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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October 20, 2016, 8:04 pm, 1685466

We break down the state of the presidential race as well some of the demographic shifts that will shape the 2016 election with AEI resident scholar Karlyn Bowman and Political Corner program manager Heather Sims. Karlyn and Heather are expert analysts of American public opinion, and stopped by to discuss ...

October 20, 2016, 8:04 pm, 1685467

On at least two occasions and possibly a third, Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen have launched missiles at the USS Mason, a destroyer stationed near the Bab al-Mandab, one of the world’s most perilous maritime chokepoints. The USS San Antonio has also ...

October 20, 2016, 8:04 pm, 1685464

Abstract: Fake and substandard medicines are a significant problem in developing nations, and a growing problem in developed ones too. There have been assessments of basic medicine quality from many countries and regions across the world but almost none in Central and South America. Over the past decade, as part of ...

October 20, 2016, 8:04 pm, 1685465

Medicare premiums will jump sharply next year for 15 million seniors unless Congress acts. But permanently easing the premium increase will cost billions of dollars that Congress is reluctant to spend. The most likely result: a series of one-year fixes as far as the eye can see that is the ...

October 20, 2016, 6:04 pm, 1685438
(October 20, 2016 07:13 PM, by David Henderson) I've been catching up on Wall Street Journal issues that piled up over the summer. One particularly good unsigned editorial (the Journal calls these "Review and Outlook") was the July 19 (July 20 print edition) editorial titled "What Has Congress... (1 COMMENTS)

October 20, 2016, 6:04 pm, 1685437
(Don Boudreaux)

An on-line friend who I know only by the name “Rafael” sent to me a link to a comment, on this ...

October 20, 2016, 5:03 pm, 1685405

There are big tax increases, and then there’s Colorado Amendment 69. It’s “double the budget” big, and it’s on the ballot on November 8th.

The Amendment, which would establish a single-state public option health care system called ColoradoCare, would levy a new 10 percent payroll and income tax on ...

October 20, 2016, 5:03 pm, 1685404

Hillary Clinton has an ambitious, multilayered economic program that involves lots of new taxes on the rich to finance expanded social transfers, education and infrastructure.

“We are going to ask the wealthy and corporations to pay their fair share,” she said at Wednesday’s debate. “And there is no evidence whatsoever ...

October 20, 2016, 5:03 pm, 1685403
From the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC): Apartment Markets Retreat in the October NMHC Quarterly Survey

Apartment markets softened across all four indexes in the October 2016 National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) Quarterly Survey of Apartment Market Conditions. The Market Tightness (28), Sales Volume (42), Equity Financing (33) and ...

October 20, 2016, 4:04 pm, 1685400
There has been a great deal of concern about the U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program. Are we letting terrorists into the United States? How much do we know about the Syrians being admitted? Is our vetting process strict enough? For more than two decades, I’ve devoted my professional life to refugee ...

October 20, 2016, 4:04 pm, 1685399
I don’t think we should have justices appointed that decide what they want to hear. – Donald Trump, last night Wow.  Out of the mouths of babes.   Or something.  I don’t think we should have justices appointed that decide what they want to hear, either. OMG.  I’ve been supporting the ...

October 20, 2016, 4:04 pm, 1685398

There are obvious dangers associated with centralizing authority in vast, potent government bodies: It prevents communities from living according to their particular beliefs, inhibits continuous small-scale course corrections; relies on clumsy, expensive administrative units, and so on.

But two recent publications describe two other hazards too seldom discussed. Both relate to ...

October 20, 2016, 4:04 pm, 1685397

“In this venue, your honors, in this venue, I announce my separation from the United States.” – President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte

Troubling words from the president of America’s oldest treaty ally in Asia, especially when that venue is Beijing’s Great Hall of the People. Rodrigo Duterte continued, “Both in ...

October 20, 2016, 4:04 pm, 1685395

One thing that has emerged from this election season is that many Americans — and some politicians — really underrate the US economy and overrate China’s. Take these Gallup results from earlier this year for instance:

Or take last night’s third and ...

October 20, 2016, 4:04 pm, 1685396

Steve Schmidt, former advisor to John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign, appeared yesterday on MSNBC’s Morning Joe and suggested that it looks like Hillary Clinton is heading towards an Electoral College blowout. Asked by host Joe Scarborough how many electoral votes Clinton will claim, Schmidt opined, “I think she’s ...

October 20, 2016, 3:33 pm, 1685390

I didn't realize how bad this quote is playing among Democrats, environmentalists and others.

From Fuse Washington:

However, recent comments by Bauman compelled us to publicly endorse the Alliance and voice our opposition to I-732. Bauman's remarks were both offensive on their face and shined a light on some serious ...

October 20, 2016, 3:03 pm, 1685359

California voters will decide a number of statewide tax-related ballot initiatives, but most voters will also decide local tax-related ballot initiatives. Below are some highlights.

Los Angeles County Measure M: Transportation Sales Tax

Measure M would raise the sales tax by a half-cent and make permanent an existing half-cent sales tax ...

October 20, 2016, 3:03 pm, 1685358

Blacks owe nearly twice as much student debt as whites four years after graduating college—and they are three times more likely to default.

Those findings, contained in a new paper from the Brookings Institution, suggest the past decade’s surge in student debt is affecting blacks far more than any other racial ...

October 20, 2016, 3:03 pm, 1685357

More than seven years after the recession ended, black workers’ earnings are accelerating sharply.

Median usual weekly earnings for full-time black workers rose 9.8% in the third quarter from a year earlier, the fastest rate of growth on records back to 2000, according to data the Labor Department released Thursday.

The recent ...

October 20, 2016, 3:03 pm, 1685356

In the final 2016 presidential debate, Donald Trump suggested Americans should be worried the U.S. economy is growing at a fraction of China’s and India’s rates.

“India, they’re growing at 8%. China is growing a 7%, and that for them is a catastrophically low number,” the Republican presidential candidate said. “We are growing—our ...

October 20, 2016, 3:03 pm, 1685355

Noah Smith:

A Tale of Two Stagnations: The term "secular stagnation," coined by economists in the 1930s and recently popularized by Larry Summers, has become a catch-all description for long-term economic pessimism. But it's gotten confused with a very different idea -- the technological stagnation hypothesis,

October 20, 2016, 2:44 pm, 1685354

On Election Day, the Supreme Court will hear argument in the cases of  ...

October 20, 2016, 2:04 pm, 1685351

1. The drone advertising wars have begun.  In Mexico City, at least.

2. Claims about evolution, and one reason why people are getting taller.

3. Half of U.S. adults are in a face recognition database.

4. “The way the students made decisions about drinking actually resembled ...

October 20, 2016, 2:04 pm, 1685350

The primary reason Washington operators can dictate the terms of engagement with Washington journalists is that the true insiders are few and the journalists are many. In medium-sized towns, the power dynamic is reversed, as the number of journalists is very small and sources are many. This means journalists ...

October 20, 2016, 2:04 pm, 1685349
(October 20, 2016 01:20 PM, by Scott Sumner) Most economists view the Fed as a sort of firefighter, an institution that pushes back against "shocks" that mysteriously arise in the private sector. Bob Hetzel and Josh Hendrickson have a different view. Here's Josh: The predominant difference between this... (0 COMMENTS)

October 20, 2016, 2:04 pm, 1685347

In the first Republican presidential primary debate on August 6, 2015, a Fox News moderator asked the 10 Republican candidates on the stage in Columbus, Ohio to raise their hands if they would refuse to pledge right then and there to support the eventual nominee of the GOP: Only Donald ...

October 20, 2016, 2:04 pm, 1685348

Europe is a rich, well-educated, orderly place. And many Americans not only like to visit and do business there, but also see it as an aspirational economic model.

Well, not Greece, and Italy so much, but certainly the Nordic nations. Many progressive Democrats really have a thing for Scandinavia and its ...

October 20, 2016, 2:04 pm, 1685346

Donald Trump’s and Hillary Clinton’s tax reform plans offer starkly differing views on the role of taxes in the economy.

Under the Trump plan, taxes would largely be cut for high-income earners with a view to promote growth, jobs and investment. These cuts would be funded through ...

October 20, 2016, 2:04 pm, 1685345

In last night’s debate, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sought to have Republican nominee Donald Trump condemn Russia for hacking the Democratic National Committee and her own campaign manager John Podesta.  “We have 17 — 17 intelligence agencies, civilian and military, who have all concluded that these espionage attacks, these ...

October 20, 2016, 2:04 pm, 1685344

A new survey by the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia explores significant changes in our political culture. The rich survey repeats a number of questions that were first asked in 1996. In many areas, dissatisfaction and cynicism are up. Politicians have never been held in particularly high ...

October 20, 2016, 2:04 pm, 1685343

It is hardly surprising that in a campaign like this one that many people view the contest as a theatrical event. In a new survey, 88 percent agreed that “political events these days seem more like theater or entertainment than like something to be taken seriously.” That’s up from 79 percent in ...

October 20, 2016, 1:03 pm, 1685310

“Here’s a guy who, when he runs, he moves faster” – John Madden.

The former Raiders coach and football commentator was a master of saying the obvious, but sometimes it’s necessary to say the obvious. For instance: taxpayer subsidization of stadium projects is in the best interest of stadium and ...

October 20, 2016, 1:03 pm, 1685309

Today is October 20, the date in 1951 that the Revenue Act of 1951 was enacted, raising income, corporate, and excise tax rates temporarily to help pay for the Korean War.

Here are some interesting links I came across:

Clinton and Trump Spar in Last Debate: Other topics took the ...

October 20, 2016, 1:03 pm, 1685308

The starting premise of the federal budget discussion during the final presidential debate was the idea from moderator Chris Wallace that deficits and government debt are urgent and ignored problems.

But some economists aren’t sold on the primacy of deficit reduction as a national goal when interest rates are historically ...

October 20, 2016, 1:03 pm, 1685307
Earlier: Existing Home Sales increased in September to 5.47 million SAAR

Inventory remains a key issue. Here is a repeat of two paragraphs I wrote about inventory a few months ago:

I expected some increase in inventory last year, but that didn't happened. Inventory is still ...

October 20, 2016, 12:34 pm, 1685306
Tags A A Home | Feed | Blog.rssU.S. HistoryPolitical TheoryBallots and Bullets

October 20, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1685294
After the first debate, there was some criticism of Clinton that she came off as “too prepared”—a semantic contrast to Trump’s lack of preparation—and then criticism of the criticism: How can someone be too prepared for something? The answer to that question is that what was really meant by “too ...

October 20, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1685295
After the first debate, there was some criticism of Clinton that she came off as “too prepared”—a semantic contrast to Trump’s lack of preparation—and then criticism of the criticism: How can someone be too prepared for something? The answer to that question is that what was really meant by “too ...

October 20, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1685292

In last Friday’s blog post, I urged the Obama White House to quickly pull together the relevant agencies and departments to hammer out a unified administration response (retaliation) to the Russian hacks on the Democratic National Committee (DNC), hacks that clearly have the goal of disrupting the US ...

October 20, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1685293

On the night of the third and final presidential debate, The New York Times asked Times Opinion writers to give their take on the contest. As a contributing op-ed writer for the newspaper, AEI President Arthur Brooks shared his opinion of the night’s events: 

For the first time, for a few ...

October 20, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1685289

In the latest debate debrief, AEI political scholars offer their analysis on Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton’s respective performances during last night’s third and final 2016 presidential debate.

Karlyn Bowman:

Deep and serious differences were revealed in the way these two individuals would govern on tax policy,     abortion, ...

October 20, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1685290

There are many provisions in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that are ill advised and should be repealed immediately, but the “Cadillac” tax isn’t one of them. In fact, absent a better alternative, it shouldn’t be repealed at all. It’s likely to be the provision of the ACA that does ...

October 20, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1685291

The great comedian Mel Brooks once contrasted comedy and tragedy. “Tragedy is when I cut my finger,” he said. “Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die.”

Mr. Brooks neatly encapsulates our current public culture of selfish nastiness. From this year’s ghastly presidential race, to the reality entertainment ...

October 20, 2016, 11:03 am, 1685255
In a commentary for WBUR this week, my faculty colleagues Will Masters and Jennifer Hashley write about Massachusetts Ballot Measure #3, which would ban the sale in Massachusetts of eggs, pork, and veal from confined production methods.

This debate is commonly described as a tension between animal welfare ...

October 20, 2016, 11:03 am, 1685254
From the NAR: First-time Buyers Steer Existing-Home Sales Higher in September

Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, hiked 3.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.47 million in September from a downwardly revised 5.30 million in August. After ...

October 20, 2016, 10:34 am, 1685253

“Being in politics is like being a football coach. You have to be smart enough to understand the game, and dumb enough to think it's important.” This piece by Simon Head on the decline of British business reminds me of these words by Eugene McCarthy.

Simon ...

October 20, 2016, 10:34 am, 1685252
Tags A A Home | Feed | Blog.rssBig GovernmentMedia and CultureWar and Foreign PolicyThe Presidential Election: Baltar vs. Roslin ...

October 20, 2016, 10:04 am, 1685251

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announced his “separation” from the United States on Thursday, declaring that it had “lost” and he had realigned with China as the two agreed to resolve their South China Sea dispute through talks.

Duterte made his comments in China, where he is visiting with at least ...

October 20, 2016, 10:04 am, 1685250

Key Points

Recognizing the official poverty measure’s inadequacies, New York City became the first to produce its own poverty measure in 2007. The decision to use a relative threshold, as recommended by national experts, understates the progress that was made in New York City on poverty, especially among children. Using an anchored threshold ...

October 20, 2016, 10:04 am, 1685249

This article was coauthored with Rasa Karapandza, a professor of finance at the European Business School.

Although Donald Trump’s campaign may lack many things, making ambitious promises isn’t one of them. During his first two debates with Hillary Clinton, the Republican nominee claimed—again—that he “will be reducing taxes tremendously,” he’s “going to ...

October 20, 2016, 10:04 am, 1685248

Last month, the Census Bureau released the official and supplemental poverty measures; both intended to measure hardship in America. For the country as a whole, each measure showed impressive gains, declining more than a full percentage point. But longer term trends remain difficult to interpret because of the way poverty ...

October 20, 2016, 9:33 am, 1685245

Last August, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announcedthat, in future, only candidates who are "functionally bilingual" in French and English will be recommended for positions on the Supreme Court of Canada. With the information released subsequent to the nomination of Malcolm Rowe to the Court, we now have some sense ...

October 20, 2016, 9:33 am, 1685244

Tired of presidential politics? Here's a local (Florida) issue that could have interesting national and international impacts:

The main focus of this election has been the presidential race, but so manyother things will be on the ballot Nov. 8. In the Florida Keys, local voters will be asked whether they ...

October 20, 2016, 9:33 am, 1685243

Tyler Cowen:

From Brad Plumer at Vox:

“We have done extensive polling on a carbon tax,” Podesta apparently told Clinton adviser Jake Sullivan back in January 2015. “It all sucks.”

There is further detail at that link. A quite remarkable David Roberts piece at Vox, worth reading in ...

October 20, 2016, 9:03 am, 1685211
Note: I expected some increase this week due to Hurricane Matthew.

The DOL reported:

In the week ending October 15, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 260,000, an increase of 13,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by ...

October 20, 2016, 8:34 am, 1685210

The US economic trend remained positive through September: strong enough to keep recession risk at a low level but still too soft to fully dismiss concerns about the near-term outlook. Nonetheless, macro momentum has picked up a bit after decelerating earlier in the year—in line with the Capital Spectator’s recent ...

October 20, 2016, 8:04 am, 1685209
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from pages ...

October 20, 2016, 8:04 am, 1685208
by New Deal democrat The darkening skies In my Weekly Indicators column on Saturday, I noted that the data had gotten a little darker.  Since I have been increasingly concerned about the direction of the economy over the next year or two, I thought I would spell out where my ...

October 20, 2016, 7:33 am, 1685205

Intelligent words from the host of "Dirty Jobs," Mike Rowe.

October 20, 2016, 7:33 am, 1685204

You know the drill by now: Give the points and bet on Big Al.

October 20, 2016, 7:33 am, 1685203

Better than the one about a guy who murders his parents, goes to court, and pleads for mercy. Made me laugh out loud. Somewhere, Leo Rosten is smiling.

Link courtesy of Michael Greenspan.

October 20, 2016, 7:23 am, 1685202

Data Source: Media General || Note: Do not cite or republish this graph without publishing the limitations paragraph below.


Before I start this evening, ...

October 20, 2016, 7:03 am, 1685184

Faced with a growing affordability crisis, mayors across the country have pledged to build thousands more units of housing. But a new analysis shows to meet those targets, many would have to exceed the pace reached at the height of the housing boom.

Cities such as Los Angeles, Boston and New ...

October 20, 2016, 7:03 am, 1685183

Since the Affordable Care Act's health insurance "marketplaces" first went online back in October 2013, we've been proud to offer a unique tool that ...

October 20, 2016, 5:33 am, 1685181

Providing quality high school education is easy, folks: just combine motivated, well-parented kids with enthusiastic, dedicated faculty.

(Lest there be any doubt, the first part of the preceding sentence was sarcasm.)

October 20, 2016, 5:03 am, 1685172

October 20, 2016, 2:04 am, 1685158

The world’s highly skilled immigrants are increasingly living in just four nations: the U.S., U.K., Canada and Australia, according to new World Bank research highlighting the challenges of brain drain for non-English-speaking and developing countries.

I don’t think we have thought through well enough the final equilibrium here.  English ...

October 20, 2016, 2:04 am, 1685157

Mr. Trump and others have criticized Ford for creating jobs in Mexico rather than in the United States. Seldom mentioned by Ford’s critics, though, is an essential fact. The Wayne factory will remain fully staffed, with 3,700 workers, to build what Ford really needs now: ...

October 20, 2016, 2:04 am, 1685156
(October 20, 2016 12:36 AM, by Bryan Caplan) Just posted the last item in my lost works of Michael Huemer series. In this essay, Huemer critiques the great John Searle's strange attempt to avoid both eliminative materialism and dualism.P.S. If philosophy of mind strikes you as very far... (0 COMMENTS)

October 20, 2016, 12:34 am, 1685148
Tags A A Home | Feed | Blog.rssThe FedMoney and BanksMoney and BankingThe Federal Reserve Is Hillary Clinton’s Secret Weapon ...

October 20, 2016, 12:04 am, 1685144

On August 6, 2015, the presidential race began in earnest with 17 Republican presidential candidates debating one another, moderated by anchors from Fox News, including Chris Wallace. In October 2015, five Democratic candidates too took the stage to compete for their parties’ nomination.

October 20, 2016, 12:04 am, 1685143

As the 2016 election enters its final weeks, AEI’s seasoned political analysts will discuss this year’s presidential campaign and what they are watching as it winds down. One recent poll suggested that 70 percent of Americans believe the presidential campaign has “brought out the worst in people,” and many others ...

October 19, 2016, 11:33 pm, 1685142

This is Part II of a three-part series on the Wall Street Journal’s series in Tuesday’s paper on the passive vs. active investing debate. Below is an excerpt from the WSJ article “Wall Street’s “Do-Nothing” Investing Revolution“:

Picking stocks is at heart an arrogant act. It requires in the ...

October 19, 2016, 10:44 pm, 1685128

October 19, 2016, 10:34 pm, 1685127
Tags A A Home | Feed | Blog.rssBooms and BustsMoney and BanksMoney and BankingWhy This "Boom" Doesn't Feel Like One ...

October 19, 2016, 8:04 pm, 1685105
In a speech to a Morgan Stanley group on April 18, 2013, WikiHillary praised the Simpson­Bowles deficit reduction plan, which included reforming the tax code to increase investment and entrepreneurship and raising certain taxes and trimming some spending and entitlements to make them more sustainable. The ultimate shape of that ...

October 19, 2016, 7:33 pm, 1685104

The table above was inspired by the recent Washington Post article “Want college to pay off? These are the 50 majors with ...

October 19, 2016, 7:03 pm, 1685088
Tonight (Wednesday) from 9:00 PM to 10:30 PM ET: the Third Presidential Debate, at University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV

From Politifact PolitiFact’s guide to the third presidential debate

• At 8:30 AM ET, The initial weekly unemployment claims report will be released. The ...

October 19, 2016, 6:44 pm, 1685087

October 19, 2016, 6:34 pm, 1685085
A A Home | Feed | Blog.rssHow Regulation Protects Established Firms 0 Views

In ...

October 19, 2016, 6:34 pm, 1685086
Tags A A Home | Feed | Blog.rssU.S. HistoryPolitical TheoryHow the Feds Botched the Frontier Homestead Acts

October 19, 2016, 5:03 pm, 1685047

Voters in the city of Olympia, Washington, will decide whether to impose an income tax on themselves, at a rate of 1.5 percent on income above $200,000, although you’d hardly know it from the ballot language.

Initiative 1 is listed on the ballot as “establishing and funding a college ...

October 19, 2016, 5:03 pm, 1685046

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump frequently describes America’s “inner cities” as a “disaster,” especially for blacks and Latinos—and he’s not entirely wrong.

He’s not entirely correct, either.

The economies of America’s large cities, as a whole, don’t look especially different from the economy in the rest of the country. Since the recession ...

October 19, 2016, 5:03 pm, 1685045

Justin Fox:

No, U.S. Manufacturing Isn't Really Booming:...[Is]American manufacturing .. in decline? An answer frequently offered by wonky economics journalists is that, no, U.S. manufacturing output has actually kept growing. ...

There's a catch, though. As economist Susan N. Houseman of the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research ...

October 19, 2016, 4:04 pm, 1685042

The accuracy of these tests is astounding.

Hat tip: Nathaniel B.

The post Predicting Your Major Based on Your Favorite Harry Potter Character appeared first on Marginal REVOLUTION.

October 19, 2016, 4:04 pm, 1685041
(October 19, 2016 03:14 PM, by Bryan Caplan) Monday I debated Robin Hanson for the Soho Forum on the following resolution:"Robots will eventually dominate the world and eliminate human abilities to earn wages."Video will be available eventually, but you can enjoy my slides (in pdf format) now.The main... (0 COMMENTS)

October 19, 2016, 4:04 pm, 1685040
There it was.  That familiar logo, the one I’d seen on so many lawn signs and bumper stickers in my (very) liberal small-city college town, and at the top of so many emails I’d received since early summer 2015.  The logo with “Bernie” in sky blue, with a little star ...

October 19, 2016, 3:03 pm, 1685005

Today is October 19, the 59th birthday of Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), a group he founded in 1985 that promotes the Taxpayer Protection Pledge opposing all tax increases.

Here are some interesting links I came across:

Europe to Pursue Unified Corporate Tax System: Politico ...

October 19, 2016, 3:03 pm, 1685004

This November, three California cities and Boulder, Colorado are set to vote on ballot initiatives that would impose hefty local excise taxes on soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages. My colleague Morgan Scarboro and I have an op-ed in U.S. News & World Report today about how these proposals ...

October 19, 2016, 3:03 pm, 1685003
Fed's Beige Book "Prepared at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas based on information collected on or before October 7, 2016. "

Reports from the twelve Federal Reserve Districts suggest national economic activity continued to expand during the reporting period from late August to early October. Most Districts indicated ...

October 19, 2016, 2:34 pm, 1685002

Mike Konczal has an interesting piece on how the progressives are unlikely to win over Trump’s base of white, male, working class voters – even if they take their concerns to heart and propose policies that will help them.  He thinks progressives lack specificity and clarity on ...

October 19, 2016, 2:04 pm, 1685001

We find that the decline in these jobs accounts for about a third of the decline in the fraction of the population that holds a job in the private sector that occurred from the mid-2000s to the early 2010s.

Here is the full paper, by Henry R. Hyatt ...

October 19, 2016, 2:04 pm, 1685000
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from pages 373-374 of Benjamin A. Rogge’s 1967 essay titled “East-West Trade,” as this essay is reprinted in

October 19, 2016, 2:04 pm, 1684999
(Don Boudreaux)

Bret Wallach

Mr. Wallach:

I close my recent “Elemental Case for Free Trade” with the following ethical argument: ...

October 19, 2016, 2:04 pm, 1684998

2016 has been a big year for protest politics. Not just in the United States, what with Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump getting over 40 percent of primary and caucus votes. But also all over Europe and Latin America, where voters have been rejecting the advice of their nations’ political, ...

October 19, 2016, 1:33 pm, 1684992

Photo Cred: Me

October 19, 2016, 1:03 pm, 1684961

Ben Bernanke and Peter Olson:

Are Americans better off than they were a decade or two ago?: Economically speaking, are we better off than we were ten years ago? Twenty years ago? When asked such questions, Americans seem undecided, almost schizophrenic, with large majorities saying the country is

October 19, 2016, 1:03 pm, 1684960

October 19, 2016, 1:03 pm, 1684959
Note: This index is a leading indicator primarily for new Commercial Real Estate (CRE) investment.

From the AIA: Further Contraction in Architecture Billings Index

For the first time since the summer of 2012, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) posted consecutive months of a decline in demand for ...

October 19, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1684952

October 19, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1684953

Kevin Grier lets loose at Cherokee Gothic:

People! Check out this quote,

“Michael Gapen, chief U.S. economist at Barclays Plc in New York, said Fischer’s comments “reflect an ongoing divergence of opinion” at the central bank. Fischer “doesn’t see much room for running the economy hot” while Yellen’s views ...

October 19, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1684951

This fall, a team of scholars and researchers from AEI’s Marilyn Ware Center for Security Studies participated in an exercise, hosted by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, to develop an alternative defense strategy for the United States and change the military’s capacities and capabilities accordingly. Guided ...

October 19, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1684950

Political science is heavy on the political and light on science.
As George W. Bush and Al Gore debated prior to the 2000 elections, neither Iraq nor Afghanistan merited serious mention. Eight years later, neither Barack Obama nor John McCain foresaw chaos in Syria and Libya. Political science ...

October 19, 2016, 11:33 am, 1684948
Jason Bram and Joelle Scally

The 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center left ...

October 19, 2016, 11:33 am, 1684947

In another excellent post at Cafe Hayek (“The Elemental Case for Free Trade“), Don Boudreaux makes the case below that protectionism, regardless of the economics, is reprehensible and indefensible on ethical grounds. The same argument applies equally to minimum wage laws, and I make that case below. Both ...

October 19, 2016, 11:23 am, 1684946

October 19, 2016, 11:03 am, 1684914

Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have released tax plans during the campaign. The Tax Foundation has analyzed both the plans using our Taxes and Growth (TAG) model to estimate how their plans would impact taxpayers, federal revenues, and economic growth. Below, is a chart that contains all you ...

October 19, 2016, 11:03 am, 1684913
Earlier: Housing Starts decreased to 1.047 Million Annual Rate in September

The housing starts report this morning was unusual because of the sharp decline in multi-family starts. However multi-family permits were solid in September, so multi-family starts will probably rebound in October.

Meanwhile single family starts ...

October 19, 2016, 10:44 am, 1684912

October 19, 2016, 10:34 am, 1684911
A A Tags Home | Feed | Blog.rssBooms and BustsThe FedBusiness CyclesVideo: Joseph Salerno Explains the Benefits of Deflation ...

October 19, 2016, 10:04 am, 1684909

Democrats obsess about extreme income and wealth inequality. Yet according to hacked emails, Team Clinton considered some of the richest Americans as possible Hillary running mates, including technology billionaires Bill Gates of Microsoft and Apple’s Tim Cook. That’s right: The political party obsessed with the “1 percent” gave at least ...

October 19, 2016, 10:04 am, 1684910

The third and final presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will be held tonight in Las Vegas. As someone with a Ph.D. in American government, I feel like I should be invested. Instead, I’m just hoping for the whole wretched contest to be over, so that Trump can ...

October 19, 2016, 10:04 am, 1684908

Congress fixed a Medicare problem last year, but it is back again.  If action is not taken during the “lame duck” session after the November election, 15 million Medicare beneficiaries will be hit with a staggering increase in their Medicare premiums.

October 19, 2016, 9:33 am, 1684902


And it seems to me a merger with Amazon could go a long way to fixing this problem: "The Not-So-Wholesome Reality Behind The Making of Your MealKit".

October 19, 2016, 9:33 am, 1684901

October 19, 2016, 9:03 am, 1684870
From the Census Bureau: Permits, Starts and Completions

Housing Starts:
Privately-owned housing starts in September were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,047,000. This is 9.0 percent below the revised August estimate of 1,150,000 and is 11.9 percent (±11.9%) below the September 2015 rate of 1,189,000.

Single-family ...

October 19, 2016, 8:44 am, 1684869

The price of cinema tickets is on course to hit a record-breaking high in North America, with an average ticket price of $8.60 in 2016.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the increase marks a jump from last year’s average ticket price ...

October 19, 2016, 8:34 am, 1684868

In a sign that the Federal Reserve is still on track to raise interest rates, real (inflation-adjusted) M0 money supply declined 8.8% in September vs. the year-earlier level—the steepest annual slide since 1948, based on monthly data.

Red ink for the annual trend in real M0, also ...

October 19, 2016, 8:34 am, 1684867

The Tories seem to be undermining the Bank of England’s independence. First, Theresa May says there “have been some bad side effects” of low interest rates: “people with assets have got richer…people with savings have found themselves poorer. A change has got to come.” ...

October 19, 2016, 7:33 am, 1684859

In my experience this is so, so true:

In 10 years of teaching writing, I have experimented with different assignments, activities, readings, approaches to commenting on student work — you name it — all to help students write coherent prose that someone would actually want to read. And ...

October 19, 2016, 7:33 am, 1684861

Excellent. (And, of course, the same is true of many other situations besides disaster recovery.)

Brad Gair, a disaster recovery manager in New York, said during the Frontline episode: “Did we put a bunch of money out? Yes. Is everybody mad? Yes. Did people get what they needed ...

October 19, 2016, 7:33 am, 1684862

The interview is six years old, but it's interesting andas almost always when I read McCloskey, I learned something. In this case, I learnedabout Weber's famousProtestant Work Ethic hypothesis: that Weber "himself gave it up" shortly after he formulated it and I learned why it's wrong.

October 19, 2016, 7:33 am, 1684860

Pat McCrory of North Carolina ranks second.

October 19, 2016, 7:03 am, 1684843

Alan Greenspan stepped down from the Federal Reserve in 2006 a hero, but in the financial crisis that followed, became a goat. Was either reputation justified? No, says Sebastian Mallaby, a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. His exhaustive new biography, “The Man Who Knew: The Life and Times ...

October 19, 2016, 7:03 am, 1684842

Is there a better way to weight stocks within a market index?

Modern portfolio theory suggests that the optimal way to weight stocks within an index is according to their market capitalization, where the percentage representation of each company within ...

October 19, 2016, 7:03 am, 1684841
From the MBA: Mortgage Applications Slightly Increase in Latest MBA Weekly Survey

Mortgage applications increased 0.6 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending October 14, 2016. This week’s results included an adjustment for ...

October 19, 2016, 5:03 am, 1684833

October 19, 2016, 4:04 am, 1684831

From Brad Plumer at Vox:

“We have done extensive polling on a carbon tax,” Podesta apparently told Clinton adviser Jake Sullivan back in January 2015. “It all sucks.”

There is further detail at that link.  A quite remarkable David Roberts piece at Vox, worth reading in ...

October 19, 2016, 2:34 am, 1684823
Tags A A Home | Feed | Blog.rssMoney and BanksMoney and BankingThe Fed Thinks It Can Use the "Natural" Interest Rate to Fine-Tune the Economy

October 19, 2016, 2:04 am, 1684822

Dancers are notoriously bad at planning for their second acts. They underestimate the age at which they’ll retire (the average age of retirement is 34), overestimate the amount of money they’ll earn, and misjudge the forces that will end their careers. More than one-third of the dancers in a ...

October 19, 2016, 2:04 am, 1684821
(October 19, 2016 12:10 AM, by David Henderson) I posted yesterday about Justin Amash's Cato University speech. Below is most of the rest of it. I'm putting his parts in block quotes. The italics are his. My comments follow where appropriate. I'll end with comments on Public Choice.... (0 COMMENTS)

October 19, 2016, 2:04 am, 1684820
Janet Yellen gave a speech where she posed 4 questions to economists in general seeking answers… The first question she asked was this… “The Influence of Demand on Aggregate Supply The first question I would like to pose concerns the distinction between aggregate supply and aggregate demand: Are there circumstances ...

October 19, 2016, 1:23 am, 1684819
‘While sweatshops are probably better than nothing, that doesn’t mean nothing is better than sweatshops’

October 19, 2016, 12:34 am, 1684808
Tags A A Home | Feed | Blog.rssLegal SystemPolitical TheoryThe Special Interests Behind Marijuana Prohibition

October 19, 2016, 12:04 am, 1684805

Opioid overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the United States, with deaths from prescription painkillers and heroin quadrupling since 2000. Yet treatment is out of reach for many who need it. A recent Advocates for Opioid Recovery (AOR) study found unusual variability in how states use and ...

October 19, 2016, 12:04 am, 1684804

The stock market — and US personal wealth holdings — continue to set new records. The United States is now at or near “full employment,” at least according to received wisdom. But a closer look at the data reveals something else entirely. While “unemployment” is down, work rates have also ...