Overcoming Fear and Paranoia to Blog in Cuba
Read about her here in today's WSJ front page article.
Read her blog Generación Y (in Spanish).
Professor Mark J. Perry's Blog for Economics and Finance
Follow up on yesterday's post on 2007: a year of global cooling.
The BEA released it final estimate of third quarter (July-September) real GDP growth today, and it remained unchanged from its previous estimate of 4.9%. Third quarter growth in real GDP was more than twice the average growth this decade of 2.2%, and followed second quarter growth of 3.8% (see chart above). Notice also that the strong back-to-back growth in real output during the last two quarters looks nothing like the recessionary period of 2001, or even the pre-recession period of 2000.
See chart above (click to enlarge) for evidence of Walter Williams' claims that Education majors perform poorly on standarized tests like the LSAT, GMAT and GRE.
(HT: Ironman at Political Calculations)
American education will never be improved until we address one of the problems seen as too delicate to discuss. That problem is the overall quality of people teaching our children. Students who have chosen education as their major have the lowest SAT scores of any other major. Students who have graduated with an education degree earn lower scores than any other major on graduate school admissions tests such as the GRE, MCAT or LSAT. Schools of education, either graduate or undergraduate, represent the academic slums of most any university. As such, they are home to the least able students and professors with the lowest academic respect. Were we serious about efforts to improve public education, one of the first things we would do is eliminate schools of education.
Subject to any last minute changes, I'll be a guest on CNBC's "Kudlow and Company" tonight at 7 p.m. EST to discuss some of my recent blog postings on inflation.
Real direct tourism spending increased at an annual rate of 1.6% in the third quarter of 2007, according to data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Another post on the theme "The good old days are now." The standard of living for the average American just keeps getting better and better over time. One reason we don't appreciate it, is that the improvements, though persistent and relentless, happen gradually year after year, so we end up taking it for granted. If the average home size increased from 983 sq. ft. to 2,349 sq. ft. overnight, we would treat it as a modern miracle. When it happens 25 sq. ft. per year for a half century, we don't even notice it.
Using mid-December exchange-rate data from FT.com, the chart above shows the one-year forward discount or premium for the US dollar vs. the Euro and British Pound in 2005, 2006, and 2007.
Even more predictable than the post-Thanksgiving appearance of shopping-mall Santas is the inability of pundits at this time of year to say or to write "commercialism" without prefixing to it the word "crass."
Exhibit A: See graph below (click to enlarge) of the Adjusted Monetary Base, from the St. Louis Federal Reserve, from 2002-2007. Notice the decline in growth from 10% to 2%, suggesting a deflationary trend in high-powered money.
Exhibit B: See graph below of the Adjusted Monetary Base vs. M1 Money Supply, from 2002-2007. Notice that as the growth in high-powered money growth, controlled by the Fed, has come down from 10% in 2002 to 2% in 2007, the M1 Money Supply has stablized at about $1.36 trillion.
SAN FRANCISCO--Buffett indirectly blamed the Bush administration for a tax code he said is out of whack.
For the political left and most of the media, this means only that the rich are getting richer. However:
In other words, despite the tax reductions of 2001 and 2003, the rich saw their share of taxes paid rise at a faster rate than their share of income. This makes it hard to pin their claim of "rising inequality" on the Bush tax cuts, though the income redistributionists are trying. By this measure, the Clinton years were far worse for "inequality."
Conclusion from the WSJ: "We hate to break up the media's egalitarian chorus with these details, but facts are facts. If Democrats really want to soak the rich, they'll keep tax rates where they are, or, better, lower them some more."
According to the BLS labor report on December 7, "Nonfarm payroll employment continued to trend up in November (94,000), and the unemployment rate held at 4.7%."
NY Times: Swiss chocolatiers, having long ago conquered markets in Europe and North America, are now aiming at the vast expanses of Russia, India and China, making Swiss chocolate a case study in globalization.
Reminder: Trade works both ways. As economies like India, Russia, China, and Brazil become wealthy and prosperous by producing goods and services for the U.S. and European markets, the workers of those economies also become increasingly wealthy and prosperous consumers of American and European products.
Exhibit A: Swiss chocolate.
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court on Monday (December 10) said judges may impose shorter prison terms for crack cocaine crimes, enhancing judicial discretion to reduce the disparity between sentences for crack and cocaine powder.
From the Minneapolis Fed's interview with University of Chicago economist Eugene Fama (pictured above):