Human Capital: 20th Century Time Use and Jelly Beans

If you live close to the average of 79 years, using 28,835 jelly beans to represent each day, here is how you might spend your life: In a 1930 essay, “Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren,” economist John Maynard Keynes predicted…

Election Economics: What To Know For The First Presidential Debate

Presidential debate moderator Jim Lehrer said there would be six 15-minute segments in the first presidential debate on October 3rd. Devoting the entire first half to “the economy,” he will also cover healthcare, the role of government, and “governing.” Like the…

Election Economics: Obama’s Keynesian Message

Comparing Obama/Biden and Romney/Ryan economics, people name John Maynard Keynes and Friedrich von Hayek. Having looked at Hayek several weeks ago, let’s turn to Keynes now. During 1934, with unemployment high and production low, British economist John Maynard Keynes was…

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…