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

September jobs report: once again, two very different surveys net to a “relatively” disappointing gain

September jobs report: once again, two very different surveys net to a “relatively” disappointing gain As I previously indicated, two items I was particularly watching for in this morning’s report (Oct. 7) were (1) manufacturing hours and payrolls – to see if that white-hot sector was holding up in the face of supply bottlenecks, and […]

Updated US wealth distribution data shows how bad the Great Recession and its aftermath were, and how effective the pandemic assistance has been

Updated US wealth distribution data shows how bad the Great Recession and its aftermath were, and how effective the pandemic assistance has been   The desert of new economic data this week continues today. But last week the Fed released its quarterly data on wealth distribution in the US, and it shows an important point […]

A slow grind in new and continued claims as Covid’s effects gradually transition from pandemic to endemic

A slow grind in new and continued claims as Covid’s effects gradually transition from pandemic to endemic Jobless claims declined 38,000 this week to 326,000, still 14,000 above the September 4 pandemic low of 312,000. The 4 week average rose 3,500 to 344,000, 8,250 above their September 18 pandemic low of 335,750: Continuing claims declined […]

Record High August Trade Deficit on Higher Imports of Pharma and Services

Commenter and Blogger RJS, MarketWatch 666, “Trade Deficit Rose 4.2% to a Record High in August on Higher Imports of Pharmaceuticals and Services” Our trade deficit rose by 4.2% in August as the value of both our exports and our imports increased, but the value of our imports increased by four times as much . […]

Chicken, Hog, and Beef Farming and then there is Big Ag

Michael Smith, Real Farmer and Farm Economist Ooh boy have we got a lot going on in ag world. Run sent me this a little while ago and I think this is important. The Tricky New Way That Big Ag Is Getting Farm Data, The Atlantic, Claire Kelloway, October 5, 2021 Big data collection is […]

Will Krysten Sinema Change Parties?

EconoSpeak: Will Krysten Sinema Change Parties?, Barkley Rosser, October 5, 2021 I have resisted posting something like this, but while I have yet to see anybody else suggest it, this possibility has been on my mind now for several days. We have never seen to my knowledge a senator refuse to offer their views on […]

Democratizing Work

Democratizing Work I was a bit skeptical of the Global Forum on Democratizing Work. It seemed to me that rushing into an online conference was perhaps a bit over ambitious and misdirected for a relatively new initiative that arose out of a collective letter to the editors of newspapers. Anyway, I attended three-session today, two […]

Hidden in the Reconciliation Bill, a Mandate

Michael Smith on the Open Thread: “‘Found this interesting. Tucked in the reconciliation bill they want to mandate employers with 5+ employees to contribute up to 10% to an IRA. Failure to do so is ‘taxed’.”  Hidden In The Reconciliation Bill: A Retirement Plan Mandate That Will Take Most People By Surprise, Forbes, Elizabeth Bauer, […]

Labor as a Common Pool Resource

Labor as a Common Pool Resource The everyday experience of working people, economic policies of governments, bargaining priorities of trade unions, and theoretical models of economists refute the idealistic maxim that labor is not a commodity. An early rationale for the proposition was given in 1834 by William Longson of Stockport in his evidence to […]