One More Time, the Government Is NOT Like a Household or a Business

Ron Dzwonkowski of the Detroit Free Press ran a column today urging people to participate in various "town hall" discussions to help figure out the US can deal with it's "deficit" and the "debt" that must "lead to collapse". Mr. Dzwonkowski adopts the posture of  "reasonable, practical man" - not that of an ideologue.  In … Continue reading One More Time, the Government Is NOT Like a Household or a Business

Woot! After 4 Years, We’re NOT No. 1!

Michigan has finally lost it's title as the state with the highest unemployment rate.  The May numbers are out and Michigan's rate has dropped to 13.6%.  Nevada takes the top spot now with 14.0%.  Michigan is continuing to move in the right direction since GM and Chrysler emerged from bankruptcy in 2009, but danger still … Continue reading Woot! After 4 Years, We’re NOT No. 1!

Doing With Less Oil

Recession and revulsion at BP are doing what many thought not possible:  getting Americans to use less gasoline per person per day.  From Political Calculations: The chart to the right reveals what we found when we took the U.S. Energy Information Agency's figures for the average number of thousands of barrels of Finished Petroleum Products … Continue reading Doing With Less Oil

Catch 22 Recovery

From UCLA: UCLA Anderson Forecast: U.S. recovery a long, slow climb; Calif. recovery weaker than nation's (emphases mine): "If the next year is going to bring exceptional growth," [UCLA Anderson Forecast director Edward] Leamer writes, "consumers will need to express their optimism in the way that really counts — buying homes and cars. And that … Continue reading Catch 22 Recovery

China and Inflation Update

A lot of the concepts in macro-economics are relatively easy to define in broad, conceptual terms.  But when it comes to actually measuring them, things get very, very difficult.  Measurement requires precise, observable, countable definitions.  Inflation is one of the these concepts.  Conceptually it's easy:  a general rise in all prices.  But it practice it's … Continue reading China and Inflation Update

Europe Update: Strikes in Spain, UK Austerity, ECB Bond Purchases

European leaders (read banker-types) insist on austerity (read lower real wages and services for middle and lower classes) in the midst of 10% and rising unemployment.  Dangerous mix.  The one good sign is that the ECB is actually buying govt bonds, including Greek bonds, despite it's public hard-line position.  From Calculated Risk: Europe Update: Strikes … Continue reading Europe Update: Strikes in Spain, UK Austerity, ECB Bond Purchases

Social Spending and Poverty – U.S Compared to Denmark & Sweden

Many people commonly assume that Nordic countries (Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland) spend a lot of money on extensive welfare-state systems, while the U.S. has a more "market-driven" system that economizes by not "wasting" money on welfare.  Like many assumptions, this one fails the fact-test.  Turns out the U.S. spends as much Denmark and Sweden, but … Continue reading Social Spending and Poverty – U.S Compared to Denmark & Sweden