Economics and You, by Alan Beideck

Healthy surge in older workers

Since 2000, nearly all the increase in U.S. employment has been attributed to an increase in workers 55 years old and older. Employment gains of those 55 and older has outstripped job gains of those under 55 by 18 to 1. As highlighted in his blog post, “Older Workers Account for All Net ...

The unaffordable $400 emergency

Over the last few months or so, you might have heard of the unaffordable, $400 emergency, especially from politicians and the media. The source of that information is the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (The Fed). According to their Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. ...

U.S. economy: two parts capitalism; one part socialism

Presidential campaigns have been ramping up. The political rhetoric and nonsense about which candidates are capitalists and which are socialists has also been ramping up. In his 2019 State of the Union address, President Donald Trump remarked, “Here in the United States, we are alarmed by the ...

Medicare for all or just a political free-for-all

Politicians of every stripe have recently turned up the rhetoric on proposals to revamp our health care system, especially potential contenders for the 2020 presidential race. Some, including Senators Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, and Kirsten Gillibrand, have ...

Anxiety continues for federal government workers

Last Friday evening, President Donald Trump signed a continuing resolution providing funding to end the partial government shutdown. Apparently, political pressure built-up to a point where the President felt forced to enact the CR. The anxiety continues, though, especially for federal ...

Baby, it’s hot outside

On the day after Thanksgiving, the Trump administration released the Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4). NCA4 is the fourth in a series of reports mandated by Congress in the Global Change Research Act of 1990. Apparently, the NCA4 report was released on Black Friday to minimize the ...

Giving thanks for independent central banks

“A (central) bank has to be Independent because one cannot really trust the politicians —  they are all a rotten lot and any of them might seek to get out of a hole by printing money.” — Karl Blessing, President, Deutsche Bundesbank, 1958-69 --- Last week, at our Thanksgiving ...

Franklin or Twain: Whose advice do you follow?

“Never leave till tomorrow that which you can do today.” — Benjamin Franklin --- “Never put off till tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow just as well.” — Mark Twain --- Mark Twain’s humorous twist on Benjamin Franklin’s quote is good advice if you ...

Swamp things and budget deficits

Over the last couple years, we have heard over-and-over how the political swamp in Washington needs to be drained. Most of us would agree, but the meaning of the phrase drain the swamp is about as clear as ... well ... mud. One thing that is clear, though, is the U.S. Treasury continues to ...

Economic costs of sexual assault

The recent testimonies of Dr. Christine Blasey-Ford and Brett Kavanaugh before the U.S. Senate highlighted a dark and dangerous chapter in American history. Given their testimonies, only the most insensitive among us would not be deeply moved by the tragedy of sexual assault. You can count ...

Economy has more jobs than workers, but wages are still stagnant

The number of unemployed and the unemployment rate are often quoted in the news. A complementary statistic, which provides insight into the labor market and is seldom quoted,is the number of job openings. Each month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an agency of the U.S. Department of Labor, ...

Labor’s share of national income is declining

By most measures, this past Labor Day was a cause for celebration as workers have benefitted from the nation’s sustained economic growth. The nation’s output, as measured by gross domestic product (GDP), has risen for eight consecutive years; it also turned in a stellar performance in ...

Labor’s share of national income is declining

By most measures, this past Labor Day was a cause for celebration as workers have benefitted from the nation’s sustained economic growth. The nation’s output, as measured by gross domestic product (GDP), has risen for eight consecutive years; it also turned in a stellar performance in ...

When wedding bells ring, cash registers cha-ching!

With the average cost of weddings topping more than $30,000, it’s no wonder grown men turn into whimpering weenies at their daughters’ weddings. According to The Knot, in 2017, the average cost of a wedding was $33,391. The parents of the bride pick up 45 percent of the tab or $15,015, ...

Who is keeping the economic score?

Over the last two weeks, government statistics mills have released data that show the U.S. unemployment rate continues to fall, the job count continues to grow, and output continues to expand. That is truly great news for U.S. businesses and workers. It is also great news for incumbents ...

Labor unions under the gun after Supreme Court ruling

In an ironic twist, the Supreme Court has invoked the first amendment, which guarantees the right to free speech, to weaken workers’ voices at the negotiating table. In June, by a 5 to 4 margin, the Court took away labor unions’ capacity to collect fees from nonmembers. In the case of ...

Is the economic tide about turn?

While many of us will be at the beach to celebrate the 4th of July, economists will ponder whether our economy is at, or near, high tide and when that tide might turn. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the U.S. economy has now entered its 10th year (109th month) of ...

Bloopers, tweets and trade wars

Radio announcer Harry von Zell made one of radio’s all-time biggest bloopers when he referred to President Herbert Hoover as “HoobertHeever.” According to Snopes.com, a fact checking website, and contrary to popular myth, “the occasion for Harry von Zell’s immortal flub was not a ...

What’s the beef with SNAP?

Over the last few months, Congress and the president have been wrangling over a new farm bill without any resolution. The biggest bone of contention appears to be the food stamp program, which is officially dubbed the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP). Republicans seem to ...