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

Social Security: Trust Fund Ratios, Solvency and the Reagan ‘Raid’

What does or would it mean to say that Social Security was ‘solvent’? Under the rules that govern the Trustees of Social Security the test for any given year is pretty simple: did or will the year end with all obligations/cost met while still retaining assets equal to the next year’s cost. To determine this […]

The “Global Savings Glut” Is Conceptually Incoherent. “The Economy” Cannot “Save”

When you hear people talk about the Global Savings Glut, you can be quite sure they are talking about monetary “savings” — the global aggregate stock of money embodied in financial assets. What they don’t seem to realize is that the net holdings of global financial assets minus liabilities — claims and counterclaims — is […]

Guest post: Speaking Truth to Power

Joseph P. Joyce (is a Professor of Economics at Wellesley College and the Faculty Director of the Madeleine Korbel Albright Institute for Global Affairs Guest post: Speaking Truth to Power When the full history of the European debt crisis is related, one important part of the story will be the uneasy relationship of the International […]

Real income growth trends

Even though this post by Spencer England is from 2008 and hence dated, it reminds us of the overall experience of making it in America: by Spencer England Making comparisons over time of how real income grows is a difficult proposition with many data problems. One recent study was able to show how a current […]

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 […]

Brad DeLong Sez It! Inequality Kills Growth

Okay well he doesn’t say it quite so succinctly. Or categorically. In fact he hedges his statement several ways from Sunday, and uses a hundred-and-twenty-three-word paragraph to do so: The near-consensus view over here at Equitable Growth and at the Equitablog is that U.S. economic growth over the past generation has been very disappointing. Too-much of our economic growth […]

‘Socialism’ is a rough proxy for interventionist government? REALLY, Thomas Edsall?

Obama argues that government action is required to redress the growing disparity between rich and poor, diminished opportunities for upward mobility and economic stagnation. Public opinion, at least according to the Stimson analysis, is moving in precisely the opposite direction. A 2011 Pew Research Center survey gives us a glimpse of some of the headwinds […]