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The Angry Bear

A thought for Sunday: for now the economy remains on automatic pilot –and that’s good

by New Deal democrat A thought for Sunday: for now the economy remains on automatic pilot –and that’s good How much, if any, of the economy, has been influenced by the Trump/Ryan GOP government in Washington to date?  With one exception, not much I think. First of all, while the jobs report was certainly good, was no better than the average report from 2014 or 2015 — or 4 of the last 8 months, for that matter: And it wasn’t just foreseeable, it was...

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Should The Complacent Class Be Called The Fearful Class?

by Barkley Rosser  (originally from Econospeak) Should The Complacent Class Be Called The Fearful Class? Tyler Cowen has published his most successful book yet, The Complacent Class, now on the Washington Post nonfiction bestseller list and getting reviewed by everybody from The Economist to the New York Times and on.  It is the Book de Jour that all are commenting on one way or another.  Is America declining because so many of its people have become...

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The Role of Experts in Public Debate

Jonathan Portes asks, “What’s the role of experts in the public debate?” He assumes it is his prerogative, as an expert, to define that role: I think we have three really important functions. First, to explain our basic concepts and most important insights in plain English. Famously, Paul Samuelson, the founder of modern macroeconomics, was asked whether economics told us anything that was true but not obvious.  It took him a couple of years, but eventually...

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Trumpcare Saves Social Security By Killing People!

by Barkley Rosser  (originally from Econospeak) Trumpcare Saves Social Security By Killing People! Yes, there it is in black and white in footnote f on p. 33 of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) official report on the proposed American Health Care Act, aka Trumpcare. Between now and 2026 spending by the Social Security Administration is projected to decline by $3 billion if Trumpcare passes. This is due to a projected 1 out of 830 people dying who would...

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Measures of underemployment continue to show improvement

by New Deal democrat Measures of underemployment continue to show improvement The unemployment rate, at 4.7%, is generally acknowledged to be decent, although not great.  But what of the underemployed? Typically as an economy expands, the U6 (unemployed + underemployed) rate has declined more than the U3 (unemployed only) rate, as shown on the below graph which subtracts U3 from U6, thus leaving us with just the underemployed: As the recovery matures, the...

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How do We Reduce Misery Caused by Poverty Around the World?

A few weeks ago I had a post looking at the success of a number of countries. I noted that countries that do well include, (in no particular order): the US, Canada, Northwest Europe, Switzerland, Scandinavia, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and, until China began applying a heavier thumb, Hong Kong. Those also happen to be the countries that would attract the most foreigners interested in being citizens, so this quick and dirty list...

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February jobs report: hitting on all cylinders but wages

by New Deal democrat February jobs report: hitting on all cylinders but wages HEADLINES: +236,000 jobs added U3 unemployment rate down -0.1% from 4.8% to 4.7% U6 underemployment rate down -0.2% from 9.4% to 9.2% Here are the headlines on wages and the chronic heightened underemployment: Wages and participation rates Not in Labor Force, but Want a Job Now:  down -142,000 from 5.739 million to 5.597 million Part time for economic reasons: down -136,000 from...

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