One of the hardest concepts for Principles students, politicians and pundits, oh heck, just about everyone to fully grasp is inflation. A big part of the reason is because inflation is an abstract concept that is not directly measurable. We can conceive of it, but we can't measure it. I'm no physicist (and open to … Continue reading Yes, Inflation/Deflation is Hard to Measure
Does Anybody Understand Debt?
Does anybody understand debt? Some - but not many. Today's post is less of my normal extended prose and more of an outline. I've been invited to speak at some writing classes here at the college and this is intended to serve as my speaking notes. Background: What have you heard? Krugman in New York … Continue reading Does Anybody Understand Debt?
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
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
US Government Bond Market & Interest Rate Watch – No Signs of Worry Over Deficits, Inflation, or Default
Just a quickie to bring your attention to this, yesterday's close on the U.S. Government bond market as reported by Google Finance. Note the 10 year bond - less than 2%. Bond Maturity Yield (effective interest rate) change in points(percent) 3 Month 0.01% 0.00 (0.00%) 6 Month 0.04% +0.01 (33.33%) 2 Year 0.19% +0.01 (5.56%) … Continue reading US Government Bond Market & Interest Rate Watch – No Signs of Worry Over Deficits, Inflation, or Default
Just What Is Inflation? Is A Monster Just Around The Corner?
A casual reader/listener of many economics blogs, news stories, cable shows, and political speeches (in other words, the usual sources), would be forgiven for thinking that "inflation" is some awful comic-book super-villain that constantly threatens society. It's as if they think that any momentary lapse in vigilance that allows perhaps a declining unemployment rate will … Continue reading Just What Is Inflation? Is A Monster Just Around The Corner?
The Fed Has NOT Been Printing Money
A common refrain among the "cut, cut, cut" chicken littles and the hard-money crowd is that "the Fed has turned the printing presses lose printing money". These folks should really join us in the 21st century. That's not how it works and that's not what The Fed has been doing. Quantitative Easing, as well as … Continue reading The Fed Has NOT Been Printing Money
Inflation vs. The Cost of Living
We are now seeing a disconnect between how the public and policymakers/central banks perceive what each calls "inflation". The public at large, encouraged by talk from the hard-money gold crowd, are encouraged to see "inflation" whenever certain key prices go up. Recently we've seen gasoline and food prices go up, and along with these price increases more … Continue reading Inflation vs. The Cost of Living
Once Again, No Inflation Round Here
Once upon a time, increasing inflation was a problem for the U.S. But that time was a generation ago - 1966-1980 to be precise, over 30 years ago. Since then it's down, down, down. We're now bumping along at near zero inflation and we're flirting with deflation. Yet, many of the talking-heads class continue to … Continue reading Once Again, No Inflation Round Here
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