Economic News & Views

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Harry Truman once said “It’s a recession when your neighbor loses his job; it’s a depression when you lose your own.”

If you’re wondering what’s happening with either the U.S. or world economy then you’ve come to the right place.

Topics of interest include economic growth and productivity, fiscal policy, the Federal Reserve, inflation, deflation, labor statistics (employment and unemployment), the national debt, and more.

In addition to putting a cap on retirement accounts, President Obama’s budget proposal includes a possible transition to the so-called “chained CPI” for inflation adjustments. This includes things like cost-of-living increases for Social Security recipients as well as various tax provisions that are indexed to inflation. But what exactly is […]

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Predicting I-Bond Interest Rates

by Michael on Apr 15, 2013

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Series I Savings Bonds. Each year, my wife and I each max out our annual I-Bond limits. Not only that, but we jump through hoops to get even more with our tax refund. It should thus come as no surprise that […]

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Who Works for Minimum Wage?

by Michael on Mar 4, 2013 · 1 comment

Ever wonder who works for minimum wage? Well, wonder no more… The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released data summarizing the characteristics of minimum wage workers. This is particularly timely given the current debate over raising the minimum wage. In 2012, there were 75.3 million workers aged 16 or above […]

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The Economic Impact of Income Taxes

by Michael on Mar 1, 2013 · 3 comments

In honor of Sequestration Day I thought I’d highlight the results of a recent study from the Institute of Taxation and Economic Policy. As I’m sure you’re aware, there’s pressure in a number of states to reduce or abolish personal income taxes. In general, the argument in favor of doing […]

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Education and Unemployment

by Michael on Jan 7, 2013 · 1 comment

While reading the latest unemployment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), I was struck by the apparent relationship between education and unemployment rates. At tail end of 2012, the overall unemployment rate stood at 7.8%, but it actually varied quite widely across educational levels. What follows are the […]

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Fiscal Cliff Tax Changes

by Michael on Jan 1, 2013 · 1 comment

Well… Congress technically let us go over the fiscal cliff, though the Senate has now passed legislation to address the situation. The House should consider it soon and, after some pontificating, I expect it (or something very similar) to pass — perhaps narrowly — and to be signed into law. […]

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Interest Rates and Unemployment

by Michael on Dec 13, 2012 · 2 comments

At long last, the Federal Reserve has finally given us a better indication of when we might expect interest rates to start to rise. As long as inflation remains low, we can expect the Fed to work to keep interest rates near zero at least until unemployment drops below 6.5%, […]

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Who is Grover Norquist?

by Michael on Nov 27, 2012

At the risk of wandering off into politics, which I typically try to avoid… It’s hard to turn on the news this week without hearing the name Grover Norquist. Why? Because he has convinced the vast majority of Republican lawmakers to sign a pledge. The pledge in question — the […]

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