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 .
June Payroll Employment
The slowndown in employment growth over the past few months is starting to become more apparent in the graph below.
Click on the image to get a bigger version.
Focus on the Problem
U.S. payroll employment peaked at 132.5 million jobs in February 2001. For April 2012, U.S. payroll employment had reached 133.0 million jobs, marking the third month in a row above the February 2001 level.
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.
Looking Up At 2001
In February 2001, U.S. payroll employment peaked at 132.5 million. The November 2011 figure of 131.7 million still falls 800,000 jobs short of the earlier peak.
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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… is from page 17 of the manuscript of Deirdre McCloskey‘s forthcoming volume, The Treasured Bourgeoisie; quoted with Deirdre’s kind permission:
The [political] right and left unhappiness [with the modern bourgeois economy] can be understood sympathetically as a present-mindedness. It is like standing too close to a pointillist painting, such as ...
… is from page 116 of Thomas Cahill’s splendid 1998 volume, The Gifts of the Jews; Cahill here is discussing the lessons of the Egyptian Pharaoh’s hubris as portrayed in the book of Exodus:
The comedy of the narrative lies in ironic juxtaposition: Pharaoh, supposedly all-powerful, understands nothing. It would not ...
The spark for the idea of the new series here at the Cafe – “Mid-Twentieth-Century America” – was a recent conversation over coffee with my former student Laura Sacher, a mother of four young children. We were discussing dental care for kids, and I mentioned my recollections from 1960s-era ...
Today I start a new series here at the Cafe. It’s a series featuring television commercials from the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s – those decades in which America’s middle-class allegedly reached the peak of their economic affluence before beginning the long stagnation that, now having lasted at least three decades, ...
Here’s a letter to an e-mail correspondent:
23 May 2013
Mr. Denis D___
Dear Mr. D___:
Thanks for your e-mail explaining your “black hole theory of the minimum wage.”
A critical part of your theory, as I understand it (with help from the link you sent to a video of Sen. Elizabeth Warren talking ...
While driving yesterday I listened for a while to ESPN radio. Among the topics that the show’s hosts explored was greed – in particular, the “greed” of professional sports franchises such as the Washington Redskins and the New York Yankees to produce and sell to fans ever-more logo-ladened paraphernalia. Some ...
Opponents of government regulation argue that artificially raising the costs of manufacturing in poor countries would harm intended beneficiaries by destroying jobs. If so, workers would face worse options, including life on the streets and prostitution.
Unfortunately, the debate is ...
… is from page three of the original edition of Henry Hazlitt’s classic – and still very relevant – 1946 volume, Economics in One Lesson; indeed, the lines below form the book’s opening passage:
Economics is haunted by more fallacies than any other study known to man. This is no accident. ...
Sen. Rand Paul properly suggests that if members of the U.S. Congress really want to interview financial predators, that they bring a large mirror to Capitol Hill and interview themselves.