Election Economics: Meeting Paul Ryan’s Economic Muse

People tend to ask, “Who??” when Friedrich von Hayek is named as Paul Ryan’s economic muse. Our purpose right now is to get to know some Hayek basics to see what Ryan brings to the Romney/Ryan candidacy. Austrian born, a…

A New Kind of Keynesian?

Reading about John Maynard Keynes’s investing acumen in last Saturday’s Wall Street Journal, I wondered whether being a Keynesian could involve more than your attitude about the role of government. So, as a teacher, I created this “Am I a Keynesian?” quiz:…

A Clunker Stimulus?

It would be so nice if we could say, “Yes, the 2009 stimulus was a good idea,” or “No, it was not.” Instead, the debate continues. Discussing his new book, journalist Michael Grabell tells us that we are unnecessarily dividing…

Boomerang Households

The “boomeranger” has returned. A Pew Research Survey found that 13% of all households are composed of parents with adult children who moved away and then returned home. Pew’s respondents say the economy was the reason these “boomerangers” moved back.…

An Aviator Stuntman and the Stimulus

You’ve probably never heard of Lincoln Beachey. An aviation pioneer, Beachey flew at the beginning of the 20th century. During one of his first air exhibitions, Beachey did something totally terrifying when his plane stalled. The opposite of what anyone…

Is Government the Solution or the Problem?

Maybe everyone got something from President Obama’s jobs plan. According to the Washington Post’s Ezra Klein, the “right” got tax cuts, the “left” got help for the unemployed and infrastructure spending, and everyone will get deficit reduction. For a quick…

GDP Solutions

It is all about GDP.  In this article, the WSJ does a good job of explaining how each GDP component might solve our problems…or make them worse. Consumer Spending: The largest part of GDP, consumer spending has propelled recovery in…

Animal Spirits and Gas Prices

Is a 9-cent drop enough to ignite our “animal spirits?” The 9-cent decrease refers to the average national price of a gallon of regular gasoline. And “animal spirits” is the optimism that leads to more buying and investing. During the…

Bailout Fatigue

Yesterday, in a 94-0 vote, the U.S. Senate said it had bailout fatigue. No, they were not referring to Fannie Mae or General Motors. They meant Greece. This is the connection: By selling government securities, Greece had borrowed money to…

Austerity and Harry Truman

What are people saying about austerity, the 2010 word of the year? According to Dr. Econ at the San Francisco Federal Reserve, households are demonstrating austerity by saving more and borrowing less. On the one hand, living within our means…