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

BLS Report on the Tepid Pace of Job Creation

The abstract of Job Flows and the Recent Business Cycle: Not All ‘Recoveries’ Are Created Equal by R. Jason Faberman reads: The last two economic downturns are notable for their slow labor market recoveries. Yet, the behavior of their underlying gross job flows is quite different. The 1990-92 period had a relatively slow decline in […]

Shifts in Advertising Revenues

Yesterday I heard a story on NPR’s Morning Edition that set me to wondering. The central point of the story was that newspapers (particularly local papers) are facing an increasingly difficult time, because their ad revenues are declining as more people get their news from the internet instead of from a traditional newspaper. Newspapers can […]

Monopoly Power Implies a Good is Not Important?

Mark Thoma reads John Tamny so we don’t have to. Tamny writes: What seemingly is missed every time the anti-trust crowd gets in a froth over a proposed merger is the nature of profits. If anything, consumers should hope that companies succeed in achieving monopoly profits. Large profits by definition speak to an unmet market […]

Borrowing and Spending

In the news today, there is new data about US borrowing from abroad, and retail spending at home. First the borrowing: U.S. current account widens to record WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — The U.S. current account deficit widened by 21.3% to a record $224.9 billion in the fourth quarter, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday. The deficit amounted […]

The Phillips Curve: Bernanke v. Kudlow

Lawrence Kudlow once again is guilty of either stupidity or mendacity (or both) as misrepresents a speech by Ben Bernanke: It’s always amazing to listen to conventional demand-side economic pundits and mainstream reporters who try as hard as they can to minimize the excellent performance of the American economy ever since lower marginal tax-rate incentives […]

Sully v. the Shrill One on Fiscal Policy

Andrew Sullivan attacks Paul Krugman (hat tip to Mark Thoma) in such an utterly disingenuous way that is receiving some well deserved scorn. Krugman writes: According to this view, if you’re a former Bush supporter who now says, as Mr. Bartlett did at the Cato event, that “the administration lies about budget numbers,” you’re a […]

Higher Unemployment as Good News

The Employment Situation Summary for February shows that nonfarm payroll employment grew by 243,000 – so why did the unemployment rate rise to 4.8%? The Household Survey indicated a 183,000 increase in employment, which meant that the employment to population ratio remained at 62.9%. The civilian labor force grew by 335,000, which bumped the labor […]

Declining Real Income

Kash notes that this week’s Econoblog addressed income inequality, which has been rising over the past couple of decades: Russell is right that absolute standards of living matter. But I think that he failed to address Boushey’s point (which is fairly widely accepted by economists) that relative success matters to people, too. Understanding the causes […]

Income Inequality

This week’s Econoblog from the WSJ is about income inequality. Heather Boushey is alarmed by the rise in inequality over the past couple of decades: Over the past 30 years, we have seen inequality rise along all three dimensions — wages, incomes and wealth — and it shows no signs of slowing. As a result, […]

Bush v. Reagan on the Size of Government

Let me just add my two cents to what PGL just wrote about whether Reagan was really a small-government conservative, and to what degree Bush has betrayed that legacy. To start with, let me repost a picture that I like from an old post entitled “Spending Growth in Context“: Firstly, I would agree that Reagan […]