How to Increase New Home Prices by $4,000 in CA
Professor Mark J. Perry's Blog for Economics and Finance
From the WSJ article "The Price of Taxing the Rich":
On an annual basis, real GDP grew by 2.9% in 2010, the highest annual gain since a 3.05% increase in 2005, according to today's BEA report. In dollars, real GDP in 2010 was $13.248 trillion, which set a new annual record for U.S. output, surpassing the $13.228 trillion levels in 2007 and 2008.
U.S. corporate profits reached a new record high in the fourth quarter 2010 at $1.25 trillion (at an annual rate), after taxes and adjustments for inventory valuation and capital consumption (see graph above, data here), according to today's BEA report. Compared to the third quarter, corporate profits increased by $39.5 billion last quarter, and that makes eight straight quarterly gains in profits going back to the first quarter of 2009. From the cyclical bottom of $774 billion of profits in the fourth quarter of 2008, profits for U.S. companies have rebounded by 61.5%, and by $476 billion.
The price of a New York City taxi medallion (the "priciest piece of aluminum in NYC") that allows a corporate owner to operate a single taxi in the Big Apple is approaching $1 million.
From Andrew Ferguson, writing in the Weekly Standard, "The Quotas Everyone Ignores: Why universities are quietly favoring white males once again":
Leading economic indexes for January increased in France (0.9%), Germany (0.4%) and Australia (0.1%), according to releases from the Conference Board over the last week. These increases in leading economic indexes follow recent reports of increases in the leading indexes of Spain, U.K., China, Korea, Japan and U.S.
In the new 6th edition of Greg Mankiw's economics textbook, Tiger Woods has been replaced with Tom Brady for the section above on opportunity cost titled: "Should Tiger Woods Mow His Own Lawn?" Here's an ABC News report and video.
|B. Percentage shares of richest 10%|
|1. Share of taxes of the richest 10%||2. Share of market income of the richest 10%||3. Ratio of shares for richest 10% (1/2)|
1. The book market is changing (more "creative destruction"), as ebook sales are growing exponentially and traditional book sales are in decline:
Ian Fletcher claims here that "Free Trade Isn't Helping World Poverty," and Don Boudreaux responds here. Here's some related research:
Data in the chart above are from the Next Big Future blog.
From the Special Report "Dying Industries" from IBISWorld:
Before and after satellite photos of Japan, from the NY Times.
U.S. rail traffic continues to show consistent weekly gains, and the most recent week was no exception, here's from today's report from the American Association of Railroads:
According to the Cleveland Fed's report today, its median CPI measure of prices increased by 1.0% at an annual rate in February over the same month last year (see chart above). In contrast, the regular CPI increased by 2.1% over the last year (February 2010 to February 2011), according to the BLS report this morning.
The quote above is from the editorial "Walmart's Arrival a Bad Deal for District," which appears in the current edition of the Dupont Current (p. 11), a neighborhood paper in Washington, D.C.
Coincident economic activity indexes for each U.S. state (and an index for the entire country) were updated today through January by the Philadelphia Fed, and are available online from the St. Louis Fed here. The chart above compares the economic conditions in the U.S. to the economy of North Dakota.
The Department of Labor reported today that jobless claims (4-week average) fell last week to 386,250, the lowest level since the second week of July 2008, more than 2-1/2 years ago (see chart above). From the Associated Press:
Gasoline in Venezuela costs about 12 cents a gallon, well below the $4 a gallon or more paid in most of the industrialized world, but those low prices are bankrupting the oil-driven economy. Read more here.
From AEI's Ed Pinto, writing in today's Real Clear Markets:
From Dennis Cauchon at USAToday:
ATLANTA (AP) -- "U.S. life expectancy has hit another all-time high, rising to 78.2 years (see chart above). The estimate of 78 years and 2 months is for a baby born in 2009, and comes from a preliminary report released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The BLS released data today on the Producer Price Index for February. Looking at the 10-year history in the graph above of annual price increases for the major components of the Producer Price Index, it seems like it would be hard to make a really strong case for producer price inflation. The crude material component of the PPI is falling, and the other components have turned up a little bit recently at annual rates, but are still below the levels in 2007, and about the same as in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006.
Matt Yglesias posted yesterday about the "falling price of computer power" and highlighted the chart above from this website showing falling prices for Apple products over the last five years.
Rising prices for oil, gas and food are making those items less affordable these days, but housing is a different story - there's probably never been a time when it's been more affordable than today. Data from the National Association of Realtors show that its composite Housing Affordability Index reached an historical high of 191 in January of this year. Thanks mostly to falling home prices, a family with the median income of $61,533 had almost twice (191%) the income needed ($32,208) to qualify for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage at 4.82% to purchase the median priced single-family home in January ($159,400), assuming a 20% down payment.
According to some research released last fall, there is now a "reverse gender wage gap" in favor of single, young (under the age of 30), childless female workers in America's large cities that is as high as 21% in Atlanta and 20% in Memphis. Inspired by the National Committee on Pay Equity's "Equal Pay Day" for women, I am proposing a new "Equal Pay Day for Single Young Men."
NY Fed -- "The Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicates that conditions for New York manufacturers continued to improve in March. The general business conditions index inched up 2 points, to 17.5 (see chart above). The new orders and shipments indexes fell but remained above zero, while the unfilled orders index rose above zero for the first time in a year. Price indexes continued to climb, suggesting that price increases had accelerated. Employment indexes were positive and above their February levels, indicating that employment had expanded. Future indexes were little changed, as respondents continued to be strongly optimistic about the six month outlook, although future price indexes were sharply higher."
That question is the title of a recent worker paper by Mercatus Center economists Michael Lea and Anthony Sanders, and I think the simple answer is "No."