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Tag Archives: Taxes/regulation

Regulation: A Gut Check

Regulation: A Gut Check How do we get the word out that our underlying conception of how regulations should be designed and enforced needs to change? The New York Times has an ominous article about the overuse of antibiotics by the livestock industry and its risks for animal health and ours.  Flooding our digestive system with these drugs damages the gut microbiome we depend on for nutrition and waste processing, and it promotes the evolution of...

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$3 a gallon gas has returned!

$3 a gallon gas has returned! According to GasBuddy, as of this morning the average price of gas in the US is $3 a gallon: This is the highest in 3 1/2 years.  YoY gas prices are up a little over 25%. I suspect that this is a significant psychological threshold. While it’s not a “shock,” which historically has caused Americans to cut back their spending by double the increased amount that they spend on gas, causing a recession, it might very well...

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Gorz: “The Right to an Income and the Right to Work,” part one

Gorz: “The Right to an Income and the Right to Work,” part one From “Orientations and Proposals — The Reduction of Working Time: Issues and Policies” of Andre Gorz’s Critique of Economic Reason (1989) translated by Gillian Handyside and Chris Turner. I am posting the section on “The Right to an Income and the Right to Work” in two parts. This is part one: The Right to an Income and The Right to Work When the production process demands less work and...

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Dear Professor Krugman, Say Its Name!!! “Taboo”

Dear Professor Krugman, Say Its Name!!! “Taboo” Paul Krugman is coming closer to embracing my “taboo” argument. A month ago I wrote that raising wages was becoming a taboo. I considered three alternative hypotheses: 1. monopsony (quoting Vox) [I]n recent years, economists have discovered another source: the growth of the labor market power of employers — namely, their power to dictate, and hence suppress, wages…..{Monopsonistic f]irms [which pay less...

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H-2B, or Not to Be? A Look at Labor Shortages and Immigrant Labor

by Jeff Soplop H-2B, or Not to Be? A Look at Labor Shortages and Immigrant Labor Several publications recently ran stories on issues with the H-2B visa program and impending shortages that are affecting local economies of various parts of the country. For those who aren’t familiar, the H-2B program allows US employers to bring in temporary workers for non-agricultural jobs. While the length of stay varies and can sometimes be extended, typically these...

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Downsizing

Dan here….Downsizing the home when retiring? How is that done? Anecdotal evidence in the Boston area reveals to me several reasons why downsizing is only a small percentage of the housing market:  Aside from being able to handle maintenance to a later age than in the past, and wishing to maintain personal community that a move would disrupt, downsizing is not necessarily as affordable as a cursory look might suggest.   Here is one look at data: Via...

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A Guide to the (Financial) Universe: Part III

by Joseph Joyce A Guide to the (Financial) Universe: Part III Parts I and II of this Guide appear here and here. 4.      Stability and Growth Is the global financial system safer a decade after the last crisis? The response to the crisis by central banks, regulatory agencies and international financial institutions has increased the resiliency of the system and lowered the chances of a repetition. Banks have deleveraged and possess larger capital bases....

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The percentage of employees who don’t get wage raises; is the Taboo undergoing an “extinction burst”?

The percentage of employees who don’t get wage raises; is the Taboo undergoing an “extinction burst”? I came across the below graph yesterday from the Kansas City Fed. It’s pretty shocking: It represents “wage rigidity.” In english, that means the percentage of employees who don’t get any annual wage increases. It speaks for itself. Nine years into the economic expansion, with an unemployment rate under 4%, and un underemployment rate of 7.8% (only...

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Intercompany Guarantee Fees and Trump’s Lido City Loan

Intercompany Guarantee Fees and Trump’s Lido City Loan Matthew Yglesias notes: Trump stands to gain from an Indonesian project that got a $500 million loan right before he flip-flopped on ZTE… But it also happened the same week a Chinese state-owned company came through with hundreds of millions of dollars in loans, some of which will go to facilitate the construction of Trump-branded properties in Indonesia. Does anyone know what the interest rate will...

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R.I.P. bond bull market, 1981-2016

R.I.P. bond bull market, 1981-2016 On September 30, 1981, the 10 year US Treasury bond yielded 15.84%. It has not been that high since.  On July 8, 2016, it fetched only 1.37%.  It is unlikely to see that low rate again for a very, very long time.  Those two dates likely mark the birth and death dates for perhaps the biggest bond bull market in history. Here (from CNBC) is the relevant graph: Today the 10 year closed at 3.067%, having hit an...

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