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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Cafe Hayek


September 17, 2014, 8:04 am, 1336383
(Don Boudreaux)

… are lyrics from the final stanza of the studio recording of Hank Williams, Sr.’s, 1949 song “Mind Your Own Business”:

Mindin’ other people’s business
Seems to be high-tone;
I got all that I can do just to mind my own.
Why don’t you mind your own business?
Mind ...


September 16, 2014, 2:04 pm, 1335943
(Don Boudreaux)

Here’s a letter to the Wall Street Journal:

John Addison Teevan rightly rejects the claim that slavery is a capitalist institution (Letters, Sept. 16).  Slavery began soon after the invention of agriculture and disappeared only with the emergence of modern capitalism.  Moreover, widespread opposition to slavery arose first in ...


September 16, 2014, 8:04 am, 1335710
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 82 of Alain de Botton’s delightful 1993 volume, On Love (original emphasis):

Amorous politics begins its infamous history in the course of the French Revolution, when it was first proposed (with all the choice of a rape) that the state would not just govern but love ...


September 15, 2014, 8:04 am, 1335002
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from pages 11-12 of Hayek’s 1948 collection, Individualism and Economic Order; in particular, it’s from one of Hayek’s most profound and important essays, namely, his December 1945 Finlay Lecture in Dublin, “Individualism: True and False”:

 [Adam] Smith’s chief concern was not so much with what man might occasionally ...


September 15, 2014, 6:04 am, 1334947
(Don Boudreaux)

George Leef weighs in at Forbes against the abominable practice of civil asset forfeiture.  A slice:

One of the worst cities for civil asset forfeiture is Philadelphia, where, as we read in this Philadelphia Inquirer story, officials file thousands of forfeiture petitions yearly, confiscating some $6 million in cash and ...


September 14, 2014, 10:04 am, 1334649
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 74 of my friend and old classmate Roger Koppl’s superb 2014 monograph, From Crisis to Confidence: Macroeconomics after the Crash:

Discretionary regulation appears to have become something of a new orthodoxy in the theory and practice of financial-market regulation.  I think this orthodoxy is mistaken ...


September 14, 2014, 8:04 am, 1334600
(Don Boudreaux)

Here are words of wisdom from Nick Gillespie on the ‘war on terror.’  A slice:

The sheen has also mostly worn off The Patriot Act, that awful, Constitution-shredding piece of legislation that, until the passage of Obamacare, held the record for being the least-read law that was rubber-stamped ...


September 13, 2014, 8:04 am, 1334334
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 211 of the 1992 collection of some of William Graham Sumner’s best essays, On Liberty, Society, and Politics (Roger C. Bannister, ed.); specifically, this quotation is from Sumner’s famous 1883 essay “The Forgotten Man“:

When you see a drunkard in the gutter, you are disgusted, ...


September 12, 2014, 6:04 pm, 1334190
(Don Boudreaux)

Here’s a letter to the Wall Street Journal:

Peter Thiel notes that, despite its being “considered both the ideal and the default state in Economics 101,” economists’ theory of perfect competition doesn’t remotely describe the realities of actual capitalist rivalry (“Competition Is for Losers,” Sept. 13).  He’s right.

As explained by the great ...


September 12, 2014, 4:04 pm, 1334130