Thursday, November 30, 2017

Wrap Up for November 2017

"Almost two-thirds of Americans, or 63 percent, report being stressed out about the future of the nation..."

Tyler Cowen interviews Steven Teles and Brink Lindsey for their book, "The Captured Economy".

The revenue for state pension funds is continuing to dwindle. And people want to work longer to make up differences such as these, but health issues can get in the way.

A series of slides from Jason Furman, "Can Tax Reform Get Us to 3 Percent Growth?", includes many of the more commonly voiced arguments.

"...beyond sports, entertainment, and finance, growth in product market size probably can't account for much of the rise in top-end income inequality." (Lane Kenworthy, "America's Great Decoupling")
From page 25: The share of wages going to benefits has been flat since the seventies (even though healthcare costs more), since - in aggregate - fewer employees receive healthcare benefits.

Discussions re real interest rates, generally lack a long term context.

Timothy Taylor responds to some recent trade papers.

Brink Lindsey and Steven Teles on medical access:
"From 1980 till around 2005, the number of medical school slots was frozen at around 16,000 first year students, but since then expansion has brought the number above 20,000...Meanwhile, by historical accident the vast bulk of residency slots is provided by Medicare, and for cost-saving reasons the number of slots has been frozen since 1997."

Many homes that were built after 1985 remained dry.

"Machines are unexpectedly disrupting upper-echelon workers."

Perhaps specific infrastructure for autonomous vehicles isn't a good idea...

There's a problem, when retirement supposedly means we're can't produce anything, anymore. And he writes:
The majority of the American population currently lives in some version of the suburbs. This will remain true for the foreseeable future. The real question is how ever more people with increasingly limited resources under considerably more stress will occupy them - particularly as failing institutions squeeze them for revenue. This is an extraordinarily fragile and vulnerable set of living arrangements and it isn't going to end well.
Income inequality is consistent with high skill, not high scale.

What could happen when cities end up serving the interests of a privileged few?

Timothy Taylor on regional price parities.

Health issues in rural areas contribute to lower labor force participation.

Noah Smith responds to Dani Rodrik's essay regarding neoliberalism.

"The U.S. economy is digitalizing at an extremely rapid pace."

Flexibility is key for working as we get older.

A closer look at declining labour force participation for prime age men.

Were it not for domestic service industries (finance, healthcare, legal), the U.S. would be similar to Canada or Germany in terms of top income shares. Is the government putting a "fat thumb" on the scale?

Again, the top one percent are turning out to be different from the capitalists of Piketty's imagination.

We're about to enter a new chapter of the digital era. Cloud robotics is one example, where one machine can simply send knowledge, ideas and skills to other machines, via the cloud. Nevertheless, I have to square this particular advance with the fact that physicians still use fax machines to get information to other offices.

"After rising for more than three decades, the overall labor force participation rate peaked in early 2000 and subsequently trended down." Also, from Brookings on the declining labour force participation rate.

Who are the largest employers of the U.S.? (a visual)

"More than half of people caring for the elderly are foreign medical graduates." Foreign medical students are now shying away from (those Medicare "frozen") U.S. hospital residencies. One wonders, will the residencies be filled by (the recent student expansion of) U.S. born physicians who have little interest in practicing in rural areas, or for the elderly? And to what extent do our healthcare providers actively seek immigration restrictions?

Tim Harford
"Companies still invest heavily in innovation, but the focus is on practical applications rather than basic science, and research is often outsourced to smaller outfits whose intellectual property can easily be bought and sold."

AT&T had to earn the right to be a monopolist.

The average American lives 18 miles from Mom. U.S. Migration remains low, but millennial migration is finally reviving.

Too many obligations elsewhere, for government revenue to maintain the Sixth Amendment.

On central bank anonymity, JP Koning writes:
"Not only have they blundered into their role of monopoly provider of anonymity and uncensored payments, they are trying their best to pretend the role isn't theirs."

Midwives were mostly eliminated in the U.S. However, there's a problem: Less than half of U.S. counties have OB-GYNs.

Miles Kimball perceives neoliberalism as sets of specifics. He particularly highlights the Washington Consensus.

Liberty Street: What makes an asset safe?

Mass transit is looking less sustainable as time goes on.

When you've got hypothermia, so the doctor turns up the air conditioner...

Thankfully, she didn't equivocate re interest on reserves this time.

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