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.


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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- Recent Entries


May 24, 2016, 7:03 pm, 1639502

What’s the proper way to tax personal saving and investment? It’s a great question, and under current tax law, we have lots of different answers! Specifically, we have four of them, which I’ll get to in a moment. But first let’s talk a little about what saving and investment ...


May 24, 2016, 6:44 pm, 1639501
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May 24, 2016, 6:34 pm, 1639500
A A Home | Feed | Blog.rssHow the TSA Kills Hundreds of People Every Year


May 24, 2016, 6:34 pm, 1639499

China’s stated policy goal is to rebalance away from both investment and exports.

That is not all that easy to do.

After the crisis, China rebalanced away from exports (exports fell significantly as a share of China’s GDP, and China’s manufacturing trade surplus also fell relative to China’s GDP) mostly by juicing ...


May 24, 2016, 6:04 pm, 1639497
No wait don’t go bear with me. The irritating messages have headers such as 3399949424 @EricTrump: Really p 3399940424 @realDonaldTrump and 3399940424 @realDonaldTrump So how do Eric and Donald Trump (who appear to be so poor that they are sharing a cell phone) know that an Italian resident TIM customer ...


May 24, 2016, 6:04 pm, 1639496
It is sometimes argued that Conservatives and Republicans are anti science. There is often a quest for Ballance (or a so’s your mother reply from conservatives). I recall reading about liberal anti vaxxers (sorry I don’t recall actual URLs). Chris Mooney noted that there is no detectable association of vaccine ...


May 24, 2016, 6:04 pm, 1639495

School choice not only allows children to attend the schools best suited to their specific needs, but it can also help empower parents to be thoughtful advocates for their child’s education. And yet, there is very little dialogue on how school choice laws actually treat parents.

In his new report, AEI ...


May 24, 2016, 6:04 pm, 1639494

Hillary Clinton recently suggested that she would put her husband “in charge of revitalizing the economy, because, you know, he knows how to do it.” When the May CBS News/New York Times poll asked registered voters about their views of the former president, 45 percent had a favorable opinion and ...


May 24, 2016, 6:04 pm, 1639493

Good afternoon, Chairman Castro, Vice-Chairwoman Timmons-Goodson, and distinguished members of the Commission. It is an honor to be here to share with you what the research says about the role and effects of money on outcomes.

My name is Gerard Robinson, and I am a resident fellow at the American Enterprise ...


May 24, 2016, 6:04 pm, 1639492

In AEI’s June issue of Political Report, Senior Fellow Karlyn Bowman, along with researchers Heather Sims and Eleanor O’Neill, distill what voters in Democratic and Republican contests told exit pollsters during the 2016 primary and caucus season — providing the most comprehensive examination available of 2016 entrance and exit polls. ...


May 24, 2016, 6:04 pm, 1639491

As the country wends its way toward summer conventions, most Republican registered voters see their party as divided. In the May CBS News/New York Times poll of registered voters, only 14 percent of Republicans said their party was united, while 84 percent described it as divided. Democrats were divided: 50 percent said ...


May 24, 2016, 5:03 pm, 1639457

Chris Dillow:

Prospect theory & populism: Does prospect theory help explain support for Brexit in the UK and for Donald Trump in the US?

The bit of the theory I have in mind is the prediction that people are risk-seeking when they are losing, because they gamble to get ...


May 24, 2016, 5:03 pm, 1639456
As part of the new home sales report, the Census Bureau reported the number of homes sold by price and the average and median prices.

From the Census Bureau: "The median sales price of new houses sold in April 2016 was $321,100; the average sales price was $379,800."


May 24, 2016, 4:34 pm, 1639455

Bubba Smith, the former N.F.L. star who went on to have a successful career as an actor, is the latest former pro football player to be diagnosed as having a degenerative brain disease linked to repeated concussions:

Bubba Smith, the All-Pro defensive end in the N.F.L. who went on ...


May 24, 2016, 4:34 pm, 1639454
A A Home | Feed | Blog.rssBrexit: The Movie Makes the Economic Case Against The EU


May 24, 2016, 4:04 pm, 1639453

For decades, Republican presidential candidates have enjoyed a distinct advantage when it comes to foreign and national security policy.  In 2012, President Obama briefly closed the foreign policy gap with Mitt Romney before his election by promising that the “tide of war” had receded and that he would focus ...


May 24, 2016, 4:04 pm, 1639452

The phrase “it’s not rocket science” is meant to convey the fact that whatever one is talking about, or dealing with, is really not all that complicated in comparison. As old videos of test rockets blowing up on launch or spinning out of control shortly after launch seemed to attest ...


May 24, 2016, 2:34 pm, 1639418
Tags A A Home | Feed | Blog.rssMoney and BanksMoney and BankingWhy Most of Chicago's Banks Failed during the Great Depression: The Puzzle Resolved


May 24, 2016, 2:05 pm, 1639410

May 24, 2016, 2:05 pm, 1639409

For women, most of it, at least according to Wong and Penner:

This study uses data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health) to (1) replicate research that documents a positive association between physical attractiveness and income; (2) examine whether the returns to attractiveness ...


May 24, 2016, 2:04 pm, 1639408
(May 24, 2016 03:50 PM, by David Henderson) One of my favorite writers and thinkers on the Cato blog, Cato at Liberty, is Jim Harper. He posted yesterday on voting, titling his piece "Don't Not Vote." He makes some good points but goes too far. The issue for... (0 COMMENTS)


May 24, 2016, 2:04 pm, 1639407

Editor’s Note: This article is part of a ChinaFile Conversation on the impact of growing debt on China’s economy. The full conversation can be found here.

In the first quarter of 2016, Chinese debt rose to 237 percent of GDP—a level comparable to that of the U.S. or the Eurozone and ...


May 24, 2016, 1:34 pm, 1639404
Andrew Haughwout, Donghoon Lee, Joelle Scally, and Wilbert van der Klaauw


May 24, 2016, 1:03 pm, 1639373

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Last week, we wrote about how women in elite occupations often see a bigger pay discrepancy from male coworkers than women working in other professions. We then asked readers to share their experiences with the gender wage gap. More than ...


May 24, 2016, 1:03 pm, 1639372
The Q1 report was released today:Household Debt and Credit Report.

From the NY Fed: Household Debt Steps Up, Delinquencies Drop

Household indebtedness continued to advance during the first three months of 2016 according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Quarterly Report on Household ...


May 24, 2016, 1:03 pm, 1639371
The new home sales report for April was very strong at 619,000on a seasonally adjusted annual rate basis (SAAR), and combined salesfor January, February and March were revised up by 44 thousand SAAR.

This was the highest sales rate since January 2008.

Sales were up 23.8% year-over-year (YoY) ...


May 24, 2016, 12:34 pm, 1639370
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May 24, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1639368

The proposed Puerto Rican Restructuring Bill is to be welcomed as a first step towards resolving the island’s chronic debt problem and towards improving its economic and financial management. However, it is to be regretted that the bill seems to lack any vision as to how to extricate the island ...


May 24, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1639367

A longer version of this blog post can be found on IranTracker.org.

Reformist politician Minoo Khaleghi had already won a seat in Iran’s February 26 parliamentary elections when the Guardian Council, a twelve-member body constitutionally charged with managing the country’s elections, disqualified her after alleged photographs of Khaleghi without ...


May 24, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1639366

The new overtime rule announced by President Obama last week extends overtime pay protections to more than 4 million workers by raising the salary threshold to $47,476. The intent of the rule is to boost wages for low- and middle-income workers by requiring that employers compensate employees for every additional ...


May 24, 2016, 11:33 am, 1639364

…. is from Thomas Sowell’s latest column “Commencement Season“:

Two themes seem to dominate Commencement speeches. One is shameless self-advertising by people in government, or in related organizations supported by the taxpayers or donors, saying how nobler it is to be in “public service” than working in business or other ...


May 24, 2016, 11:03 am, 1639333

Today is May 24, the date in 1937 when the Supreme Court upheld Social Security (and Social Security and unemployment insurance payroll taxes) in Helvering v. Davis and Steward Machine Co. v. Davis. In Helvering, the Court held 7 to 2 that Congress could spend to promote the general welfare independently ...


May 24, 2016, 11:03 am, 1639332
The Census Bureau reports New Home Sales in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 619 thousand.

The previous three months were revised up by a total of 44 thousand (SAAR).

"Sales of new single-family houses in April 2016 were at a seasonally adjusted ...


May 24, 2016, 10:44 am, 1639331
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May 24, 2016, 10:44 am, 1639330
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May 24, 2016, 10:35 am, 1639329

Does prospect theory help explain support for Brexit in the UK and for Donald Trump in the US?

The bit of the theory I have in mind is the prediction that people are risk-seeking when they are losing, because they gamble to get even. This explains ...


May 24, 2016, 10:34 am, 1639328
Tags A A Home | Feed | Blog.rssTaxes and SpendingWorld HistoryFiscal TheoryThe War on Cash is Ancient


May 24, 2016, 10:04 am, 1639321

Parents are a child’s first educator. At the same time, after a child reaches a certain age, most parents rely on the state for their child’s education. The tension of rights and responsibilities between parents and the state has a long tradition in Western history. If government is responsible ...


May 24, 2016, 10:04 am, 1639320

Last year, the Attorney General of New York subpoenaed Exxon to hand over records related to climate change research and advocacy. The aim is to silence opponents of expensive and sometimes counterproductive actions against greenhouse gas emissions. For climate militants, there is no legitimate debate on climate change science ...


May 24, 2016, 9:34 am, 1639315

It is of course useful from time to time to take a look at the longer-term picture when it comes to health spending especially given that there is a slowdown in health expenditure growth. Figure 1 plots per capita total health expenditure in US PPP dollars from 1960 to 2014 ...


May 24, 2016, 9:03 am, 1639284

Many Americans are struggling under huge monthly student-debt bills. But they are a sizeable minority, not the norm.

That’s the conclusion of research from the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. The typical borrower between ages 20 and 30 pays $203 a month toward student debt. Three-quarters of borrowers pay no ...


May 24, 2016, 9:03 am, 1639283
From Black Knight: Black Knight Financial Services’ First Look at April Mortgage Data: Lowest Number of Foreclosure Starts in 10 Years; Prepay Activity Falls Despite Low Rates

• At 58,700, April 2016 saw the lowest number of foreclosure starts since April 2006

• National delinquency rate ...


May 24, 2016, 8:44 am, 1639282
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May 24, 2016, 8:35 am, 1639281

The Federal Reserve continued to press ahead yesterday with its public relations effort of talking up the possibility of a rate hike, perhaps as early as next month. The latest addition to the hawkish-chattering club is the Philly Fed’s Pat Harker, who advised on Monday that “I can easily ...


May 24, 2016, 8:04 am, 1639277
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 427 of H.L. Mencken’s indispensable 1949 collection, A Mencken Chrestomathy; specifically, it’s from Mencken’s ...


May 24, 2016, 8:04 am, 1639276


May 24, 2016, 8:04 am, 1639275
Yves Smith at NC: The SEC showed its true colors yet again at a panel at Stanford Law School at the end of March, although not as dramatically as last year. In last spring’s SEC panel at Stanford, the then head of examinations, Andrew Bowden, made such fawning remarks about ...


May 24, 2016, 7:34 am, 1639273

Last week was fifty years since Dylan's Manchester show in which he famously replied to a heckler and Changed Music Forever: "I don't believe you. You're a liar! . . . Play it fuckin' loud!"


May 24, 2016, 7:34 am, 1639272

"Tiny" as in the population is about 1.3 million.


May 24, 2016, 7:34 am, 1639270

I blame the editors. Somebody is allowingpieces to mention things contraryto the Approved Narrative.

Example #1:

She [Tara Houska, a tribal lawyer and a member of the Couchiching First Nation in Canada]also said that those who clung to family lore — of, say, being part Cherokee on their ...


May 24, 2016, 7:34 am, 1639271

You might want to check it out:

The point of this blog is to watch, and analyze the death of the progressive model using the lens of classical liberalism. . . .

Maddog is trained as a pipe fitter, welder, a paper maker, wilderness medical technician, equipment ...


May 24, 2016, 6:35 am, 1639243

● Markit PMI shows US manufacturing stagnant in May | MarketWatch
● Philly Fed’s Harker: June Hike Appropriate With Stronger Economy | MNI
● Progress toward full employment has stalled | FedWatch
● When Elections Aren’t About the Economy | NY Times
● Billions in US ...


May 24, 2016, 6:04 am, 1639242

We still do not know who or what is responsible for the crash of EgyptAir Flight 804, but we know this much for certain: The terrorist danger is growing, and it won’t be contained to the Mediterranean.

Responding to criticism of President Obama’s handling of terrorism, White House press secretary Josh ...


May 24, 2016, 6:04 am, 1639241

Key Points

By 2015, at least 45 states and the District of Columbia had enacted 102 choice laws, including 43 charter school laws, 25 voucher laws, 20 tax-credit laws, 9 tax-deduction laws, and 5 Education Savings Account (ESA) laws. Regrettably, existing choice laws demonstrate that parental rights and responsibilities in education ...


May 24, 2016, 5:34 am, 1639238

Better pay attention, Cali.


May 24, 2016, 5:23 am, 1639237

Hysteresis is a concept which states that history affects the value of a current issue. In economics, hysteresis states that historical rates of unemployment are likely to influence the current and future rates of unemployment.

If there is a recession and rise in cyclical unemployment, this temporary unemployment can affect ...


May 24, 2016, 5:03 am, 1639204

On Monday, 16 May 2016, the U.S. Treasury updated its accounting of the national origins of the major foreign holders of debt issued by the U.S. government through the end of March 2016, the halfway point of the federal government's fiscal year. With ...


May 24, 2016, 5:03 am, 1639203

May 24, 2016, 5:03 am, 1639202

Tim Duy:

Curious, by Tim Duy: I find the Fed's current obsession with raising interest rates curious to say the least. The basic argument for rate hikes is that the economy, and in particular the labor market, sustained its momentum in the last two quarters better than market participants ...


May 24, 2016, 4:04 am, 1639201

The subtitle of that new paper is “Increase in the Proportion of Causal Language in English Texts,” here is the abstract:

The vast majority of the work on culture and cognition has focused on cross-cultural comparisons, largely ignoring the dynamic aspects of culture. In this article, we provide a ...


May 24, 2016, 2:05 am, 1639195

So say Hummel, Pfaff, and Rost, in a recent paper:

In view of the numerous accounting and corporate scandals associated with various forms of moral misconduct and the recent financial crisis, economics and business programs are often accused of actively contributing to the amoral decision making of their graduates. ...


May 24, 2016, 12:44 am, 1639191
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May 24, 2016, 12:34 am, 1639190
A A Home | Feed | Blog.rssClinton Adviser, Nobel Prize Winning Economist Endorsed Venezuelan Socialism


May 24, 2016, 12:04 am, 1639186
(May 23, 2016 10:28 PM, by Emily Skarbek) My sense is that most of the coverage of Brexit in the US comes down in favour of remaining in the EU. That is the case put forward in Dalibor Rohac's new book. And for onlookers, I think it is... (0 COMMENTS)


May 23, 2016, 10:04 pm, 1639173
John Graunt’s Natural and Political Observations on the Bills of Mortality (1662) is acknowledged as the inaugural text of “political arithmetick.” Graunt is ranked along with William Petty, Charles Davenant and Gregory King as a major pioneer of “the art of reasoning by figures, upon things relating to government.” In ...


May 23, 2016, 9:03 pm, 1639168
Tuesday:
• At 10:00 AM ET, New Home Sales for April from the Census Bureau. The consensus is for a increase in sales to 523 thousand Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) in April from 511 thousand in March.

• Also at 10:00 AM, Richmond Fed Survey of Manufacturing Activity ...


May 23, 2016, 8:44 pm, 1639167
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May 23, 2016, 8:04 pm, 1639163
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 570 of the final volume – Bourgeois Equality – of Deirdre McCloskey’s indispensable ...


May 23, 2016, 7:03 pm, 1639151
Oil prices are "only" down about 20% year-over-year (YoY), and the YoY decline has been decreasing.

So I thought I'd look at the YoY change in oil prices over the last few decades.


May 23, 2016, 6:04 pm, 1639143
(May 23, 2016 06:28 PM, by David Henderson) When I posted about a talk I was about to give a week or so ago, a number of readers asked if I could post the talk. There was no video, but I used my iPhone and the recording came... (0 COMMENTS)


May 23, 2016, 6:04 pm, 1639142
(Don Boudreaux)

David Henderson does a nice job summarizing why stripping workers of the right ...


May 23, 2016, 6:04 pm, 1639140

May 23, 2016, 6:04 pm, 1639141

Available June 2016
ISBN: 978-1-4422-6071-9
Publisher: AEI Press
Price: $16.95
Buy the Book

Imagine that the United States were to scrap all its income transfer programs—including Social Security, Medicare, and ...


May 23, 2016, 5:23 pm, 1639136

In a recent macroblog post, I showed that forecasts from the Atlanta Fed's real gross domestic product (GDP) nowcasting model—GDPNow—have been about as accurate a forecast of the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis's (BEA) first estimate of real GDP growth as the consensus from the Wall ...


May 23, 2016, 5:03 pm, 1639106

Oregon’s Legislative Revenue Office (LRO) released its much-anticipated report today on Initiative Petition 28 (IP28). If adopted in November, IP28 would raise the state’s minimum tax on large corporations to 2.5 percent of all Oregon-based sales in excess of $25 million.

LRO’s analysis illustrates just how large the ...


May 23, 2016, 5:03 pm, 1639105

Temporary help has been among the fastest-growing sectors of the labor market since the recession ended, but the distribution of those employees hired by staffing agencies is uneven across states.

Temp workers accounted for more than 2% of total U.S. employment late last year—the highest level on records back to the early ...


May 23, 2016, 4:44 pm, 1639104
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May 23, 2016, 4:35 pm, 1639103

By James Kwak

Today was a victory for justice. In Foster v. Chatman—a case brought by the Southern Center for Human Rights and argued by death penalty super-lawyer Stephen Bright—the Supreme Court overturned the death sentence imposed on Timothy Foster by an all-white jury in 1987. In ...


May 23, 2016, 4:34 pm, 1639102

With the time for N.F.L. players to return to training camp fast approaching, New England Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady has appealed the decision of a panel of the ...


May 23, 2016, 4:04 pm, 1639100

That is the new book by David Dagan and Steven Teles, here is the publisher’s description:

Argues, counter to the conventional wisdom, that the conservative embrace of criminal justice reform is not primarily about money Provides the most comprehensive account both of the rise of the conservative reform movement and ...


May 23, 2016, 4:04 pm, 1639101

There are early twentieth century German colonial buildings, some lovely water promenades, and less air pollution than in perhaps any other major Chinese city.  Here is the urban plan.  The best dishes are the clams, the snails, and the seaweed salads.  The cucumbers are an order of ...


May 23, 2016, 3:33 pm, 1639095

Trump's stated position on climate change on Dec. 30, 2015,in Hilton Head, S.C.,

"Obama's talking about all of this with the global warming and … a lot of it's a hoax. It's a hoax. I mean, it's a money-making industry, OK? It's a hoax, a lot of it."

Trump's revealed ...


May 23, 2016, 3:33 pm, 1639094

The AFL-CIO released its annual report on CEO pay last week (see details here and here), and has calculated a CEO-to-worker-pay ratio of 335-to-1 for 2015, based on ...


May 23, 2016, 3:03 pm, 1639065

U.S. factories have seen better days. Slow global growth and a strong dollar are weighing on manufacturers’ international ambitions. But a solid U.S. job market and still-low interest rates are supporting factories focused on domestic customers. That divide, as the Journal reported Monday, is showing up throughout recent manufacturing ...


May 23, 2016, 2:44 pm, 1639064
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May 23, 2016, 2:44 pm, 1639063
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May 23, 2016, 2:34 pm, 1639062
Tags A A Home | Feed | Blog.rssThe FedMoney and BanksMoney and BankingThe Case Against Legal Tender Laws


May 23, 2016, 2:04 pm, 1639058
(May 23, 2016 01:27 PM, by Scott Sumner) One of the most basic ideas in economics is that the vast majority of regulations are harmful. Here's a simple example. Suppose banks charged $2 to use ATMs. Then suppose the government passed a "pro-consumer' law banning those sorts of... (1 COMMENTS)


May 23, 2016, 2:04 pm, 1639057

May 23, 2016, 2:04 pm, 1639056

Read the PDF

The June issue of AEI’s Political Report provides the most comprehensive examination available of the entrance and exit poll results from the presidential contests thus far. The report looks state-by-state at what voters said about illegal immigration, race relations, trade, Wall Street, and more. The issue also ...


May 23, 2016, 2:04 pm, 1639055

The AFL-CIO released its annual report on CEO pay last week (see details here and here), and has calculated a CEO-to-worker-pay ratio of 335-to-1 for 2015, based on ...


May 23, 2016, 1:03 pm, 1639021

Brad DeLong:

Social Credit and "Neutral" Monetary Policies: A Rant on "Helicopter Money" and "Monetary Neutrality": Badly-intentioned or incompetent policymakers can mess up any system of macroeconomic regulation. And we now have two centuries of history of demand-driven business cycles in industrial and post-industrial economies to teach us that ...


May 23, 2016, 1:03 pm, 1639020
In a research note released this morning, Goldman Sachs chief economist Jan Hatzius wrote: Superforecasting Fed Policy

"... 35% probability for a hike in June, a 35% probability for July, a 20% probability for September—our previous modal forecast—and a 10% probability for either a later hike or a ...


May 23, 2016, 12:34 pm, 1639019
Tags A A Home | Feed | Blog.rssBig GovernmentWorld HistoryInterventionismHow to Make a Bl(UN)der Out of World Peace


May 23, 2016, 12:05 pm, 1639018

1. Is Finnish youth culture turning sour?

2. Do philosophers actually think better?

3. Cross-linguistic onomatopoeias.

4. “The algae is trapped,” Knudsen explained. “It has a lot of tubes going into it. It’s controlled by chemical signals … The first time I saw it under the microscope, I wanted ...


May 23, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1639017
(May 23, 2016 12:58 PM, by David Henderson) Former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson, running for the Presidential nomination of the Libertarian Party, wrote on Facebook: In a nationally-televised debate among three of the Libertarian candidates for President (A debate that should, by the way, have been more... (2 COMMENTS)


May 23, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1639016

If you were to believe what you read, America is a retirement hellhole in which seniors must scratch their way to bare subsistence. The Baby Boomers, who started turning 62 in 2006, are facing the reality of inadequate retirement savings, says Time Magazine. “Many older Americans so frustrated that they ...


May 23, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1639015

If you were to believe what you read, America is a retirement hellhole in which seniors must scratch their way to bare subsistence. But that just shows you shouldn’t believe everything you read.

In reality, the typical – or “median” – US retiree has an income that’s the third highest in ...


May 23, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1639013

When patients come to see me, they normally have a problem that physicians call the “chief complaint.” In investigating and treating that complaint, I must obtain informed consent—communicating the risks and benefits of any proposed tests, procedures, treatments, and alternative treatments to ensure that my patient makes an informed decision ...


May 23, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1639014

First time buyer volume surged 18% in April from the year-earlier level, and the first time buyer share of home purchase loans continued to trend higher. Leverage-fueled demand has driven these trends, with the Agency FBMRI (which measures the stressed default risk of first time buyer loans) up notably from ...


May 23, 2016, 11:33 am, 1639011
4% annual macro growth would be great. Today, Paul Krugman offers a couple of suggestions for how to achieve this and he explores how the U.S economy grew in the 1990s. In June 2015, John Cochrane offered a much more specific plan that would achieve this key goal. ...


May 23, 2016, 11:03 am, 1638980

I have a new article at CBS MoneyWatch:

Why Obamacare's "Cadillac tax" is so contentious: President Obama's signature health care law is called the Affordable Care Act... One of its provisions that aimed at chipping away health care's high costs is a tax that attempts to remove a hidden ...


May 23, 2016, 11:03 am, 1638979

"Why was the Clinton economy so good?":

Remembrance of Booms Past, by Paul Krugman, NY Times: ... Last week Mrs. Clinton stirred up a flurry of comments by suggesting that Mr. Clinton would be “in charge of revitalizing the economy.” You can see why she might want to say ...


May 23, 2016, 11:03 am, 1638978
An interesting post from Archana Pradhan at CoreLogic Far Fewer Low Credit Score Applicants Than Before Housing Crisis. An excerpt:

One of the key factors used in mortgage underwriting as well as in our Housing Credit Index is the credit score. The average borrower credit score for ...


May 23, 2016, 10:34 am, 1638977

One of the problems with being a Marxist is that one is the subject of silly misunderstandings. Here are a handful of the bad arguments against Marxism I often see, and my replies.

“Don’t you realize central planning has failed?”

We do. But if you want ...


May 23, 2016, 10:34 am, 1638976

Last week, Greg Ip of the Wall Street Journal argued that Germany should focus on raising private wages rather than increasing public investment as part of a broader critique of Germany’s inclusion on the Treasury’s enhanced monitoring list. Ip: “Germany’s problem isn’t the public sector, it’s the ...


May 23, 2016, 10:04 am, 1638974
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 130 of the 2007 Definitive Edition (Bruce Caldwell, ed.) of F.A. Hayek’s classic 1944 volume, The ...


May 23, 2016, 10:04 am, 1638972

Women, lamented Hillary Clinton in an April 2014 tweet, make just 77 cents on the dollar to men. As a presidential candidate she has repeated that lament again and again, updating the numbers, in line with government statistics, to 78 cents in July 2015 and 79 cents this year.

This injustice, ...


May 23, 2016, 10:04 am, 1638973

Charter schools are controversial. Even as public support for charter schooling has steadily increased over time (according to the 2015 Education Next poll the public supported charters by 47% to 19%), the media is filled with one charged charter debate after another. The disciplinary practices of New York’s heralded Success ...


May 23, 2016, 10:04 am, 1638971

This article appears in the May 23, 2016 issue of National Review.

As the 2016 presidential-election cycle kicks into gear, economic-policy discussion has been virtually off the table. Yet whoever wins will inherit a stagnant economy and a policy trajectory that changes course with the suddenness of the Queen Mary. One ...


May 23, 2016, 10:04 am, 1638970

At last, the Federal Reserve is sending signals that an interest-rate increase might come next month. That’s good, but a modest bump up, following the one in December, won’t be enough. The sooner the Fed moves from near-zero interest rates—and negative interest rates, the latest central-banker fad—the better.

These policies are ...


May 23, 2016, 9:33 am, 1638967

In early 2015, we expressed skepticism about the prospects for peer-to-peer (P2P) lending. Like other efforts to slash financial transactions costs (think “block chain”), P2P was all the rage. The notion was that the lenders and borrowers could cut out the middle man, “disrupting” traditional finance.

For ...


May 23, 2016, 9:23 am, 1638966

My latest Macro Musings podcast is with George Selgin, director of the Cato Institute's Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives. We discuss in depth Selgin's call for a a Productivity Norm, a nominal income target for central banks that ...


May 23, 2016, 9:03 am, 1638935

Today is May 23, the date in 1938 when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the imposition of federal income tax on state employees in Helvering v. Gerhardt. Conceding that McCullough v. Maryland in 1816 ruled that states couldn’t tax the federal government, Justice Stone wrote that the feds taxing the states was ...


May 23, 2016, 9:03 am, 1638934

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Those of us who do economics for a living turn to it to answer all the ...


May 23, 2016, 8:44 am, 1638933
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May 23, 2016, 8:44 am, 1638932
The unemployment rate published monthly by the Bureau of Labor Statistics is one of the most widely watched of all economic indicators. But why? What does it really measure?

The news media, ...


May 23, 2016, 8:35 am, 1638931

Stock markets in the developed world outside the US led the major asset classes higher last week, based on a set of proxy ETFs. Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets (VEA) posted an 0.8% total return for the five trading days through May 20, delivering a slightly stronger performance vs. the ...


May 23, 2016, 8:05 am, 1638930

Jalopnik: If seeing that a vehicle has a zero-star safety rating isn’t enough to frighten a person out of his or her mind, seeing said vehicle in a wreck probably is. Five cars designed for India—which has minimal safety requirements for vehicles—just received that number in crash testing…

The tests ...


May 23, 2016, 7:34 am, 1638924

A terrific--especially for a journalist (although the author does have a degree from the LSE)--article on recent commentariesquestioning the value of free trade.

But the prevailing mood of expert disenchantment with free trade is still disappointing. It misconstrues important new research, directs attention to the wrong questions, and ...


May 23, 2016, 7:34 am, 1638926

May 23, 2016, 7:34 am, 1638927

Summary of a recent academic study, "The Dynamics of Wealth Inequality and the Effect of Income Distribution".

The researchers then used their model to predict the future. What would happen, they wondered, if income inequality was varied? In their model, income inequality was tied to a metric called ...


May 23, 2016, 7:34 am, 1638925

That big study that discouraged PSA testing for men? There seems to have been "an inaccurate interpretation of PSA testing in the control group during the trial".


May 23, 2016, 7:34 am, 1638923
Stefano Eusepi, Erica Moszkowski, and Argia Sbordone

The May 2016 forecast of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s (FRBNY) dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model remains broadly in line with those of our two previous semiannual reports (see our May 2015 and


May 23, 2016, 6:44 am, 1638892

Are workers being left behind when the economy grows? Is technology making the human workforce obsolete? James Bessen, author of Learning by Doing, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the role of learning on the job in the ...


May 23, 2016, 6:35 am, 1638891

● US existing home sales rise 1.7% in April | MarketWatch
● Fed’s Rosengren tells FT: US ‘on the verge’ of meriting June rate hike | Reuters
● Euro-Area Growth Seen Slowing via PMI survey | Bloomberg
● Brexit ‘would spark year-long recession’, UK Treasury warns | ...


May 23, 2016, 5:34 am, 1638888

The bad effects of government unions deserve much greater attention.


May 23, 2016, 5:34 am, 1638887

This is so true.

Liberals have blurred the lines much further. Girls of any age can elect to have an abortion in California, but they can’t get a tattoo without parental consent until they are 18. Liberals construct fancy arguments to justify the differences, but we know that ...


May 23, 2016, 5:23 am, 1638886

Is net positive migration a factor behind the UK’s recent rise in house prices? Given rapid rise in house prices since mid 1990s and corresponding rise in number of immigrants, it is hard to avoid the conclusion, levels of net migration are having, at least, some effect on exacerbating the ...


May 23, 2016, 5:03 am, 1638874

Quite a lot has happened since we last commented on the S&P 500 and the news events that influenced it during the first part of the third week of May 2016. In short, the following major events happened:

More officials at the U.S. ...


May 23, 2016, 5:03 am, 1638873

May 23, 2016, 4:44 am, 1638872
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May 23, 2016, 2:05 am, 1638847

In the Empire of Amerigo there is heated debate about the priorities of the polity.

The Egalitarians push for much higher military spending, on the grounds that many poor people around the world require Empire protection from aggressors or at the very least from severe external pressure.  The Egalitarians have ...


May 23, 2016, 12:34 am, 1638833
A A Home | Feed | Blog.rssRothbard on Weld 0 Views

William Weld, a former Governor of Massachusetts, has recently announced his intention to run for ...


May 23, 2016, 12:34 am, 1638832
Tags A A Home | Feed | Blog.rssOvertime Regulations Disproportionately Harm Young People and StartupsInterventionismPrivate PropertyValue and Exchange


May 23, 2016, 12:04 am, 1638831
(May 23, 2016 12:00 AM, by Bryan Caplan) This summer, I'll be in Europe for a month, from June 16-July 16. My activities: 1. Teaching Advanced Public Choice at the University of Münster. Classes are on Monday afternoons and Tuesday mornings. If you wish to audit, please email... (0 COMMENTS)