Economics Roundtable

May 2014 Payroll Employment

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

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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.


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Cafe Hayek

July 23, 2014, 4:04 pm, 1304075

July 23, 2014, 4:04 pm, 1304076
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from pages 411-412 of Kevin Dowd‘s 1994 essay “Free Banking,” which is chapter 59 in The Elgar Companion to Austrian Economics (Peter J. Boettke, ed., 1994; links added):

Another point that stands out [in a review of the empirical evidence] is the high degree of stability ...

July 23, 2014, 4:04 pm, 1304077

July 23, 2014, 4:04 pm, 1304078
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 11 of Donald R. Leal’s and Roger E. Meiners’s important 2002 collection, Government vs. Environment; specifically, it’s from Leal’s and Meiners’s chapter 1 (“Greener Pastures? The Defective Attraction of Federal Environmental Policy”):

Under national command and control of the environment for three decades, the ...

July 23, 2014, 4:04 pm, 1304074
(Don Boudreaux)

Here’s a letter to an e-mail correspondent (whose name is used here with her kind permission):

Ms. Molly Mills

Dear Ms. Mills:

Thanks for alerting me to Joe Nocera’s article on the cystic-fibrosis wonder drug Kalydeco - a drug that now costs each patient more than $300,000 annually (“The $300,000 Drug,” July 18).  ...

July 23, 2014, 4:04 pm, 1304073

July 23, 2014, 4:04 pm, 1304070
(Don Boudreaux)

Responding to my report that Ms. Molly Mills e-mailed me to claim that (original emphasis)

[a]ll sick people should have access to drugs at affordable prices!!!!!

the great University of Virginia economics teacher – and antitrust scholar (and economics-mystery writer) – Ken Elzinga asks via e-mail to me:

One wonders ...

July 23, 2014, 4:04 pm, 1304071
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 127 of Deirdre McCloskey’s lovely 1996 book, The Vices of Economists – The Virtues of the Bourgeoisie:

Virginia Woolf wrote famously, “About December 1910 human nature changed.”  Well, one doubts it.  What did change, and has been changing all through the closing decades of the ...

July 23, 2014, 4:04 pm, 1304072

July 23, 2014, 4:04 pm, 1304069
(Don Boudreaux)

This news is so, so sad.

I learned last night, from an e-mail sent by Walter Grinder, that John died earlier in the day yesterday.  As I read Walter’s e-mail, a deep sadness descended upon me (as, I know, it descended upon many others) – sadness not only ...