One of the criticisms leveled against the Federal Government's efforts of the last couple of years in response to the Great Recession is that the "government is gettng too big". Well as they say on TV, let's go to the tape. Or, in this case, let's look at the actual numbers over time. Fortunately, we … Continue reading The Invisible Ever-expanding Government Sector
Another late catch-up post for my classes. The Employment and Unemployment reports came out Sept 3 for August, 2010. Calculated Risk covers the story with the usual impeccable graphs. It's pretty close to the expected. Not as bad as feared, not as good as hoped, and nowhere near as good as we need. From the … Continue reading Unemployment, August 2010
Joseph Stiglitz offers his views on how macroeconomic theory is broken here via Mark Thoma: it's bad models, bad assumptions, and avoidance of the really hard questions. I agree.
One of the enduring myths of 20th century American capitalism is that "anyone can do it". Anyone can get rich, that is. And one of the ways people are encourage to "get rich" is by wisely gambling investing in the stock market. Unfortunately for countless numbers of people hoping to retire soon, it just isn't … Continue reading You’re Not Going to Get Rich in the Stock Market
I know I've mentioned it before (see here), but the deck is stacked against seniors, working people, and most everybody else that's not in the investment banker-politico ruling elite. Now let's take a look at some recent quotes from the co-Chair of the President's Commission on Fiscal Responsibility, Alan Simpson. Soon after he was appointed … Continue reading Watch the Dealer, you “Lesser People”. The Deck is Stacked
Institutions and laws matter for economic development. It is very clear from economic history that protection for property rights is necessary for industrialization and growth. But that was always about property rights in land and physical stuff. In the 1960's the phrase "intellectual property rights" was created, and many people have just assumed that protecting … Continue reading Do Copyrights Slow Growth?
Oh, buried in the press release on 2nd Qtr 2010 GDP estimates is this item: The price index for gross domestic purchases, which measures prices paid by U.S. residents, increased 0.1 percent in the second quarter, the same increase as in the advance estimate; this index increased 2.1 percent in the first quarter. Excluding food … Continue reading Smells Like Deflation
Playing catch-up here on blog posts, but this was the news two weeks ago. Second quarter GDP growth rate was revised downward to a 1.6% rate. The original, first-month "flash" estimate issued at the end of July 2010 said that GDP in the second qtr grew at a 2.4% rate. That by itself was a … Continue reading GDP 2nd Qtr 2010
American economic history is neither linear nor smooth. Change happens in fits and starts. There are clear turning points where the structure of the economy, the distribution of income/wealth, and the distribution of power changes. Obviously the 1930's (Great Depression) was one such turning point. In retrospect, it appears the 1970's (or at least mid- … Continue reading Turning Point: 1970’s
OK, I know I've been bad. I haven't touched the blog for weeks. That changes now. BTW, if the Greek gods had had blogs, Zeus wouldn't have to tell Sisyphus to roll the stone up the hill. He could just say "Keep the blog up-to-date".