Economics Roundtable

January 2014 Payroll Employment

We are getting closer to the previous peak.

Click on the image to get a bigger version.


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 .


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


April 18, 2014, 6:04 pm, 1257698
(Don Boudreaux)

Here’s Richard McKenzie explaining, in Investor’s Business Daily, that the minimum-wage’s ill-consequences for low-skilled workers are not limited to these workers’  greater difficulty at finding employment.  (HT Mark Perry)  Here’s Richard’s conclusion:

Proponents and opponents of minimum-wage hikes do not seem to realize that the tiny employment effects consistently ...


April 18, 2014, 2:04 pm, 1257658
(Don Boudreaux)

… are, first, from pages 26-27 of Joel Best’s superb 2001 book, Damned Lies and Statistics:

The lesson should be clear: statistics – even official statistics such as crime rates, unemployment rates, and census counts – are products of social activity.  We sometimes talk about statistics as though they are ...


April 18, 2014, 12:04 am, 1257417
(Don Boudreaux)

I’m now reading Thomas Piketty’s already-heralded new tome Capital in the Twenty-First Century for a review of it that I’ll write for Barron‘s.  The book’s a whopper: 655 pages including the substantive footnotes.  I’m not yet even half-way through it.

My instinct is to avoid saying anything about the book ...


April 17, 2014, 8:04 pm, 1257371
(Don Boudreaux)

Want to monitor cronyism in various dimensions?  Here’s a great tool.  (HT my colleague Dan Klein)

Taxes make me feel happy crappy.  (HT Frayda Levy)

My friend and former NYU classmate Sandy Ikeda reflects on cities and spontaneous order.  A slice:

A planner can’t build an entire city ...


April 17, 2014, 8:04 pm, 1257370
(Don Boudreaux)

In this short video from 1978, Milton Friedman explains some of the many problems with government efforts to mandate “equal” pay for “equal” work.


April 17, 2014, 6:04 pm, 1257318
(Don Boudreaux)

Sean Malone’s new video discusses occupational-licensing regulations.  In the process, Sean helps to reveal the true nature of government: it’s no true friend of ordinary people.


April 17, 2014, 10:04 am, 1257004
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 37 of F.A. Hayek’s 1960 volume, The Constitution of Liberty:

The argument for liberty is not an argument against organization, which is one of the most powerful means that human reason can employ, but an argument against all exclusive, privileged, monopolistic organization, against the use ...


April 17, 2014, 8:04 am, 1256923
(Don Boudreaux)

So far, the discussion – sparked by Michael Lewis’s Flash Boys – about the privately planned and financed construction of a tunnel in which a fiber cable is run from Chicago to New Jersey misses some important points.  (I reach this assessment, of course, not having read ...


April 17, 2014, 12:04 am, 1256772
(Don Boudreaux)

Richard Rahn is rightly appalled by civil asset forfeiture.

George Will righty applauds the truth that Tim Sandefur emphasizes about the U.S. Constitution and America’s founders.  Here’s Will’s conclusion:

Sandefur says progressivism “inverts America’s constitutional foundations” by holding that the Constitution is “about” democracy, which rejects the framers’ ...


April 16, 2014, 10:04 am, 1256344
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 1 of William Baumol’s, Robert Litan’s, and Carl Schramm’s 2007 book, Good Capitalism, Bad Capitalism, and the Economics of Growth and Prosperity (emphasis added):

The most astonishing thing about the extraordinary outpouring of growth and innovation that the United States and other economies have achieved over ...