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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EconModel

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


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Cafe Hayek


October 23, 2014, 2:04 pm, 1356443
(Don Boudreaux)

Here’s a letter to a student in New Jersey:

Dear Mr. Sloan:

Thanks for your latest note.  You remember correctly that I agree that Pres. Obama’s “You didn’t build that!” quip referred to infrastructure and other inputs – admittedly produced by others – that each entrepreneur relies on.  You’re mistaken, however, ...


October 23, 2014, 8:04 am, 1356211
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 284 of the eminent Harvard historian Richard Pipes’s wonderful 1999 volume, Property and Freedom (footnote excluded):

The trend of modern times appears to indicate that citizens of democracies are willing heedlessly to surrender their freedoms to purchase social equality (along with economic security), apparently oblivious ...


October 23, 2014, 12:04 am, 1355966

October 22, 2014, 12:04 pm, 1355567
(Don Boudreaux)

Paul Krugman’s recent New York Times column on Amazon’s alleged market power reads like countless pro-antitrust articles, essays, and court opinions from the mid-20th century.  Here’s the thrust:

A currently big, successful, and well-known company that admittedly has pioneered great efficiency-enhancing production or distribution procedures – procedures that have, ...


October 22, 2014, 8:04 am, 1355420
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 94 of my late Nobel-laureate colleague James M. Buchanan‘s 2005 book, Why I, Too, Am Not a Conservative: The Normative Vision of Classical Liberalism:

To be free to choose implies acceptance of the results of choices made, which means, in turn, that there should be ...


October 22, 2014, 12:04 am, 1355203
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 35 of the transcript of Deirdre McCloskey‘s new, extensive, wide-ranging, and brilliant review of Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century; (quoted here with Deirdre’s kind permission):

It is important in thinking about the issues Piketty so energetically raises to keep straight what exactly ...


October 21, 2014, 2:04 pm, 1354919
(Don Boudreaux)

Here’s a letter to the New York Times:

Paul Krugman’s allegation that Amazon has harmful monopsony power misses many a mark, not least of which is Mr. Krugman’s mistaken account of John. D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil as a monopoly that “had too much power” (“Amazon’s Monopsony Is Not O.K.,” Oct. ...


October 21, 2014, 8:04 am, 1354676
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from pages 43-44 of my colleague Walter Williams’s splendid 1999 collection, More Liberty Means Less Government; specifically, it’s from Walter’s April 1995 essay “Free Markets and Blacks”:

Setting minimum wages is one of the most effective tools in the arsenal of racists everywhere.  South Africa’s racist Mine ...


October 20, 2014, 10:04 pm, 1354425
(Don Boudreaux)

Daniel Akst reviews in the Wall Street Journal Russ’s new book, How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life.  A slice:

Smith wrote in the stately and verbose style of his day, which has helped to sequester his genius from the mass of modern readers. The economist Russ Roberts, in ...


October 20, 2014, 8:04 am, 1353951
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 60 of the 1990 Liberty Fund edition of Vera Smith’s superb 1936 volume, The Rationale of Central Banking and the Free Banking Alternative:

The public mind entertained exaggerated hopes as to the power of banking.  It was a widespread belief that all that was necessary ...