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Economics and You, by Alan Beideck

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 ...

Housing prices and affordability

It’s been a long time coming. According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which publishes a measure of single-family house prices, U.S. housing prices have finally recovered from the housing bubble of the mid-2000s. That bubble burst in 2007 and ushered in five consecutive years of ...

What do you get for your income taxes?

A couple of weeks ago, this column covered the recent budget-busting tax-and-spending bills passed by Congress and how, in the midst of one of the longest economic expansions in history, Congress squandered an opportunity to reduce the size of the national debt relative to national income. ...

Don’t be fooled by balanced budget amendment proposals

Last Thursday, Congress voted on a balanced budget amendment. This sham legislation is a phony attempt by members of the House to show they are fiscally responsible. Coming on the heels of recent budget-busting tax cuts and spending increases, the proposed balanced budget amendment could not ...

Gender pay gap narrows at slower pace

For many, the gap between women’s and men’s wages is narrowing far too slowly. Others wonder why it is even an issue. Few if any issues in economics are more contentious, more misunderstood and more studied. The National Committee on Pay Equity, a coalition of more than 100 social ...

Consumers taken to the cleaners

Consumers are being taken to the cleaners by a tax recently imposed on washing machines. On Jan. 22, President Donald Trump announced an import tax (tariff) of 20 to 50 percent on washing machines imported from South Korea and China. If you are in the market for a new washing machine, then you ...