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


July 30, 2014, 4:45 pm, 1308280
Money spent lobbying the government is a good indication of the biggest issues at stake in politics--and who's trying to influence their outcomes.


July 30, 2014, 4:45 pm, 1308279
The oft-repeated axiom in U.S. politics that “It’s the economy, stupid,” hasn’t held up very well in recent elections, particularly midterms.


July 30, 2014, 4:44 pm, 1308278
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July 30, 2014, 4:44 pm, 1308277

The phrase "it depends" was invented 130 year ago by a small group of drunk lawyers from London and New York for the sole purpose of annoying first-year law students, nonlawyers, and people from civil law jurisdictions. Like all things annoying, "it depends" is enjoying a surge in popularity as tensions spike in ...


July 30, 2014, 4:36 pm, 1308276

I like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). It encourages work and allows millions of low-wage workers and their kids to escape a life of poverty. Democrats support it as a critical part of the safety net. Republicans back it because it rewards work and family. Just last week, ...


July 30, 2014, 4:04 pm, 1308275

Janet Yellen said today that there is still considerable slack in the economy in terms of labor and capital. So there is less pressure to tighten monetary policy earlier.

Just for the record, from my own research there is little spare capacity left… Here is my graph… Warning! The potential GDP ...


July 30, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1308271
While president Obama brags about clean energy advances in the US (mostly hot air and subsidies to uneconomic businesses), the US quietly exports pollution to Europe. Coal is a particular good example.

Please consider US Exports Help Germany Increase Coal, Pollution

LUENEN, Germany - One of ...


July 30, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1308270

Jim Pethokoukis and Arthur Brooks in their defense of an economic safety net do not go far enough in their explicit and implicit criticisms of the view of the Ayn Rand Institute and others that a safety net is coercive in terms of its ...


July 30, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1308269

In a breathless Federalist piece,”Conservatives Need To Have It Out Over The Federal Reserve,” Willis Krumholz offers a data-salad recap of the wrong-headed, Austrian-based (sigh …), Paulite-tinged (double sigh …) criticisms of Federal Reserve policy that is currently popular on ...


July 30, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1308266

In a new research note, First Trust economists Bob Stein and Brian Wesbury engage in a bit of economic mythbusting. In the June jobs report, according to the Household Survey, part-time jobs increased by 799,000 out of total job gains of 407,000. That means full-time jobs fell. And ...


July 30, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1308267

An interesting anecdote from economic historican Carl Benedikt Frey that really syncs with what MIT’s Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee wrote in “The Second Machine Age.” Two key ways for workers to deal with automation is through education and entrepreneurship:

Labor markets may once again ...


July 30, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1308268

“Surprise!” say the sell-side, upbeat economy touts. Second quarter GDP growth came in at a 4% pace, well above the expected 3% pace.

But that’s as good as the news gets.

It’s best to average two choppy quarters, especially when the first quarter was said to have been depressed – now to ...


July 30, 2014, 3:23 pm, 1308265
June 2014July 2014CommentsInformation received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in April indicates that growth in economic activity has rebounded in recent months.Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in June indicates that growth in economic activity rebounded in the second quarter.This is another overestimate by the ...


July 30, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1308203

The jobless rate declined in all but one large U.S. metropolitan area in June, with Chicago and Las Vegas leading the way.

Unemployment in the Chicago metro area fell to 7.1% in June, ...


July 30, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1308202

The Federal Reserve releases a statement at the conclusion of each of its policy-setting meetings, outlining the central bank’s economic outlook and the actions it plans to take. Much of the statement remains the same from meeting to meeting. Fed watchers closely parse changes between statements to see how the ...


July 30, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1308200
Bloomberg News

Many Federal Reserve watchers expected Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher, who recently wrote an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal criticizing current Fed policy, to ...


July 30, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1308201

A combination of health care and social assistance now rank as the dominant industry in most American states, surpassing manufacturing and—for a spell—retail trade as the top industries in decades past, according to a new government report.

The Labor Department this week released an animated map showing how the top ...


July 30, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1308199
Another $10 billion reduction in asset purchases. Two key statement changes: "a range of labor market indicators suggests that there remains significant underutilization of labor resources" and "Inflation has moved somewhat closer to the Committee's longer-run objective".

FOMC Statement:

Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee ...


July 30, 2014, 2:45 pm, 1308198
President Barack Obama mocked House Republicans’ plan to file suit against him, saying the action wasn’t a productive thing to do.


July 30, 2014, 2:45 pm, 1308197
Salim Furth: With Wednesday's revised GDP numbers, we can look back at the uneven, disappointing progress of a recovery that to many Americans still feels like a recession.


July 30, 2014, 2:45 pm, 1308196
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July 30, 2014, 2:05 pm, 1308194

The July issue of The Free Market is now available online, with a new essay on money from Joe Salerno and an interview with Randy Holcombe about his new economics textbook.

Salerno explores some misconceptions about money and the new “gold standard” proposed ...


July 30, 2014, 2:05 pm, 1308193

July 30, 2014, 2:05 pm, 1308192

The rest of the WaPo story, by Lydia DePillis, is here.  Here is one excerpt:

The market for consumer-facing economists is certainly getting crowded. Big Internet companies have had chief economists for years now; Google’s Hal Varian is an oft-quoted exponent of his employer’s capabilities and


July 30, 2014, 2:04 pm, 1308191
(Don Boudreaux)

I’m a huge fan of Kevin Williamson’s writings on economics and property rights.  (HT James Dunn)  A slice from a piece from earlier this month:

The desire to be left alone is a powerful one, and an American one. It is not, contrary to the rhetoric proffered by ...


July 30, 2014, 2:04 pm, 1308190

Years of >5% Growth:

Pre-Reagan? 15

Post-Reagan? 5

Post-80s-recession-recovery? 2

Cross-posted at Asymptosis
.


July 30, 2014, 2:04 pm, 1308189

One economic variable that I track is the percentage of capital income used for consumption. It is not an exact number but an estimate in order to see trends over time. With the new revisions to GDP out today, I will update this variable.

I have previously said that consumption by ...


July 30, 2014, 1:33 pm, 1308182

The Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association along with concerned members of the transportation industry, is so concerned about your safety their cartel profits that they’ve launched a new campaign called “Who’s Driving You?” It’s basically a public relations effort  smear campaign to discredit their ride-sharing competitors. Check this ...


July 30, 2014, 1:33 pm, 1308183

Throughout President Obama’s first term, White House economists kept predicting strong economic growth was just around the corner. Soon, very soon, real GDP would grow at 4% a year or more, quarter after quarter.

Never happened. Although the economy grew by 4.0% during the second quarter of this year ...


July 30, 2014, 1:33 pm, 1308181

1. At the website oDesk.com, you can hire a freelancer for help with a variety of services including web development, writing and translation, software development, sales and marketing, administrative support, etc.

2. At the website Care.com, you can hire a babysitter, pet sitter, house sitter, or caregiver ...


July 30, 2014, 1:23 pm, 1308180
This video report from BBC Global Business looks at the success of a very small scale bakery located in an isolated mountain our region of Spain.


July 30, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1308119

Wednesday’s surprisingly strong report on second-quarter economic growth should keep the Federal Reserve on track to finish its bond-buying program in October, while intensifying the debate about when to start raising short-term interest rates without resolving it.

The new figures provide the Fed relief that the economy has weathered a disappointing ...


July 30, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1308118

Gary Burtless:

Unemployment and the “Skills Mismatch” Story: Overblown and Unpersuasive, by Gary Burtless, Brookings: The jobless rate has dipped to 6.1 percent, and businesses are already complaining about a skills shortage. ... To an economist, the most accessible and persuasive evidence demonstrating a skills shortage should be found ...


July 30, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1308117

The Bureau of Economic Analysis announced today that U.S. real GDP grew at a 4.0% annual rate in the second quarter. Hopefully that’s the start of something good; but so far, it’s only a start.


July 30, 2014, 12:45 pm, 1308116
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July 30, 2014, 12:45 pm, 1308115
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July 30, 2014, 12:45 pm, 1308114
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July 30, 2014, 12:44 pm, 1308113

Yesterday the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, along with 13 state attorneys general (including from my new home state of Indiana), announced a $92 million settlement and issued an enforcement action against Colfax Capital Corporation and Culver Capital, LLC, known as Rome Finance, for targeting ...


July 30, 2014, 12:34 pm, 1308112

The first three months of 2014 were notable mostly for the cold, snowy weather that gripped much of the nation for an extended period of time, but they also marked one of the worst periods for the economy ...


July 30, 2014, 12:05 pm, 1308109

Mises Daily Wednesday by Nicolás Cachanosky:

Argentina’s government is on the verge of default yet again. How could this happen three times in thirty years? Well, the Argentine government has a habit of spending ...


July 30, 2014, 12:05 pm, 1308110

Archived from the live broadcast, this Mises University lecture was presented at the Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama, on 25 July 2014.


July 30, 2014, 12:05 pm, 1308107

I earlier linked to this talk at the Segovia Cathedral by Jesús Huerta de Soto about the Spanish Scholastics. Now, it has been subtitled  in Chinese (presumably Mandarin) by Tyler Xiong Yue with the assistance of Mises Institute 2014 Summer Fellow Jingjing Wang. Click here for the video.  


July 30, 2014, 12:05 pm, 1308106

The faculty and students of Mises U 2014 (many more photos here and here and here):


July 30, 2014, 12:05 pm, 1308108

By George Reisman who reveals Piketty’s shocking unawareness of even the basic economic theory related to his large, statistic-filled tome.


July 30, 2014, 12:05 pm, 1308105

The Ukrainian economy shrank 4.7 per cent annually in the second quarter, far deeper than expected and casting a cloud over the assumptions that underpin the International Monetary Fund’s $17bn bailout.

That follows a 1.1 per cent year-on-year contraction in the first quarter. Given the ongoing unrest in eastern ...


July 30, 2014, 12:04 pm, 1308103
(July 30, 2014 01:39 PM, by David Henderson) One issue that has come up a lot in the discussion of expanding immigration is many people's worry (at times, I have been one of the worriers) about immigrants coming in and voting, more than existing Americans do, for statist... (2 COMMENTS)


July 30, 2014, 12:04 pm, 1308104
(July 30, 2014 10:30 AM, by Scott Sumner) Justin Wolfers points to a survey showing overwhelming support for the notion of a positive fiscal multiplier in early 2009: The Initiative on Global Markets at the University of Chicago -- hardly a hotbed of liberal or Keynesian thought... (3 COMMENTS)


July 30, 2014, 11:33 am, 1308101

Even with an unexpectedly strong second-quarter GDP report, the current economic recovery is the weakest since World War II. Even worse, many long-term forecasts — including those from the Congressional Budget Office, Federal Reserve, and White House — see future growth far slower than the postwar average. But the economy ...


July 30, 2014, 11:33 am, 1308100

A new video above from Reason.tv (“The Drug War, the Fourth Amendment, and Anal Cavity Searches in New Mexico“) about two cases in New Mexico of the forced medical anal rape of two innocent victims (Timothy Young and David Eckert), both involving unsuccessful ...


July 30, 2014, 11:33 am, 1308099


I’ve featured the Surgery Center of Oklahoma many times on CD, see posts here, here and here, and watch video above of a special report on the surgery center. Unlike most other medical providers, the Surgery Center of Oklahoma ...


July 30, 2014, 11:03 am, 1308037

When considering a lower tax rate we can make one of two assumptions. We can assume that changes to taxes rate will not change behavior, or we can assume that changes to tax rates do change behavior.

We know that taxes do alter behavior. In Washington, DC, we see it ...


July 30, 2014, 11:03 am, 1308036

The U.S. economy rebounded strongly in the second quarter and a big contribution to that growth was renewed strength from the government, especially at the state and local level. Government spending climbed by 1.6% at an annual rate, its strongest three months since the third quarter of 2012.

State and local ...


July 30, 2014, 11:03 am, 1308035

The U.S. economy rebounded strongly in the second quarter this year, advancing at a 4.0% seasonally adjusted annual rate and raising hopes for sustained growth going forward. Consumer spending and inventory buildup led the gains, and offset a drag from higher imports. Economists called the report “encouraging,” but ...


July 30, 2014, 11:03 am, 1308034

July 30, 2014, 11:03 am, 1308033
A few graphs based on the GDP report (including revisions).

The firstgraph shows the contribution to percent change in GDP for residential investment (RI) and state and local governments since 2005.

This shows the huge slump in RI during the housing bust (blue), followed by the unprecedented ...


July 30, 2014, 10:45 am, 1308030
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July 30, 2014, 10:45 am, 1308032
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July 30, 2014, 10:45 am, 1308031
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July 30, 2014, 10:36 am, 1308029
Private sector payrolls increased 218,000 in July, according to this morning’s ADP Employment Report. The rise fell short of most expectations and well below June’s 281,000 surge, but the latest advance marks the fourth straight monthly 200,000-plus gain. While some … Continue reading →


July 30, 2014, 10:36 am, 1308028

ResPublica's call for more virtue in banking looks like it is out of step with our times. This is an indictment not of ResPublica, but of our times. In fact, virtue is necessary for a healthy free market economy because virtuous men do the right thing ...


July 30, 2014, 10:34 am, 1308027

Yesterday, President Obama announced a new round of coordinated sanctions that the United States and Europe would be imposing on Russia in connection with its actions in Ukraine:

WASHINGTON — The United States and Europe kicked ...


July 30, 2014, 10:34 am, 1308026
Teaser:

The ...


July 30, 2014, 10:04 am, 1308024

July 30, 2014, 10:04 am, 1308023

by Joseph Joyce

The BRICS and the Bretton Woods Twins

The World Cup was not the only event of global significance to take place in Brazil this summer. The leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa met in the city of Fortaleza and announced the formation of two new ...


July 30, 2014, 9:33 am, 1308017

Grass-fed ground beef is $1/lb more at a Louisville, KY farmer's market, relative to the Boone, NC farmer's market.


July 30, 2014, 9:33 am, 1308016
Menzie Chen:

From a CEA report written under the leadership of James Stock, released today:

…any short run gains from delay tend to be outweighed by the additional costs arising from the need to adopt a more abrupt and stringent policy later.7 An analysis of the collective results from ...


July 30, 2014, 9:03 am, 1307954

The U.S. economy expanded at a stronger pace in the second half of 2013 than previously measured, growing at the fastest rate since 2003, according to revised data released by the Commerce Department on ...


July 30, 2014, 9:03 am, 1307955

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Wednesday, July 30, 2014:

Sign up for the newsletter.

Highlights

Hilsenrath’s Take: Investors Whistle Past Middle East and Ukraine Turmoil Forward Guidance: What to Watch ...


July 30, 2014, 9:03 am, 1307953
Economic output rebounded during the second quarter, advancing at a 4% rate. Here are five quick takeaways from the report on gross domestic product.


July 30, 2014, 9:03 am, 1307952
From ADP:

Private sector employment increased by 218,000 jobs from June to July according to the July ADP National Employment Report®. ... The report, which is derived from ADP’s actual payroll data, measures the change in total nonfarm private employment each month on a seasonally-adjusted basis.
...


July 30, 2014, 9:03 am, 1307951
From the BEA: Gross Domestic Product: Second Quarter 2014 (Advance Estimate) Annual Revision: 1999 through First Quarter 2014

Real gross domestic product -- the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States -- increased at an annual rate of 4.0 ...


July 30, 2014, 8:45 am, 1307950
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July 30, 2014, 8:36 am, 1307949
A funny thing happened on the way to higher interest rates: yields took a surprising turn lower. The 10-year Treasury yield yesterday dipped under 2.47%, near the lowest level since a swoon in late-May pushed this benchmark rate to an … Continue reading →


July 30, 2014, 8:36 am, 1307948

There’s more than one way for a corporation to reduce taxes. It doesn’t have to reincorporate itself overseas. It could instead spin off a part of itself into a publicly traded real estate investment fund. As long as the new REIT distributes 90 percent or more of its ...


July 30, 2014, 8:05 am, 1307945

He has a very good column on this topic today, here is one excerpt:

“The returns to growth are going to people in other countries, most notably China, and generally to people with high I.Q., no matter where they live,” said Tyler Cowen, a professor of economics at George Mason University ...


July 30, 2014, 8:04 am, 1307944
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from pages 603-604 of volume 2 of The Collected Works of Armen A. Alchian (2006); specifically, it’s from Alchian’s 1977 essay “Economic Laws and Political Legislation” (original emphasis):

History reveals a contest among people of differing relative talents and modes of competition.  The politically adept, who may say ...


July 30, 2014, 7:33 am, 1307941

Worst days, supposedly, to eat out, to drive, and more.


July 30, 2014, 7:33 am, 1307940

"Employers say they can't fill jobs—and here's why".

A declining unemployment rate—now at 6.1 percent—would seem to mean that employers are packing their payrolls with workers. But many businesses say they are having a harder time filling open positions this year than last year, according to a ...


July 30, 2014, 7:03 am, 1307880
Indian workers sift through coal at the Adani thermal power plant in Mundra, in the eastern Indian state of Gujarat. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Japanese companies appear to ...


July 30, 2014, 7:03 am, 1307879
Calves waiting to be fed on a dairy farm near Cambridge in New Zealand’s Waikato region. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

New Zealand’s milk-powered economy might be slowing down, ...


July 30, 2014, 7:03 am, 1307878
From the MBA: Purchase Applications Increase Slightly in Latest MBA Weekly Survey

Mortgage applications decreased 2.2 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending July 25, 2014. ...

The Refinance Index decreased 4 percent ...


July 30, 2014, 5:33 am, 1307874

July 30, 2014, 5:33 am, 1307873

July 30, 2014, 5:33 am, 1307872
M.A.D. Sanctions

Sanctions are a lose-lose-lose game. Consumers lose, businesses loses, countries lose. And the hypocrisy alone is appalling.

The EU wants sanctions to hurt Russia "more" than the EU. Thus the EU let a French military sale to Russia go through, while blocking transactions and travel of ...


July 30, 2014, 5:23 am, 1307871

After I married my wife, I met her cousin and his wife, who was a Marxist.  Oddly, I found we had a lot of areas of agreement, because we both distrusted the powers that be.  In the same manner, what does a libertarian ...


July 30, 2014, 5:03 am, 1307834

What does it mean when the trends for non-farm payroll jobs and total employment in the U.S. are on two separate and diverging tracks?

We're asking that question today because of something we've observed in the data for the state of Illinois while working on a ...


July 30, 2014, 5:03 am, 1307833

July 30, 2014, 2:44 am, 1307806

Never let it be said that the wheels of international justice spin quickly, but, with the pace of a Siberian jail sentence, the Permanent Court of Arbitration finally handed down its merits award in the Yukos litigation.  (For those of you not in the know, Yukos was dismantled ...


July 30, 2014, 2:05 am, 1307804

David Brooks writes:

But when the Muslim Brotherhood government fell, the military leaders cracked down. They sentenced hundreds of the Brotherhood’s leadership class to death. They also closed roughly 95 percent of the tunnels that connected Egypt to Gaza, where the Brotherhood’s offshoot, Hamas, had gained power.


July 30, 2014, 2:04 am, 1307803

The 2014 Medicare Trustees Report has just been released, and it shows that the program is on noticeably sounder financial footing than it was just a year ago. One of the biggest signs of this is that the projected depletion date of the Hospital Insurance (Part A) Trust Fund ...


July 30, 2014, 1:33 am, 1307802
UCLA does not have enough Ph.D. students interested in a graduate course on environmental economics. That's a shame but I don't take it too personally (maybe I should?). Fortunately, the University of California's Center for Energy and Environmental Economics offers a week long summer course. Ph.D. ...


July 30, 2014, 1:03 am, 1307743
Indian workers sift through coal at the Adani thermal power plant in Mundra, in the eastern Indian state of Gujarat. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Japanese companies appear to ...


July 30, 2014, 1:03 am, 1307742
Calves waiting to be fed on a dairy farm near Cambridge in New Zealand’s Waikato region. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

New Zealand’s milk-powered economy might be slowing down, ...


July 30, 2014, 1:03 am, 1307741
First, for a very interesting discussion on GDP and seasonality see: GDP: Seasons and revisions . Too bad the BEA doesn't release NSA data any more - but the graph is interesting.

And the Atlanta Fed released their final GDPNow for Q2:

The final GDPNow ...


July 30, 2014, 12:34 am, 1307740

Argentina’s government is on the verge of default yet again. How could this happen three times in thirty years? Well, the Argentine government has a habit of spending without restraint and then trying to cheat its creditors. But this time, it's run into ...


July 29, 2014, 11:03 pm, 1307675
The Case-Shiller house price indexes for May were released this morning. Zillow has started forecasting Case-Shillera month early - and I like to check the Zillow forecasts since they have been pretty close.

From Zillow: Case-Shiller Forecast: Expecting Further Slowdowns Ahead

The Case-Shiller data for May ...


July 29, 2014, 10:44 pm, 1307674
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July 29, 2014, 9:03 pm, 1307612

Germany’s global image is better than ever. Industry is booming, unemployment is at a record low since reunification and, to boot, the country just took home its fourth World Cup title.


July 29, 2014, 9:03 pm, 1307611

The Federal Reserve‘s meeting Tuesday and Wednesday is more about the future than the present.

Policy makers will be debating the appropriate time to begin raising interest rates, as well as the best ...


July 29, 2014, 9:03 pm, 1307608

The head of the International Monetary Fund on Tuesday questioned whether Greece still needs debt relief, saying that a review of the country’s economy in the coming weeks would determine if Athens’ debt stock is sustainable without help from creditors.


July 29, 2014, 9:03 pm, 1307609

Cities in the southeastern U.S. have the biggest share of consumers with unpaid debt, a new report says.

The Urban Institute, a Washington-based think tank, published a detailed report on Tuesday on the level of delinquent debt around the country. (See related post on the WSJ Numbers blog).

The ...


July 29, 2014, 9:03 pm, 1307610
Economists early Wednesday will get their first peek at how the U.S. economy fared in the second quarter, an important gauge of where the country is heading after the abrupt downturn earlier this year.


July 29, 2014, 8:05 pm, 1307607

The Drudge Report and other media outlets have  done their best to create a panic over the spread of Ebola in western Africa. It’s a safe bet that, if it hasn’t happened already, some devoted interventionists will point to disease epidemics as ...


July 29, 2014, 8:05 pm, 1307606

While European governments deny paying ransoms, an investigation by The New York Times found that Al Qaeda and its direct affiliates have earned at least $125 million in revenue from kidnappings since 2008, of which $66 million was paid just in the past year.

In various news releases and statements, the ...


July 29, 2014, 7:33 pm, 1307604

One of the more puzzling features of the Canadian labour market in the last few years recovery has been the stubborn refusal of youth employment rates to recover from the recession:

There may a relatively simple ...


July 29, 2014, 7:33 pm, 1307603

Here’s the abstract from the paper “Overwork and the Slow Convergence in the Gender Gap in Wages” that appears in the June 2014 issue of the American Sociological Review (by authors Youngjoo Cha, Indiana University; and Kim A. Weeden, Columbia University):

Despite rapid changes in women’s educational attainment and ...


July 29, 2014, 7:03 pm, 1307542

The head of the International Monetary Fund on Tuesday questioned whether Greece still needs debt relief, saying that a review of the country’s economy in the coming weeks would determine if Athens’ debt stock is sustainable without help from creditors.


July 29, 2014, 7:03 pm, 1307541

Simon Wren-Lewis:

If minimum wages, why not maximum wages?: I was in a gathering of academics the other day, and we were discussing minimum wages. The debate moved on to increasing inequality, and the difficulty of doing anything about it. I said why not have a maximum wage? To ...


July 29, 2014, 7:03 pm, 1307540

Two years ago, Governor Brownback asserted:

Our new pro-growth tax policy will be like a shot of adrenaline into the heart of the Kansas economy.

The Facts

Newly released coincident indicators from the Philadelphia Fed (calibrated to match trends in real Gross State Product) indicate Kansas continues to lag the Nation. ...


July 29, 2014, 6:45 pm, 1307537
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July 29, 2014, 6:45 pm, 1307539
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July 29, 2014, 6:45 pm, 1307538
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July 29, 2014, 6:44 pm, 1307536

Unless the plaintiffs request a stay (and quick!), this will probably be the last request for Judge Griesa to stay the injunction before Argentina defaults officially fails to put money into the bank accounts of exchange bondholders. It is an ...


July 29, 2014, 6:04 pm, 1307533
(Don Boudreaux)

Here’s a letter to former New Hampshire governor (and U.S. senator) Judd Gregg:

Mr. Judd Gregg (R-NH)

Dear Mr. Gregg:

Your The Hill article defending the U.S. Export-Import Bank is full of mercantilist fallacies that my freshmen students would be embarrassed to commit (“We need Ex-Im in real world,” July 28).  Because my Mercatus ...


July 29, 2014, 5:33 pm, 1307528


July 29, 2014, 5:03 pm, 1307466
Economists early Wednesday will get their first peek at how the U.S. economy fared in the second quarter, an important gauge of where the country is heading after the abrupt downturn earlier this year.


July 29, 2014, 5:03 pm, 1307465

Cities in the southeastern U.S. have the biggest share of consumers with unpaid debt, a new report says.

The Urban Institute, a Washington-based think tank, published a detailed report on Tuesday on the level of delinquent debt around the country. (See related post on the WSJ Numbers blog).

The ...


July 29, 2014, 4:45 pm, 1307463
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July 29, 2014, 4:45 pm, 1307464
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July 29, 2014, 4:45 pm, 1307462
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July 29, 2014, 4:45 pm, 1307461
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July 29, 2014, 4:45 pm, 1307460
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July 29, 2014, 4:45 pm, 1307459
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July 29, 2014, 4:36 pm, 1307458

President Obama and many congressional Democrats argue that U.S.-based multinational firms are being unpatriotic by moving their corporate addresses overseas in order to reduce their taxes. Obama even implied they are “corporate deserters.” These are powerful, emotionally-charged allegations. But are they fair?

Is it unpatriotic to maximize tax savings? After ...


July 29, 2014, 4:05 pm, 1307455


Archived from the live broadcast, this Mises University lecture was presented at the Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama, on 25 July 2014.


July 29, 2014, 4:05 pm, 1307454

David, I liked this Facebook post from another student, on opening night: “I had the opportunity to listen to a very insightful discussion between an Israeli journalist and a Muslim business owner. They were discussing the challenges of extremists in both their cultures and how government intervention only exacerbates ...


July 29, 2014, 4:05 pm, 1307453

As an apparently war-minded people, Americans (or at least, our American political leaders) have been comfortable framing parts of the domestic policy agenda as wars for decades. Two of the most prominent have been the War on Poverty and the War on Drugs.

Despite the similarity in their names, there is ...


July 29, 2014, 4:05 pm, 1307452

July 29, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1307448
The Urban Institute has an interesting 14-page synopsis on Delinquent Debt in America.

By percentage, the number of people in collections is largely concentrated in the South, while amount owed shows no geographic pattern. The Urban Institute uses 2013 credit bureau data from TransUnion to measure ...


July 29, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1307447
This article highlights that President Obama and the Democrats are changing tactics in their worthwhile attempt to build a political coalition to reduce U.S GHG emissions. The Green Team now wants to tell a narrative that the U.S will save money over the long run by reducing GHG emissions ...


July 29, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1307446

The Ayn Rand Institute is disappointed in Paul Ryan. Here the House Budget Chairman goes to all the trouble of rolling out an anti-poverty plan, and he somehow forgets to obliterate the safety net. What gives? Does Ryan remember nothing from the Ayn Rand reading of his youth? Someone delete ...


July 29, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1307385

This morning, we released a new chart book that illustrates why tax reform should be on the minds of Iowan policymakers and taxpayers during the upcoming gubernatorial election in November. Iowa Illustrated: A Visual Guide to Taxes & the Economy provides ...


July 29, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1307384

29 Democratic members of Congress from California today urged California to make its film tax credit more generous. A bill to do so, AB 1839, has passed the state Assembly and is pending in the Senate.

California has seen billions of dollars of film and television productions flow out of ...


July 29, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1307382

The Federal Reserve‘s meeting Tuesday and Wednesday is more about the future than the present.

Policy makers will be debating the appropriate time to begin raising interest rates, as well as the best tools to use when that time comes. But don’t expect them to reveal details of those discussions in ...


July 29, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1307383

Germany’s global image is better than ever. Industry is booming, unemployment is at a record low since reunification and, to boot, the country just took home its fourth World Cup title.


July 29, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1307381
There has always been a clear seasonal pattern for house prices, but the seasonaldifferences have been more pronounced since the housing bust.

Even in normal times house prices tend to be stronger in the spring and early summer than in the fall and winter. Recently therehas beenalarger than ...


July 29, 2014, 2:44 pm, 1307380

I name names and point fingers in the Wall Street Journal.  NML gets some blame for overplaying its hand, but the fault primarily lies with the federal courts for letting the case go forward. I understand the courts being angered by an unrepentant debtor thumbing its ...


July 29, 2014, 2:05 pm, 1307377

In a must-read post on Zero-Hedge, Tyler Durden highlights Guido Hülsmann’s neglected 2003 article “Has Fractional-Reserve Banking Really Passed the Market Test?”  Durden lauds the article and predicts that it “may prove to be the most revolutionary essay in the ...


July 29, 2014, 2:05 pm, 1307376

A young man who attended Mises University last week posted the following on Facebook:

At Cato U in San Diego. Just saying: between the two there is NO COMPARISON. Mises remains the gold standard of ideas. The intellectual conversations, the overall decency of the people, and just the welcoming attitude just ...


July 29, 2014, 2:05 pm, 1307375

These were the results:

1. People responded to first messages 44% more often.

2. “conversations went deeper”

3. Contact details were exchanged more quickly.

Furthermore:

When the photos were restored at 4PM, 2,200 people were in the middle of conversations that had started “blind”. Those conversations melted away.

That said, the people who actually used the ...


July 29, 2014, 2:04 pm, 1307374

The idea of democracy is to give the people what they want, right?

Ezra Klein points us to a great study by Ray LaRaja and Brian Schnaffer examining policy preferences by political donors (5% of the population) vs. non-donors (95%).

Here’s my rendition of the results:


July 29, 2014, 1:33 pm, 1307370

Well, there is a new policy think tank in Canada and they have just released a commentary on the minimum wage.

The Northern Policy Institute began operations over the last year (I am a member of the Research Advisory Board) with a primary mission to provide evidence based research on the ...


July 29, 2014, 1:33 pm, 1307369

Democrats rule! For the partisan left, the first sentence of “Presidents and the U.S. Economy: An Econometric Exploration” is probably plenty: “The U.S. economy has grown faster—and scored higher on many other macroeconomic metrics—when
the President of the United States is a Democrat rather than a Republican.”

Case closed. ...


July 29, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1307307

This weekend, Danielle Kurtzleben at Vox.com was puzzled by corporations shouldering what appears to be a declining portion of the federal tax burden, despite the high US corporate rate.

The source of this paradox is a peculiarity of our tax code: some corporations, called ...


July 29, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1307306

News outlets in my home state of Kentucky report that a Creationist-themed amusement park, “Ark Encounter,” is seeking approval for tax incentives. We wrote on this several years ago when the sponsoring organization, Answers in Genesis (AiG), first applied for tax incentives. Now, AiG is proposing ...


July 29, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1307305

As expected, the pace of U.S. home price gains has slowed this year. Prices rose 9.3% from a year earlier in May in 20 cities tracked by the Standard & ...


July 29, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1307304

From a CEA report written under the leadership of James Stock, released today:

…any short run gains from delay tend to be outweighed by the additional costs arising from the need to adopt a more abrupt and stringent policy later.7 An analysis of the collective results from that research, ...


July 29, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1307303
I've been expecting a slowdown in year-over-year prices as "For Sale" inventory increases, and the slowdown is here! The Case-Shiller Composite 20 index was up 9.3% year-over-year in May; the smallest year-over-year increase since January 2013.

This is still a very strong year-over-year change, but on a seasonally adjusted ...


July 29, 2014, 12:45 pm, 1307302
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July 29, 2014, 12:34 pm, 1307300
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July 29, 2014, 12:05 pm, 1307295

Mises Daily Tuesday by Tyler Kubik:

With the failure of central planning worldwide, many economists have turned to promoting government as an innovative and entrepreneurial institution that fosters greater efficiency and economic growth. In truth, governments fail where private entrepreneurs succeed. Governments ...


July 29, 2014, 12:04 pm, 1307294
(July 29, 2014 01:32 PM, by David Henderson) My bleg about eminent domain yesterday led to a useful discussion in the comments. Dan Klein recommended that I read Bruce Benson's article, "The Mythology of Holdout as a Justification for Eminent Domain and Public Provision of Roads." I've done... (0 COMMENTS)


July 29, 2014, 12:04 pm, 1307293
(Don Boudreaux)

Adam Ozimek draws from the recent study showing that large retailers pay their workers more, on average, than do smaller retailers a relevant lesson about minimum-wage legislation.  (HT Tyler Cowen)  A slice:

If monopsony power is an important feature of the labor market, and monopsony power should ...


July 29, 2014, 12:04 pm, 1307292
(Don Boudreaux)

Suppose that consumers throughout history have grown their own apples.  Apples were never produced for sale in markets by specialized apple growers; nor did any household that grew apples in its yard sell those apples to anyone.  All apples that were consumed were grown by the individuals or ...


July 29, 2014, 12:04 pm, 1307291

I wrote last November that the success of Abenomics in Japan would depend on raising labor’s share of income faster than inflation. Basically real wages need to rise. I would now add that real wages need to rise faster than productivity. The key is to raise effective demand with ...


July 29, 2014, 11:33 am, 1307289

I posted my first anonymous comment on Mark Trail at Comics Kingdom. I'm "John W." here.


July 29, 2014, 11:33 am, 1307288

Last week I reported on the CBO’s new projections for Social Security, which show a growing long-term deficit. Today it’s the Social Security Trustees turn, when they released their annual report on the program’s finances. And like the CBO, the Trustees see a worsening picture for ...


July 29, 2014, 11:33 am, 1307287

1. Chart of the Day – Another Energy Milestone. Through June of this year, net petroleum imports fell below 30% for the first time since 1985, reaching a 29-year low (data here). Note the amazing drop in net oil ...