When Black Unemployment Rates Were Equal to White Unemployment Rates…

In a twitter-debate with Tariq Nasheed, I pointed out that the wages rates did converge between the 1940s and 1990s. Recently, Robert Margo of the University of Chicago extended this to per capita incomes since 1870. It is fascinating to see that there was convergence between 1870 and 1940 in spite of Jim Crow laws … Continue reading When Black Unemployment Rates Were Equal to White Unemployment Rates…

From the Comments: Why do France’s banlieues have 40% unemployment?

Dr Amburgey asks the question, and Dr J gives the answer: Terry: Good question but the answer is implied: Policies that allow for much higher economic growth than has been the case since about 1985. It’s hard to figure an explanation for persistent French economic stagnation that does not implicate government action (ACTION, not inaction). Two … Continue reading From the Comments: Why do France’s banlieues have 40% unemployment?

Unemployment is Completely Unnecessary

In U.S. government statistics, a person is unemployed if he is 16 years of age or more, and that person is able and willing to work at prevailing wages. The labor force includes the employed and the unemployed. If one is not employed for wages because one does not wish to work or to seek … Continue reading Unemployment is Completely Unnecessary

Unemployment: What’s To Be Done?

In Part 1 I outlined natural unemployment, government-caused unemployment, and the attempts to measure these. We saw how ambiguous and subjective some of the concepts of unemployment are and how the government, specifically the Federal Reserve, is charged with managing it. Now we turn to current conditions and what can be done about them. There have … Continue reading Unemployment: What’s To Be Done?

Unemployment: What Is It?

Unemployment has regained center stage now that the debt crisis has receded from that position, at least for a time. Unless things change dramatically over the next year unemployment will be the number one issue in the forthcoming presidential election. Hardly any proposal will escape being labeled “job-killing” or “job-creating” or both. To begin with … Continue reading Unemployment: What Is It?

From the Comments: the Unemployment Rate

Dr. Gibson has won the much-cherished gold star I had offered in a previous comment. My question had to do with the green dot in this graph, and Dr. Gibson explained it to perfection. He writes: The widely followed U3 unemployment rate, as shown in the figure, is the number of unemployed divided by the … Continue reading From the Comments: the Unemployment Rate

Wat’s On my mind: tax and subsidy impacts

I’ve been reading through some recent (2021 and 2015) papers on the impacts of various tax and subsidy changes. Here is a short review of the latest to be learned from the research. My  tl;dr takeaway is that taxes and subsidies are less distorting than my priors expect. Unless otherwise stated, all papers are in the American … Continue reading Wat’s On my mind: tax and subsidy impacts

Immigration in the Time of Joe Biden: What to Do (Part 8 of 11)

A Different Way to Process Refugees The current policy for would-be refugees consists in inviting them to apply inside or very near the country followed by catch-and-release with an honor-based request to appear for final legal disposition, at a distant and undefined date, or never. It’s as if designed for failure. It’s not really part … Continue reading Immigration in the Time of Joe Biden: What to Do (Part 8 of 11)

Immigration in the Time of Joe Biden: What to Do (Part 2 of 11)

Does America Need Immigrants? By way of honest introduction, let me say that I think American society needs immigrants. I also think it will draw them either through an orderly process or through a disorderly one. Two big reasons US society needs immigrants. (There are other reasons.) First we have chronically unmet labor needs. As … Continue reading Immigration in the Time of Joe Biden: What to Do (Part 2 of 11)

Wats On My Mind: the state of the economy

I wrote the following update for my Principles of Macroeconomics students and thought it might just count as an update for Wats On My Mind. In the first two minutes of class, I asked you how you would know how the economy is doing. Let’s focus on our three big areas: GDP, unemployment, and inflation. … Continue reading Wats On My Mind: the state of the economy

Crisis, governments and the micro-macro conundrum

Layoffs and salary cuts are individual firm responses to a crisis that may make sense from a micro perspective- it is about saving money – but they will have dire consequences on the macro level. I lived through this in Greece. Ten years ago, every firm was expecting the worst to come from the memorandum. … Continue reading Crisis, governments and the micro-macro conundrum

The U.S. Economy: A Fading Illusion?

Jack Curtis jackwcurtis@cs.com Coming up on the 2020 U.S. presidential election, President Trump takes repeated curtain calls for his creation of the best economy ever, crowing endlessly over an unemployment rate currently 3.5%. His would-be Democrat opponents whom usually attack him for even breathing, do not attack his assessment. Their somewhat dubious pack of intended … Continue reading The U.S. Economy: A Fading Illusion?