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Friday, March 27, 2009

Put it in persepective.

Here is some perspective re: February's jobs numbers. We have about 12 million people unemployed now. Not good. But that is about how many were unemployed in 1936 during the dark days of the Depression. See how our nation has changed? And roll this over in your mind. Say, just picking a number, China has 1 billion workers in their labor force. A 10% unemployment rate would put 100 million souls out on the street looking for work. Somehow 12 million doesn't sound so daunting does it?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

You really need to look at this interactive map.

Point your cursor at any county and it will tell you the data. Note how the southeast is getting clobbered. You can also switch the graphic to those counties which had housing prices rise above 175% of their 2000 values and see the wreckage.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Brad DeLong spells it out....

Deep thought for the day.

You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the working half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my friend, is about the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A day at the Fed.

The Federal Reserve of Richmond recently had "A Day at the Fed" where they invited university professors and their students to come and listen to presentations by the staff economists and discuss the economy and the current state of monetary policy. Here I am with two of my best students, Paul Dohse from Germany and my grad assistant Christian Walker. These are invitations you do not turn down. I am still trying to get my mind around the fact that one economist told the crowd "we did not have a housing was a housing boom but not a bubble." I said to Paul and Christian, "A boom? Yes, a KABOOM!" But when the same guy followed it up by saying no one could have seen this coming, I said "come on boys...time to go home."

We also had a nice visit with Fed of Richmond President Jeff Lacker. He said much the same as he does at the link below. He is right...Federal Reserve independence has been severely wounded and this cannot stand. When we turn the corner, the crumby assets on the Fed's balance sheet need to be peeled off to the Treasury where they belong.

Here is Chairman Bernanke's take on what you just heard:

More pictures:


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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Sunday, March 15, 2009

She's easy on the eyes........

This creature of God's great wonderment is named Kelly Carlson. Thanks for brightening my day.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday at 5:45 pm.

Just got off the phone with Governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina. Not every day does a governor call me. Pretty cool for a Friday afternoon.

Hey dude, let's knock off the neighbor when he goes out to get his mail tonight.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

If the shoe fits....

I once heard of an economics professor who said "reality is a special case...and we don't deal with special cases." My dad once told me that Ph.D. stood for "pile driver". God knows there are plenty of those out there and they have nothing to contribute but hubris (one of my favorite words).

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Hello Funny Economist...this is Iran calling.

I have now received my first hit on the Blog from the Islamic Republic of Iran. It happened at 4:18 this morning. I give you the details below. Welcome friends and especially the youth of Iran for if I am not mistaken half of the Iranian population is under age 30. I hope you can handle freedom of speech because that is what you are going to get here. May Allah guide you in your search for truth and wisdom although I hope he does not help when you are looking for the 12th and Hidden Imam.

Read this and grow smarter.

Here is the visit:
University Of Semnan ( [Label IP Address]

Semnan, Iran, Islamic Republic Of, 0 returning visits

Date Time Type WebPage
11th March 2009 04:18:46 Page View ROMMER FREE&aq=o&oq=

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

From Hero to Zero in the eyes of the Media!

The Media found out Sully was a Republican. Now look at the Headlines!

New legislation coming soon!

The Americans With No Abilities Act

Washington , DC - (Dateline March 10, 2009)

President Barack Obama and the Democrat controlled Congress are considering sweeping legislation that will provide new benefits for many Americans. The Americans With No Abilities Act (AWNAA) is being hailed as a major legislative goal by advocates of the millions of Americans who lack any real skills or ambition.

"Roughly 50 percent of Americans do not possess the competence and drive necessary to carve out a meaningful role for themselves in society," said California Senator Barbara Boxer. "We can no longer stand by and allow People of Inability (POI) to be ridiculed and passed over. With this legislation, employers will no longer be able to grant special favors to a small group of workers, simply because they have some idea of what they are doing."

In a Capitol Hill press conference, House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid pointed to the success of the U.S. Postal Service, which has a long-standing policy of providing opportunity without regard to performance. Approximately 74 percent of postal employees lack any job skills, making this agency the single largest U.S. employer of Persons of Inability. At the state government level, the Department of Motor Vehicles also has an excellent record of hiring Persons of Inability (63%).

Under AWNAA, more than 25 million mid-level positions will be created, with important-sounding titles but little real responsibility, thus providing an illusory sense of purpose and performance.

Mandatory non-performance-based raises and promotions will be given so as to guarantee upward mobility for even the most unremarkable employees. The legislation provides substantial tax breaks to corporations that promote a significant number of Persons of Inability into middle-management positions, and gives a tax credit to small and medium-sized businesses that agree to hire one clueless worker for every two talented hires.

Finally, the AWNAA contains tough new measures to make it more difficult to discriminate against the non-abled, banning, for example, discriminatory interview questions such as, "Do you have any skills or experience that relate to this job?"

"As a Non-abled person, I can't be expected to keep up with people who have something going for them,"said Mary Lou Gertz, who lost her position as a lug-nut twister at the GM plant in Flint , Michigan , due to her inability to remember rightey tightey, lefty loosey."This new law should be real good for people like me," Gertz added. With the passage of this bill, Gertz and millions of other untalented citizens will finally see a light at the end of the tunnel.

Said Senator Dick Durbin (Democrat-IL), "As a Senator with no abilities, I believe the same privileges that elected officials enjoy ought to be extended to every American with no abilities. It is our duty as lawmakers to provide each and every American citizen, regardless of his or her inadequacy, with some sort of space to take up in this great nation and a good salary for doing so."

Monday, March 9, 2009

Promises promises........

From a 1936 Social Security pamphlet (thanks to Walter Williams):

"After the first 3 years - that is to say, beginning in 1940 - you will pay, and your employer will pay, 1.5 cents for each dollar you earn up to $3000 a year ... beginning in 1943, you will pay 2 cents, and so will your employer, for every dollar you earn for the next 3 years...And finally, beginning in 1949, twelve years from now, you and your employer will each pay 3 cents on each dollar you earn, up to $3000 a year. That is the most you will ever pay."

Funny how it goes isn't it?

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Moussa and Erroyl.

Here is an old picture of two of the greatest basketball players in ECU history: Moussa Badiane and Erroyl Bing. They were students so Mrs. Parker and I were able to draw close to them as friends. We had them over for dinner at The Chateau Parker many times. They are two of the finest young men I have ever had the pleasure of being associated with. Both are now in Europe playing basketball. God I miss them still.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Randy Parker Hall of Fame: Greg Mankiw

Greg Mankiw is one of the finest macroeconomists walking on the face of the earth. You gotta love this guy even more when he points out stuff like this.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Here is a really neat visual on today's economy vs. the past.

Click on the series you want to see and then go up to the gray-shaded areas and click on the recession from the past you wish to see. It will chart all of these important indicators as they have unfolded through history.

I've heard of hot pants, but these are boiling over!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Monday, March 2, 2009

The fallout...economists call this a negative shock to permanent income. Consumption, which is 70% of GDP, will be affected for years.

Most economists do not pay any attention to stories such as this. I guess because they are stories and not science. But there is something to be learned here.