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

Meanwhile potable water becomes more of a problem for Americans

From The Guardian: In 2010, the UN declared clean water to be a human right. Yet a decade later, millions of Americans lack basic indoor plumbing, more than 100 million are exposed to toxic chemicals in their drinking water, and water bills have risen by an average of 80% across 12 US cities, in a cascading crisis […]

New and continued jobless claims level off, as spreading secondary impacts and job recalls balance

New and continued jobless claims level off, as spreading secondary impacts and job recalls balance Weekly initial and continuing jobless claims give us the most up-to-date snapshot of the continuing economic impacts of the coronavirus on employment. Three full months after the initial shock, the overall damage remains huge, with recalls to work roughly balanced […]

May inflation steadies: meanwhile, an artificial all time high in “real” wages

May inflation steadies: meanwhile, an artificial all time high in “real” wages –  by New Deal democrat In May, overall consumer prices declined by -0.1% (blue in the graph below), while consumer prices excluding energy (gas) rose +0.1% (red): Note that in 2015 when gas prices collapsed, prices otherwise continued to increase, showing the underlying […]

May jobs report: a welcome positive shock

May jobs report: a welcome positive shock –  by New Deal democrat HEADLINES: 2,509,000 million jobs added. This makes up about 12% of the 22.1 million job losses in March and April. U3 unemployment rate improved 1.4% to 13.3%, compared with the January low of 3.5%. U6 underemployment rate improved 1.6% to 21.2%, compared with the […]

Coronavirus, the economy, and the election: the jury is still out on all three

Coronavirus, the economy, and the election: the jury is still out on all three There is some housing data out today; I’ll probably have a post up about it tomorrow at Seeking Alpha, and I’ll link to it here. Meanwhile, the jury is still out on the effects of the “reopening” of many States on […]

A Compromise on Liability

A Compromise on Liability So Mitch McConnell and the senate Republicans want blanket employer liability protection as the price of another round of economic support.  They have this leverage because Democrats kept postponing their agenda until they were the only ones with a list of things they wanted to spend money on. (This illustrates classic bargaining theory […]

Woke Is Reactionary: The Small Business Lending Edition

Woke Is Reactionary: The Small Business Lending Edition We live in a drastically unequal society.  Everywhere you look you will find injustice, constraint and exploitation.  Being a member of a racial or other minority increases the odds you will end up on the short end, so what should we do about it?  There’s a progressive […]

New coronavirus cases vs. testing in “reopened” States

New coronavirus cases vs. testing in “reopened” States Are new coronavirus infections increasing in States that “reopened” on or about May 1? The jury is still out. The number of infections is up in 4 of the 5 biggest States that have done so, but so are the number of tests. The likelihood that most […]

Asking the Wrong Questions: Reflections on Amazon, the Post Office, and the Greater Good

The Greater Good “If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about answers.” — Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow   Originally written in 2018 on the Save The Post Office blog and featured at Angry Bear in 2019, retired North Carolina Post Master Mark Jamison wrote on the issues facing […]