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Tag Archives: Taxes/regulation

Prime age employment participation and wages: not so clear a relationship

Prime age employment participation and wages: not so clear a relationship In the last couple of months variations of the same graph which is supposed  to “solve” the wage conundrum have been going around. I saw another version this weekend: Easy to see, there is what looks like a nice, nearly linear relationship between the prime age (25-54) employment to population ratio (left scale) with wages as measured by the employment cost index (ECI)(bottom...

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What to Do about Conservative Rationality in Addressing Climate Change?

What to Do about Conservative Rationality in Addressing Climate Change? Two business-friendly conservatives, both former senators, Trent Lott and John Breaux, have an op-ed in today’s New York Times announcing the formation of new group, Americans for Carbon Dividends.  Now out of office, they recognize climate change as “one of the great challenges of our generation.”  To counteract it they propose a bipartisan coalition to institute a carbon tax, with...

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THE DAMNATION OF THE PROFESSIONAL REPUBLICAN POLICY INTELLECTUALS

by Bradford DeLong   (originally published at Grasping Reality with Both Hands) THE DAMNATION OF THE PROFESSIONAL REPUBLICAN POLICY INTELLECTUALS I have long known that the thoughtful and pulls-no-punches Amitabh Chandra has no tolerance for fuzzy thinking from Do-Gooder Democrats. He is one of those who holds that not even a simulacrum of utopia is open to us here, as we muck about in the Sewer of Romulus here in this Fallen Sublunary Sphere. ”There are...

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Children make the bestest hostages

Children make the bestest hostages Criticisms of Trump in the business press are especially instructive, because they have no obvious partisan motivation. So Josh Barro’s article at Business Insider this morning, castigating his “bully-and-threaten approach to dealmaking,” is particularly noteworthy. He writes: Donald Trump has a negotiating tactic he really likes: Threaten to do something someone else will really hate, and then offer to stop if they...

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May retail sales come in strong

May retail sales come in strong Real retail sales for May came in strong, up +0.6% just in the month: As the graph shows, this is on trend for the entirety of this expansion, and is also a new high, surpassing that of last winter. Per capita real retail sales also made a new high, an indicator that the expansion is likely to continue at least one more year: Finally, the YoY% growth in real retail sales has also been increasing:...

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Is Strengthening Labor Good for Development?

Is Strengthening Labor Good for Development? Servaas Storm, who’s always worth reading, has posted on the INET website a summary of a new working paper he coauthored.  This issue goes way back with me—I first started looking into and writing about the labor rights/wage/trade/development nexus back in the 1980s.  Working on my own, I had a lot of false starts, and I’m happy to see others digging much more deeply today. I won’t comment on the substance of...

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Gas- and housing-powered inflation mean real wages are going nowhere

Gas- and housing-powered inflation mean real wages are going nowhere This morning consumer price inflation for May was reported at +0.2%. YoY inflation was 2.8%. This is tied for the highest in six years (blue): The cause of the increase was primarily twofold — and neither one reflective of wage inflation. First, gas prices have increased by over 20% in the past year (red, right scale above). Second, the costs for shelter (housing) are picking up...

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Update: wholesalers’ sales and inventories — it’s all good

Update: wholesalers’ sales and inventories — it’s all good Another slow start to the data this week, so let’s take a look at relationship I haven’t updated in awhile. Total sales in the economy are broken up into three categories: manufacturers’, wholesalers’, and retailers’. We’ll get retail sales, the biggest component of the three, later this week. But wholesalers’ sales and inventories were released last week, and are a useful coincident...

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Backstabbing Over Cows

Backstabbing Over Cow What is it with cows?  I mean their flatulence does add to global warming, but they seem so benign, chewing their cud while producing milk and meat.  Why is it that national leaders get into fits of backstabbing over them, or especially over all that milk they produce? Well, of course, that is it; they produce a lot of it, and a variety of products come from the milk, which sometimes markets do  not want as much of as some of the...

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Robert J. Samuelson Also Exaggerates Social Security Problems

Robert J. Samuelson Also Exaggerates Social Security Problems Not really a surprise, after all, it is Monday, and RJS has been at this for quite a long time at his post at WaPo.  But the recent release of the Trustees’ Report has not only gotten the Associated Press all bent out and shrieking “insolvency,” but I think with the push coming from the recent massive tax cuts that are swelling the budget deficit, the usual old gang of “cut the entitlements!”...

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