Economics Roundtable

May 2014 Payroll Employment

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

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Jobs

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?


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Keith Hennessey

"Your guide to American economic policy”


December 19, 2016, 4:34 pm, 1703897

Last Tuesday President-elect Trump said, “My Administration will be focused on three very important words: jobs, jobs, jobs.” Mr. Trump emphasizes geography: American policies should encourage economic growth “right here in America.” Nothing wrong with that.

He follows a hallowed tradition of politicians emphasizing jobs and talking about the ...


December 17, 2016, 2:34 pm, 1703446

How much advice does the president need? Should the president rely on just one person for advice on a straightforward policy question, or delegate a decision to a single person?

Challenge #1: Any policy problem difficult enough to make it to the president’s desk is usually multidimensional.

Challenge #2: The work ...


December 15, 2016, 6:34 pm, 1703027

What is a White House policy council and what does it do?

The President needs someone physically close to him whom he trusts to answer policy questions as they arise. When he has to make a policy decision someone has to get him all the information he needs ...


December 13, 2016, 8:34 pm, 1702337

Imagine five American firms, each of which lays off New York workers.

Firms 1, 2, and 3 close their New York widget factories.

Firm 1 builds a new widget factory in Mexico. Firm 2 builds a new widget factory in South Carolina. Firm 3 does not set up a new factory anywhere. Instead, it ...


December 9, 2016, 12:34 am, 1701113

Yesterday I explained why presidents don’t delegate more policy decision-making power to their cabinet. Instead the president makes the big decisions, supported by his White House staff. This makes the White House staff powerful. Now let’s peek inside the White House.

What are the most powerful policy jobs in the White ...


December 7, 2016, 10:34 pm, 1700732

President-elect Trump’s selections to head his Cabinet have ranged from good to excellent (Mattis, Price). So far, so good.

Why don’t presidents delegate more policy decision-making power to their cabinet secretaries? Why does White House staff have so much power over big policy decisions relative to the much more visible Cabinet?

Most ...


December 5, 2016, 6:34 pm, 1699976
Last week President-elect Trump announced that he had convinced Indiana-based Carrier not to outsource about 800 U.S. manufacturing jobs to Mexico. Since then in a series of tweets Mr. Trump has: publicly attacked another firm, Rexnord, for considering outsourcing jobs to Mexico; made clear his approach to Carrier and Rexnord is the beginning of a ...


November 7, 2016, 8:34 pm, 1691523

In March I wrote:

I will not vote for Donald Trump for the Republican presidential nomination. If he wins the nomination I will not vote for him for President.

This is not a tough call.

Donald Trump is an ignorant, unprincipled, amoral policy lightweight opposed to free market capitalism and limited government.

… ...


September 30, 2016, 4:34 pm, 1679949

In Monday’s debate Secretary Clinton said:

We had the worst financial crisis, the Great Recession, the worst since the 1930s. That was in large part because of tax policies that slashed taxes on the wealthy, failed to invest in the middle class, took their eyes off of Wall Street, and created ...


September 19, 2016, 12:34 am, 1675924

In Pennsylvania today Donald Trump said, “When subsidized foreign steel is dumped into our markets, threatening our factories, the politicians do nothing.”

This is false. President Bush imposed tariffs on imported steel in 2002. A month ago the Obama Administration imposed duties on Chinese steel of more than 200 percent and ...