What We Really Need to Know About Unemployment

Instead of the 14.7 percent unemployment rate, we can see the true U.S. employment picture through numbers that range from history to disruption.

What Would John Maynard Keynes Have Said About Stimulus Spending?

To the Great Depression and the Great Recession, we can now add coronavirus stimulus spending as examples of John Maynard Keynes’s philosophy.

Throwback Thursday: Remembering When Congress Controlled Tariffs

In addition to its impact on the Great Depression, Smoot-Hawley occupies a special place in tariff history because of its impact on us.

The Surprising Lessons From Economic Crises

For all economic crises, some economists tell us, “This time it’s different,” while others disagree with their new solutions.

How We Primed the Pump

When President Trump refers to priming the pump, we can think of the Great Depression, the Great Recession and deficit spending that can fuel the economy.

When Not to Build a Super Tall Skyscraper

From the Chrysler Building in NYC to Taipei 101 in Taiwan, the timing of super tall skyscraper construction provides clues about business cycles.

The Reason the Price of Gasoline Has That 9/10

If you asked me how much I pay for gas, I would say $3.49 a gallon. Actually, though, the sign says $3.499. And that means, because the gas station rounds up, I am paying $3.50.  Doesn’t $3.50 sounds like a lot…

Monetary Policy: QE Insight

At a 2002 conference honoring Milton Friedman on his 90th birthday, then Federal Reserve Governor Ben Bernanke concluded his remarks with… “Regarding the Great Depression. You’re right, we did it. We’re very sorry. But thanks to you, we won’t do…

Human Capital: The Year You Were Born

Your human capital might be affected by your birth date. In Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell suggests that children born during the Great Depression had an advantage. Economic contraction meant couples had fewer babies. A cohort with fewer children, 1930s babies enjoyed smaller…

Finding A Better Whey

When I enjoy Mt. Tam Cowgirl Creamery Cheese (It’s great!) from California, I never think about 4b. Actually, until yesterday, I never heard of California’s “Class 4b” milk regulation. “Class 4b,” a part of our nation’s network of pricing rules…