Category: Economics

Why are Americans driving less?

VehicleMilesFeb2013

I’ve been following this trend for a while now. We are seeing a decline in driving in America that is unprecedented since the advent of the automobile. In the graph below, from Calculated Risk, you can see that we’re now…

Food truck debate reignites in Savannah

Attorney Dana Braun has reignited the controversy over food trucks in Savannah with an excellent guest editorial today in the Savannah Morning News: Savannah entrepreneur leaves for a reason That piece begins: Too often the question is asked why do…

The federal government is “a massive insurance conglomerate with a large standing army”

From Ezra Klein’s post at the Wonkblog at the Washington Post, Five charts that will make you feel better about paying your taxes: The truth is that the federal government, as seen through the budget, is a massive insurance conglomerate…

Housing’s long hangover: 42% of Georgia mortgages still underwater

From the AJC’s More than 40 percent of Georgia homes are underwater: “The nationwide data, complied by Zillow at the end of last year, identified the worst 1 percent of ZIP codes in terms of the percentage of mortgage holders who owe more than their homes are worth. Georgia has nearly a quarter of those ZIP codes, most of them arrayed in a crescent around Atlanta’s southern flank. Michigan, the next hardest-hit state, has only half as many ZIP codes in the worst 1 percent.”


A few thoughts on Obama’s proposed budget

I’ve been trying to tell my friends on the right for the last few years that in a second term Obama would propose a budget that would cut future spending on Medicare and Social Security. Should he have proposed those…

U.S. economy adds weak 88,000 jobs in March; unemployment rate at 7.6%

Picture 152

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. economy added 88,000 jobs in March. The unemployment rate is 7.6 percent. Both these numbers are adjusted for ordinary seasonal trends. This appears to be a weak report, indicating continued economic…

Considering the construction rebound

ConstructionSpendFeb2013

I’m feeling pretty upbeat about the U.S. economy these days. But we’ve heard upbeat before from commentators, right? Like in the first months of 2011, and then again in the first months of 2012. This year might really be different,…

David Stockman and “Sundown in America”: is he right?

Human beings have often grabbed onto the idea that we’re living in exceptional times, that we’re living on the verge of the end of the world. I think that apocalyptic impulse has risen with the economic frights of the last few years.

And I agree with Stockman on some of his points, including that the stock market is being propped up by Fed policy. But I don’t see any sign of the economy unraveling as Stockman seems to believe so fervently.

The housing bubble: who knew what when?

There’s a really interesting post by James Hamilton at Econbrowser that explores a central question of the housing bust: did those who were primarily responsible for making bad loans realize that they were making bad loans? In other words, did…

When the sequester hit Yellowstone . . .

Picture 139

As I keep saying, those who keep telling Americans that the sequester won’t have serious economic impacts are dead wrong. Yes, the 2ish percent cut to federal spending sounds modest, but many programs are completely exempt from cuts. And the…

U.S. economy adds a healthy 236,000 jobs in February; unemployment slips to 7.7%

Picture 138

From the Bureau of Labor Statistics: Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 236,000 in February, and the unemployment rate edged down to 7.7 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment increased in professional and business services, construction,…

Compelling video shows reality of wealth inequality in America

Screen shot 2013-03-06 at 5.28.32 PM

One of the reasons I remain pretty optimistic about the United States’ long-term economic prospects is that we have such vast wealth. That sheer wealth will eventually help eliminate the nation’s debt, fuel investment in infrastructure, and allow the economy…

Savannah River Site furloughing 2,000 workers, laying off others because of sequester

Screenshot_57

From Savannah River Site furloughs 2,000 workers at SavannahNow: About 2,000 workers at the Savannah River Site near Aiken will be working reduced schedules starting next month because of the federal budget cuts. Other employees will be laid off. […]…

Savannah Morning News publishes 4 part investigation of cruise ship pros and cons

Savannah_River_Bridge

Congrats to Lesley Conn and Mary Landers on their mega investigation today in the SMN of the pros and cons of cruise ships in Savannah. From the centerpiece story, FOUR-PART SPECIAL: A Savannah cruise port –– easy money or easy…