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


October 29, 2014, 2:04 pm, 1359991
(Don Boudreaux)

Bill Hill (who has no Facebook account), after reading this post, asks a sensible question.  I’ll paraphrase his question.  (Mr. Hill: If I paraphrase mistakenly, do let me know ASAP.)

You [Boudreaux] say that minimum-wage legislation blocks the creation or discovery of economic opportunities that might well, had ...


October 29, 2014, 12:04 pm, 1359890
(Don Boudreaux)

I challenge anyone to justify, or even to excuse, such an abuse of power.  (HT a dear and wise and passionate friend.)

Words normally do not escape me, but I can find none that adequately convey the anger and sense of injustice that course through me when I ...


October 29, 2014, 8:04 am, 1359733
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 108 of Deirdre McCloskey’s excellent 1990 book, If You’re So Smart: The Narrative of Economic Expertise:

Economics is the science of the post-magical age.  Far from being unscientific or hoobla-hoo, it is deeply anti-magical.  It keeps telling us that we cannot do it, that magic ...


October 28, 2014, 12:04 pm, 1359078
(Don Boudreaux)

Here’s a letter to the Wall Street Journal:

Worried that his subjects are getting too good a deal on sugar grown in Mexico - and, hence, that his privileged cronies who grow sugar in the U.S. might have to compete more vigorously - Uncle Sam is pressuring Mexico’s government to force sugar ...


October 28, 2014, 12:04 pm, 1359077
(Don Boudreaux)

While I believe that no empirical studies of minimum-wage legislation can measure all of the likely negative consequences of such legislation, I also believe that such studies have a sound role to play in the public debate.  David Neumark, I.M. Ian Salas, and William Wascher are, in ...


October 28, 2014, 10:04 am, 1358994
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from pages 38-39 of Israel Kirzner’s excellent 1985 volume, Discovery and the Capitalist Process (original emphasis):

A good deal of regulation consists in creating barriers to entry.  Tariffs, licensing requirements, labor legislation, airline regulation, and bank regulation, for example, do not merely limit numbers in particular markets.  These ...


October 28, 2014, 10:04 am, 1358993
(Don Boudreaux)

It’s been nearly two years since my most-recent “Cleaned by Capitalism” post.  So it’s time for another.  This clever device is a now-ubiquitous paper product of human ingenuity that makes our personal lives cleaner, healthier, and more pleasant – in short, less polluted.


October 27, 2014, 8:04 pm, 1358558
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from pages 56-57 of Roger Koppl’s indispensable 2014 monograph, From Crisis to Confidence: Macroeconomics after the Crash:

It seems to be implicitly assumed that the imperfections that exist in markets do not exist among those who might seek to intervene  in markets.  Yet it is clear from ...


October 27, 2014, 2:04 pm, 1358356
(Don Boudreaux)

In this video for Prager University, EconLog’s David Henderson does a splendid job explaining that minimum-wage legislation harms the very people its well-meaning proponents mean to help.

Of course, not all of its proponents are well-meaning. As David explains in a section of ...


October 27, 2014, 8:04 am, 1358127
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 289 of the 1978 collection, edited by Eric Mack, of Auberon Herbert’s remarkable essays, The Right and Wrong of Compulsion by the State; specifically, it’s from Herbert’s 1906 lecture “Mr. Spencer and the Great Machine”:

Does it mend matters to say that under our system ...