Latest Posts

Home

Facebook

Twitter

Search
About

A history of American economic policy in six books

There was a time when leading economists would write for a mass audience, commenting on the issues of the day, and applying economic principles to them. These six books offer a course in both economics and the economic aspects of post-war U.S. history. They also offer a window on a time when debate about these issues was, perhaps, less shrill than it is now. It was also, probably, more fruitful. ...

Continue reading

In 2017 American workers were more willing and able to quit their jobs for better pay. This bodes well for future pay increases

In 2017, an increased number of American workers quite their jobs to look for a better offer elsewhere. This reflects increased optimism about the economy from American workers and bodes well for future wage growth. There has been a lot of positive economic news recently and this is one more part of the picture. ...

Continue reading

Fed: Economy “Remarkably Positive,” and Unprecedented in Modern History

The article below originally appeared in the Washington Post. - I know, I was as surprised as you are. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome H. Powell said Tuesday that the U.S. economy appears to be in the midst of a “remarkably positive” period that is unprecedented in modern history. The Fed is predicting that unemployment will remain below 4 percent through 2020 and that inflation will stay low — around 2 percent — during that time. This has never happened in modern U.S. history. The last time unemployment was that low for several years, in the 1960s, it triggered high inflation, but the central...

Continue reading

Milton Friedman: Judge public policies by their results, not their intentions

According to Milton Friedman, one of the great economists of the 20th century, "One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results". Just because something is called a 'Jobs bill' or an 'Affordable Care Act' does not mean that more jobs or affordable care will be the result. When assessing these policies, we should not look at the good intentions that produced and named them, but at their actual effects on jobs or the affordability of care. In this Newsweek column from October 1982, Friedman lists a number of examples where government...

Continue reading

A tip credit will go some way towards mitigating the harm that St. Paul’s leaders want to do to the city’s labor market

"The only restaurants that are going to be able to survive this (minimum wage hike without a tip credit) are big corporate chains. Small restaurants just can’t afford it" says Jennifer Schellenberg of Restaurant Workers of America. This echoes the findings of a report by the Citizens League earlier this year. They found that most of St. Paul's large employers, such as U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo, were already paying their staff at least $15 an hour. The people who would be hit hardest by the the city's politicians commanding its small business owners to increase their staff costs by up to...

Continue reading