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

Wages, prices, "profit", and productivity…and Black Friday too

Black Friday around here in New England begins to night in stores about 8 P.M. On the internet Black Friday’s discounts began last week as the competition heats up between companies with stores and internet based sales. Stores have responded with aggressive discounts, especially visible is Walmart. This post is relevant to the issue of […]

Guest post: Top 1% Reduced Taxes in Last 3 Years but Probably Gained Income Share

Guest post by Kenneth Thomas Top 1% Reduced Taxes in Last 3 Years but Probably Gained Income Share Citizens for Tax Justice came out with a nice report today showing that the overall U.S. tax system is just barely “progressive,” which is to say that as your income goes up, so does your tax rate. […]

The ATM Myth

Brad DeLong cited this passage from Ron Suskind’s latest book on Monday: Both [Christina Romer and Larry Summers], in fact, were concerned by something the president had said in a morning briefing: that he thought that high unemployment was due to productivity gains in the economy. The same meme spread across the economics spectrum: Scott […]

Japanese style economics…lifted from comments

Lifted from comments from Spencer’s post on Productivity and the stock market Dan Becker: Mike Panzer at Financial Armageddon has been on the issue that the “street” is missing all that is going on around them. From his blog: However, I wonder if a new paper, From Keeping Up with the Joneses to Keeping […]

Growing Productivity, Stagnating Compensation

Crossposted at The Street Light. Yesterday Ezra Klein had a chart (from a paper by Larry Mishel and Heidi Shierholz at EPI) showing that both private sector and public sector wages have been stagnating for the past several years, and have certainly not kept up with productivity growth. I think it’s useful to look at […]

Productivity Growth

By Spencer, Third quarter nonfarm productivity rose at a 9.5% annual rate as output rose 4.0% and hours worked fell at a 5.0% rate. Historically, productivity has been a very good leading indicator of real GDP growth lagged two quarters. Productivity is also highly cyclical and the first year of a recovery typically experiences the […]


By Spencer (2009)   The issue of a jobless recovery is getting a lot of attention recently. I’ve found the best way to look at the issue is to compare the change in real growth and productivity over the long run. There have been three periods of different productivity trends in modern US economic history. […]