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

James Carville Should Buy a Map for the Mother of His Kids

When interviewing Mary Matalin, Tim Russert should invite someone other than her husband to stand in for the Democrats. Nothing against James Carville, but when Mary says things that are simply not true: MS. MATALIN: There is nowhere in our history, once – Abe Fortas -who did not have majority – a legislative filibuster used […]

Let Them Eat Cake

The Usual Suspects are lining up to push the third plank of the Bush Social Security propaganda. On one hand, the Usual Suspects tell us that the Pozen plan only slows the rate of growth of benefits. On the other hand, only the wealthy will sacrifice so the poor can have more. So when Paul […]

When will Housing Slowdown?

UPDATE: Forbes reported today that UK housing prices are up ” 0.31 pct from the previous quarter”. That is a slight decline in real terms. However the “volume of sales decreased by 34.77 pct”. That is exactly how a housing bust usually works: “Housing “bubbles” typically do not “pop”, rather prices tend to deflate slowly […]

GOP Failure to Control Spending

Jacob Weisberg has an interesting discussion of how the GOP has failed to live up to its 1995 promise to downsize the Federal government. He points to a Cato paper documenting that inflation-adjusted spending for the 101 largest programs that the Republicans proposed to eliminate as unnecessary in 1995 has risen by 27%. Cato should […]

A Suggestion for the New Guy at WSJ’s Editorial Page

Stephen Moore will join The Wall Street Journal as its senior economics writer. While Kevin Drum calls this a move to lower their collective intelligence, Max Sawicky suggests this move may actually increase the already low standards of the editorial page of what otherwise is a very good newspaper. Since the problem with the editorial […]

Construction in the Economy

An interesting question in the air this week is this: to what degree is the US economy shifting resources out of other sectors of the economy and into construction projects? The graph below gives my best answer to this question, which is that the shift into construction is real, and substantial. (Note that the two […]

An Unchanged Unemployment Rate

Kash noted today’s good news on employment growth and provided a graph of the employment-population (EP) ratio, which increased from 62.4% to 62.6%. While this is the first time since October 2002 that this ratio has exceeded 62.5%, the unemployment rate did not fall. The following graph shows why I have argued that the unemployment […]

April Employment Report

The BLS’s employment report for April is pretty good: Employment rose in April, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.2 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 274,000 over the month. Job growth was widespread, with gains in construction, mining, and several […]

Steven Pearlstein Unfairly Attacks Paul Krugman

Leave it to Donald Luskin to extract just one comment from the Washington Post’s Steven Pearlstein interview: Fairfax, VA: Do you agree with Paul Krugman’s assertion that the President’s recent plan to cut social security benefits actually falls mostly on the middle class and not the wealthiest?Steven Pearlstein: No, it was very intellectually dishonest. All […]

Defending China’s Pegged Exchange Rate

William Kucewicz tries to argue over at NRO that “China’s dollar-pegged exchange rate has been one of the bright spots of the international monetary system of the past decade”. His primary argument seems to be that a fixed exchange rate system is both a necessary and sufficient condition for price stability. The evidence he presents […]