Economy

What’s the Real Unemployment Rate?

The country got a bit of good news late last week when the unemployment rate dropped to 10%, with the economy losing only 11,000 jobs and revised numbers for September and October lower than originally estimated. While the news was able to push stocks up a bit for the week as more investors see this […]

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Why Economists Are Wrong About Job Numbers

President Obama is hoping to signal his concern about the growing ranks of the unemployed and focus on longer term strategies to improve the job market by holding a job summit, according to the Washington Post (“Obama calls for White House summit on job creation“). It is a worthy goal, but reducing the unemployment rate […]

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It’s Time to Stop Paying Attention to Inflation

The October report of the Consumer Price Index (CPI), published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, showed an increase of one tenth of one percent in the general price level from August to September. Publishing a monthly index provides several ways to look at price changes and inflation. The monthly CPI can be compared with […]

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Weekend Linkage: Investor Psychology, Financial Recovery and Google Voice

Why do we make bad decisions, even when we know they’re bad? Emotions play a big role in how we think and act around money, and for the most part, they’re negative influences. That’s why automation is so important if you’re looking to grow your net worth. Flexo at Consumerism Commentary goes even further, laying […]

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The Recovery Can’t Come Without Job Creation

Recently, the Wall Street Journal ran a story titled “More Signs Point to Economic Recovery” where it reported that “[an] expansion of manufacturing growth in consumer spending and improved home sales indicated Thursday that the U.S. economy is on the mend.” While spending is up, the claim that the economy is on the mend ignores […]

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Why Can’t the Government Get Out of Debt?

The United States Treasury will lose borrowing authority sometime in October when the national debt reaches the legislated ceiling passed by Congress. Treasury Secretary Geithner will have to ask for an increase, which Congress will grant, but he is bracing for the usual politics. Many in Congress use the opportunity to make government debt their […]

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Transportation Isn’t Really Open to Free Enterprise

Shortly after taking office, President Obama announced plans for government spending that calls for “billions of dollars to rebuild roads and bridges, modernize public schools, and construct wind farms and other alternative sources of energy.” He didn’t say much about railroads, but it is common to ignore the differences between America’s highways and railroads. ‘ […]

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Can a National Risk Pool Save Health Insurance?

President Obama, in a prime time address to Congress, pledged to reform health care in America. All types of insurance are supposed to let people pay premiums into a risk pool that generates a reserve fund to pay losses. Insurance companies employ mathematicians to analyze actuarial data on mortality — accidents, sickness, disability, retirement and […]

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Ask the Readers: Is Automatic Retirement Enrollment Necessary?

Over the Labor Day weekend, President Obama unveiled a new set of initiatives to make saving for retirement easier, including automatically enrolling workers in 401(k) and Simple-IRA plans, reports the Washington Post. “The fact is, even before this recession hit, the savings rate was essentially zero, while borrowing had risen and credit card debt had […]

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Ask the Readers: Is the Economy Back on Track?

We don’t normally get too focused on the economy here — actually, ignoring the economy is often a good idea for your finances — but it’s nearly impossible to treat the current recession as a blip on the radar. And, thanks to the media, “in this economy” has become an oft-repeated phrase to describe our […]

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To Create Jobs, Industries Must Transform

The decline of the American Textile industry is well documented. In 1990, there were 928,000 people working in just the apparel industry; by 2008 it was down to 198,000. The decline is more than double the jobs lost in the automobile industry. Most of us see our clothes marked “Made in China” or some far […]

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Weekend Linkage: Bad Habits, Automatically Poor, and the Recession

While things are looking up in this economy — the Dow hits 9000, housing sales are up and companies are reporting better-than-expected results — it’s still tough out there. Some are even suggesting that we’re only in the first third of the recession. But just because times are difficult doesn’t mean you can’t do better […]

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Why the Knowledge Economy Can’t Replace Manufacturing

Can the middle class continue to rely on manufacturing jobs? No, says William McGurn, writing in the Wall Street Journal (“Michigan and the Knowledge Economy,” June 16). The automobile industry and manufacturing jobs leaving Michigan will not be back, but must be replaced with new jobs in the “knowledge economy.” McGurn defines the knowledge economy […]

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