Tooth Fairy and Money Supply

This is great. I hope James Kwak at Baseline Scenario didn't bite his tongue - it's pretty far into his cheek. Read the whole thing at Paul Ryan Criticizes Bernanke for Failing to Contain Tooth Fairy: In a Congressional hearing today, Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI), chair of the House Budget Committee, strongly criticized Federal Reserve Chair … Continue reading Tooth Fairy and Money Supply

Healthcare Act – Unintended Consequences

So far I've largely stayed away from commenting on the lawsuits and Republican/Tea Party attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act of 2010 that everyone refers to as Obamacare (odd choice of name since it doesn't set up any government-operated healthcare facilities - it's mostly about insurance, not care delivery). It seems that there are … Continue reading Healthcare Act – Unintended Consequences

Why Are Food Prices Are So Volatile?

Food and energy prices are notoriously volatile and make it difficult to read consumer price indices.  But why are they so volatile? Why are things that we buy everyday in relatively constant quantities so volatile in their prices?  Well, it's all explainable by looking at the price elasticities and the slopes of the supply and … Continue reading Why Are Food Prices Are So Volatile?

Cross-Price and Income Elasiticity of Food

From, an example of cross-price and income elasiticities of food.  The data comes from an interactive, query-able database of international food elasticities at the US Dept of Agriculture. By using these elasticities, we can estimate the impact(s) of food price increases. In times such as 2011, when international foodstuff commodities such as wheat, corn, … Continue reading Cross-Price and Income Elasiticity of Food

Inflation Erodes Real Value of Minimum Wage

Although the minimum wage in 1968 was $1.25, prices were a lot lower then. In terms of today's purchasing power using today's 2010 dollars, the real value of the minimum wage in 1968 was $9.86.  Since the minimum wage (Federal) was increased in 2009 to $7.25, that means that the minimum wage is still 25% … Continue reading Inflation Erodes Real Value of Minimum Wage