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.


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Cafe Hayek

August 27, 2014, 8:04 am, 1325248
(Don Boudreaux)

In my latest column in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review I explore the mistaken notion, held by many locavores, that eating greater amounts of locally grown foods is good for the environment (link added):

Consider a favorite cause of the sustainability movement: locavorism. Champions of “sustainability” assert that, because local foods don’t ...

August 27, 2014, 8:04 am, 1325249
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 86 of Frank Knight‘s 1951 primer, The Economic Organization​ (which was initially privately published in 1933):

[T]he competition of producers for productive power tends to guide or force productive power [that is, inputs, including labor] into the most important use, and to force the employment of ...

August 26, 2014, 6:04 pm, 1324965
(Don Boudreaux)

In just over three hours I will meet for the first time my Fall 2014 ECON 103 students.  These are the 288 students – mostly 18-year-old freshmen who have, as of this moment, no earthly idea what economics is – who’ll file into room 80 (an auditorium) of ...

August 26, 2014, 4:04 pm, 1324886
(Don Boudreaux)

Here’s an e-mail sent to me by Cafe patron Regan Taylor:

Minimum wage logic: raising the minimum wage to (at least) $10.10/hr will be good for minimum wage workers. It will put more money in their pockets spurring economic growth.

A few years ago, the federal govt bailed out General ...

August 26, 2014, 12:04 pm, 1324715
(Don Boudreaux)

Here’s a letter to Sen. Sherrod Brown:

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
Capitol Hill Washington, DC

Sen. Brown:

You call on consumers to boycott Burger King for taking steps to keep its shareholders’ taxes as low as possible by moving its headquarters to Canada - that is, for responding predictably to incentives ...

August 26, 2014, 8:04 am, 1324533
(Don Boudreaux)

Kevin Williamson points out … well, let him tell it:

President Barack Obama is spending his vacation golfing on Martha’s Vineyard. Hillary Rodham Clinton is spending her vacation in the habitual Clintonian mode, making a vulgar spectacle of herself in the Hamptons. Joe Biden, not that anybody cares, ...

August 26, 2014, 8:04 am, 1324532
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from Kevin Williamson’s August 24th essay “Vacations and Vocations“:

At a DNC fundraising dinner in 2010, President Obama boasted: “We provided health care to 4 million children.” Of course he did nothing of the sort, but there is an entire cracked political philosophy in the president’s ...

August 25, 2014, 10:04 pm, 1324382

August 25, 2014, 12:04 pm, 1324088
(Don Boudreaux)

In this short video, my Mercatus Center colleague (and GMU Econ PhD) Matt Mitchell clearly explains that the Ex-Im Bank and its supporters export myths when they insist that the Ex-Im Bank is a “win-win” for all Americans.

August 25, 2014, 8:04 am, 1323941
(Don Boudreaux)

Thomas Piketty famously references works of fiction to make serious, factual, and revealing points about living standards (in Piketty’s case, the living standards of the upper classes in England and France of 200 years ago).  And while such uses of fictional works can be done well or ...