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

Real aggregate payrolls and recessions

Real aggregate payrolls and recessions  – by New Deal democrat One of my favorite indicators for the overall economic health of the American working and middle classes is real aggregate payrolls for non-supervisory workers. This is kind of self-explanatory. Rather than measure hourly wages, this is the *total* amount of wages paid to non-supervisory workers, […]

Marking My Beliefs About Weapons to Market 2 (Military 3/N)

On April 1 2022 I wrote “I score Robert 4 Pentagon 0. I currently oppose the F-35 procurement program. No score yet.” I didn’t know that 4 days earlier on March 28 2022 Valerie Insinna had published “F-35 cuts, F-15 boost, and E-3 replacement: Air Force’s $170B budget makes big moves in FY23“ “the biggest […]

How much would it cost to eliminate US Poverty ? Why don’t we ?

First the US poverty gap is on the order of $180 billion per year. That is the sum over all households with income under the poverty line of the amount that household’s income is below the poverty line. That is a small amount of money compared to US GDP or even US Federal Government spending. […]

US Public Opinion on Income redistribution

I am going to give a hostage to fortune. I am going to guess that the preferred policy supported by a majority of US respondents on questions about redistribution of income is that which would directly serve the narrow short term economic interests of a (probably different but overlapping) majority of US respondents. I am […]

August industrial production declines; overall decelerating trend consistent with recession in 2023

August industrial production declines; overall decelerating trend consistent with recession in 2023  – by New Deal democrat Finishing today’s data dump, industrial production, the King of Coincident Indicators, declined -0.2% in August, while manufacturing production increased 0.1%. July’s sharp gains in both were revised slightly (-0.1%) downward:  While July remains the high water mark for overall […]

A few observations on freedom

Guest Post by Infidel as posted from his Blog of the same name. Intro . . . In the real world, which contains many individuals interacting within a society, overall freedom is maximized when the total ability of all individuals to do whatever they want is maximized.  In practice, achieving this involves a vast number […]

Happy 155th Birthday to volume one of Capital

Happy 155th Birthday to volume one of Capital! In his 1965 farewell lecture at Brandeis University, Herbert Marcuse read a long passage from the Grundrisse’s “fragment on machines” and then observed: “But Marx himself has repressed this vision, which now appears as his most realistic, his most amazing insight!” In Time, Labor and Social Domination, published 28 years later, Moishe […]

Positive real retail sales in August, but YoY flatness continues

Positive real retail sales in August, but YoY flatness continues  – by New Deal democrat Retail sales, probably my favorite monthly economic datapoint, increased 0.3% in August. Since consumer prices rose 0.1%, real retail sales rose 0.2%: That’s certainly good news. Now here’s the bad news: July’s retail sales were revised downward by -0.4%, so […]