Economics Roundtable

May 2014 Payroll Employment

After 76 months, we finally got back to the prerecession level of payroll employment.

Click on the image to get a bigger version.


Jobs

The best summary of the state of our economy is the graph (below) of employment as a fraction of population for people over 16 years old. The decrease is large, but the most troubling feature of the graph is the flat trend .


Click on the image to get a bigger version.


Graph-of-the-Year Candidates

Donald Marron likes European interest rates. Click on the image to get a bigger version. Can you find three distinct subperiods?

Brad DeLong favors the U.S. gdp gap.


Remember M1?

Money Supply M1 growth is now over 20% per year over a 12 month lag. M1 growth has touched 20% before, but not with excess reserves of $1.6 trillion. Where is M1 headed?


Click on the chart for a larger version.


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- Recent Entries


July 27, 2016, 2:05 pm, 1657773

That is the latest entry in the Conversations with Tyler series, here is the transcript, audio, and video.  Here is the overview:

Michael Orthofer, one of the world’s most prolific book reviewers, joins Tyler Cowen for a conversation on — what else? — books. Read to discover why Michael believes ...


July 27, 2016, 2:04 pm, 1657772
(Don Boudreaux)

Phil Magness helps us to see that Donald Trump is a vulgar Alexander Hamilton.  Here’s Phil’s conclusion:

Since then [the time ...


July 27, 2016, 2:04 pm, 1657771

When Hillary Clinton became the Democratic nominee for president, the Democratic National Convention audience broke into thunderous applause. But how do Americans view this milestone? In a June Bloomberg survey of likely voters, 15 percent said they wanted her to play up the historic nature of her candidacy, and 16 ...


July 27, 2016, 2:04 pm, 1657770

The 2016 Vice Presidential nominees include two governors, with Indiana Gov. Mike Pence on the Republican ticket alongside Donald Trump while former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine teams with Hillary Clinton on the Democratic side. Pence and Kaine will be representing their parties and will come to debate each other in ...


July 27, 2016, 1:03 pm, 1657732

Today is July 27, the date in 1940 when Bugs Bunny debuted. The ‘wascially wabbit was spared by hunter Elmer Fudd in a 1942 cartoon when a telegram arrives informing Fudd of a $3 million inheritance on condition that he not harm any rabbits. Fudd lets Bugs ...


July 27, 2016, 1:03 pm, 1657731

Last week, the Tax Foundation released a paper titled, “Reexamining the Tax Exemption of Municipal Bond Interest,” which argued that lawmakers should consider reforming the current tax treatment of municipal bond interest. Apparently, the municipal bond industry is less than thrilled with our report: yesterday, The Bond Buyer ...


July 27, 2016, 1:03 pm, 1657730

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will compete this fall in key battleground states where economic growth has been outpacing the modest national average.

Economic output expanded in early 2016 across the majority of states, including four of the biggest prizes up for grabs in the November presidential election: Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania ...


July 27, 2016, 12:34 pm, 1657729
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July 27, 2016, 12:34 pm, 1657728

Here are two views of China’s (goods) trade. Both use the exact same data.

The first presents China’s goods exports and imports as a share of the rest of the world’s GDP:

The second presents China’s goods exports and imports as a share of China’s ...


July 27, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1657727
(July 27, 2016 10:44 AM, by Emily Skarbek) In commenting on Milton Friedman's contributions to economics, it was once remarked that "attempting to portray the work of Milton Friedman . . . is like trying to catch the Niagara Falls in a pint pot." In yesterday's Bloomberg View,... (3 COMMENTS)


July 27, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1657725

Last week, Danielle Pletka and I had a Facebook Live discussion about the crisis in Turkey. It was a fun experience and a good discussion. One correspondent asked a great question about an angle we hadn’t covered: What might be the impact of the crisis in Turkey upon Iraq?

I ...


July 27, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1657726

“It’s the economy, stupid.”

This bit of down-home political wisdom was at the heart of Bill Clinton’s successful 1992 presidential campaign. And indeed, jobs, income, and living costs are awfully important to voters, if not paramount. Many election forecasting models center on economic variables.

So you’d think the state of the ...


July 27, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1657724

I spent the past week teaching cage-busting leadership at Rice’s Jones School of Business and then policy at UPenn’s Graduate School of Education. I think I clocked something like 30 or 35 instructional hours over seven or eight days. It wore me out. Being around so many talented midcareer educational ...


July 27, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1657723

Editor’s note: This article was taken from an interview conducted in Russian and translated to English by the Institute of Modern Russia as part of a series of interviews with experts on Russia’s current political situation.   

Olga Khvostunova, editor-in-chief of imrussia.org, spoke with Dr. Leon Aron, director of Russian studies ...


July 27, 2016, 11:33 am, 1657722

A slightly edited and shorter version of my op-ed in today’s WSJ (with Michael Saltsman), “The Fight for $15 Will Hit North Philly Hard“:

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders may not be the Democratic presidential nominee in 2016, but his influence can be seen in the $15-an-hour federal minimum wage that ...


July 27, 2016, 11:03 am, 1657690

The American economy isn’t what it used to be.

Since the recession ended, new establishments have accounted for a little more than 11% of all new private-sector jobs created. During the 1990s, the figure was 15%, according to Labor Department data released Wednesday.

That might not seem like a massive shift, but ...


July 27, 2016, 11:03 am, 1657689
From the NAR: Pending Home Sales Marginally Rise in June

Pending home sales were mostly unmoved in June, but did creep slightly higher as supply and affordability constraints prevented a bigger boost in activity from mortgage rates that lingered near all-time lows through most of the month, according to ...


July 27, 2016, 10:44 am, 1657688
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July 27, 2016, 10:35 am, 1657687

We should ask of economic theories not: “are they true?” but rather “how true are they?” I was reminded of this by Noah Smith’s piece pointing out that Friedman’s permanent income hypothesis is wrong – a fact which matters a lot because, as Noah says, the PIH ...


July 27, 2016, 10:04 am, 1657683
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 149 of Thomas Sowell’s 2008 volume, Economic Facts and Fallacies (original emphasis):

Claims by some ...


July 27, 2016, 10:04 am, 1657682

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders may not be the Democratic presidential nominee in 2016, but his influence can be seen in the $15-an-hour federal minimum wage that is part of his party’s platform in Philadelphia.

The direct and immediate consequences of a higher wage floor on the entry-level job market are well ...


July 27, 2016, 10:04 am, 1657681

As India marks 25 years since the advent of economic reforms, it’s hard to escape the note of self-congratulation in much of the commentary the anniversary has inspired.

Indeed, by most measures there is much to celebrate. In terms of sheer numbers, only China has pulled more people out of extreme ...


July 27, 2016, 9:34 am, 1657679
The Economist is running a series on six big ideas in economics. First up: Akerlof and lemons.


July 27, 2016, 9:03 am, 1657646

Record-low yields on U.S. Treasurys have for decades signaled weakness in the U.S. economy and foreshadowed recession. Not this time.

Some economists are pointing to the so-called yield curve—the difference between long-term and short-term rates—as a harbinger of a new slowdown. Yields on 30-year and 10-year Treasurys plumbed record depths earlier this month, setting fresh milestones in ...


July 27, 2016, 8:35 am, 1657645

The Federal Reserve is expected to forgo a rate hike in today’s FOMC policy announcement and keep the target Fed funds at a 0.25%-to-0.50% range. But the recent increase in the effective Fed funds rate (EFF) suggests that a hawkish bias is bubbling.

EFF’s day-to-day changes can be ...


July 27, 2016, 8:05 am, 1657644

That is the counterintuitive take from my latest Bloomberg column.  Here is one part of the argument:

Perhaps the most overlooked point is that the supply of negative-yielding securities is not so large relative to total global wealth. A recent Credit Suisse estimate suggested that global wealth ...


July 27, 2016, 8:05 am, 1657643

Here’s Four Reasons Financial Intermediaries Fail the latest video from our Principles of Macroeconomics class at Marginal Revolution University.

As always, these videos go great with our superb textbook, Modern Principles of Economics, but they can be used with any textbook. In fact, if you teach economics and ...


July 27, 2016, 7:34 am, 1657638

Interesting observationfrom lefty journalist Ron Fournier:

The American public has lost trust in virtually every social institution—schools, churches, businesses, charities, police, courts, and the media—because those entities have been slow to adapt to sweeping economic, demographic, and technological changes.

I don't know about all of them, but ...


July 27, 2016, 7:34 am, 1657640

Fine paraphrase of Louis C. K.'s line to title an excellent article on the EU's dopey antitrust case against Google.


July 27, 2016, 7:34 am, 1657639

Glenn Reynolds: "Government is just another word for the things we choose to screw up together."

And now would be a good time to revisit another fine effort by Professor Reynolds: "How David Brooks created Donald Trump".

Brooks is, of course, horrified at Trump and his supporters, whom ...


July 27, 2016, 7:33 am, 1657637

Bitter and twisted:

After two decades of submitting papers to journals, and more than 10 years of serving on an editorial board or editing journals, geography researcherKevin Wardknows a thing or two about peer review. ...

In all, Ward — from the University of Manchester in ...


July 27, 2016, 7:23 am, 1657636

One potential benefit of leaving the EU is the opportunity to radically change how we spend agricultural subsidies. The Common Agricultural Policy CAP is one of the great mistakes of the EU. Given the share of EU spending on agriculture, it is their flagship policy, yet the CAP has ...


July 27, 2016, 7:03 am, 1657608

For months, we've been tracking the number of dividend cuts in the U.S. stock market in near real-time, where we've been watching the number of announced reductions reach very worrying levels.

That's why we're pleasantly surprised to be able to report that up to ...


July 27, 2016, 7:03 am, 1657607
From the MBA: Mortgage Applications Decrease in Latest MBA Weekly Survey

Mortgage applications decreased 11.2 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending July 22, 2016.

... The Refinance Index decreased 15 percent ...


July 27, 2016, 6:44 am, 1657606
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July 27, 2016, 6:04 am, 1657605
(July 27, 2016 05:01 AM, by Alberto Mingardi) Jeff Bezos was recently interview by the Italian newspaper La Repubblica. Asked by digital editor Massimo Russo "what is the recipe for innovation", he gave a phenomenal answer: Easy: to improve our customers' experience. To be genuinely innovative, innovation needs... (0 COMMENTS)


July 27, 2016, 5:34 am, 1657601

If you want a deep but nontechnical dive into the "block universe," this piece will probably fit the bill,


July 27, 2016, 4:05 am, 1657570

Thank you all for making the first day of The Complacent Class such a success; pre-orders were strong and according to one standard metric it was the #1 best-selling book for Monday.

I am working to get you information on Kindle pre-order, as of now


July 27, 2016, 3:03 am, 1657539

July 27, 2016, 3:03 am, 1657538

Tim Duy:

July FOMC Preview on Bloomberg: How long can doves at the Federal Reserve stand their ground?

The fight within theU.S. central bankcontinues at this week's Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting as both hawks and doves jockey for dominant position.This battle will go to the doves; the Fed ...


July 27, 2016, 2:05 am, 1657533

In Germany, where I live, you get money back for plastic bottles (“Pfand”). Sometimes €0.25 per bottle. And yet, I collect them, without ever finding the time to cash them. I never outright throw them away, but leave them standing neatly close to public trash cans. They are gone ...


July 27, 2016, 1:34 am, 1657532

Canada is in an abundant TP equilibrium. Washrooms in restaurants, shopping malls, museums, universities, and other public places are, generally speaking, well stocked with toilet paper (TP).

Inner Mongolia is in a scarce TP equilibrium. With the exception of elite venues such as four star hotels and airports, toilet paper is ...


July 27, 2016, 1:23 am, 1657531
‘Fossil fuels have a formidable head start as our entire existing energy system revolves around them’


July 27, 2016, 12:34 am, 1657513
Tags A A Home | Feed | Blog.rssThe EntrepreneurGlobal EconomyU.S. HistoryMonopoly and CompetitionThe FDA’s Cigar Fascism


July 27, 2016, 12:04 am, 1657511
(July 27, 2016 12:09 AM, by Bryan Caplan) While I'm homeschooling my elder sons, I've long wondered about how well it really works. Sure, the critics are usually angry apriorists. But advocates seem quick to repeat optimistic statistics without proper scrutiny. What's really going on?The best piece I've... (0 COMMENTS)


July 26, 2016, 10:04 pm, 1657484

July 26, 2016, 8:44 pm, 1657453
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July 26, 2016, 8:04 pm, 1657452
I always Google my headline ideas to try to avoid the appearance of plagiarism. I was thinking of the title for this post as I was looking at a cartoon adaptation of Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom, originally published by Look magazine in 1945 and subsequently distributed in the 1950s as a ...


July 26, 2016, 7:03 pm, 1657421
Here was my FOMC preview: FOMC Preview: No Rate Hike, Possibly Preparing for September Rate Hike

From Merrill Lynch on the FOMC:

The July meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is unlikely to result in any policy changes by the Fed, in our view. In ...


July 26, 2016, 6:44 pm, 1657420
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July 26, 2016, 6:44 pm, 1657419
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July 26, 2016, 6:35 pm, 1657418

By James Kwak

Apparently, both parties have platform planks calling for the reinstatement of the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, the law that separated investment banking from commercial banking until it was finally repealed in 1999 (after being watered down by the Federal Reserve beginning in the late 1980s). Bringing back Glass-Steagall ...


July 26, 2016, 6:04 pm, 1657415

In 2014, women earned 28% of the PhDs in philosophy. By contrast, they earned close to 60% in English, anthropology, and sociology—and 75% in psychology. When it comes to gender, philosophy looks more like math and physics. What explains the numbers?


July 26, 2016, 5:03 pm, 1657380
Here is the earlier post on Case-Shiller: Case-Shiller: National House Price Index increased 5.0% year-over-year in May

The year-over-year increase in prices is mostly moving sideways now around 5%. In May, the index was up 5.0% YoY.

In the earlier post, I graphed nominal house prices, ...


July 26, 2016, 4:34 pm, 1657379
Tags A A Home | Feed | Blog.rssTaxes and SpendingWar and Foreign PolicyPolitical TheoryDecentralize the Nuclear Arsenals


July 26, 2016, 4:05 pm, 1657374

July 26, 2016, 2:44 pm, 1657337
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July 26, 2016, 2:04 pm, 1657336

July 26, 2016, 2:04 pm, 1657335
Campaigns are complicated things. No one gets every piece of them right. Some candidates are great at big rallies. Some are good only at small events. Some are terrific TV communicators but bad on the stump. Some delegate well, and others don’t. Some never waver from a message, while others ...


July 26, 2016, 1:34 pm, 1657331

Proponents of helicopter money have been getting a lot of press lately, but I don't really get what all the excitement is about. I live in Canada, and no nation is closer to implementing helicopter ...


July 26, 2016, 1:33 pm, 1657330
Mark Thoma's recent piece caused me to briefly think. He writes about why he started blogging. I started blogging to help market my academic work. Think back 25 to 50 years ago when there was no email, tweets or blogs. A few elite economists wrote for Business ...


July 26, 2016, 1:33 pm, 1657329

…. is from Thomas Sowell:

People who expected the election of President Barack Obama to lead to racial healing and a post-racial society failed to take account of the political reality ...


July 26, 2016, 1:03 pm, 1657298

Today is July 26, the date in 1788 when New York became the eleventh state. New York has some pretty high taxes (top individual income tax rate of 8.82 percent, average sales tax rate of 8.49 percent, and the highest state-local tax burden. However, as late as 1946 the state ...


July 26, 2016, 1:03 pm, 1657295

Noah Smith:

Economists Give Up on Milton Friedman's Biggest Idea: One of the core pieces of modern macroeconomic theory, handed down to us by the great Milton Friedman, probably missed the mark. ...

The idea is called the permanent income hypothesis (PIH). ... The PIH says ...


July 26, 2016, 1:03 pm, 1657297

Paul Krugman:

Pax Trumpiana: With everything else going on, it may be hard to stay with the evolving Trump/Putin story. But it’s really crucial. I don’t think Trump is literally an agent of the Kremlin; instead, he’s someone Putin is aiding because he knows Trump is close to, probably ...


July 26, 2016, 1:03 pm, 1657296

Jeff Frankel at Econbrowser:

Trump Jr.’s Pants-on-Fire Allegation of Manipulated Jobs Numbers: When interviewed about the unemployment numbers, which have fallen steadily since 2010, Donald Trump Jr., replied “These are artificial numbers. These are numbers that are massaged to make the existing economy look good, to make this administration ...


July 26, 2016, 1:03 pm, 1657294
The new home sales report for June was strong at 592,000on a seasonally adjusted annual rate basis (SAAR) - the highest since early 2008 - and combined salesfor March, April and May were revised up by 22 thousand SAAR.

Sales were up 25.4% year-over-year (YoY) compared to June 2015. ...


July 26, 2016, 12:44 pm, 1657293
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July 26, 2016, 12:44 pm, 1657292

A common argument made against regulating small dollar credit products like payday loans is that regulation does nothing to address demand for credit, so consumers will simply substitute their consumption from payday loans to other products:  overdraft, title loans, refund anticipation loans, pawn shops, etc. The substitution hypothesis is ...


July 26, 2016, 12:34 pm, 1657291
Tags A A Home | Feed | Blog.rssBig GovernmentLegal SystemInterventionismDiscrimination Against Discrimination: Why We Don’t Need Anti-Discrimination Laws


July 26, 2016, 12:05 pm, 1657286

That is my new Bloomberg View column, here are some excerpts:

Enter Richard von Glahn’s “The Economic History of China: From Antiquity to the Nineteenth Century,” a book likely to go down as one of the year’s best. Over the last 15 years, the economics profession ...


July 26, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1657285
(July 26, 2016 10:55 AM, by Scott Sumner) Tyler Cowen linked to a Wonkblog post that suggested pot legalization has not had the negative effects that drug warriors predicted: National surveys have shown that teen marijuana use rates are falling across the country. But there haven't been many... (4 COMMENTS)


July 26, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1657284

The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) decision to expand its preclearance program, which checks travelers’ documents and fingerprints before they board a flight to the United States, is a critical step to prevent a terrorist attack and secure our ports of entry.


July 26, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1657283

A few weeks ago, the people of the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. The long-term impact of the vote to the UK is unclear. But it is likely that, despite their enthusiasm to leave the EU, the vote will leave the UK’s most needy worse off than ...


July 26, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1657282

New British Prime Minister Theresa May and her Conservative Party cabinet will soon begin the difficult task of managing Brexit. The immediate financial market panic is behind us, and now that the dust has settled, policymakers in the United States and around the world should look ahead to the long-term ...


July 26, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1657281

Means-tested benefits in well-meaning welfare policies are negatively impacting the institution of marriage these days. Because parents with young children are eligible for more benefits if they have one income instead of two, it makes more financial sense for couples to cohabit rather than marry. This has created a “marriage ...


July 26, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1657280

The opening session of the Democratic National Convention Monday afternoon wasn’t a full-fledged rebellion against Hillary Clinton’s campaign managers. But it was a more vigorous assertion of dissent than anything at the Republican National Convention.

The opening prayer was met by boos, and the second presiding officer, Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge, ...


July 26, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1657278

When I teach, I’m often asked to recommend books or movies for those on the go who want quality and nuanced information but don’t have time to do a college seminar every time a question arises. Books are easy: Almost anything by Bernard Lewis, for example, but especially “The ...


July 26, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1657279

The monthly jobs report produced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows the number of new jobs created (or lost) in the economy. While the headline jobs numbers receive a lot of attention, less remarked upon is the division of these jobs into full-time or part-time work. For instance, ...


July 26, 2016, 11:33 am, 1657277
I have a book review in Science. Here is an ungated version.


July 26, 2016, 11:33 am, 1657276

July 26, 2016, 11:03 am, 1657243

If you enjoy our weekly tax maps, you’ll love our Monthly Map Club! Sign up below to receive a new map on state tax rates, collections, burdens and more in the mail every month.

Some of our most popular ...


July 26, 2016, 11:03 am, 1657242

Donald Trump sees a “big parallel” between the U.K. vote to exit the European Union and his own supporters’ desire to put America first and “take their borders back.” Many other political observers have drawn a line between Brexit and the antitrade and anti-immigrant sentiments now roiling the U.S. election.

The U.K.’s ...


July 26, 2016, 11:03 am, 1657241

I have a new column:

Economists, Blogs, and Donald Trump: The reason I have this column can be credited to, or blamed on, George Bush.

During the presidential campaigns before the 2004 election, I was very unhappy with the coverage of Bush’s economic proposals in the press. The reporting on ...


July 26, 2016, 11:03 am, 1657240
S&P/Case-Shiller released the monthly Home Price Indices for May ("May" is a 3 month average of March, April and May prices).

This release includes prices for 20 individual cities, two composite indices (for 10 cities and 20 cities) and the monthly National index.

Note: Case-Shiller reports Not ...


July 26, 2016, 11:03 am, 1657239
The Census Bureau reports New Home Sales in June were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 592 thousand.

The previous three months were revised up by a total of 22 thousand (SAAR).

"Sales of new single-family houses in June 2016 were at a seasonally adjusted ...


July 26, 2016, 10:44 am, 1657238
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July 26, 2016, 10:44 am, 1657237
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July 26, 2016, 10:44 am, 1657236
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July 26, 2016, 10:44 am, 1657235
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July 26, 2016, 10:35 am, 1657234

By James Kwak

In an article about political correctness in contemporary politics, Amanda Hess of the Times writes:

“Politically correct” was born as a lefty in-joke, an insidery nod to the smugness of holier-than-thou liberals. As Gloria Steinem put it: “ ‘Politically correct’ was invented by people in social-justice movements to make fun of ...


July 26, 2016, 10:34 am, 1657233
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July 26, 2016, 10:04 am, 1657232

Visiting Fellow Ramesh Ponnuru discusses the Republican National Convention on CBS’s “Face the Nation”.


July 26, 2016, 10:04 am, 1657231

Key Points 

The emergence in recent years of a range of promising, nontraditional higher education programs—including competency-based education programs and workforce-oriented “boot camps”—has led to a growing interest in ways to facilitate innovation in higher education.This interest has led to numerous proposals to provide taxpayer support for innovative offerings. Given the ...


July 26, 2016, 10:04 am, 1657230

What can Star Wars teach us about social science and public policy? Cass Sunstein explains how the saga offers important lessons about republics and the separation of powers.

Critics of both Obama and Bush argue that they abused the executive powers of the presidency. Cass Sunstein ...


July 26, 2016, 10:04 am, 1657229

This blog series analyzes the most important Iran news events of the past week and provides an outlook of the regime’s strategic calculus.

Grinding, complex sectarian wars remain unresolved in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere. Restrictions on Iran’s purchase of conventional weapons will be lifted by 2023 under the JCPOA. A new ...


July 26, 2016, 10:04 am, 1657228

Venezuela watchers were puzzled by the absence of President Nicolás Maduro on Sunday from one of nation’s most solemn celebrations, commemorating the birth of revolutionary leader Simon Bolivar as well as key victories that sealed the country’s independence from Spain.


July 26, 2016, 10:04 am, 1657227
Visiting Fellow Tim Carney discusses the opening of the Democratic National Convention on MSNBC's "With All Due Respect".


July 26, 2016, 9:03 am, 1657193

How the U.S. measures the unemployment rate has often been a political hot button, especially during presidential election years.

That debate was revived this weekend by Donald Trump Jr., the son of the Republican presidential candidate, who said in an interview on CNN that the jobs numbers “are artificial numbers. These ...


July 26, 2016, 9:03 am, 1657192

Over the past decade, only a small slice of working-age Americans have landed in jobs offering a mix of good pay and healthy wage gains.

That’s the conclusion of a new study by job-search site Indeed, one that underscores a broad sense of economic discontent among many Americans. Indeed’s researchers ...


July 26, 2016, 9:03 am, 1657191
From Black Knight: Black Knight Financial Services’ First Look at June Mortgage Data: Foreclosure Starts Up for Second Consecutive Month; Prepays Rise on Historically Low Rates

• Despite June’s increase, first-time foreclosure starts in Q2 2016 were at their lowest level in over 16 years

• Prepayment speeds ...


July 26, 2016, 8:35 am, 1657190

US economic growth is on track to post an encouraging rebound in this Friday’s “advance” GDP report for the second quarter. By most estimates, the Bureau of Economic Analysis is expected to report that output will rise by 2%-plus in Q2, well above the subdued 1.1% rise in Q1 ...


July 26, 2016, 8:35 am, 1657189

Here’s an intelligent idea from Richard Wilkinson:

If we can't have a Lab leader who can inspire and do the nitty gritty of Parliamentary politics, let's split the job in two, not the party.

David Owen has suggested how to do this. He writes:


July 26, 2016, 8:05 am, 1657187

Land use regulations raise prices, reduce mobility and increase income inequality in the United States. In many parts of the developing world, however, the situation is worse, much worse.

In an excellent piece Shanu Athiparambath writes:

Land is not scarce in Delhi, as I learned in one of those ...


July 26, 2016, 8:04 am, 1657186
(July 26, 2016 06:50 AM, by David Henderson) Just Say No "These Are The Mind Tricks Restaurants Use To Make You Spend More Money." So reads the title of a recent article warning people about the various psychological tricks restaurants use to cause you to spend more. There's... (0 COMMENTS)


July 26, 2016, 8:04 am, 1657184
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 241 of David Boaz’s superb 2015 book, The Libertarian Mind:

When you lay out a ...


July 26, 2016, 8:04 am, 1657185
(Don Boudreaux)

Warren Smith sent to me a link to a short essay by Noah Smith entitled “A Wealth Tax Looks ...


July 26, 2016, 8:04 am, 1657183
by Mike Kimel Police Killings, Gender and Race Police killings of unarmed Black men have garnered a lot of attention lately.  Black men are killed by police in numbers disproportionate to their share of the population.  I want to put some numbers on that issue later in the post, and ...


July 26, 2016, 7:34 am, 1657179

If you haven't seen this yet, I think it's worth a few minutes of your time.


July 26, 2016, 7:34 am, 1657180

I predict that the scandals will decrease sharply if this finding is confirmed.


July 26, 2016, 7:34 am, 1657178

Big split between Republicans and Democrats.


July 26, 2016, 7:34 am, 1657177

Because all of Canada is going toimplement a national carbon price:

Canada will implement a national policy to charge polluters for emitting carbon dioxide by the end of the year, a top government official said.

Catherine McKenna, Canada’s environment minister,toldBloomberg TV Canada that the goal of the policy is ...


July 26, 2016, 5:34 am, 1657147

"Democrats boast of running a 'surplus.' What they don't say is they only run a surplus by excluding costs for the state's out-of-control public-pension programs. If a company did this, it wouldbe accused of fraud. In California, this gets you re-elected."


July 26, 2016, 5:34 am, 1657146

David P. Goldman makes a point that I haven't seen made elsewhere.

The terrorists, in short, are winning the intelligence war, because they have shaped the environment in which intelligence is gathered and traded. But that is how intelligence wars always proceed: spies switch sides and tell their ...


July 26, 2016, 5:23 am, 1657145

A look at how the housing market, and changes in house prices affects the rest of the economy. In summary:

Rising house prices, generally encourage consumer spending and lead to higher economic growth. A sharp drop in house prices adversely affects consumer confidence, construction and leads to lower economic growth.

Real house prices ...


July 26, 2016, 5:03 am, 1657118

Each month, Gordon Green and John Coder of the private sector income and demographics analysis firm Sentier Research report on the level of median household income that they estimate from monthly Current Population Survey data published by the U.S. Census Bureau. ...


July 26, 2016, 5:03 am, 1657117

July 26, 2016, 5:03 am, 1657116

Today, we present a guest post written by Jeffrey Frankel, Harpel Professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and formerly a member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers.

When interviewed about the unemployment numbers, which have fallen steadily since 2010, Donald Trump Jr., replied “These are ...


July 26, 2016, 4:05 am, 1657112

Man faces prison for scheme inspired by Seinfeld plot where he ‘brought 10,000 cans from out of state to take advantage of Michigan’s higher deposit rates’

That is the headline, here is the story via the excellent Mark Thorson.  For the under-informed amongst us:

In Michigan you can get ...


July 26, 2016, 2:05 am, 1657093

I see a number of proposals for inducing less well informed voters to make better choices:

1. Educating them better.

2. Boosting the rate of sustainable economic growth, which tends to persuade people to support better policies.

3. “Buying” voters with one-off transfers, in the hope they will show more support for ...


July 26, 2016, 12:34 am, 1657074
Tags A A Home | Feed | Blog.rssWhy a "Dollar" Should Only Be a Name for a Unit of Gold Business CyclesMonetary Theory


July 26, 2016, 12:04 am, 1657069
(July 26, 2016 12:01 AM, by Bryan Caplan) Early this month, Ross Douthat derided the false consciousness of self-styled "cosmopolitans":Genuine cosmopolitanism is a rare thing. It requires comfort with real difference, with forms of life that are truly exotic relative to one's own. It takes its cue from... (0 COMMENTS)


July 26, 2016, 12:04 am, 1657068
Bernie’s speech was perfect.  Also perfect: Bill Clinton’s reaction.  He loved it. Things will be alright, folks.


July 26, 2016, 12:04 am, 1657067

Executive Summary

Today, more than four in ten families in America receive some kind of means-tested government assistance, from Medicaid to food stamps. The expanding reach of the welfare state means that a substantial share of lower-middle-class couples with children receive such aid—and many of these couples receive more generous support ...


July 26, 2016, 12:04 am, 1657066

Years of flat budgets amid an increasing operational tempo has thrown Marine aviation into a readiness crisis, forcing pilots to scrounge museum aircraft for parts simply to keep their aircraft flightworthy. Nevertheless, Marine aviators must prepare for high-intensity warfare against increasingly sophisticated foreign adversaries.

Can the Marine Corps triage aircraft readiness ...