Archives: June 2005

Mark Thoma Misses the Point

Posted by: Michael Mandel on June 30, Categories: Growth

Hairshirts versus growth proponents--the real story

The Coming Nursing Shortage?

Posted by: Michael Mandel on June 28, Categories: Health

Alwin, who has worked as an intensive care nurse for years, has a post about the coming shortage of nurses: ...we’ll hit a sort of “brick wall” in the year...

More about my critique of macro forecasting

Posted by: Michael Mandel on June 28, Categories: Macro

Craig Newmark notes my critique of macroeconomics, and then writes "I wish he would document the claims." Well, here is the documentation for two of the critiques that I mentioned...

Misleading numbers--$150,000 versus $1.7 million

Posted by: Michael Mandel on June 27, Categories: Growth

I hate it when journalists (and economists!) give misleading and silly economic numbers without an appropriate comparison. In the Sunday NYT, Nicholas Kristof wrote that because of the national debt,...

Future of Humanity (and the Economy)

Posted by: Michael Mandel on June 24, Categories: Tech

Oxford has just started a new Future of Humanity Institute headed by Nick Bostrom. Areas of research include global catastrophic risks, maximizing human potential, ethics and public perception of human...

The Emperor Has No Clothes

Posted by: Michael Mandel on June 24, Categories: Macro

In a recent column, Washington Post columnist Robert Samuelson says that: Our ideas for explaining trends in output, employment and living standards -- what we call "macroeconomics" -- are in...

Housing versus Business Investment

Posted by: Michael Mandel on June 24, Categories: Macro

Pursuing a theme which continues to interest me, I contrast the continued strong performance of housing construction with the weak durable goods number this morning. New orders for nondefense, nontransportation...

Some basic research surprises

Posted by: Michael Mandel on June 23, Categories: Tech

We all know that one of the main functions of government is funding basic research, with long-term, highly uncertain payoffs. After all, nobody else is going to do it. So...

A Musical Puzzle

Posted by: Michael Mandel on June 23, Categories: Labor Market

Musicians have always claimed that they were exploited by the record industry. I was just looking at some numbers that quantify the "degree of exploition". Here are the two numbers:...

Schools, Science, and Faith in the Future

Posted by: Michael Mandel on June 22, Categories: Growth

Here's some thoughts by David Brin about why fewer American kids are going into the sciences these days--and why it's not the fault of the schools. Mind you, I DO...

A Lack of Faith in the Future?

Posted by: Michael Mandel on June 22, Categories: Growth

Faith comes in many different forms. In its purest form, it embraces belief without the need or even the desire for immediate proof. Faith is usually thought of as a...

Book Recommendation: "Rebuilt"

Posted by: Michael Mandel on June 21, Categories: Books

I just finished reading a fascinating new book titled Rebuilt: How Becoming Part Computer Made Me More Human by Michael Chorost. After going fully deaf in 2001, he had a...

Telecom/cable stocks

Posted by: Michael Mandel on June 21, Categories: Investments

The willingness of Cablevision to go private just reinforces what I've been saying--that telecom/cable stocks are undervalued. The share of the economy going to information/communication is no higher than it...

Air Travel for Everyone?

Posted by: Michael Mandel on June 19, Categories: Tech

In 1967, Herman Kahn published a list of "One hundred technical innovations very likely in the last third of the twentieth century." Some of the forecasts, such as “Pervasive business...

Who Cares About R&D?

Posted by: Michael Mandel on June 17, Categories: Tech

The Congressional Budget Office just released a new paper on R&D and productivity growth. In particular, they were interested in whether it made sense to add R&D to macroeconomic forecasting...

What's happening to labor earnings?

Posted by: Michael Mandel on June 13, Categories: Labor Market

Kash at Angry Bear has a pretty comprehensive post about what's been happening to labor earnings. All of his measures, however, show that real labor earnings--no matter how you measure...

Extreme stock options

Posted by: Michael Mandel on June 13, Categories: Tech

In a comment, Terence Lim takes exception to my suggestion that stock options should be on the balance sheet rather than the income statement: Would you believe me if I...

Stock Options Redux

Posted by: Michael Mandel on June 11, Categories: Tech

Here's my argument against the expensing of stock options (laid out originally in my book from last year, Rational Exuberance). Accounting today makes a sharp distinction between workers and shareholders....

The Paradox of Risk and Mobility

Posted by: Michael Mandel on June 10, Categories: Income Distribution

Is a riskier society more mobile? Paul Krugman writes in today's NYT that ...economic security is a thing of the past: year-to-year fluctuations in the incomes of working families are...

Alternative Ends to the Bubble

Posted by: Michael Mandel on June 09, Categories: Macro

Today's WSJ summarizes the conventional wisdom about how the U.S. housing bubble and current account deficit will play out: The debate is over how, not whether, the global economy rebalances:...

Activist Medicine?

Posted by: Michael Mandel on June 08, Categories: Health

Arnold Kling has a series of well-reasoned pieces on health care spending here. In the latest one, he discusses the fiscal dangers of what he calls "activist medicine," which he...

Immigrants and mobility

Posted by: Michael Mandel on June 06, Categories: Income Distribution

Here's a little chart showing that at least some immigrants are still upwardly mobile. In 1995, families headed by immigrants who entered the country in the 1980s had a 26.6%...

Income Inequality and Immigrants

Posted by: Michael Mandel on June 05, Categories: Income Distribution

Steve Antler at Econopundit responds to today's article in the NYT about the widening gap between the very rich and the rest of us. This US "gap between richest and...

Tight State and Local Budgets: Blame China?

Posted by: Michael Mandel on June 03, Categories: Fiscal Policy

In my house we have a rule--anything that goes wrong gets blamed on my teenage son. In the same way, China gets blamed for all the problems with the U.S....

Core Info Jobs Up a Meager 1,700 in May

Posted by: Michael Mandel on June 03, Categories: Tech

Now let's take a more detailed look at the core info jobs. This is the increase in jobs from April to May, in thousands, in the core info industries Computer...

Info Jobs Tick Up A Bit

Posted by: Michael Mandel on June 03, Categories: Tech

This morning's payroll report, while overall disappointing, shows a slight gain in info-related jobs, the fourth straight increase. The number of broad info-related jobs rose by 6,000 in May. That...

Who Cares about Savings?--Part I

Posted by: Michael Mandel on June 01, Categories: Growth

In a world where money flows easily across national borders, does savings still matter for growth? Here's a simple and stupid experiment. Take the industrialized countries. If you knew which...

The tech squeeze continues

Posted by: Michael Mandel on June 01, Categories: Tech

The latest figures from the BEA (released May 27) show continued erosion in tech spending by consumers (as a share of total spending). No bottom yet, especially after SBC's decision...

Revenge of the Communists, Part II

Posted by: Michael Mandel on June 01, Categories: Growth

Here's a look at the growth performance of the twenty largest global economies over the past ten years. The number after each country is the increase in real GDP per...

About

Michael Mandel, BW's award-winning chief economist, provides his unique perspective on the hot economic issues of the day. From globalization to the future of work to the ups and downs of the financial markets, Mandel-named 2006 economic journalist of the year by the World Leadership Forum-offers cutting edge analysis and commentary.

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