Consumer spending

In Pursuing Happiness: American Consumers in the Twentieth Century, economist Stanley Lebergott asked us to imagine that automobiles, penicillin, electric washing machines, refrigerators, disposable diapers, electricity, television, and “every economically significant good added since 1900” all disappear.  Next, he tells…

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…

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…

An Imbalance in the Marriage Market

Recent articles about skewed birth rates in China indicate 119 (and more) males are born for every 100 females. Discussing the imbalance, most commentary focused on marriage and how tough finding a wife will become. http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100111/hl_afp/chinapopulationmenmarriage Some thoughts… 1. On…