Open thread October 16, 2020 Dan Crawford | October 16, 2020 6:45 am Tags: open thread Comments (4) | Digg Facebook Twitter |
One of the reasons I find discussions of Social Security interesting is that the annual report contains a coherent long term projection of economic conditions. While the intermediate assumptions cannot accurately project the variation from bubbles and subsequent recessions, it has done a remarkably good job over the longer term. During the discussion from the previous open thread I looked back again at those numbers and find this worth more thought:
From at least 2007 to 2019 the out-year assumed unemployment rate was 5.5 percent. In the 2020 report it was dropped to 5.0 percent. Fed policy appeared to have driven it below 5.5 in 2015.
Absent the Covid recession, was there any reason to think unemployment would go back above 5 percent?
I’m trying to figure out the 3 of the 1-2-3 I need to make out regularly scheduled union cert/recert/decert elections to be the absolute do-this-or-do-nothing thing that it is.
I disposed of EITC as accomplishing much of anything across the board with: EITC transfers 2% of income while 40% of our workforce earns less that what we think the minimum wage should be ($70 billion out of $13 trillion of income — wages 2/3 of GDP).
I disposed of the minimum wage as any kind of across the board anchor for decent wages area: we cannot set the minimum wage any higher than the wage that the unionized workers with the weakest bargaining position could negotiate for themselves ($15?). (The current $7.25 federal minimum wage is at the 1956 level, adjusted.)
My last debunking target is the mistaken notion that card check represents any kind of organizing punch able to roll back employers’ fifty year roll back of labor union density. How do I make completely clear (as in the first two examples above) the gap between card check and what is really, really needed to reform and remake today’s 93.5% union free US labor market? What psychological tactic?
How can I debunk card check as part of any real overall solution — leaving the absolute necessity of regularly scheduled elections the only possibility left on the table? Working on it.
someone, not me. ought to ask the Actuaries how they are so smart. i think the SSA actuaries have actually published something about their assumptions and methods, but the fact that they get it right over long periods of time suggests to me that the economy may be determined more by real world parameters than economic policy.
absent serious mismanagement as can happen when the true believers get ahold of things.
Something completely different.
A Black Hole’s Lunch: Stellar Spaghetti
Astronomers call it “spaghettification,” and it’s not a pretty idea: It’s what happens when you venture too close to a black hole and fall in. Tidal forces stretch you and break you like a noodle, then your shreds circle the black hole until they collide and knock each other in.
On the upside, the energy released by your long fall and the crashing together of what used to be your atoms might produce a flash — a cosmic funeral pyre, if you will — that can be seen across the universe.
In a case reported last week, it was merely an anonymous star in a faraway galaxy that met its doom. Thanks to luck and ever-increasing vigilance of the heavens, the whole world was watching as the star went down. …