Increase inflation AND combat structural issues

Inflation is below target. Increasing output and decreasing or stagnant inflation is an indication that inflation expectations are becoming unanchored. That’s bad. Inflation should not spend too long, too far from its implicit target of 2%. Structural unemployment is high right now. Instead of just dumbly extending UI benefits and scratching our heads on why […]

Sentences of the day

From both the macro evidence and this body of micro–economic work, a large consensus—right or wrong—has emerged: It holds that modern economies need to constantly reallocate resources, including labor, from old to new products, from bad to good firms. At the same time, workers value security and insurance against major adverse professional events, job loss […]

Living on The Rock

On this day in 1938, Orwell was in Gibraltar and wrote: Standard of living apparently not very low, no barefooted adults and few children. Fruit and vegetables cheap, wine and tobacco evidently untaxed or taxed very little (English cigarettes 3/- a hundred, Spanish 10d. a hundred), silk very cheap. No English sugar or matches, all […]

American exceptionalism

Growing up a red-blooded American, I believed America was a special place, a proud beacon shining the light of freedom upon humanity… or something. Anyway, I listened to Rush Limbaugh. Then I went to Berkeley and they cured me of those ideas and I started listening to Democracy Now!. Statistically, though, the U.S. is a […]

Dick Marty

(I’m in Vegas… baby… but through the magic of WordPress, I’m still posting to my blog.) Besides having two first names and being from my ancestral birth place (Canton Ticino), Dick Marty is known for creating a well-respected study of the CIA’s rendition program in Europe: Our analysis of the CIA ‘rendition’ programme has revealed […]

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the EU

My democratic instinct made me hate an institution that so often ignores the will of the people. Of course, reading Bryan Caplan’s Myth of the Rational Voter has mostly cured me of that instinct. But still, I didn’t like the EU until I read this article in the London Review of Books: The standard argument […]

Americans work more than Europeans…

… or do they? The conventional view is that Americans work longer hours than Germans and other Europeans but when time in household production is included, overall working time is very similar on both sides of the Atlantic. Americans spend more time on market work but German invest more in household production. This paper examines […]