Tag Archive: Labor

Less Retail Jobs, More Amazon Robots: Get Used To It

When it comes to job creation in the United States, President Trump will be displeased to hear the latest findings from Quartz: 170,000 fewer retail jobs in 2017 - and 75,000 more Amazon robots. In November, we explained that while everyone likes to point the finger at Amazon, America’s retail apocalypse can’t be tied to just one catalyst (see: A Look At America’s Retail Apocalypse In Charts), however, fierce competition in the industry has induced...

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Aligning Politics To economics

There is no argument that the New Deal of the 1930’s completely changed the political situation in America, including the fundamental relationship of the government to its people. The way it came about was entirely familiar, a sense from among a large (enough) portion of the general population that the paradigm of the time no longer worked. It was only for whichever political party that spoke honestly to that predicament to obtain long-term...

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When Health Insurance Works: A Look Inside Switzerland’s Healthcare System

The enigmatic independence of Switzerland is perhaps best demonstrated in the fact that its healthcare system manages to satisfy both free marketers and the statist-socialists in the country. It is a giant social safety net woven by individual responsibility and self-made wealth. Health insurance is almost entirely consumer-based, though there are strict cantonal regulations and some governing federal laws.

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“This Is A Crisis Greater Than Any Government Can Handle”: The $400 Trillion Global Retirement Gap

Today we’ll continue to size up the bull market in governmental promises. As we do so, keep an old trader’s slogan in mind: “That which cannot go on forever, won’t.” Or we could say it differently: An unsustainable trend must eventually stop. Lately I have focused on the trend in US public pension funds, many of which are woefully underfunded and will never be able to pay workers the promised benefits, at least without dumping a huge and unwelcome...

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2017 Is Two-Thirds Done And Still No Payroll Pickup

The payroll report for August 2017 thoroughly disappointed. The monthly change for the headline Establishment Survey was just +156k. The BLS also revised lower the headline estimate in each of the previous two months, estimating for July a gain of only +189k. The 6-month average, which matters more given the noisiness of the statistic, is just +160k or about the same as when the Federal Reserve contemplated starting a third round of QE back in 2012.

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How will Yellen Address Fostering a Dynamic Global Economy?

Yellen has identified two challenges regarding the US labor market, the opioid epidemic and women participation in the labor force. The topic of the Jackson Hole gathering lends itself more to a discussion of these issues than the nuances of monetary policy. Dynamic world growth needs a dynamic US economy, and that requires more serious thinking about these socio-economic and political issues.

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Simple (economic) Math

The essence of capitalism is not strictly capital. In the modern sense, the word capital has taken on other meanings, often where money is given as a substitute for it. When speaking about things like “hot money”, for instance, you wouldn’t normally correct someone referencing it in terms of “capital flows.” Someone that “commits capital” to a project is missing some words, for in the proper sense they are “committing funds to...

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Defining Labor Economics

Economics is a pretty simple framework of understanding, at least in the small “e” sense. The big problem with Economics, capital “E”, is that the study is dedicated to other things beyond the economy. In the 21st century, it has become almost exclusive to those extraneous errands. It has morphed into a discipline dedicated to statistical regression of what relates to what, and the mathematical equations assigned to give those relationships some...

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Ending The Fed’s Drug Problem

Gross Domestic Product was revised slightly higher for Q4 2016, which is to say it wasn’t meaningfully different. At 2.05842%, real GDP projects output growing for one quarter close to its projected potential, a less than desirable result. It is fashionable of late to discuss 2% or 2.1% as if these are good numbers consistent with a healthy economy.

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Don’t Confuse Immigration With Naturalization

As the immigration debate goes on, many commentators continue to sloppily ignore the difference between the concept of naturalization and the phenomenon of immigration. While the two are certainly related, they are also certainly not the same thing. Recognizing this distinction can help us to see the very real differences between naturalization, which is a matter of political privilege, and immigration, which simply results from the exercise of...

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Basic Income Arrives: Finland To Hand Out Guaranteed Income Of €560 To Lucky Citizens

Just over a year ago, we reported that in what was set to be a pilot experiment in "universal basic income", Finland would become the first nation to hand out "helicopter money" in the form of cash directly to a select group of citizens.

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