logical, but often absurd ...

May 19, 2015, 11:33 pm, 1477489

…. is from Milton and Rose Friedman, writing in Free to Choose (1979):

Industrial progress, mechanical improvement, all of the great wonders of the modern era have meant relatively little to the wealthy. The rich in Ancient Greece would have benefited hardly at all from modern plumbing: running servants replaced running ...

May 19, 2015, 9:33 pm, 1477462

In today’s WSJ, Harvard University economics professor Martin Feldstein has an excellent op-ed (“The U.S. Underestimates Growth“) about a recent topic covered in a series of posts on CD  — how “the official statistics are missing changes that are lifting American incomes” (see especially the post “Another possible ...

May 19, 2015, 5:33 pm, 1477356

Here are some more thoughts on the AFL-CIO’s questionable methodology used to calculate its annual CEO-to-worker pay ratio (373-to-1 for 2014).

1. Questionable Math for Worker Pay. In its 2014 report, the AFL-CIO reported that the average rank-and-file worker made $16.94 per hour and $35,239 annually in 2013 based on ...

May 18, 2015, 9:33 pm, 1476694

Here’s Robert Samuelson writing in today’s Investor’s Business Daily:

To be clear: China’s currency manipulation has been real and harmful to U.S.-based firms and workers. By a variety of estimates, Chinese exports have probably cost 2 million or more American jobs since 2000.

That’s only part of the story, here’s my ...

May 18, 2015, 5:33 pm, 1476593

1. Chart of the Day I (above) shows the top ten most dangerous US occupations in 2013, and the percent of male workers in those occupations. As somebody on Twitter commented: “Notice how you never hear feminists saying, ‘We need more women loggers’?”

May 18, 2015, 1:33 pm, 1476428

In his recent Forbes article, John Tamny makes some excellent points about “surging lifestyle equality” in America (aka “rising wealth inequality”) and how the Clintons’ wealth results from the political ability to influence the direction of economic resources created in the private sector, but get expropriated by the federal ...

May 17, 2015, 11:33 pm, 1476010

As I reported recently on CD, there are a number of statistical problems with the methodology used by the AFL-CIO to calculate its annual “CEO-to-worker pay” ratio, which was 373-to-1 in 2014, up from 331-to-1 in 2013. Obviously, as a federation of ...