Quote of the Day
~From The Casualties of War, a speech by Sharon Harris
Professor Mark J. Perry's Blog for Economics and Finance
According to a study by the Office of National Drug Control Policy, cocaine prices (adjusted for inflation) fell by more than 80% between 1981 and 2003, while the average purity almost doubled from 40% to 70% during that period (see graph above, click to enlarge). The data in the graph are for amounts of powdered cocaine less than 2 grams, the report also has price and purity for larger amounts, as well as price/purity data for heroin, crack cocaine, meth and marijuana, for those data go here.
From today's Detroit News: According to the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Growth the average pay in 2006 for state government employees was $49,660. For private-sector workers, the comparable figure was $42,588. That's a difference of close to 17 percent.
A previous post discusses how the "marriage gap" might contribute to increasing income inequality. Another explanation of income inequality is offered by USA Today - it's a "generation gap":
Percentage of domestic oil resources currently off-limits in ANWR and the Outer Continental Shelf : 78
Number of cars per 1000 people (from an IHT article):
State unemployment rates for April were released last week by the BLS, and there are now 18 states that have set historical record-low jobless rates in the last year, and 12 of those states set record-low rates this year. Alabama, Alaska, Texas and Washington set records in April 2007.
One Motley Fool contributor argues that buying a home is "The Best Investment Ever."
Some bad news today for John Edwards and his "two Americas" campaign theme.
3. Professor Slaughter furthers explains why it might sense for China to target its ex-rate instead of its interest rates: Chinese capital markets today lack many of the microeconomic institutions that transmit changes in short-term interest rates into the broader economy: e.g., a primary-dealer market in government debt securities and, more generally, a deep network of investment and commercial banks allocating credit guided by risk-adjusted returns. This may well be one reason the PBOC maintains its exchange-rate target: An interest-rate target might weaken its linkages to the real economy.
In other words, it makes more sense for an advanced economy like the U.S. with advanced credit markets to target ("manipulate") interest rates than a developing economy like China without advanced credit markets.
“No science in the world is more elevated, more necessary and more useful than economics.”
From The Economist: More than 60% of the world's 6.5 billion people now live in countries where abortion is generally allowed, and a quarter where it is banned, according to the Center for Reproductive Rights. Mexico city has just decriminalized it, whereas in some countries, such as America and Poland, laws are becoming more restrictive. Some 46m abortions are thought to be carried out annually (more than one in three pregnancies is terminated). Of these, 20m are illegal, resulting in the deaths of some 70,000 women, according to the World Health Organization.
From yesterday's San Diego Union-Tribune, my article on the pay gap, and Rep. Carolyn Maloney's (D-NY) side of the issue. (Note: They somehow messed up my article by mixing a draft version with the final version, here is the actual final version.)
From an editorial in today's Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, "The price at the pump: It's economics:"
1. In India, Clashes Erupt As Industry Expands. India's push to build an industrial manufacturing sector is facing a backlash as villagers are uprooted to make room for factories.
From a story tonight on"60 Minutes:"
Every half a decade or so, Congress considers what to do with a massive system of federal handouts that enriches a narrow band of American businessmen. Too often, after a fair amount of acrimony and spectacular displays of local-interest, pork-barrel politics, the system is altered -- sometimes for the good, sometimes not -- but not reformed as dramatically as it ought to be. The issue, of course, is American farm subsidies, an inefficient, trade-distorting program of price and income support included in the expiring farm bill; a new one is being prepared.