Tuesday, May 22, 2012

General Economics

WSJ | OECD Slashes Euro-Zone Growth Forecast
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Tuesday slashed its forecasts for growth across the euro zone for this year and next, and warned that the area's debt crisis could pull it into a vicious downward spiral without the right policy action.
CNN Money | Greece: Top 3 risks facing U.S.
It's not Greece that poses a problem for the United States. It's the contagion that would spread if Greece exits the eurozone that would pose the greatest risks.
WSJ | Once Made in China: Jobs Trickle Back to U.S. Plants
When Bill Good was a student at Auburn University in Alabama in the 1980s, he worked at a company producing American-made fitness equipment—a business eventually wiped out by low-cost imports from Asia.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
AEI | FHA Watch, May 2012
Spotlight on the Government’s Growing Monopoly of Consumer Lending and Private Debt
WSJ | The Market-Driven Energy Revolution
Those who doubt that market forces still have the power to transform the world aren't paying attention to America's revitalized energy sector.
Politico | Startup Act’s economic benefits
Inside the Beltway, conventional wisdom says that Congress does little during an election year. But Americans are eager to see Congress address our country’s challenges — most important, the economy and job creation.
NBER | The Rise of Middle Kingdoms: Emerging Economies in Global Trade
Led by China and India, the share of developing economies in global exports more than doubled between 1994 and 2008. One feature of new trade patterns is greater South-South trade.

Health Care

Politico | Few states set for health exchanges
When health insurance exchanges open in 2014, it is now clear that the federal government will be playing the lead, not the understudy.
CNN Money | Save on health care, even as your body falls apart
You managed to glide through your twenties and thirties without any major health issues. Yet, as the calendar pages turn, you're finding that a host of minor -- and perhaps a few major -- medical problems keep cropping up.
National Journal | Higher Charges Drive Health Spending, Report Finds
Higher prices charged by hospitals, outpatient centers, and other providers drove up health care spending at double the rate of inflation during the economic downturn—even as patients consumed less medical care overall, according to a study released on Monday. 

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Independent Institute | What Food Stamps Can Teach Us about Health Care
There are about 50 million people on Medicaid in the United States and the biggest problem they have, by far, is finding a doctor who will see them. Yet this is actually an easy problem to solve if only the health policy community were not blinded by an overwhelming prejudice

The American | Key Obamacare architect endorses Paul Ryan’s Medicare reform plan
This consumer-driven, universal coverage system provides excellent health care for the sick, tops the world in consumer satisfaction, and costs 40 percent less, as a percentage of GDP, than the system in the US.


Daily Capitalist | Is This Deflation?
With all the fiat money pumped into the U.S. economy (plus “liquidity” made available to the European Central Bank) by the Fed, one would think that we would be having high price inflation. Instead we are seeing declining prices.
WSJ | Structural Unemployment Would Affect Both Sides of Fed Mandate
Over the past few months, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and other Fed officials have wondered how many of the millions who lost their jobs during the Great Recession are morphing into structural unemployed.


Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Washington Times | How soon they forget
At what point would you consider leaving the U.S.? If you were taxed 98 percent of your income, or 75 percent as the new French president wants to do, or merely 50 percent-plus which is what many Californians will be paying if Gov. Jerry Brown gets his proposed tax increase and President Obama succeeds in getting his proposed tax increase?

Library of Economics | The Top 0.1 Percent Responds to Incentives
The phrase "corporate executives" clearly suggests CEOs and other top executives of publicly-traded corporations. Unfortunately, the paper Krugman refers to ("Jobs and Income Growth of Top Earners and the causes of Changing Income Inequality") shows that corporate executives account for a small and declining share of the income reported by the top 0.1%.
Heritage Foundation | Five Good Reasons to Prevent Taxmageddon
On January 1, 2013, the American people will be hit with the biggest tax hike in history. It’s known as “Taxmageddon,” and it will bring $494 billion in higher taxes resulting from tax policies expiring in seven different categories, on top of new Obamacare tax hikes taking effect.
Greg Mankiw | Faulty Memories
Reasonable people can disagree about the virtues of raising the top tax rate.  But it is important to separate valid arguments from political spin based on a faulty recollection of history.


USA Today | College graduates enjoy best job market in years
The class of 2012 is leaving U.S. colleges with something that many graduates since the start of the Great Recession have lacked: jobs.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Real Clear Markets | High Unemployment: Structural or Cyclical?
Unemployment is edging down, but the fraction of the unemployed who have been idle more than year remains near a record high. In the first three months of the year about 30% of the unemployed - more than 3.9 million people - had been jobless for a year or longer.

Economist | Jobs for the long run
Unemployment is high, and the longer people are unemployed the longer they are likely to stay that way. Eventually, they may become discouraged and drop out of the labour force. So what can be done?
The American | How far away are states from a jobs recovery?
How far away are states from returning to their pre-Great Recession employment peaks? IHS Global Insight has produced two charts, one looking at the percentage of jobs below peak employment, with the other looking at when might various states get back to that old level


CNN Money | Debt ceiling in play again
Washington is spoiling for a fight over the country's debt ceiling -- less than a year after a showdown that induced a credit downgrade, rocked the markets and eroded confidence in Congress.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
WSJ | The Long and Short of Fiscal Policy
Can we talk about the federal budget deficit? Better yet, can we think about it? For there has been a lot more talking than thinking. One persistent point of confusion arises from the radically different macroeconomic effects of larger budget deficits in the short and long runs.
Independent Institute | The Golden State Gone Broke
California Governor Jerry Brown proposes a $91 billion budget with dramatic cuts to medical, child welfare, disabilities benefits, and the court system. He also wants higher sales taxes and income taxes on the wealthy to reduce $8.5 billion from the $16 billion deficit. If this tax measure fails, Brown’s plan automatically cuts $5.5 billion from public schools.

Tax Foundation | Hiding it Does Not Help: Social Security is Already Broke
"Nonetheless, additional general revenue financing of Social Security in absence of broader reform tends to hide the true deficits in Social Security, deter reform, and likely increase total government deficits in the long-term." 
National Review | More Spending Won’t Save Europe
Even if Germany manages to increase domestic demand, there is no guarantee that the additional spending will find its way into the peripheral euro-zone economies. A simple macroeconomic simulation suggests that a permanent increase in German government consumption equivalent to one percentage point of GDP would raise output in Ireland and Greece by 0.1% at most