The GDP and Happiness

Yesterday’s post about the impact of individual wealth on happiness started me wondering about flush toilets, washing machines, and cars. As our nation became wealthier and produced more goods and services, how did that affect our happiness? To get some…

Leverage

In many ways, the recent financial crisis was (and is) really about seesaws. A seesaw is a lever that lets you do a lot with a little. Using a seesaw, a person weighing 100 pounds can lift someone at the…

A Woman’s Impact

In a Washington Post article with the heading, “‘Potty Parity’ hearing set for today,” I discovered that the U.S. Congress was working on a bill to increase the number of female restrooms in federal buildings. Testimony began yesterday. Watching the PBS…

A Closer Look At Consumer Spending

We always hear reporters saying that, “Consumer spending makes up more than 70% of the economy…” Mike Mandel, former chief economist at Newsweek, believes the reporters are misleading us. Yes, the consumer component of GDP is 70% of all spending.…

Economic Facts About Dogs

Have you ever thought about the connection between your dog and the economy? During an interview on NPR’s “Fresh Air”, Michael Schaffer, author of One Nation Under Dog, spoke about dogs’ lives. A lot of his stories relate to the onset of two…

Frugal Fatigue and Yuan Updates

Re a March 21 post about frugal fatigue… For a fifth straight month, consumer spending is up, meaning perhaps that we are headed for a “V” recovery?   Data from the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report indicates that internet spending…

Tall Stories: Height and Success

A recent Daily Mail article about President Sarkozy’s height sensitivity reminded me of studies that relate height to success.   But first, some height stats: Nicholas Sarkozy (France): 5’5″ Barack Obama (U.S.): 6’2″ Angela Merkel (Germany): 5’8″ Gordon Brown (U.K.):…

Frugal Fatigue?

Some of us are suffering from frugal fatigue. According to a New York psychologist, symptoms could include anxiety, fear, depression, and even the common cold. The cause is stress from watchful, recessionary budgeting which for certain people is no longer…

Equal Pay For Equal Work?

Having read that “Women Now A Majority In American Workplace” (NY Times, 2/6/10, A10), I wondered how much the wage differential had changed from the 1980s when women’s weekly earnings averaged close to 70 percent of men’s. The Institute for…

Who Should Get A Kidney?

Some say that it is unethical to pay someone for a kidney while others say it is unethical to use a method (a government list) that makes fewer donor organs available. As always, choosing is refusing. The debate continues in…