Job Creators or Robber Barons?

I have confessed before that I admire the entrepreneurs who have been called the robber barons. Carnegie and steel, Rockefeller and oil, J.J. Hill and railroads, Morgan and money. These men and others from their 19th century world competed lethally.…

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…

Presidential “Choice Fatigue”

Because with decision fatigue, the more decisions we make, the less energy we have for making decisions, so we increasingly prefer a default.

Election Economics: More of the Jobs Story

Here are some jobs facts that might be helpful when you listen to the candidates. During 1933, the unemployment rate was a cataclysmic 24.9%. Having entered office that year, FDR was re-elected in 1936 with unemployment still soaring but better…

Election Economics: Aging Challenges

If you lined up everyone in the United States by age, the middle person would be close to 37.1 years old. In 1850, the median age was 19, for 2000 close to 35 and by 2050, we expect that middle…

Remembering Milton Friedman

Split down the middle, opinion about the US economy puts private initiative or government first. Those who place individual enterprise first believe most private income belongs to those who generate it. By contrast, government’s advocates see a growing share of private income as…

Election Economics: Assessing the Minimum Wage

Currently at $7.25, should the federal hourly minimum wage rise to $9.80? Proposed legislation from House Democrats would increase the minimum wage in three steps, 85 cents a year for 3 years. After that, the amount would move upward with…

Election Economics: Assessing Dodd-Frank

University of Chicago professor Luigi Zingales tells the story of being asked to tape his windows during a tornado watch in Boston. A similar mandate in Italy, he said, would mean that the brother of the mayor was in the tape…

Election Economics: Assessing Outsourcing

Until November 6, at econlife, Mondays will be about presidential election economics. In 2004, when President Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers chairman, Harvard professor Greg Mankiw, was lambasted for saying, “… I think outsourcing is a growing phenomenon, but it’s something…

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…