Economics Roundtable

May 2014 Payroll Employment

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

Click on the image to get a bigger version.


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 .

Click on the image to get a bigger version.

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?

Click on the chart for a larger version.


The Economics Roundtable is sponsored by EconModel.

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

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Cafe Hayek

November 28, 2014, 10:04 am, 1379207
(Don Boudreaux)

Here’s a letter to the Wall Street Journal:

The substance of former GOP Congressman George Nethercutt’s defense of Congressional earmarks is as contorted as is the language he uses for this defense - for example: “Allowing earmarks provides an opportunity for constituents to advocate to their members for accountable federal spending ...

November 28, 2014, 8:04 am, 1379155
(Don Boudreaux)

My colleague Dan Klein is leading a noble quest to reclaim the word “liberalism” for that set of ideals and beliefs in support of a civilization infused with individual freedom, genuinely limited government, and bourgeois virtues.  Here’s a video of a presentation that Dan gave last month at ...

November 28, 2014, 8:04 am, 1379154
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 48 of Joseph Epstein’s 2012 collection, Essays in Biography; specifically, it’s from Epstein’s June 2009 New Criterion essay on George Santayana entitled “The Permanent Transient“:

True freedom comes only to a lucid mind unbound by conventional wisdom and suspicious of received opinions.

November 27, 2014, 8:04 am, 1378825
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from Caroline Baum’s Nov. 25th e21 article, “Giving Thanks for Property Rights“:

One of the traditions the Pilgrims had brought with from England was a practice known as “farming in common” (the “common course and condition” to [Gov. William] Bradford). Everything produced became community property, ...

November 26, 2014, 10:04 am, 1378325
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from pages 44-45 of my colleague Richard Wagner’s deeply insightful 1996 monograph, Economic Policy in a Liberal Democracy:

Suppose medical care is financed through state budgets, or, equivalently, through private insurance that is constrained by government to charge common pricing.  Once this happens, a new network of ...

November 26, 2014, 12:04 am, 1378035
(Don Boudreaux)

In my latest column for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review I ponder various kinds and degrees of insignificance of individual human choices and actions.

I wrote this column before completing my reading of Russ’s brilliant new book, How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life.  While finishing my reading of Russ’s book ...

November 25, 2014, 8:04 pm, 1377952
(Don Boudreaux)

If someone who knows not the slightest thing about neurosurgery beyond what he infers by pondering his own skull takes a scalpel to a patient’s brain, the patient suffers a gruesome death and the pretend-healer is exposed immediately as a charlatan.  Matters, alas, differ in economics.  Pretend-economists often ...

November 25, 2014, 10:04 am, 1377575
(Don Boudreaux)

Here’s a letter to the Wall Street Journal:

The subheading describing Alan Blinder’s essay “The Unsettling Mystery of Productivity” (Nov. 25) reads “Since 2010 U.S. productivity has grown at a miserable rate.  And no one, not even the Fed, seems to understand why.”

Here’s a potential explanation: regime uncertainty.  Pioneered ...

November 25, 2014, 8:04 am, 1377501
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 53 of the 1983 collection of some of the writings of the late G. Warren Nutter, entitled Political Economy and Freedom; specifically, it’s from Nutter’s insightful 1976 essay “A Comment on Okun” (link added):

In passing, [Arthur] Okun cannot resist praising recent legislation on ...

November 24, 2014, 12:04 pm, 1377007