Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Wrap Up for June '15

Perhaps there will be a silver lining, for the storm clouds which still threaten Greece. Whatever the eventual outcome, this beautiful country serves as a reminder that solutions don't come easy for any country which delays structural change too long. Their dilemma is the same that many other nations could ultimately face, when supply side constraints and limitations are not promptly dealt with.

Once structural imbalance reaches a certain point, there is no return to the relative simplicity of earlier circumstance. Even so, political factions have too little reason to find compromise while there's time to do so. Perhaps worsening political scenarios partially account for a more civil dialogue between economists in recent years. One senses a shift in focus away from broad interpretations of fiscal and monetary policy, to determine how those differences actually matter.

Some considerations for the organization and (initial) outcomes of domestic summits:  What are the possibilities for new communities in given locations, and are local conditions conducive for long term growth? Before setting down roots, who needs to be consulted and why? How valuable might the opinions of experts be, as compared to the crowd? This article also gives an interesting perspective on expert assistance: http://johnkamau.blogspot.com/2015/05/nairobi-was-built-on-wrong-place.html

It will be quite a relief, when education returns to personalized instruction in challenging settings instead of this. Plenty of Democrats and Republicans probably agree with these sentiments. http://www.alternet.org/education/corporations-profit-standardized-tests

I'm surprised that the U.S. has avoided this trend, at least thus far: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-05-28/worldwide-elderly-crime-rates-increase

Taking a long view of structural stagnation - that of the Middle East Timur Kuran (2004 JEP) http://pubs.aeaweb.org/doi/pdfplus/10.1257/0895330042162421

In 22 of 33 cities, wage growth remains below prerecession level. http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2015/06/03/here-are-the-u-s-cities-where-wage-growth-has-lagged-job-growth/?mod=WSJBlog

How much will the ACA cost large employers over the next decade?http://www.shrm.org/hrdisciplines/benefits/articles/pages/aca-costs-employers.aspx
Healthcare is not just problematic in terms of consumption expectations, but also the ways which healthcare is expected to be produced. Malaise among medics: Doctors desire vocational purpose

A recent lecture from Amartya Sen: http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2015/06/amartya-sen-economic-consequences-austerity

This short article is simply a young person's lament of not being able to learn practical things in school. Even though I thought her complaint was quite valid, some of the many comments were brutal. The "do it yourself" conditioning of recent decades, runs deep. When people told her to figure out things on her own, she replied that she had. But that's just the thing. Why, in a time of diverse and complex economies, should it be necessary to do everything oneself?

Free marketers speak often, of the spontaneous economic coordination which makes life so much easier in the present. There's just one problem - for the time and knowledge one accesses on a daily basis, this spontaneous coordination has practically become non existent. In some respects, the beneficial impact of today's economy is mostly limited to traditional manufacture and tradable goods.

Is it too much to ask for the spontaneous coordination of time based product, as well? Isn't it odd that even though no one is expected to put together their own toaster, people are expected to figure out anything involving time and information on their own? Unless - of course - said activity involves formal schooling, healthcare or the workplace, which is but a fraction of the constant issues which arise in one's daily life. A marketplace for time would preserve economic diversity, so that we don't have to do everything ourselves if we don't want to. The whole point of a truly productive and beneficial economy is to have that choice.

Planning and financing from the elite is not the way for lower income levels to rebuild their lives, or the neighborhoods they live in. Urban renewal in Philadelphia

Just 19 days to build a 57-storey tower! Chairman Zhang's flatpack skyscrapers
And this robot builds a steel bridge: http://www.iflscience.com/technology/robot-going-3d-print-steel-bridge

"Don't needlessly annoy readers before you get to your point" http://johnhcochrane.blogspot.com/2015/06/noah-smith-writing-lesson.html

One can only hope it's bluster and little else. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/03/26/texas-wants-its-gold-back-wait-what/

What makes the U.S. more problematic in terms of labor force participation, than other developed countries? Some aspects of this situation remain a mystery. http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2015/06/26/the-u-s-stands-out-on-labor-force-participation-rates/?mod=marketbeat

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