Category Archives: Economics

The Middle Class Disappears

A graphic from Daniel Kay Hertz, via CBS Chicago. Family income 75-125% of the metropolitan median are in gray.

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You should only get one bite at this apple

Fresh off of negotiating a federal budget for the next two years, House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan is now saying that the Republicans will plan to extract concessions from the Democrats as a condition for raising the debt ceiling in … Continue reading

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Poverty And Inequality In The US

More details and charts at the link on how the US is an outlier, in the wealthy world, in poverty and inequality. I wonder what on earth is the story in Japan:

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Will The GOP’s Harm To The Country Cost It In The Midterms?

Every word of this Jonathan Cohn post is worth reading: “Don’t Blame the Tea Party for the Shutdown. Blame Boehner”. Maybe the truth of Cohn’s argument has some weight (though I would bet against it): “Looking at the 2014 Congressional … Continue reading

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Enjoy Your Government-Free FREEDOM While It Lasts

Budgeting guru Stan Collender expects the shutdown to last about a week: 2. From noon today until the close of business on Wednesday, there will be more amusement with the spectacle of the shutdown — such as video of federal … Continue reading

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Chance Of Default: At Least 20 Percent

Paul Krugman and Josh Barro offered contemporaneous, opposite views on the risk of the US defaulting on our debt and throwing the global economy into turmoil. Krugman thinks the chance of default is relatively high: Add me to the chorus … Continue reading

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No One Cares About The Deficit Except Democrats

Derek Thompson notes that “The Deficit Is Plunging, and No One Cares” (link added): Of particular note, projected spending on Medicare — perhaps the most important driver of our long-long term debt — fell sharply since the recession, but not because of the … Continue reading

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What It Will Take For Republicans To Again Be A Normal Political Party

The GOP is in a brittle, unstable state. It will change– to once again be capable of participating in governance, and discussing and formulating policy. Or, the context around it will change– conservatism continues its descent into niche brand status, … Continue reading

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Broken Bootstraps

From WaPo: Poverty consumes so much mental energy that people struggling to make ends meet often have little brainpower left for anything else, leaving them more susceptible to bad decisions that can perpetuate their situation, according to a study published Thursday in … Continue reading

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“They Just Hate Spending Money On The Poor”

Josh Barro looks at Republican anti-poverty policy: The Cato Institute is out with an update to their 1995 study which purports to show that, in most states, welfare pays better than work. … The study is called “The Welfare-Versus-Work Tradeoff,” and it’s meant … Continue reading

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Yellen Into The Void

Felix Salmon shoots down the absurd anti-Yellen-for-Fed case that appears to be coming from inside the White House: Irwin [in his WaPo article] enumerates three main reasons why the White House is underwhelmed with Yellen. The first is the “team … Continue reading

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We Don’t Know Anything About The Most Important Thing

Lane Kenworthy notes that we don’t really understand very well how economic growth works: As it turned out, America’s economic growth from 1979 to 2007 (peak to peak) was pretty healthy. It was slower than during the post-World War II … Continue reading

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And Reality Has A Well-Known Liberal Bias

Usually, pundit and economist predictions have about as much enduring weight as a Tim Cowlishaw prediction on “Around the Horn”. So it’s strange to see this in the Wall Street Journal– someone looked up over 700 Federal Reserve governors’ predictions from … Continue reading

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Slaves To Some Defunct Economist

Matt O’Brien notes that unemployment benefits don’t actually contribute to our jobs crisis: The Great Recession has not been a great vacation. Four years since the recovery officially began, many people are still unemployed not because they don’t want to work, … Continue reading

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The Meager Benefits Of Our Enormous Financial Sector

We’ve addressed the pitfalls of an over-financialized economy around here many times. A brief rundown from a longer Brad Delong post: Over the past year and a half, in the wake of Thomas Philippon and Ariel Resheff’s estimate that 2% of U.S. GDP … Continue reading

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In Search Of The Last “Fiscally Conservative Republican”

A CBO study just found that the Senate’s immigration reform bill would lessen the deficit by about $200 billion over the next decade. This about captures the political dynamic: NOTE: The GOP is for reducing the deficit unless it helps … Continue reading

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Placeholder Post On Free Trade

This is happening: ENNISKILLEN, Northern Ireland—The U.S. and the European Union on Monday said they would start talks to build a free-trade agreement to boost growth and create jobs across the Atlantic—a deal that officials hope will strengthen the world’s … Continue reading

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IMF: Contractionary Policy Is Contractionary

Not a surprise to anyone who remembers Econ 101, but, alas, counter to conventional wisdom in the past four years: growth is expected to slow to 1.9 percent this year owing to an excessively rapid pace of fiscal deficit reduction, … Continue reading

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