The Problem in One Graph

Yesterday I said I was reluctant to get over-optimistic about the recent slight upturn in employment data. This year may truly be different from the last few, but there's a nagging feeling that we've seen this movie before. I'm not alone in the feeling. As 2012 dawns, Tim Duy summarizes the problem in one graph (emphasis … Continue reading The Problem in One Graph

Below Market Wages Belies Claims of Structural Unemployment

Continuing what has turned into a short series on unemployment and structural unemployment in particular (see Monday and yesterday's posts), let us look at some of the claims that structural unemployment. First up, Brad Delong points us to Kevin Drum who tells the following story: Kevin Drum: Skilled Jobs Go Begging? Not Quite: The Wall … Continue reading Below Market Wages Belies Claims of Structural Unemployment

Fixes for Unemployment Depend on Whether It’s Cyclical (It Is) or Structural (It Isn’t)

Yesterday I recapped the November employment report. The employment picture remains grim.  The workers depression continues. As my favorite graph from Calculated Risk shows here, regardless of what happens to the unemployment rate, our recovery from the jobs lost in the recession is incredibly slow.  At the pace we have been on for the last … Continue reading Fixes for Unemployment Depend on Whether It’s Cyclical (It Is) or Structural (It Isn’t)

November Employment and Revised 3rd Qtr 2011 GDP

I'm a few days late but I wanted to note the latest employment (jobs) report and the first revision to 3rd quarter GDP.  There's really not much news here - it's the same old story. The economy continues to move along somewhat like  a zombie.  Not really dead, but definitely not anything you could call … Continue reading November Employment and Revised 3rd Qtr 2011 GDP

The Top 0.1% Vs. Rest of Us Throughout the 20th Century

Following up on yesterday's post about the Global Top Incomes Database, I thought I'd give an example.  Here's what I created: So what are we looking at?  The blue line shows almost a century of the average income of the bottom 90% of American earners (in constant, real 2008 dollars - scale on right side). … Continue reading The Top 0.1% Vs. Rest of Us Throughout the 20th Century

Awesome Resource – The World Top Incomes Database

Any student, researcher, or #OWS protestor interested in income distribution and income growth should definitely be aware of this resource:  The World's Top Incomes Database.  (hat tip to Krugman, from whom I learned about it).  It's a very powerful database combined with a very easy to use interface that allows you to extract exactly the … Continue reading Awesome Resource – The World Top Incomes Database

The Quantity Theory of Money and Fears of Inflation Are Nonsense

We rarely get to conduct scientific experiments in economics, but for the last 3+ years The Federal Reserve has unintentionally conducted a test of an economic theory called the "Quantity Theory of Money" (QTM). QTM makes some very specific predictions - predictions that Ron Paul, conservatives on Wall Street, and others have been repeating a … Continue reading The Quantity Theory of Money and Fears of Inflation Are Nonsense

Update on Current Situation – October Jobs Report and 3rd Qtr GDP

Two of the more important (U.S.) economic measures were reported in last week and half.  Yesterday the October jobs report came in.  The week before we got the flash report on 3rd quarter GDP.  Both measures were better than feared, not quite as good as consensus expectations of many forecasters, and overall still a disappointment. … Continue reading Update on Current Situation – October Jobs Report and 3rd Qtr GDP

John Stossel Fails an Education Test and Demonstrates That He’s Economically Illiterate

John Stossel is a Fox Business News reporter.  Stossel is an unabashed "libertarian" with a strong Austrian orientation on economics who focuses on economic issues.  He's made a living out of being indignant and disgusted by "liberals" and "big government" which he sees as the root of all economic problems.  He's been quite successful over … Continue reading John Stossel Fails an Education Test and Demonstrates That He’s Economically Illiterate

UPDATE on President Obama’s Jobs Proposal – Better, But Still Weak

First an update on a post I made a few days ago. When I commented last Monday on President Obama's jobs proposal, I was less than excited. Having read more detail of the proposal, I should correct some statements I made.  I incorrectly left the impression that the payroll tax (Social Security/Medicare tax) cut that … Continue reading UPDATE on President Obama’s Jobs Proposal – Better, But Still Weak