Open thread Feb. 18, 2014 Dan Crawford | February 18, 2015 7:37 am Tags: open thread Comments (8) | Digg Facebook Twitter |
Stephen Moore is the worst person in the world.
a couple posts this week that weren’t the usual fare:
at Kos: rig count still falling, oil production and oil glut still rising…
and at the Economic Populist: Gauging the Impact of December Inventories on 4th Quarter GDP Revisions
Interesting piece on demographics and deflation:http://www.bruegel.org/nc/blog/detail/article/1570-demographic-changes-and-structural-deflation/
In particular it points out that older folks may desire less inflation that younger folks. (Partly makes sense as older folks tend to beneift less from inflation relative to younger more indebted folks).
The article also points out that an aging population tends to reduce growth rates as the number of new workers decreases.
Just to short-hand, shore up my claim of 50K minimum needs for a family of three found in detailed chart 3-2, on p.44 of MS. Foundation book Raise the Floor.
My quick look:
$11,000 health care for a family of four (not three), $498 a month (after $541 subsidy) + $4900 (from Brill, p. 346, close enough);
$4,000 payroll taxes (not even counting all those regressive taxes that we take for granted as the part of prices);
$15,000 rent and utilities for any place decent;
leaving a big $400 a week to feed, cloth, transport (entertain?; MS. does not allow a cent for entertainment) four people. I would call that minimum needs.
Meantime the median income is $26,000.
3.5% shift in income would pay for a $15 minimum wage (half the workforce is seriously treading water between $300 a week (assuming they get 40 hours; most may not) and $500. If the 16% of income that shifted to the top 1% since the mid-seventies had instead shifted to the bottom 90% (the top 10% mostly kept up their share until recently) the latter would be swimming in money (and FICA collections would be going through the roof — got to stop diverting funds to that silly TF at some point).
“…..the latter would be swimming in money….”
I don’t think that’s the best way to describe the lost potential benefits of a more equitable distribution of income to the working class, but I agree with the lost benefits that are described. Yes, we would all be far better off and the economy would likely be significantly more robust resulting in a healthier Social Security program. As well as all other social aspects of economic activity. Don’t hold your breath until those in control wake up to the needs of the work force and provide that group with a better share of the proceeds of that work.
“Swimming” in cab driver terms, maybe. 🙂 At least cab drivers today — not in the late 70s when I started hacking. Let me lay bare my personal tale of woe — my personal decent into the much lower middle class because of complete lack of American labor market bargaining power AND concomitant political muscle:
I arrived in Chicago to support myself driving taxicabs in 1980. Between 1981 and 1997 Chicago allowed one 30 cent rise in the mileage rate — at which 1990 midpoint it started building subways to both airports, opened up unlimited limos, began putting on free trolleys between all the hot spots downtown (e.g., the Aquarium) AND adding 40% more cabs. By early 1997 I had emigrated 2,000 miles to San Francisco to get an (American?) job driving a cab.
NYC, same story: in 2004 dollars: after last successful taxi strike in 1976 (rug then pulled out by lease system) meter raised to $2.25 a mile. By early 2004 had dropped to $1.50 a mile (lease meant shortfall totally on drivers) before raises back to $2.00 — after over 50% increase in per capita income, in the only place on earth (lower Manhattan) where wealth is a plateau not a pinnacle.
PS. As long as we are on the taxi driver topic — and I’m Irish and I can’t shut up — allow me to explain the decent of Times Square from being the Great White Way into Robert DeNiro’s hell. One-two punch: the Supreme Court said porno was First Amendment protected which for some reason caused the area to fill up with naughty shops, which in turn attracted the lowest side of the street business — simultaneously the heroin epidemic hit — synergistic combination, causing Robert to blow away the whore house. 🙂
In fact I’m a bit familiar with both aspects of your tale of woe. Taxi drivers never made a good living unless they owned the cab and medallion. Otherwise the driver rented his ride for a set amount or a percentage of the gate. Which ever it didn’t amount to more than the owner of the medallion was willing to share. Always a bad negotiating position for a non-owner.
Times Square used to be one of my favorite places to stroll around a bit and take in the rather tawdry sights. I’m going back to the early ’60s. There were still dime a dance dumps which now seems odd to me. Porn was there then and only got a bit more explicit over the years until being run out of town by gentrification of the entire island of Manhattan. Is it a cleaner Times Square today? That depends upon one’s point of view. It now resembles the images of places like Hong Kong in old news reels. All neon and ersatz glitz. The pawn shops on 8th Ave. are gone. So too the Broadway/Hollywood memorabilia shops. No more street walkers either. All replaced by Disneyesque veneer of reality and crappy restaurants. I’d be surprised to see DeNiro strolling along. His alter ego from Travis Bickle might have been more likely back in ’65. I do miss the old, more flavorful Times Square. It’s for tourists now.
Don’t forget: “Going Out of Business Sale”
“Nice to look at, nice to hold, if you drop it, then it’s sold”