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

Returning to work and unemployment benefits

Diane Lim writes an analysis of the economic theory of the marginal incentives people have to go back to work at her blog EconomistMom. Worth a visit: Quote: “Get ready to see lots of press on the ending of pandemic unemployment benefits in some parts of the country and what it shows about how much […]

Guest post: U.S. has 18th best unemployment benefits in OECD

Guest post by Kenneth Thomas of Middle Class Political Economist U.S. has 18th best unemployment benefits in OECD; also trails 13 non-OECD countries Tim Vlandas at EU Welfare States flags some important recent International Monetary Fund data on the generosity of a number of countries’ unemployment benefits. The metric used is the gross replacement rate […]

Social Security as you know it, it’s over, forget about it.

I caught a bit of Jennifer Granholm’s The War Room for 2/23/12.  She was talking gasoline prices and had Ron Klain on for his ideas. He is a past chief of staff for Gore and Biden as VP’s. Mr. Klain also published his thought at Bloomberg2/20/12. This post is not about solving the rising gasoline […]

Unemployment insurance only for grads?

Off the charts blog via Mark Thoma For legislation to extend the payroll tax cut through the end of 2012, House Republicans are expected to push for a provision on unemployment insurance (UI) that is appalling even by current Washington standards. Neither President Obama nor Congress should accept any payroll-tax legislation that includes it. Here’s […]

GOP’s payroll tax cut bill (with a lot of other stuff)

Dan here…Linda Beale writes on the intent and passage of these bills. Whether the use of the payroll tax has political and budget consequences for people’s perceptions of Social Security and its future remains a question previously discussed at Angry Bear here. by Linda Beale (Update from Linda: Payroll Tax Extension Passes) GOP’s payroll tax […]

The social safety net encourages…?

Mark Thoma responds to the meme that the social safety net encourages bad behavior overall: The idea that the unemployment problem is due to lack of effort on behalf of the unemployed rather than a lack of demand is convenient for the moralists, but inconsistent with the facts. The problem is lack of demand, not […]

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 […]

16 Weeks – Old Enough to Drive, not Working

Will those who are claiming that the economy is recovering and things are better please explain why, as of today, we have sixteen straight weeks of “seasonally adjusted” UI claims above 400,000? I’m now convinced that there will be no troop reductions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, or any of the other places where we’re conducting […]

Wealthy people hire people? I didn’t know that

by Beverly Mann Wealthy people hire people? I didn’t know that.Crossposted with the Annarborist “Unemployed people hire people? Really? I didn’t know that. The truth is the unemployed will spend as little of that money as they possibly can.”(here)—Rep. John Shadegg of Arizona and Economics Nobel Prize laureate Actually, of course, since Shadegg is right […]

Unemployment extensions end soon

NELP (National Employment Law Project) notes: For administrative reasons, states need to shut down their extended unemployment programs in advance of the federal government’s Nov. 30 cut-off. NELP estimates that 800,000 people will lose unemployment benefits in the coming weeks and 2 million workers will lose their benefits by December if Congress fails to act. […]