Economics and You, by Alan Beideck

Proceed with caution

Just as night follows day and June follows May, recessions follow expansions. The length and timing of recessions are not as predictable as the length of our days or the time of the year, but sooner or later, a recession is coming. It’s inevitable. Rather than a question of whether a ...

Minimum-wage workers falling further behind

The federal minimum wage has not been raised since July 2009. Since then, overall hourly wages have risen more than 25%, and inflation has risen by nearly 20%. Wages of minimum-wage workers have clearly fallen further and further behind the wages of other workers and have not kept pace with ...

Trade truce, tariffs and thieves

Almost every day in the news we see, hear or read something about tariffs (taxes on imports). There is news of whether new tariffs will be imposed or existing tariffs will be increased, or decreased, or put on hold, and who pays for tariffs, and who is lying about who pays tariffs. ...

2017 tax cut promises were pie in the sky

A couple of weeks ago, the Congressional Research Service published a report that shows the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has provided few, if any, benefits for the U.S. economy. The CRS report, “The Economic Effects of the 2017 Tax Revision: Preliminary Observations,” debunks many of the ...

It’s time for President Trump to send President Xi a love letter

Is it any wonder the recent trade negotiations between the U.S. and China ended in a stalemate? The answer is quite simple, you know. China’s President Xi (pronounced shee) is feeling like a jilted lover. After all, President Trump has a self-proclaimed love affair with North Korea’s ...

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, ...