Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

David Reilly, 28 Feb 1956 – 22 April 2021

Dave Reilly died peacefully in his sleep, of “natural causes,” last Thursday morning. At least, I hope it will still be last Thursday morning by the time I finish this post. Better known in the blogsphere as Lance Mannion, he has been a friend and an inspiration for about fifteen years now. And an intimidation. […]

Trade Incentives and Whoppers: A Finger Exercise

Nick Rowe was looking for the role of money in the Heuristic Macro Model, which is often used to introduce students to Trade economics. The problem he discovered is that there is only a role for money if there is friction in the model, and therefore a two-household (or household-firm or firm-firm) model makes money […]

Wisconsin ex-Dane and Milwaukee Counties

In comments to NDD’s post, Terry says: Wisconsin—except for Milwaukee and Madison —basically opened up with no restrictions as a result of the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling 4 weeks ago and much to the delight of the late night comics people flocked to taverns without regard of masks or social distancing. I certainly expected to […]

Random Acts of Counties, and Some Malice

Chattahoochee County, Georgia, had a significant increase in cases from a relatively high (ca. 50) base. Fort Benning’s new cases appear to be the source, even as those are not fully reported in the NYT data yet. Scurry County, Texas, is more typical; a 1200% (not a typo) increase—but from a base of two (2). […]

Pure Coincidence

Shot: Protecting Your Business From Legal Liability During Reopening May 15 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm In this brief 30-minute webinar, we will step business owners through the liability concerns when reopening following the COVID-19 shutdown. Bobbi Berkhof will inform entrepreneurs why following local, state, and federal recommendations may help protect the business from […]

The Comic Stylings of FRED, Employment Edition

I’m back to playing with data, so there will probably be more posts coming soon. (Sorry.) Meanwhile, this one was irresistible. FRED® has a “Natural Rate of Unemployment” data series. Apparently, the evil of the United States is that—except for the second half of the Clinton Administration where it was worth people’s while—Americans Just Don’t […]

THE Important Graphic from April’s Unemployment Report

What happens when you downsize a large number of people? Well, it depends on the cohort downsized. In this case, Figure 1 That’s correct; Average Hourly Earnings skyrocketed from $28.67 to $30.01: up $1.34. For context, that one-month change matches the average hourly earnings growth from September/October of 2018 until March of this year–18 months […]