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A T-shirt for the Times

Perfect for wearing when you teach Chapter 9 of my favorite textbook. (Make sure to check out the image on the back.)

In spring a chancellor's thoughts turn to tax hikes

My regular column is available to subscribers on This is an excerpt. One of the biggest challenges for people like me is writing about budgets. Though in recent years they have been held on Wednesdays at 12.30, just...

Don't worry, be happy - even when confidence is weak

My regular column is available to subscribers on This is an excerpt. If we?re happy and we know it we should probably clap our hands, as I think I remember singing many years ago. And, however you may...

New Issue! Plus: Regional economic disparities and Hillary Clinton’s Unfortunate Remarks

Our March/April issue is at the printers (and in e-subscribers’ inboxes). (Not a subscriber yet? You can subscribe now here!) We just posted an article from the new issue–Jerry Friedman’s “Economy in Numbers” column, Growing Together,...Show More Summary

Re-theorizing the Welfare State and the Political Economy of Neoliberalism’s War Against It

This paper argues neoliberalism is engaged in a war against the welfare state. At issue are competing views regarding the size of the welfare state and how it should be organized. In waging this war, neoliberalism seeks to politically discredit the traditional welfare state and change the economic structure so that the latter becomes unviable. Show More Summary

Growth Is Change. So Is Death.

The very readable book The Wizard and the Prophet tells the story of environmental prophet William Vogt investigating the apocalypse-level deaths of guano-making birds near Peru. When he discovered the cause in the El Nino weather cycle, his policy recommendations … Continue reading ?

Study Resistance To Widened Political Polarization

Tyler Cowen today: Consider how an economy might work if buying decisions were made on a consistently ideological basis. Imagine a “right-wing” supermarket chain and a “left-wing” alternative. … The history of Northern Ireland shows a great many retailers, from … Continue reading ?

The Washington Post Wants to Cut Social Security and Medicare but Doesn't Have the Courage to Say It

It's hard not to have a certain attachment to the Post's longstanding crusade against Social Security and Medicare. After all, it has been pushing for cuts to these programs at least since I came to town in 1992. They did in the high...Show More Summary

Robert Samuelson Gives Still More Evidence of the Skills Shortage

We all know about the skills shortage. Employers just can't find workers with the skills necessary for the jobs that are available. As a result, jobs go wanting and many workers remain unemployed. Samuelson gives us yet another example...Show More Summary

Adjusting Fines for Income: NYT Goes 100 Percent Loon Tune

It is amazing how otherworldly seemingly intelligent people can sometimes be. The NYT ran a column by Alec Schierenbeck arguing that fines for things like parking and traffic violations should be progressive. The point is that a $150...Show More Summary

More on Those Big Tax Cut Bonuses for Workers

Many large companies managed to get some good publicity by announcing bonuses for their workers which they said were the fruits of the tax cuts. We, of course, have no way of knowing the extent to which these bonuses were due to theShow More Summary

Private Equity and Toys 'R' Us: Lessons of Bankruptcy

As someone whose mother took him to Bargain Town (the original name for Toys 'R' Us) when I was a little kid, it's hard not to feel sad to see Toys 'R' Us being liquidated. There were obviously many factors involved in the company's collapse. Show More Summary

FOMC Preview

The consensus is that the Fed will increase the Fed Funds Rate 25bps at the meeting this week, and the tone might be a bit more "hawkish". Assuming the expected happens, the focus will be on the wording of the statement, the projections,...Show More Summary

The New York Times Has Determined that China is Violating International Rules on Patents and Copyrights

It would be interesting to know how the paper made that determination, but it referred to "China’s theft of American intellectual property" as a matter of fact. China is bound by the TRIPs provisions in the WTO, but there are many different...Show More Summary

Sunday Night Futures

Weekend:• Schedule for Week of Mar 18, 2018• Goldman: FOMC PreviewMonday:• No major economic releases scheduled.From CNBC: Pre-Market Data and Bloomberg futures: S&P 500 are down 2, and DOW futures are down 20 (fair value).Oil prices were mixed over the last week with WTI futures at $62.16 per barrel and Brent at $66.02 per barrel. Show More Summary

Trump Was Right About the Trade Deficit with Canada

It was widely reported that Donald Trump confronted Canada's prime minister Justin Trudeau over his country's trade surplus with the United States. Trump was mocked in these stories since they claimed that Canada actually has a trade deficit with the United States. Show More Summary

Goldman: FOMC Preview

A few brief excerpts from a note by Goldman Sachs economists Jan Hatzius and Spencer Hill: FOMC Preview: A Fast Start for the Powell FedThe FOMC looks very likely to raise rates at next week’s meeting, the first with Chairman Powell at the helm... Show More Summary

In Defense of Larry Kudlow (Sort of)

A lot of folks are running around making a big point of the fact that Larry Kudlow, Trump's new head of the National Economic Council, has gotten a lot of things about the economy wrong, and in particular missed the coming of the Great Recession. Show More Summary

Hotels: Occupancy Rate Up Year-over-Year

From STR: US hotel results for week ending 10 MarchThe U.S. hotel industry reported positive year-over-year results in the three key performance metrics during the week of 4-10 March 2018, according to data from STR.In...Show More Summary

Thomas Friedman Pitches Protectionism to Help His Friends

Thomas Friedman used his column today to trash Trump for protecting old-line industries like steel and aluminum and argued instead that US trade policy should be, "[...]focused on protecting what we do best — high-value-added manufacturing...Show More Summary

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