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

Median household income and housing affordability

Median household income and housing affordability Let’s take a look at the affordability (or not!) of housing since there is no economic news of note today (Monday). Last week the Census Bureau released their annual report on median household income for the US, covering 2020. Since this is the best measure to gauge housing affordability, […]

CPI Rose .3% on Prices for Food, Energy, New Vehicles

CPI Rose 0.3% in August on Higher Prices for Food, Energy, New Vehicles, Furniture and Appliances; Commenter and Blogger RJS at MarketWatch 666 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, Consumer Price Index: All Items for the United States [USACPIALLMINMEI], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/USACPIALLMINMEI, September 19, 2021. The consumer price […]

Weekly Indicators for September 13 – 17 at Seeking Alpha

 by New Deal democrat Weekly Indicators for September 13 – 17 at Seeking Alpha My Weekly Indicators post is up at Seeking Alpha. Despite the fact that Delta has been almost as bad as last winter’s wave of infections, which was the worst to date, and has been almost as bad in terms of deaths as […]

August retail sales rebound slightly, argue for continued strong jobs growth in autumn

August retail sales rebound slightly, argue for continued strong jobs growth in autumn Let’s take a look at retail sales, which are perhaps my favorite monthly economic indicator, since they tell us so much about average consumer behavior, and are also a good short leading indicator for jobs.Nominally retail sales increased 0.7% for August, after […]

Jobless claims continue in normal mid-cycle range

Jobless claims continue in normal mid-cycle range Last week I encouraged readers to take the very low jobless claims number with a grain of salt due to Labor Day artifacts, and see if the big reduction was maintained or reversed this week. This week did indeed reverse the pattern somewhat, but not enough to interfere […]

The anti-democratic tenor of the criticism of Australian policy is troubling

In prior posts, I argued that Australia’s covid policy can be criticized, but that it cannot simply be dismissed on the grounds that it is “authoritarian”.  Here I will argue that some criticism of Australian covid policy has a distinct and troubling anti-democracy flavor to it. Tyler Cowen argues that Australia should be investing in […]

Industrial production now exceeds pre-pandemic level

Industrial production now exceeds pre-pandemic level Industrial production, the King of Coincident Indicators, was reported this morning for August and was positive in a particularly significant way. Total production increased 0.4% in August, and the manufacturing component increased 0.1%. Nothing particularly special about that; in fact the manufacturing component was a little weak compared with […]

A more “normal” consumer inflation reading for August belies damage to the economy going forward

A more “normal” consumer inflation reading for August belies damage to the economy going forward Inflation, along with the expiration of the emergency pandemic payment, is one of the two big threats to this expansion. This morning August consumer inflation was the lowest in 6 months, up only 0.3% – within the range of a […]

Is Australia an autocracy? Is it on the Road to Serfdom? And what about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?!?!

In my previous post, I argued that the only plausible way to criticize covid policy is to explain why some alternative policy mix (possibly a policy with a big dose of “no regulation”) will lead to better outcomes than the current policy regime.  Libertarians often refuse to engage in this type of policy analysis.  Instead, […]

Death to Farm Credit from Those on High

Death to Farm Credit from Those on High, Farmer and Economist, Mike Smith I’m in between fall crop planting and have to focus so I am going to run this like the rancher on the clock. Farm Credit System History  In 1916 when the Farm Credit System was established there were 6 million farms that employed around […]