Founding Fathers Would Have Opposed A Balanced Budget Amendment – The Purpose of National Government Was to Borrow

Both official Washington and the chattering political classes have spent most of the past 12 months debating how to cut the government budget, reduce deficits, and limit debt.  Key groups, and perhaps the most vocal and strident groups in the debate, have been the self-described "constitutional conservatives" and Tea Party types. They have staked out … Continue reading Founding Fathers Would Have Opposed A Balanced Budget Amendment – The Purpose of National Government Was to Borrow

The Mean and the Median Tell Two Different Stories

Averages, if you're not careful, can as easily mislead as enlighten.  It matters a lot which statistical measure of the "average-ness" that's used.  A good example comes in the case of the U.S. long-term trend of economic growth.  What we're interested in is to what degree the amount of GDP the average household has available … Continue reading The Mean and the Median Tell Two Different Stories

State and Local Job Cuts are Accelerating, Making the Economy Worse and Cutting Education

Nicholas Johnson at the Center on Budget and Policy Studies explains how state and local governments are cutting jobs and how a majority of those jobs lost are education jobs. September 2, 2011 at 1:24 pm Today’s jobs report shows that in August, cuts by states and local governments — especially school districts — wiped … Continue reading State and Local Job Cuts are Accelerating, Making the Economy Worse and Cutting Education

Jobs And Unemployment Report For August 2011 – More Bad News, More Signs Economy Is Stalled, No Net New Jobs

This being the first Friday of the month, the latest U.S. employment report was released this morning.  Not good news.  In a nutshell:  no new net jobs created and the unemployment rate holds steady at 9.1%. It disappointed even the weak expectations of forecasters. The news continues to show an economy that has stalled without … Continue reading Jobs And Unemployment Report For August 2011 – More Bad News, More Signs Economy Is Stalled, No Net New Jobs

The Mess We’re In – Trillions of Dollars of Missing GDP

According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) the U.S. has a cumulative output gap of $2.8 trillion so far since the recession began.  That's trillion with a TR, as in a million millions.  This is the core problem in the U.S. today and for the next couple years.  The recession saw the economy shrink and … Continue reading The Mess We’re In – Trillions of Dollars of Missing GDP

Hurricanes, Disasters, and GDP

Ok, normally I'm writing about the disastrous effects of changes in GDP.  Today, though, I'm going to write about the effects of disasters on GDP. As I write this, it's mid-day on Saturday, Aug 27.  Hurricane Irene has just hammered North Carolina and the Outer Banks. Irene is continuing in both it's push up the Eastern seaboard … Continue reading Hurricanes, Disasters, and GDP

Not Retiring Is the New Retirement Plan For Many

CalculatedRiskBlog tells us about a new major study of American workers and their retirement plans.  The study is published by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies [note for students: the center is an excellent source of research data and analysis].  CalculatedRisks summarizes: From Rachel Ensign at the WSJ: For Many Seniors, There May Be No Retirement … Continue reading Not Retiring Is the New Retirement Plan For Many

Income Distribution Does Matter. It’s Wrong Now and Stopping Growth.

When people think about "income distribution" there's a tendency to think of it only in terms of what different people or households have available to spend.  In other words, we focus on the fairness or equity of whether some households should only have a small amount of money to live off of vs. others who … Continue reading Income Distribution Does Matter. It’s Wrong Now and Stopping Growth.

It’s the Political Economy That Must Change.

Peter Dorman at Econospeak has an excellent post on the real challenges facing the U.S. today.  It's the political economy that must change.  It no longer serves the interests of the vast majority of Americans. We need more discussion and action at these levels> It’s the Political Economy, Stupid!, by Peter Dorman: Sometimes living in … Continue reading It’s the Political Economy That Must Change.