How Do You Spend a Stimulus Check?

Several months ago we looked at how recipients spent the money they received from the March 27 CARES Act. Now, with a new NY Fed survey that is more up-to-date, we can predict the response to the Biden proposal for…

Where Stimulus Cash Was Spent

As we plan new stimulus spending, we can look back at the CARES Act to see how recipients used their money.

Six Facts That We Need to Know About the Federal Debt

Hearing about a multi-trillion dollar stimulus package, we should also know six handy facts about what will happen to the federal debt.

Economic Coloring Books

To what extent are you a freshwater or saltwater economist? Several coloring books might help you decide. But first, some background… The original homes of the freshwater economists were the Universities of Chicago, Minnesota and Rochester while the saltwater economists…

An Economics Tool Kit: Unintended Consequences

Next to “no free lunch,” perhaps the most important idea in an economics tool kit is “unintended consequences.” Our story starts in Bogota, Colombia and a visiting professor who tells the Freakonomics people that his friends picked him up with…

Election Economics: Too Much or Not Enough Stimulus Spending?

For the first quarter of 2009, GDP declined at a 5.5% rate and, at 7.6% during January, unemployment was rising. With the economy in a tailspin, policy makers wanted to act quickly. Primarily split along party lines, the Congress responded with…

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…

Government Failure or Market Failure?

The illness? High unemployment and sluggish growth. The patient? The U.S. economy. And sometimes, according to Nobel Laureate Gary Becker, a stimulus pill just won’t work. In a WSJ opinion piece, Dr. Becker first explains that government misdiagnosed the illness.…

Econ Fun

The second Keynes/Hayek rap video, “The Fight of the Century” just arrived. Like the first one, it focuses on the never ending debate between economists who want more government and those who believe in less. In this Econtalk discussion, the…

Selling Karma (With a Solar Roof)

The Fisker Karma car has 2 electric motors, 1 Lithium-ion battery, and 1 internal combustion engine. Depending on the model, you can have a solar panel roof, do 0-60 mph in less than 6 seconds and reach a top speed beyond 125…