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Tag Archives: Unemployment

Andrew Yang Hasn’t Done the Math

Will Andrew Yang, the current front-runner, become New York City’s next mayor? If he wins, would he be any good at the job? I have no idea, although I’m skeptical about the latter.My guess is that the mayoral office needs an effective political brawler, not an intellectual, and Yang, who has never held office, owes his prominence largely to his reputation as a thought leader, someone with big ideas about economics and policy.What I do know is that Yang’s big ideas are demonstrably wrong....

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Ip on Bidenomics

Greg Ip has a great column in the WSJ on Bidenomics.  It's not long, it's so well written that it's hard to condense the good parts, and you should really read it all. There is an intellectual framework to Bidenomics, and with that a scarily more durable move on economic policy. There used to be "certain rules about how the world worked: governments should avoid deficits, liberalize trade and trust in markets. Taxes and social programs shouldn’t discourage work."By...

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Defining inequality so it can’t be fixed

In one of their series of excellent WSJ essays, Phil Gramm and John Early notice that conventional income inequality numbers report the distribution of income before taxes and transfers. After taxes and transfers, income inequality is flat or decreasing, depending on your starting point. Source: Phil Gramm and John Early in the Wall Street JournalIf your game is to argue for more taxes and transfers to fix income inequality, that is a dandy subterfuge as no amount of taxing and...

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In pandemic times, the unemployment rate is not what it seems

Interpreting job market statistics demands a lot of care right now. The pandemic has muddied the statistical waters and created the illusion that unemployment rates are significantly higher in Canada than in other countries. The leader of Canada’s official opposition claims the Canadian unemployment rate is higher than in other rich countries. Source: https://twitter.com/erinotoole/status/1367181227338264578?s=20Erin O’Toole, with a sense of indignation and urgency, has boldly proclaimed...

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Employment Insurance for the future of work, right now

This posts offers my written statement for a presentation made on February 23rd to the Canadian House of Commons, Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities as a part of its Review of the Employment Insurance Program. Employment Insurance has been found wanting. It has been found wanting for decades. It was slow to respond to the Great Recession of 2018, and left many Canadians, particularly in central Canada, with...

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An Employment Insurance system for the 21st century: Lesson 2, The future of work calls for better income insurance

The 2020 Speech from the Throne boldly claims that “This pandemic has shown that Canada needs an [Employment Insurance] system for the 21st century, including for the self-employed and those in the gig economy.” That is a tall order, a major overhaul of a complicated program in the span of the next couple of months, with little or virtually no consultation of stakeholders or engagement of experts outside of the government. Will Minister Qualtrough, her cabinet colleagues, and of...

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El asalto al Capitolio comenzó a fraguarse hace décadas

Un aspecto sorprendente del putsch (golpe de Estado en alemán) en el Capitolio fue que ninguna de las demandas de los asaltantes estaba afincada en la realidad.No, la elección no fue robada, no hay evidencia de un fraude electoral significativo. No, los demócratas no forman parte de una conspiración pedófila satánica. No, no son marxistas radicales, incluso, en cualquier otra democracia occidental, se consideraría que el ala progresista del partido solo se inclina de manera moderada a la...

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Trump Tries to Kill Covid Relief

The next few months will be terrible. Several thousand Americans are now dying from Covid-19 every day; given the lag between cases and deaths, the daily toll will almost certainly rise through the end of this year, and if people are careless over Christmas it could surge even higher in the new year. Economic recovery has stalled, with employment still down almost 10 million from pre-pandemic levels.The most we can hope for at this point are policies that mitigate the suffering, getting us...

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An Employment Insurance system for the 21st century

The 2020 Speech from the Throne boldly claims that “This pandemic has shown that Canada needs an [Employment Insurance] system for the 21st century, including for the self-employed and those in the gig economy.” That is a tall order, a major overhaul of a complicated program in the span of the next couple of months, with little or virtually no consultation of stakeholders or engagement of experts outside of the government. Will Minister Qualtrough, her cabinet colleagues, and...

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Unemployment Benefits and ND

The national debate over unemployment benefits rages on and extra assistance seems to be a particular roadblock for aid negotiations right now. I decided to delve back onto the ND data and look at benefit payouts in the state. To start with consider the aggregate amount (this is per week reporting period): I think the picture conforms to most expectations. The North Dakota economy was doing fine, and then COVID-19 hits and the payouts become large and immediate. After the initial...

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