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

Four measures of labor market losses in the pandemic

Four measures of labor market losses in the pandemic Below is a graph of 4 ways of measuring the downturn in the labor market due to the pandemic: 1. Payrolls (blue) – this is the headline jobs number from the establishment survey2. Civilian employment (green) – this is the equivalent number from the household survey.3. […]

Not With a Bang, but a Whimper… Democratic Party Edition. An Op Ed.

A presidential candidate like Donald Trump should not be viable. Candidates he supports should not be viable. The existence of Donald Trump should be a boon for the Democrats. And, in fact, it has been. But it hasn’t been enough. Perhaps four (or eight?) years worth of results will tip the balance for Democrats, but […]

"The Treadmill and the Poor Law are in full vigour, then?”

by run 75441 “The Treadmill and the Poor Law are in full vigour, then?” A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens “That’s Baloney” stated Rep. Micky Hammon, R-Decatur, Alabama; the immigration bill cosponsor, told the Huntsville Times. “It’s clear the study over estimates the negative and under estimates the positive to skew the result toward an agenda,” […]


by Mike Kimel Can someone explain to me why people volunteer at for-profit hospitals? I can understand volunteering at a not-for-profit hospital, but how is volunteering at a for-profit hospital different from, say, volunteering at Exxon-Mobil or Wal-Mart?

The Cost of Labor

The standard model of Economic Development is Romer’s (1989, JPE 1990) adaptation* of Solow’s (1956, 1957) Model.  Basically, became Y = AKα(HL)(1-α) where the H stands for “human capital,” which multiplies the ability of labor. (Think high-skills labor—construction work, plumbing, teaching—where the worker continually “learns by doing” [op cit., Arrow, 1962]. The additional “human capital” […]

Unemployment, Unemployment Benefits and Severance Packages: A Modest Thought Experiment

by Mike Kimel Most economists believe that unemployment benefits increase the unemployment rate. The idea is that even having a relatively small income coming in (from unemployment) can encourage people to stay jobless just a little while longer. And no doubt there are people who play the unemployment compensation game fairly well. Now, consider severance […]