Government and the Slow Jobs “Recovery”

Government finally starts to get out of the way of recovery. In an earlier post today on the good news of the January 2012 employment report, I observed that one of the major factors resulting in an improved (but not good enough) jobs report was that government employment numbers stopped dragging down the total.  I … Continue reading Government and the Slow Jobs “Recovery”

Why I Went Dark and Why It Matters

As those readers who visited this blog earlier today on Jan 18 know, I took this site "dark" in solidarity with the anti-SOPA/anti-PIPA protests. Yes, I'm back now. But I'm angry. And you should be angry too. I'm angry because the SOPA/PIPA bills in Congress are nothing more attempts by a privileged few large corporations … Continue reading Why I Went Dark and Why It Matters

Student Debt + Stagnant Real Wages = Colleges Need to Focus On Student Success

Today's post is an excerpt of something I wrote for another site.  This year, in addition to my teaching duties at the college, I'm leading a project to update our college strategic plan.  As part of that project I'm writing and editing a series of "briefing papers" (long blog posts, actually) about issues of strategic … Continue reading Student Debt + Stagnant Real Wages = Colleges Need to Focus On Student Success

Rick Snyder Advocates Government Planning to Fix the Labor Market

In recent posts here, here, and here, I've been discussing structural vs. cyclical unemployment.  In particular I've observed how those who are opposed to government stimulus efforts, either broad-based tax cuts or spending, are desperate to assert that our unemployment is a structural problem and not cyclical.  Yesterday's post about a story in the Wall … Continue reading Rick Snyder Advocates Government Planning to Fix the Labor Market

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)

Is The Fed Corrupt or Captured?

Yesterday I responded to a reader who asked if "The Fed is out of control".  In short, I said no, not in the sense that critics have charged them with "out of control printing of money" that could produce inflation.  But I left the post with an acknowledgement that the secrecy of The Fed carries … Continue reading Is The Fed Corrupt or Captured?

Is The Fed Corrupt or Out of Control?

The Federal Reserve System is an extremely controversial and largely misunderstood institution. Senators on both the right (Ron Paul) and the left (Bernie Sanders) are highly critical of The Fed.   I've shied away from commenting on The Fed because it's  a pretty complex subject. Every time I think there's a point to be made, … Continue reading Is The Fed Corrupt or Out of Control?

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

Brief History of Macroeconomics and The Origins of Freshwater vs. Saltwater Economics

I and others, particularly Paul Krugman, occasionally make reference to "freshwater" vs. "saltwater" economics.  Here's a little background to explain the terms and, I hope, shed a little light on current disputes in macroeconomic theory. First, let's go back in time.  The stuff that economists study, namely the economy, economic behavior, and markets, really emerged as it's … Continue reading Brief History of Macroeconomics and The Origins of Freshwater vs. Saltwater Economics