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


November 21, 2014, 6:04 am, 1375573
(Don Boudreaux)

After I’d earlier quoted from Deirdre McCloskey’s incisive review of Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century, several of you asked me how to get a copy of Deirdre’s review.  It’s now available.


November 20, 2014, 12:04 pm, 1375050
(Don Boudreaux)

Here’s a letter to the Washington Post:

David Ignatius proposes that climate change be treated “as a moral issue – a matter like civil rights” (“The moral issue of climate change,” Nov. 19).

This comparison fails.  The core concern that sparked the civil-rights movement was simple: government-mandated racial segregation and ...


November 20, 2014, 8:04 am, 1374894
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from pages 428 of H.L. Mencken’s indispensable 1949 collection, A Mencken Chrestomathy; specifically, it’s the final paragraph of Mencken’s spectacularly good May 27, 1935, essay in the Baltimore Evening Sun entitled “The New Deal”:

Of such sort are the young wizards who now sweat to save the plain ...


November 19, 2014, 6:04 pm, 1374568
(Don Boudreaux)

On Thursday, December 4th, Todd Zywicki, a GMU colleague of mine from over in the law school, will be joined by GMU’s Pete Boettke, and Josh Wright, and the Washington Post‘s Steve Pearlstein, in a discussion of Todd’s new book, Consumer Credit and the American Economy.  The book’s message ...


November 19, 2014, 12:04 pm, 1374335
(Don Boudreaux)

Here’s an interesting podcast with Sam Peltzman.  (Sam doesn’t get much wrong, but he does, at the very beginning, mistake Thomas Carlyle’s reason for labeling economics the “dismal science.”  My colleague David Levy just sent Sam the relevant info!)

Stewart Dompe and Adam C. Smith ask ...


November 19, 2014, 10:04 am, 1374255
(Russ Roberts)

In The Wealth of Nations, Smith assumed we’re self-interested. In The Theory of Moral Sentiments, he wrote about our deep interest in those around us. In this excerpt from my new book, How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life, I try to reconcile the different approaches ...


November 19, 2014, 8:04 am, 1374144
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from a plenary talk that Deirdre McCloskey delivered this past September at the Mont Pelerin Society meetings in Hong Kong; Deirdre here refers critically to Thomas Piketty’s project:

Marx got it wrong.  Ricardo got it wrong.  Combining the two is not a good ...


November 18, 2014, 8:04 pm, 1373821
(Don Boudreaux)

Here’s a letter to WTOP Radio in Washington, DC:

During today’s 10:00am hour you reported that Maryland governor Martin O’Malley objects to building the Keystone XL pipeline because (as you summarized his objection) “the pipeline will create too few jobs to offset its environmental cost.”

I have no idea if this ...


November 18, 2014, 12:04 pm, 1373505
(Don Boudreaux)

I loathe low-flow faucets and shower heads.

First, they likely do not cut down on the amount of water used per incident.  For example, I know that I rinse my hands for a longer duration under low-flow faucets longer than I do under regular-flow faucets.  The point is to ...


November 18, 2014, 8:04 am, 1373356
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 574 of the 2000 Modern Library edition of Charlotte Bronte’s brilliant 1847 novel, Jane Eyre; here – in chapter 33 – Jane has just learned that she unexpectedly inherited, from her uncle John, a fortune of £20,000:

One does not jump, and spring, and ...