Monday , December 11 2017
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Jared Bernstein: On the economy

What’s up with productivity growth and what does it mean?

I’ll be brief, because first and foremost, the recent uptick in productivity growth that I’m about to show you may be statistical noise. These are jumpy data. But in case this sticks, I did want to lay down a marker and tout some potential implications. This morning’s revised productivity report has output per hour up a rousing 3 percent in Q3. That’s an annualized, quarterly rate, and OTE’ers know I like to filter out some of the noise by looking at year-over-year changes. So, the table...

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The return of the musical interlude

Since the On the Economy blog is on hold for the moment, I need to revert back to the old music feature I used to post regularly here. First, I was just walking down the street and it seemed like every other person had a big hello for me, which put me in mind of this great, old classic from Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong. But my main feature today is an amazing performance that I strongly suspect you’ve never heard. It’s the classical guitar master (and my old pal) Ben Verdery playing...

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A quick note on CHIP, block grants, and the tax cut

This piece from the WaPo makes an important point, which I’d like to embellish a bit. A few months ago, Congressional authorization for the CHIP program expired, and they still haven’t reauthorized the funding, which is a block grant to states in support of this health coverage program for 9 million low-income kids and pregnant women. On Friday, Utah posted a notice online saying it probably will run out of CHIP funding by the end of January. Earlier in the week, Colorado notified families...

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Yet more on the terrible tax plan…

Similar pieces wherein I’m trying to work out some of the longer term implications of what’s happening with tax policy, the debt, and the forthcoming attack on spending programs that, you know, actually help some people. Over at WaPo and TAP. I’ve not forgotten that there’s much else going on. I’ve got forthcoming pieces on the attack on financial market regulation, which, unless you’re following this, goes deeper than you thought, and current economic conditions as a baseline against which...

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If you disapprove of this mess of a tax plan, you’re a) not alone, and b) not a House/Senate Republican

Over at WaPo. Most of the numbers on showing whose taxes go up under this plan focus on years from now, when it’s fully phased in. For example, by 2027, 70% of households with incomes below $200K (that’s about 150 million) either face tax increases or not much change at all. But as I show in the piece, referencing some useful analysis by the WSJ, some families that lose deductions (state/local, medical expenses) get dinged right away. Share the post "If you disapprove of this mess of a tax...

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Danica Roem points the way forward

I don’t think I’ve ever written a post about a tweet storm, but the series of tweets pasted in below struck me as so resonant and important that I wanted to elevate it. They’re from of Danica Roem, a Prince William County (PWC) Democrat who was recently elected to the Virginia House of Representatives. The 33-year-old Roem is one of the first openly transgender persons elected in the nation. She unseated Robert Marshall, a 13-term incumbent who proudly called himself Virginia’s “chief...

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Data note for figure in tweet

Tweet here. Both series indexed to 100 in Jan, 2010, so lines show percent change relative to that date. S&P 500 index is adjusted for inflation and dividend yields. “Paycheck” is the real weekly earnings of the 80% of the workforce that are blue-collar workers in manufacturing and non-managers in services. Thanks to the tight job market and low inflation, the latter has been growing of late (see fig below) which you don’t really see given the scale on the figure. That’s not chicanery,...

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Wages, productivity, progressive policies, and serial correlation: I weigh in on an important, interesting debate.

There’s an interesting sort of argument going on between Stansbury/Summers (SS) and Mishel/Bivens (MB). My name has been invoked as well, so I’ll weigh in. It’s a “sort-of” argument because there’s less disagreement than first appears. It all revolves around this chart, which plots to the real compensation of mid-wage workers against the growth in productivity. For years they grew together, then they grow apart. The levels of both variables almost double, 1948-73, but since then, productivity...

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No, progressive policies don’t hurt growth

Neat new study out of CA, where they’ve created a virtual conservative, anti-interventionist’s nightmare of progressive policies. According to theory, the state should be tanking re growth and jobs, and yet…well, see for yourself. Ben S and I did some of this sort of analysis awhile back re the ACA and jobs in the states. We’ve got the facts; they’ve got the power. This must change, OTE’ers!! Share the post "No, progressive policies don’t hurt growth"

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