An interesting byproduct of the drive for male-female income equality in the workplace: the increase in the proportion of married couples in which a female earns more than the man. Not only are females earning more, in many cases, but they also are better educated than their male counterparts. The Pew Research Center gives us this interesting report on the new dynamics of married couples.
When the United States, and even the individual states find themselves in turbulent financial times, a commonly repeated theme they tend to repeat is that taxes need to be increased in order to shore up revenues. When states and countries find themselves with budget gaps, instead of trimming programs (so called ‘belt-tightening’ in the private population) they tend to attempt to keep the same level of programs by increasing the tax rate. Is this practice sustainable?
I will write this article in two pieces. First, in this article, I will cover the theoretical aspects of why this is not automatically true. In the next article I will give you some empirical data which you can examine and either agree or disagree with me. Let’s begin.
As noted in a CNN article today, one way to gauge the market’s reading of current conditions is by reading the bond yields. Twice I’ve taken a look at how you can use Treasury Inflation Protected Securities plotted with the Daily Treasury Yield Curve to get a glimpse at the market’s inflation expectations (TIPS adjust their value due to CPI). Some other interesting ratios are presented, the treasury yield curve on its own, and the spread between junk bonds and government debt.
In my previous article, I compared some of the advantages and disadvantages of different methods of “welfare”. Near the end, it seemed that the Earned Income Tax Credit was clearly the best option, especially as compared to the only other possible method, that of the Living Wage. There is one important, and significant, advantage to […]
One of the most contentious issues of the past couple of decades has regarded policy debates on how to benefit lower-income individuals (colloquially referred to as ‘Welfare’ programs). This article will not deal with the benefits or disadvantages of Welfare programs in general, but instead will compare the various forms of implementing Welfare. Also, I will show (in the next article) a very important unintended consequence that arises from the current preferred Welfare program, the Earned Income Tax Credit.
I want to share another fascinating Economic study with you… this one from Brown University. The three authors, J. Vernon Henderson, Adam Storeygard and David Weil, were looking for a way to track economic growth in regions which have poor geographic connections, poor statistics, or have other impediments to useful growth tracking. Using light (specifically, light coverage in satellite photos) as a proxy for economic activity (“Consumption of nearly all goods in the evening requires lights”, they state), they show the growth in productivity in remote regions using nighttime satellite pictures.
California recently closed a $26.3 billion budget gap after resorting to issuing IOUs in lieu of checks on state contracts. The budget worked out to $15.5 billion in cuts and a transfer payment where California will take money from local treasuries toclose some of the gap. The rest is covered through various accounting gimmicks that would make Enron blush. California’s budget compromises lead to many questions including the most important, “Does this fix anything?”
There are 12 branches of the Federal Reserve Bank: Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Richmond, Atlanta, Chicago, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Kansas City, Dallas, and San Francisco. Eight times a year they get together and compile a report, the Summary of Commentary on Current Economic Conditions, better known as the ‘Beige Book’. On July 29, the most recent version of the Beige Book was posted. The summary reports, anecdotally, that conditions are moderating since the report issued June 10.
In an earlier article, I detailed how you could check on inflation expectations using information publicly available from the Department of the Treasury. Using the data they provide, it is simple to calculate the market’s expectations for inflation over the next 5, 7, 10, and 20 Year periods. Let’s take another look not at the 2009 inflation rate, but the expected inflation rate of the future viewed through ‘2009’ colored glasses.
This is part two of a two part series discussing cigarette laws and pigovian taxes. Pigovian taxes are excise taxes placed on a market to correct a market income, presumably because a negative externality such as health risk or pollution that is inherent in the good traded.