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

Going past what is sustainable… Another market failure

There are quite a few shifts happening in the global and domestic economy. I have been observing for the past week. So many people are getting confused. Here is a list of concerns… China is slowing down. Some emerging markets are facing capital outflows and are tempted to raise their central bank interest rates. Argentina […]

No: Saving Does Not Increase Savings

The misconceptions embodied in this post’s headline sow more confusion in economic discussions than any others. “Saving” and “Savings” seem like simple concepts, but they’re not. They have many different meanings, and their different usages (often implicit or unconscious) make coherent understanding and discussion impossible — even, often, in writings by those who have otherwise […]

Teen employment and minimum wages

by Spencer England Last week Kevin Erdmann  at the idiosyncratic whisk blog published this chart to demonstrate how minimun wages have caused teen employment to suffer. It is an interesting chart, but it suffers from the sin of omitted variables. I constantly see similar charts from those opposing the minimum wage were they seem to […]

On the Horizon "After Obamacare"

Many of us have talked about bending the healthcare cost curve by changing the services for fee healthcare cost model to a model of better outcomes for those fees. This is precisely what the PPACA does. Phillip Longman based his book “Best Care Anywhere” on how the VA brought about such a change in the […]

America’s Most Wanted: Boeing

Boeing is America’s Most Wanted Corporation in two senses. First, now that the Machinists’ union in Washington state has refused the company’s contract demands, it is shopping production (h/t Pacific Northwest Inlander) of the 777x aircraft nationwide and lots of states are making offers for it. Second, it is emblematic of everything the 1% is […]

Food Stamps Obesity and Dependency

Hilary W. Hoynes, Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, Douglas Almond made a genuinely important contribution to the debate on the effects of social welfare programs in this NBER working paper/revised manuscript “Long Run Impacts of Childhood Access to the Safety Net” They took advantage of a natural experiment to estimate the long run effects of access to […]

“A liberal is someone who doesn’t know how to take his own side in an argument.”

This quote is right up there with the great Will Rogers line: “I don’t belong to an organized political party. I’m a Democrat.” Matthew Yglesias opens his recent post with it. I don’t know if he coined it, but if so, A Huge Kudos. It’s utterly and painfully true. A deservedly iconic statement. Here’s what […]

A healthy natural real interest rate… Say “No” to secular stagnation

I put together a video on the natural real interest rate. There is not one single natural real rate. It is like what Steve Waldman said… “The word natural is always used to hide the constructed context in which an outcome occurs…” The natural real interest rate goes lower, as policy tries to push real […]