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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August 26, 2016, 7:34 am, 1667808

Even though he's probably not old enough to have the blues he's singing, he's pretty good.

Link courtesy of Maddog.

August 26, 2016, 7:34 am, 1667807

I like him as teenager. I still like him.

Related: "The Incarnational Art of VanMorrison".

August 26, 2016, 7:03 am, 1667794

Several weeks ago, Political Calculations launched a new series, "Examples of Junk Science", where we are specifically focusing on where flawed analysis and the misuse of data leads to the spread of false or misleading information in the fields of investing, finance and economics. ...

August 26, 2016, 5:34 am, 1667792

I don't anything about the principles of airplane lift, but the wings look small to me.

August 26, 2016, 5:34 am, 1667791

A fine list.

August 26, 2016, 5:03 am, 1667781

August 26, 2016, 3:03 am, 1667765

The Kauffman Foundation has just released its report on startup activity. Wisconsin comes in last place in startup density.

Figure 1: Source: Kauffman Foundation.

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

For the second year ...

August 26, 2016, 2:05 am, 1667764

A recent piece from the excellent Conor Sen has attracted some disputation.  The main claim is that building restrictions aren’t as bad as they might at first seem.  If you keep people out of Manhattan they move to Atlanta, and that produces synergies too:

Here in Atlanta, as ...

August 26, 2016, 1:33 am, 1667763

From Kevin Williamson’s National Review article “The real scandal of EpiPen pricing”:

Public Enemy No. 1 in Democratic circles today is Heather Bresch, CEO of the company that makes the EpiPen, a super-convenient epinephrine auto-injection device used to treat anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction that can be caused by ...

August 26, 2016, 12:44 am, 1667744

August 26, 2016, 12:34 am, 1667743
Tags A A Home | Feed | Blog.rssThe EntrepreneurTaxes and SpendingEntrepreneurshipInterventionismClinton's Pay-to-Play Is the Natural Consequence of Big Government

August 26, 2016, 12:04 am, 1667740
(August 26, 2016 12:11 AM, by Bryan Caplan) Neuroticism - the tendency to experience negative emotions like anger, fear, and sadness - is a pillar of the Five Factor Model of personality. Human beings routinely attribute their emotions to external circumstances. For proximate causes, they're often right. The... (0 COMMENTS)

August 26, 2016, 12:04 am, 1667739

Singapore, a country that is so proud of its technology culture that it has branded the term “smart nation,” has unplugged some of its government offices from the internet and is working on a plan to unplug the entire public sector by next year. According to a Reuters report, ...

August 25, 2016, 11:33 pm, 1667738

1. WSJ Opinion Journal (above): Institute for Justice Senior Attorney Jeff Rowes explains why compensating bone-marrow donors will save lives.

Related: Jeff’s op-ed (with Bob McNamara) in yesterday’s WSJ “Pay Bone-Marrow Donors, Save Lives: Thousands of Americans are waiting for donations—and while bureaucrats ...

August 25, 2016, 11:03 pm, 1667721

There is widespread belief that Abenomics has led to no increase in output in Japan. It therefore seems useful to examine the data.

Figure 1 shows real GDP normalized to 2012Q4 — just before the initiation of Abenomics — over time.

August 25, 2016, 10:04 pm, 1667719
(Don Boudreaux)

Here’s a letter to the Wall Street Journal:

Today’s “Notable & Quotable” justifiably scoffs at the wildly mistaken prediction, made in ...

August 25, 2016, 9:33 pm, 1667718

From Nick Gillespie interviews Harvard University professor of history Lisa McGirr, author of the 2015 book The War on Alcohol: Prohibition and the Rise of the American State. Here’s a quote from Professor McGirr early in the interview:

Prohibition ...

August 25, 2016, 9:33 pm, 1667717

The amazingly strong correlation (0.95) between US real GDP per capita and US life expectancy. Thanks free market capitalism.

The post Chart of the day: ...

August 25, 2016, 9:03 pm, 1667708

Despite a slowdown in the growth rate of overall national health expenditures, Americans are seeing more of their paychecks go to health-care costs.

The increase is largely thanks to cost-shifting through higher deductibles in plans offered by employers, which cover the majority of workers and their families. The trend has ...

August 25, 2016, 9:03 pm, 1667707
Yellen time updated (ht SBG)

CR Note: It was an awesome trip, but it is great to be home. I'll be posting some catch-up graphs and comments on new and existing home sales tomorrow. Best to All.

• At 8:30 AM ET, Gross Domestic Product, ...

August 25, 2016, 8:44 pm, 1667706

EconTalk host Russ Roberts welcomes back favorite guest Michael Munger of Duke University for a complex discussion of slavery and the evolution of racial attitudes in the 19th century American South. ...

August 25, 2016, 8:04 pm, 1667703
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 31 of the 1990 Transaction Publishers reprint of W.H. Hutt‘s 1936 book,

August 25, 2016, 7:03 pm, 1667687

Brad DeLong:

Why Do We Talk About “Helicopter Money”?: Why do we talk about “helicopter money”? We talk about helicopter money because we seek a tool for managing aggregate demand–for nudging the level of spending in an economy up to but not above the economy’s current sustainable productive potential–that ...

August 25, 2016, 7:03 pm, 1667686
CR Note: I'm back from NYC. Had a great time!

The DOL reported:

In the week ending August 20, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 261,000, a decrease of 1,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 262,000. The 4-week moving average was 264,000, ...

August 25, 2016, 6:34 pm, 1667685

It turns out Germany has fiscal space even by German standards!

Germany’s federal government posted a 1.2 percent of GDP fiscal surplus in the first half of 2016. The IMF was forecasting the federal surplus of 0.3 percent (and a general government deficit of 0.1 percent of GDP)—see table 2, ...

August 25, 2016, 6:04 pm, 1667683
(Don Boudreaux)

I’m eager to see the movie “Incarcerating US” – which promises to help expose the so-called “war on drugs” and ...

August 25, 2016, 6:04 pm, 1667682
Of course some MSM journalists are hard working professionals. The Washington Post’s David A. Fahrenthold has worked very hard trying to find evidence, any evidence, of Donald Trump giving his own money away. Farenthold and Rosalind S. Helderman have a genuinely wonderful examination of alleged quid pro quo in which ...

August 25, 2016, 4:44 pm, 1667650

August 25, 2016, 4:05 pm, 1667647

Thanks to a government initiative, all teen residents who reach that milestone this year will be given a “Cultural Bonus”—a cool €500 to spend on movies, books, theater and concert tickets, museums, and national parks, reports The Local.

From an economic point of view, such vouchers can make good ...

August 25, 2016, 4:04 pm, 1667646
US political journalism just receive the coup de grace and the Beutler did it. Brian Buetler wrote “Hillary Clinton’s Relationship With the Press Is Broken—and It Can’t Be Fixed.” This doesn’t sound very enthusiastic, but I think the article shows that the problem is much much worse than the title ...

August 25, 2016, 4:04 pm, 1667645

Former Michigan Governor John Engler joins the show to discuss welfare reform 20 years after it was signed into law. The 1996 reform was a landmark piece of bipartisan legislation that introduced Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), creating work requirements, imposing time limits on welfare, and giving states more ...

August 25, 2016, 3:33 pm, 1667641
Not a single one endorses Mr. Trump, says the Wall Street Journal.

August 25, 2016, 2:44 pm, 1667609

August 25, 2016, 2:35 pm, 1667608

By James Kwak

Imagine that while George W. Bush was governor of Texas and president of the United States, various people and companies decided to write him checks for hundreds of thousands of dollars, just because they thought he was a great guy. Those people and companies, just coincidentally, happened to ...

August 25, 2016, 2:05 pm, 1667607

1. Will I someday be a fan of Fan Bingbing?  And are index funds communist?

2. There is no great stagnation.  Whenever I give no further description with this header, it is usually something pretty good (bad), right?

3. Bombardment and dust when ...

August 25, 2016, 2:05 pm, 1667606

Michael Heizer, the large-scale sculpture artist, has been building City, a sculpture in the Nevada desert since 1972. City is reputedly on the scale of the Washington, DC’s National Mall and ...

August 25, 2016, 2:04 pm, 1667605
In what would be a stunning reversal on an issue central to his candidacy, Donald Trump floated a possible process to allow undocumented immigrants to remain in America in a town hall that aired Wednesday. “No citizenship,” Trump told Fox News’ Sean Hannity in an interview taped Tuesday afternoon in ...

August 25, 2016, 1:33 pm, 1667602


The daily trip limit for the commercial harvest of vermilion snapper in federal waters of the South Atlantic is reduced from 1,000 pounds gutted weight to 500 pounds gutted weight, effective 12:01 a.m. (local time) August 28, 2016. NOAA Fisheries has determined 75 percent of the July-December quota of 431,460 ...

August 25, 2016, 1:33 pm, 1667601

Back in November of 2013, Politifact collected 37 examples of President Obama (or a top administration official) claiming that “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan” and “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor” under the Affordable Care Act. Here are five examples, ...

August 25, 2016, 1:03 pm, 1667569

Today is August 25, the 100th birthday of the National Park Service. The Service manages 59 national parks and 354 other sites, areas, and monuments. The NPS spends about $3 billion per year, raising about $500 million of it from fees, donations, and other private sources (including

August 25, 2016, 1:03 pm, 1667568

The latest sign the U.S. labor market is returning to normal, seven years after the recession ended: More workers who lose a job are able to find a new one.

Some 7.4 million people lost jobs between January 2013 and December 2015, including 3.2 million who were laid off from positions ...

August 25, 2016, 1:03 pm, 1667567

From Real Time Economics at the WSJ:

Economists Who’ve Advised Presidents Are No Fans of Donald Trump: Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who hasbroken with many of the GOP’s traditional positions on economic policy, garners nosupport from any of theWhite Houseeconomists who have advised U.S. presidents for the ...

August 25, 2016, 12:44 pm, 1667566

August 25, 2016, 12:44 pm, 1667565

August 25, 2016, 12:34 pm, 1667563
Tags A A Home | Feed | Blog.rssGlobal EconomyMoney and BanksMoney and BankingHow Central Banks Are Bleeding the Middle Class Dry

August 25, 2016, 12:34 pm, 1667564
Tags A A Home | Feed | Blog.rssTaxes and SpendingPhilosophy and MethodologyPolitical TheoryMillennials Love Free Markets, But Don't Understand Them

August 25, 2016, 12:05 pm, 1667558

Singapore’s nuTonomy, founded by two researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said Thursday it began testing a free taxi-hailing service in a small business district in Singapore called one-north, a campus-like space dominated by tech firms and biotechnology companies. Other tech companies including Chinese internet giant

August 25, 2016, 11:33 am, 1667556

This might make good dessert talk:

By global standards, the Block Island Wind Farm is a tiny project, just five turbines capable of powering about 17,000 homes. Yet many people are hoping its completion, with the final blade bolted into place at the end of last week, will mark the start ...

August 25, 2016, 11:33 am, 1667555

…. is from H.L. Mencken (very timely now that we’re 74 days from the November election):

The state — or, to make matters more concrete, the government — consists of a gang of men exactly like you and me. They have no special talent for the business of government; ...

August 25, 2016, 11:03 am, 1667524

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who has broken with many of the GOP’s traditional positions on economic policy, garners no support from any of the White House economists who have advised U.S. presidents for the past half-century.

The Wall Street Journal this month reached out to all 45 surviving former members of the White House 

August 25, 2016, 11:03 am, 1667523

The Wall Street Journal reached out to 45 economists who have served on the White House Council of Economic Advisers, under both Republican and Democratic presidents, to ask about this year’s presidential election. Most Democratic appointees said they supported Hillary Clinton, while no Republican appointees openly supported Donald Trump. ...

August 25, 2016, 10:44 am, 1667522

August 25, 2016, 10:04 am, 1667517

August 25, 2016, 10:04 am, 1667516

Key Points

The poor and non-poor share many of the same values about work and government’s responsibility. Americans believe the Great Recession and its aftermath have made it hard for the poor to find jobs. Today, more people say welfare is designed to help people get back on their feet than did in ...

August 25, 2016, 8:44 am, 1667483

The pari passu litigation against Argentina—discussed extensively here on Credit Slips, on FT Alphaville, and elsewhere—caused many people to worry that future government debt restructurings would become more difficult. Some have their eye on Venezuela as the next to default, though the country and ...

August 25, 2016, 8:35 am, 1667482

US economic growth continues to rebound after a soft patch in the first half of the year. Supported by stronger job growth in June and July, the firmer trend in the actual data follows projections published by The US Business Cycle Risk Report and The Capital Spectator ...

August 25, 2016, 8:04 am, 1667481
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 145 of Thomas Sowell’s 2008 volume, Economic Facts and Fallacies (footnote deleted); here Sowell ...

August 25, 2016, 7:34 am, 1667478

Including the infamous "congestions that just seems to appear for no reason".

August 25, 2016, 7:34 am, 1667477

Good. Quickly, please.

August 25, 2016, 7:03 am, 1667455

With so much destructive flooding in Louisiana during the past week, we couldn't help but think back to this past June, when the region around Houston, Texas experienced a tremendous amount of rainfall that also led to significant flooding and lots of property damage. ...

August 25, 2016, 5:34 am, 1667453

If things are going too well for you, if you're too happy, this piece on viral infections will help bring you right down.

Murray could only conclude one thing: the effects of the West Nile virus were lasting for a really long time in otherwise healthy individuals. The ...

August 25, 2016, 5:34 am, 1667452

Raleigh is ranked #19; Charlotte, #13; and Big D and DC are the two highest ranked cities outside of California.

August 25, 2016, 5:03 am, 1667431

August 25, 2016, 4:05 am, 1667430

When it comes to contingent government pension liabilities as a percentage of gdp, Poland appears to be above 350%.

France, Denmark, and Germany are next in line, with figures well over 300%.  For purposes of comparison, the United States is considered to have a serious pension problem but the corresponding ...

August 25, 2016, 2:05 am, 1667411

That is my latest Bloomberg column, here is one excerpt:

The virtues of business startups have led to many a success story. These enterprises start with clean slates. They embody the focused and often idiosyncratic visions of their founders. The successful ones grow faster than their competitors. Even ...

August 25, 2016, 2:05 am, 1667410

August 25, 2016, 12:05 am, 1667395

From the University of Chicago letter welcoming students:

…Earning a place in our community of scholars is no small achievement and we are delighted that you selected Chicago to continue your intellectual journey.

Once here you will discover that one of the University of Chicago’s defining characteristics is our commitment ...

August 25, 2016, 12:04 am, 1667394
(August 25, 2016 12:16 AM, by Bryan Caplan) Interesting reaction to Tuesday's post from my friend Perry Metzger. Perry, with his permission:My biggie is the number of people who die from medical errors and bad hygiene in hospitals. It's thousands a day globally. Unlike the global murder problem,... (1 COMMENTS)

August 25, 2016, 12:04 am, 1667393

….. is from the University of Chicago’s Dean of Students John Ellison’s letter to the Class of 2020 incoming students:

Our commitment to academic freedom means that we do not support so-called ‘trigger warnings,’ we do not cancel invited speakers because their topics might prove controversial, and we do ...