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

What is the story of wages and growth?

Lifted from comments: Run 75411 reacts to Daniel Alpert at Economonitor. : It appears much of the job growth has been in low wage opportunity which forces people to do with less and detracts from demand led economic growth. The economic bump in taking a lower wage paying job is just not that great; average Unemployment […]

Offshoring profits with captive reinsurance

by Linda Beale Offshoring profits with captive reinsurance One of the ways that corporations manage to cut their federal income tax bills way, way below the statutory rate is by setting up reinsurance affiliates offshore.  While some of these reinsurance affiliates may actually function as full-service reinsurance companies to many different customers, those truly taking […]

Best to own a business rather than work for one

by Rebecca Wilder Best to own a business rather than work for one In my effort to move away from covering Europe exclusively on this blog, I’ve returned to a little niche of economic data that had intrigued me in the past: US national income accounts/accounting. This time I’ll look at national income, specifically corporate profits […]

Machines are labor, but they don’t buy gifts

CNBC has a video on youtube about the concern over machines replacing people. They actually touch upon many relevant aspects of the issue… high unemployment, increasing corporate profits, productivity of machines, rising real GDP, stagnating median household incomes, low minimum wages and even social instability. Replacing people with machines, like paying lower real wages, is […]

Chart for the day: Growing on Imports

by Rebecca Wilder Chart for the day: Growing on Imports Or should I say barely contracting on imports. In the traditional sense, growth in imports does not make a whole lot of sense. Normal economies import and export things, such that statistical agencies subtract the dollar amount of things that are made in other economies but […]

State GDP shows a manufacturing rebound in 2012

by Rebecca Wilder State GDP shows a manufacturing rebound in 2012 State GDP shows the following in 2012: durable goods manufacturing and finance and insurance are primary drivers of cross-sectional growth. This confirms the national story, according to the BEA. A state-level breakdown shows strong (a surge in) economic activity in North Dakota, Oregon, Texas, and […]

The Appalachia Map, Yet Again

Lots of desperation talk these days by Republicans hoping to win future national elections by increasing their share of the “missing” white vote, while ignoring all those brown people. (Sean Trende’s piece seem to be the epicenter at this moment.) Nate Cone drives a very effective stake through the heart of that zombie ambition here, with […]

One Place Where Mankiw Makes Absolutely No Sense at All

In his Defending the One Percent paper, Greg Mankiw is rather grudgingly acknowledging rent-seeking (and -getting) in the financial industry, and the allocation of top talent to that industry. He sez: The last thing we need is for the next Steve Jobs to forgo Silicon Valley in order to join the high-frequency traders on Wall Street. […]