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Ed Dolan

 
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  • US Job Market Shows Strong Gains, But Why Is Part-Time Work Rising? [View article]
    Thank you for your comments, and for forwarding your friends. Both of you make some good points. Here are a couple of comments on specific things your friend says:

    "Americans would have to give up significantly more to live like Australians " Could be true. Probably is also true that Americans, for some of the same reasons, would not have to give up as much (in taxes or otherwise) to live as well as the Danes. Point taken.

    "The real question is if we really care about social well being, why not just make sure everyone has that subsistence amount and then can determine for themselves what their basic human needs are and their foundations of well being?"

    I'm not sure whether your friend proposes this seriously, or whether he is saying it as a *reductio ad absurdam,* but I don't think it is absurd at all, for two reasons. (1) I strongly endorse the idea that people should be able to choose which elements of wellbeing are most important for themselves--a cruise, a knee replacement, or a college education, whatever. (2) Giving people lump-sum cash would not cost more and would be infinitely more efficient than the welfare system (including middle-class welfare and crony-capitalism corporate welfare) that we have now. I wrote a long series on that theme last winter, starts here: http://bit.ly/1lV91ly
    "
    Jul 9 07:23 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • US Job Market Shows Strong Gains, But Why Is Part-Time Work Rising? [View article]
    You make some good points about iffy prospects for growth. I'd be interested to hear your reaction to this post I did a couple of weeks ago on the subject of slowing GDP growth and what to do about it: http://bit.ly/1ncFcSp

    I don't expect you to agree with me, BTW, but I'd like to hear your opinion.
    Jul 8 11:57 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • US Job Market Shows Strong Gains, But Why Is Part-Time Work Rising? [View article]
    Thank you for your response.

    I am interested that you think the msm is desperately trying "to create some false boom scenario." My own perception would be that the msm is, on the whole, gloomier than professional economists and exaggerates transient bits of negative data. I suppose the issue could be resolved by a rigorous content analysis, or something.

    With respect to leisure, I wrote on this theme at some length a year ago in a series of posts that starts here: http://bit.ly/1lQIJ3F
    Jul 8 09:25 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • US Job Market Shows Strong Gains, But Why Is Part-Time Work Rising? [View article]
    Thank you all for contributing to this discussion. I have read all the comments, and I am impressed that almost everyone has the same idea: Part-time jobs are bad, working more is good. So-called "voluntary" part-time work is a fraud. No one should (does?) want to work part-time because working more and buying more stuff is the way to the good life. There is never enough stuff, never enough work. Always better to have more stuff and less leisure.

    Am I getting the wrong impression here?
    Jul 8 12:06 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • What Does 'Economic Recovery' Mean, Anyway? [View article]
    You say, "Very cheap energy can be a game changer "

    I do think the energy issue is important. Here are some of my thoughts: http://bit.ly/18FEYee
    Jul 1 09:33 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Revisions For Q1 Show Biggest Drop In U.S. GDP In 5 Years [View article]
    I don't think we will get a taper pause, even though the Fed did revise their growth estimate for the year downward from 2.8-3 to 2.1-2.3
    Jun 29 11:12 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Revisions For Q1 Show Biggest Drop In U.S. GDP In 5 Years [View article]
    See my reply to Newbeach861 elsewhere in this thread
    Jun 29 11:11 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Revisions For Q1 Show Biggest Drop In U.S. GDP In 5 Years [View article]
    Yes, it was an aberration. The three signs pointing to this (mentioned, although only briefly, in the post) are:

    (1) Some of the problems, probably including inventories and part of the export drop, were clearly weather-related. GDP usually drops in the winter, and the data are seasonally adjusted to reflect that fact, but harsher than normal weather exceeded the seasonal adjustment parameter.
    (2) The third estimate includes data from a new survey of healthcare services, which shows that, contrary to the preliminary data, Obamacare is not causing the runaway burst of spending that was previously indicated. There is a good explanation of the details here: http://read.bi/1lpuEdh
    (3) Jobs data in April and May, the first two months of Q2, although not spectacular, were strong enough to indicate that the economy had returned to growth. See here for details: http://bit.ly/1lpuEdj

    Hope this helps
    Jun 29 11:10 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Dollar Doesn't Get Much Respect [View article]
    You write, "It's comforting to see that it is still about 5% above its all-time lows "

    Just who does it comfort to see the dollar "strong"? Yes, it would comfort me personally to see it stronger, since I like to vacation in Europe, spend my money there rather than in US hotels and restaurants. Also, I prefer French to California wine, so a strong dollar comforts me there, too.

    What I fail to see is how a strong dollar "comforts" US firms who are trying to create jobs and earn profits by exporting to foreign markets or competing with imports from China or Bangladesh.

    What do you think, does the comfortingly strong dollar have anything to do with the collapse of US exports in Q1, which was one of the biggest contributors to near-zero growth so far this year?

    Your charts are interesting and useful, but please keep in mind that a "strong" dollar isn't a comfort to everyone.
    May 11 09:43 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Unemployment Plunges To 6.3% In April As Economy Adds 288,000 Payroll Jobs [View article]
    Yeah, I'm a public school guy (in the American sense), but how do you know it was "she"? And what "essay" are you referring to, the post or something in a comment box? Naturally, I agree both are worth "A's" :)
    May 5 10:56 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Unemployment Plunges To 6.3% In April As Economy Adds 288,000 Payroll Jobs [View article]
    People who are looking for the sour side of things always love the labor force participation rate. They rarely mention that much or most of the decline in the rate is due to the aging of the baby boom generation. Much of the rest is due to the fact that teenagers are (wisely) staying in school longer so that they won't have to take "those low wage and part time jobs." Look at the whole picture, not just the part that supports your priors.
    May 4 11:18 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Unemployment Plunges To 6.3% In April As Economy Adds 288,000 Payroll Jobs [View article]
    I think you should look more closely at what you are offered before you say things like "nobody." For example, if you had bothered to click through to the slideshow version of the post, you would have found the number you mention. BTW, it was a decline of 73,000, not 70,000.
    May 4 11:14 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Unemployment Plunges To 6.3% In April As Economy Adds 288,000 Payroll Jobs [View article]
    Whitehouse commentary that I saw left out the negatives like flat wages and falling workforce. My post did not. BTW, the full title at my home blog did not omit the negatives, unlike SA's shortened version. It read, in full, "April Unemployment Rate Plunges to 6.3 Percent on Gain of 288,000 Payroll Jobs but Details Still Show Some Weaknesses in Employment Situation"
    May 4 08:45 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • As GDP Growth Stalls, This Chart Shows Just How Badly The Fed Is Missing Its Targets [View article]
    See my reply to David de Los Angeles
    May 1 10:15 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • As GDP Growth Stalls, This Chart Shows Just How Badly The Fed Is Missing Its Targets [View article]
    You say "The difficult part is not setting the target, it is hitting the target."

    I agree, that is a legitimate criticism. On the one hand, it is fair to compare the economy's performance to the Fed's targets if only for the reason that the Fed sets such targets. On the other hand, it is not fair to hold the Fed solely responsible. A very sound argument can be made, and I believe both Bernanke and Yellen would agree, that part of the reason for the underperformance of the economy lies with excessive fiscal austerity, especially in the early and middle phases of the recovery.
    May 1 10:14 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
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