recentpopularlog in

robertogreco : inflation   24

Opinion | The Real Legacy of the 1970s - The New York Times
"How different this was from previous economic crises! The Great Depression, the 20th century’s first economic emergency, made most Americans feel a degree of neighborly solidarity. The government wasn’t measuring median household income in the 1930s, but a 2006 Department of Labor study pegged the average household income of 1934-36 at $1,524. Adjust for inflation to 2018, that’s about $28,000, while the official poverty level for a family of four was $25,100. In other words, the average family of 1936 was near poor. Everyone was in it together, and if Bill couldn’t find work, his neighbor would give him a head of cabbage, a slab of pork belly.

But the Great Inflation, as the author Joe Nocera has noted, made most people feel they had to look out for themselves. Americans had spent decades just getting more and more ahead. Now, suddenly, they were falling behind.

Throw in wage stagnation, which began in the early ’70s, and deindustrialization of the great cities of the North. Pennsylvania’s Homestead Works, which had employed 20,000 men during the war, started shrinking, closing forever in 1986. Today that tract of land along the Monongahela River where the works once stood is home to the usual chain restaurants and big-box stores, those ubiquitous playpens of the low-wage economy.

Inflation also produced the manic search for “yield” — it was no longer enough to save money; your money had to make money, turning every wage earner into a player in market rapaciousness. The money market account was born in the 1970s. Personal investing took off (remember “When E.F. Hutton talks, people listen”?).

Even as Americans scrambled for return, they also sought to spend. Credit cards, which had barely existed in 1970, began to proliferate. The Supreme Court’s 1978 decision in Marquette National Bank of Minneapolis v. First of Omaha Service Corporation opened the floodgates for banks to issue credit cards with high interest rates. Total credit card balances began to explode.

Then along came Ronald Reagan. The great secret to his success was not his uncomplicated optimism or his instinct for seizing a moment. It was that he freed people of the responsibility of introspection, released them from the guilt in which liberalism seemed to want to make them wallow. And so came the 1980s, when the culture started to celebrate wealth and acquisition as never before. A television series called “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” debuted in 1984.

So that was the first change flowing from the Great Inflation: Americans became a more acquisitive — bluntly, a more selfish — people. The second change was far more profound.

For decades after World War II, the economic assumptions that undergirded policymaking were basically those of John Maynard Keynes. His “demand side” theories — increase demand via public investment, even if it meant running a short-term deficit — guided the New Deal, the financing of the war and pretty much all policy thinking thereafter. And not just among Democrats: Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon were Keynesians.

There had been a group of economists, mostly at the University of Chicago and led by Milton Friedman, who dissented from Keynes. They argued against government intervention and for lower taxes and less regulation. As Keynesian principles promoted demand side, their theories promoted the opposite: supply side.

They’d never won much of an audience, as long as things were working. But now things weren’t, in a big way. Inflation was Keynesianism’s Achilles’ heel, and the supply-siders aimed their arrow right at it. Reagan cut taxes significantly. Inflation ended (which was really the work of Paul Volcker, the chairman of the Federal Reserve). The economy boomed. Economic debate changed; even the way economics was taught changed.

And this, more or less, is where we’ve been ever since. Yes, we’ve had two Democratic presidents in that time, both of whom defied supply-side principles at key junctures. But walk down a street and ask 20 people a few questions about economic policy — I bet most will say that taxes must be kept low, even on rich people, and that we should let the market, not the government, decide on investments. Point to the hospital up the street and tell them that it wouldn’t even be there without the millions in federal dollars of various kinds it takes in every year, and they’ll mumble and shrug."
1970s  economics  greed  inflation  selfishness  us  policy  ronaldreagan  joenocera  greatdepression  johnmaynarkeynes  newdeal  taxes  solidarity  miltonfriedman  liberalism  neoliberalism  regulation  supplysideeconomics  paulvolcker  michaeltomasky 
february 2019 by robertogreco
Considerations On Cost Disease | Slate Star Codex
[via: https://meaningness.com/metablog/post-apocalyptic-health-care ]

"IV.

I mentioned politics briefly above, but they probably deserve more space here. Libertarian-minded people keep talking about how there’s too much red tape and the economy is being throttled. And less libertarian-minded people keep interpreting it as not caring about the poor, or not understanding that government has an important role in a civilized society, or as a “dog whistle” for racism, or whatever. I don’t know why more people don’t just come out and say “LOOK, REALLY OUR MAIN PROBLEM IS THAT ALL THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS COST TEN TIMES AS MUCH AS THEY USED TO FOR NO REASON, PLUS THEY SEEM TO BE GOING DOWN IN QUALITY, AND NOBODY KNOWS WHY, AND WE’RE MOSTLY JUST DESPERATELY FLAILING AROUND LOOKING FOR SOLUTIONS HERE.” State that clearly, and a lot of political debates take on a different light.

For example: some people promote free universal college education, remembering a time when it was easy for middle class people to afford college if they wanted it. Other people oppose the policy, remembering a time when people didn’t depend on government handouts. Both are true! My uncle paid for his tuition at a really good college just by working a pretty easy summer job – not so hard when college cost a tenth of what it did now. The modern conflict between opponents and proponents of free college education is over how to distribute our losses. In the old days, we could combine low taxes with widely available education. Now we can’t, and we have to argue about which value to sacrifice.

Or: some people get upset about teachers’ unions, saying they must be sucking the “dynamism” out of education because of increasing costs. Others people fiercely defend them, saying teachers are underpaid and overworked. Once again, in the context of cost disease, both are obviously true. The taxpayers are just trying to protect their right to get education as cheaply as they used to. The teachers are trying to protect their right to make as much money as they used to. The conflict between the taxpayers and the teachers’ unions is about how to distribute losses; somebody is going to have to be worse off than they were a generation ago, so who should it be?

And the same is true to greater or lesser degrees in the various debates over health care, public housing, et cetera.

Imagine if tomorrow, the price of water dectupled. Suddenly people have to choose between drinking and washing dishes. Activists argue that taking a shower is a basic human right, and grumpy talk show hosts point out that in their day, parents taught their children not to waste water. A coalition promotes laws ensuring government-subsidized free water for poor families; a Fox News investigative report shows that some people receiving water on the government dime are taking long luxurious showers. Everyone gets really angry and there’s lots of talk about basic compassion and personal responsibility and whatever but all of this is secondary to why does water costs ten times what it used to?

I think this is the basic intuition behind so many people, even those who genuinely want to help the poor, are afraid of “tax and spend” policies. In the context of cost disease, these look like industries constantly doubling, tripling, or dectupling their price, and the government saying “Okay, fine,” and increasing taxes however much it costs to pay for whatever they’re demanding now.

If we give everyone free college education, that solves a big social problem. It also locks in a price which is ten times too high for no reason. This isn’t fair to the government, which has to pay ten times more than it should. It’s not fair to the poor people, who have to face the stigma of accepting handouts for something they could easily have afforded themselves if it was at its proper price. And it’s not fair to future generations if colleges take this opportunity to increase the cost by twenty times, and then our children have to subsidize that.

I’m not sure how many people currently opposed to paying for free health care, or free college, or whatever, would be happy to pay for health care that cost less, that was less wasteful and more efficient, and whose price we expected to go down rather than up with every passing year. I expect it would be a lot.

And if it isn’t, who cares? The people who want to help the poor have enough political capital to spend eg $500 billion on Medicaid; if that were to go ten times further, then everyone could get the health care they need without any more political action needed. If some government program found a way to give poor people good health insurance for a few hundred dollars a year, college tuition for about a thousand, and housing for only two-thirds what it costs now, that would be the greatest anti-poverty advance in history. That program is called “having things be as efficient as they were a few decades ago”.

V.

In 1930, economist John Maynard Keynes predicted that his grandchildrens’ generation would have a 15 hour work week. At the time, it made sense. GDP was rising so quickly that anyone who could draw a line on a graph could tell that our generation would be four or five times richer than his. And the average middle-class person in his generation felt like they were doing pretty well and had most of what they needed. Why wouldn’t they decide to take some time off and settle for a lifestyle merely twice as luxurious as Keynes’ own?

Keynes was sort of right. GDP per capita is 4-5x greater today than in his time. Yet we still work forty hour weeks, and some large-but-inconsistently-reported percent of Americans (76? 55? 47?) still live paycheck to paycheck.

And yes, part of this is because inequality is increasing and most of the gains are going to the rich. But this alone wouldn’t be a disaster; we’d get to Keynes’ utopia a little slower than we might otherwise, but eventually we’d get there. Most gains going to the rich means at least some gains are going to the poor. And at least there’s a lot of mainstream awareness of the problem.

I’m more worried about the part where the cost of basic human needs goes up faster than wages do. Even if you’re making twice as much money, if your health care and education and so on cost ten times as much, you’re going to start falling behind. Right now the standard of living isn’t just stagnant, it’s at risk of declining, and a lot of that is student loans and health insurance costs and so on.

What’s happening? I don’t know and I find it really scary."
scottalexander  economics  education  history  politics  policy  prices  inflation  highered  highereducation  colleges  universities  bureaucracy  costdisease  healthcare  spending  us  government  medicine  lifeexpectancy  salaries  teachers  teaching  schools  regulation  tylercowen  poverty  inequality  litigation  litigiousness  labor  housing  rent  homes  subways  transportation  health 
january 2018 by robertogreco
Iceland put bankers in jail rather than bailing them out — and it worked - Vox
"Yesterday, Iceland's prime minister, Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson, announced a plan that will essentially close the books on his country's approach to handling the financial crisis — an approach that deviated greatly from the preferences of global financial elites and succeeded quite well. Instead of embracing the orthodoxy of bank bailouts, austerity, and low inflation, Iceland did just the opposite. And even though its economy was hammered by the banking crisis perhaps harder than any other in the world, its labor didn't deteriorate all that much, and it had a great recovery.

How great? Well, compare the evolution of Iceland's unemployment rate with what happened in Ireland, the star pupil of the Very Serious People:

[chart]

Or compare it with the United States:

[chart]

How did Iceland pull it off?

Let the banks go bust

For starters, rather than scrambling to mobilize public resources to make sure banks didn't default on their various obligations, Iceland let the banks go bust. Executives of the country's most important bank were prosecuted as criminals.

Reject austerity

[chart]

Iceland was nonetheless hit by a very serious recession that caused its debt-to-GDP ratio to soar. But even after several years of steady increases, the government didn't panic. It prioritized recovery. And when recovery was underway and the ratio began to fall, the government let it fall gently.

Devalue and accept inflation

[chart]

There's no free lunch in life, and no country recovers from a severe recession without some bad things happening. But while most developed countries have gone through years of grindingly high unemployment paired with super-low inflation, Iceland did the reverse. It let the value of its currency tumble, which naturally brought about higher prices.

But as a result, the country's export industries rapidly gained ground in international markets. Unemployment rose, but maxed out at a modest 7.6 percent before falling steadily to a very low level. In the US and Europe, the priority has been on low inflation to protect the asset values of the wealthy. Iceland prioritized jobs, and it worked.

Impose temporary capital controls

In the context of bank defaults and a plunging currency, the government felt it was necessary to impose an additional measure — capital controls, regulations restricting Icelandic citizens' ability to take their money out of the country. This is a serious violation of free market orthodoxy. More importantly, it can be a major hassle to ordinary people's lives and an impediment to starting new businesses. In some countries, like Argentina, capital controls become a breeding ground of corruption and mischief.

That leads some to believe that no matter how well heterodox policies work economically, they're ultimately doomed to political failure.

Iceland shows that's not the case. Getting policy right is difficult, but it can be done. And the upside to doing the right thing — devaluing the currency massively, then imposing capital controls to contain the fallout, then ending the capital controls once the economy recovers — can be enormous. Iceland has had a rough time over the past seven or eight years, but so have a lot of other countries. Things are looking up there now because the country's leaders had the wisdom to reject elements of the self-satisfied conventional wisdom that have proven so harmful elsewhere."
iceland  banking  greatrecession  austerity  finance  2015  economics  matthewyglesias  unemployment  employment  labor  policy  politics  regulation  capitalcontols  currency  devaluation  inflation 
june 2015 by robertogreco
A negative interest rate world? Why? | Ian Welsh
"Why there is too much money chasing returns is important, however, so I’m going to tease apart some of the reasons.

Central Bank Policy

Look, the ECB is buying bonds. The BOJ is buying bonds. The US was doing so. This is demand. It pushes the yield of bonds down.

China is printing piles of money, Japan is printing it, etc… That money isn’t staying in those economies, it is hunting through the world for returns or even just security. Federal Reserve policy has put a floor under losses from various securities by accepting that at near par, and Fed policy of free money has underwritten an epic bull market in securities.

No cleanup of the banking or shadow banking systems.

Most money is created by private actors. Banks, shadow banks (brokerages, etc…) There is no effective oversight of these organizations, still (you’d think after 2007, but you’d be wrong.) In fact, not only is there not enough oversight, but in most cases they’ve been effectively encourages to create more money. We have another derivatives bubble underway, we have housing bubbles in multiple countries (e.g. Canada and the UK), and while the US doesn’t have one, parts of the US, like Manhattan, do.

Oligopolistic profits.

US broadband profits are almost 100%-annualized. Every app store takes a 30% cut (a level which would have been shut down by regulators of the post-war liberal period.) Copyright law makes it difficult to impossible to create generic alternatives to common items. These have all led to very high profit levels, and those profits have largely been plowed back into stock buy backs (most corporate borrow is matched by stock buy backs). But much of the economy is not available to be bought on the stock market, many large investors can’t invest on the stock market by law (they have to invest in high-grade bonds), and much of those profits are now priced into stock prices anyway.

Inequality

In the United States more than all the gains of the last “recovery” have gone to the top 10% (really the top 3% or so.) There has limited broad based demand for new goods. Luxury goods, investment art, and London and Manhattan real-estate do not scale. Without widespread demand, opportunities for new businesses, with new employers, are limited.

Barriers to Entry

Much of this came under oligoplistic profits. Draconic “intellectual property” laws make it difficult to compete, bringing prices down and increasing volumes while freeing up money for people to spend on other things. 30% cuts from app stores and other virtual marketplaces make many businesses simply unprofitable—first they must make 30% for Apple or whoever, then they get to make a profit for themselves. But if you aren’t on those virtual marketplaces (and there is usually one which controls most of the business) you will not make enough sales to be viable. This sort of “you make no money without us, so we’ll take all the profits” behavior is little different from what the railroads did to farmers in the late nineteenth and early 20th centuries.

And while there’s tons of credit for big business and people who are already rich, a new business trying to get funding faces huge barriers to getting money. It’s boutique investment, it requires a lot of time, and most investors would rather just buy bonds, structured securities, or play the stock market. Money may be cheap, but not for you.



No Future Till The Current Rich Can Monetize It

We could have had a lot of what we have today many years ago.  But the rich control the politicians, and the politicians won’t allow it to occur.  There was great squealing for years about subsidies for solar, and corruption in how they were given out, but they were always a rounding error compared to subsidies for oil, let along the military-industrial complex, big agriculture, pharma, health insurance, and so on.  All of those industries were powerful enough to strangle subsidies to competitors (solar, generic drugs, whatever) and strong enough to insist on new laws which strangled startups and competition (every copyright extension is nothing but an anti-competitive measure intended to keep profits coming to incumbents.)

Bottom Line

We have too much money chasing too few returns because we’ve spent 40 odd years making sure that ordinary people get less and less money; the rich get more; and that oligopolies are nurtured and protected.  The rich control government, and they intend to make sure that all the money goes to them.  Unfortunately, in a mass market economy, that means the economy becomes lousier and lousier.  This doesn’t matter to the rich because they are comparatively better off. Better a Czar amidst serfs than the CEO of General Motors in 1955."
deflation  inflation  labor  capitalism  power  inequality  economics  2015  ianwelsh  wealth  us  policy  banking  finance  wallstreet  oligarchs  intellectualproperty  copyright  patents  business 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Wouldn’t Unconditional Basic Income Just Cause Massive Inflation? — Basic income — Medium
"The money for a basic income guarantee would be already existing money circulated through the economic system. It would not be new money, just money shifted from one location to another. This means that the value of each dollar has not changed. The dollar itself has only changed hands.

It is also important to note the observation that even when money supply is vastly expanded, the effects on prices need not be extreme. For example, the Fed’s quantitative easing added over four trillion new dollars to the U.S. money supply, and the results were not enough inflation, as defined by the Fed."



"So even though basic income would not be printing new money for everyone, even if it were, inflation would not be a guaranteed result.

With that understood, to then understand how much we should actually fear rising prices as a result of redistributing existing money from one place to another instead of printing new money requires some studying, but the short answer is that capitalism not only still exists with basic income, it is enhanced.

By enhanced, I mean there is growing evidence from where basic incomes have been actually tried that it increases entrepreneurship. We also have actual examples of partial basic incomes, that we can examine for inflationary evidence.

Aside from this evidence, we also need to understand how increased demand leading to higher prices isn’t as simple as we might think is is, and how when it comes to housing prices, in a future where everyone has basic incomes, we are likely to see some very interesting market adjustments. Meanwhile, fears involving unearned income and increased velocity require a closer examination."



"The Inflation Bogeyman

Inflation is not the unmanageable danger it is made out to be. It is a complex equation involving multiple variables, and in the context of evaluating the idea of a universal basic income guarantee, because a basic income will be set at a basic level, there is even less to fear.

Because we have actual evidence, there is less to fear.

Because capitalism will be enhanced, there is less to fear.

Because technology will continue to advance and make goods like housing cheaper, there is less to fear.

Because our economic capacity is underutilized and underconsumption is systemic, there is less to fear.

There is however one real thing to fear…

Increased Wages and Salaries

Basic income could provide an upward force on wages through increased individual bargaining power and slightly decreased labor force participation rates, and businesses as a result of new higher labor costs could raise their prices so as to keep their profits unchanged.

This would mean that if you are currently earning $20,000 per year, you’d not only get an extra $12,000 per year in basic income, but also $10,000 in higher wages. Your new yearly income would be $42,000 and groceries might end up costing you an extra 1.4 percent per month.

Would you personally have a problem with earning an extra $22,000 and paying an extra $50 on groceries? Let’s assume you would, and that you also think it’s wrong the cost of food would go up for everyone else as well, including those with only $12,000 per year basic incomes, and therefore with tighter fixed budgets. There is one last final detail to understand.

Any basic income can and should be indexed to match or beat inflation.

Indexing Basic Income

Just as the minimum wage has eroded over time because of inflation and the political fight over ever raising it, a basic income should automatically rise each year to match inflation so that it doesn’t erode in the same way.

Better yet, instead of just indexing a basic income to CPI, it could even be indexed to something like productivity, so that the gains of society continue to accrue more widely for everyone, instead of only the few.

(Because wages and salaries certainly aren’t rising with productivity and haven’t for decades.)

The result of this would be a basic income that always increases faster than inflation, so that each and every year, we would be able to buy a greater amount of goods and services than the year before.

It cannot be stressed enough that this ability is especially important to enable in advance of the decades ahead of us as software and hardware continue to decrease the need for human labor, and as a result, decreases availability of ever decreasing incomes derived from human labor."
universalbasicincome  2014  scottsantens  inflation  economics  hyperinflation  wages  income  compensation  salaries  labor  work  ubi 
february 2015 by robertogreco
The Billion Prices Project @ MIT
"The Billion Prices Project is an academic initiative that collects prices from hundreds of online retailers around the world on a daily basis to conduct economic research. We currently monitor daily price fluctuations of ~5 million items sold by ~300 online retailers in more than 70 countries.

This webpage showcases examples of average inflation indexes that we created to illustrate the type of statistical work that can be done with this type of data. Our team is currently working on developing econometric models that leverage the data to forecast future trends and conduct economic research."
economics  visualization  inflation  finance  mit 
december 2010 by robertogreco
$11,000 for the First Apple Portable Computer! The Real Cost of Apple Products - What's the Big Deal?
"On the eve of Apple's iPad launch, we thought it would be interesting to see whether the cost of the iPad really is an 'unbelievable price' compared to previous Apple product launches.

Looking back through the archives, to the launch of the first Apple computer in 1976, we've worked out how much it would cost to buy each of Apple's new major product releases today - accounting for inflation.

So, is the iPad as good value as Steve Jobs would like us to believe? We'll let you make your own mind up."
visualization  infographics  inflation  infographic  statistics  apple  computers  mac  money  prices  gadgets  comparison  hardware  ipod  iphone  ipad 
april 2010 by robertogreco
Bob Samuels: Why Tuition Always Goes Up at American Universities
"perverse incentive system at research unis also trickles down to other schools, & 1 of reasons for this application of research priorities at non-research institutions is that so many of professors & administrators are trained at doctoral research universities...once research becomes the priority at a college/university, the cost of administration & facilities skyrockets & this increase in bureaucracy & buildings is paid by undergraduate student tuition & state & fed taxes. Undergraduate students & parents are therefore paying for replacement of teaching w/ research & admin & what makes this situation even more appalling is that these institutions still claim that they are providing a public good & mission is to serve community. However, point here is not to say parents & tax payers should not support university research or that university research is not important; rather, people should know what they are paying for & false statistics allow for a lot of hiding & mismanagement."
colleges  universities  costs  money  education  highereducation  undergraduate  2010  inflation  research  administration  us  broken 
february 2010 by robertogreco
Doctored Data Cast Doubt on Argentina - washingtonpost.com
"Economists say the official inflation rate of 8.5 percent in 2007 was really about 25 percent. In the 12 months ended this June, the INDEC put the rate at 5.3 percent, but economists say it might be three times higher. Argentina's vaunted economic growth this decade might have been exaggerated, too. Credit Suisse said the 7 percent expansion the government reported last year is likely 2 to 3 percent lower. "
argentina  economics  policy  government  politics  kirchners  money  inflation 
august 2009 by robertogreco
On The Great Big Third World | varnelis.net
"So if we're seeing 9.4% unemployment this month, you should probably double that to get a real picture of how many people aren't being employed in traditional fashion. What if this continues for a few years? And what if we get the high interest [and inflation] rates that I predicted, eviscerating home values? I think the result is a country that approaches "Third World" status with a cheap labor force that will take on contract work without any guarantee of continuing employment for low wages. ... The Third World didn't vanish in the worldwide economic "boom," it spread everywhere. That's what the last two decades have brought us. I knew that the Bush administration was alternately too stupid and too evil to point this out, but Obama had the opportunity to force Americans to face up to the crisis, as FDR did when he took over in 1933, but he took an easy way out. Now we'll all pay the price. Welcome to the new, improved, much larger Third World."
kazysvarnelis  crisis  thirdworld  us  policy  economics  housingbubble  labor  unemployment  georgewbush  barackobama  inflation  devaluation  dollar  markets  boom  greatrepression  recession 
june 2009 by robertogreco
Gone (Art) Hunting - ARTINFO.com
"Now that the artificial inflation is over and the newcomers who played with art as they did with futures have gone home, those who truly love and know art have the field all to themselves."
art  crisis  inflation  collecting  via:regine 
march 2009 by robertogreco
Inside the world's most annoying economic crisis. - By Joe Keohane - Slate Magazine
"It's taken for granted that the peso coin is more valuable than the 2-peso note. " ... "The history of Argentina in the last 100 years is a story of great potential overwhelmed by a genius for acts of pointless economic self-destruction, but even for the Argentines, this is an exasperating state of affairs. The economy is still growing at a robust clip of around 8 percent year over year, but out-of-control inflation, estimated by independent analysts to be around 25 percent, has effectively devalued the currency, making it ironic that coins have become such an obsession. But an obsession they are, worthy of Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges' story "The Zahir," about a man driven mad by contemplating a single coin." ... "In some cases, 5s and 10s are effectively worth more than 100s... Save for large purchases, 100-peso notes are functionally useless—imagine trying to trade a bar of platinum bullion for a sandwich and a coffee."
argentina  currency  absurdity  economics  inflation  politics  crisis  culture  money 
february 2009 by robertogreco
Global Guerrillas: INDUSTRIAL EDUCATION?
"Since nearly all of the value of an education has been extracted by the producer, to the detriment of the customer, this situation has all the earmarks of a bubble. A bubble that will soon burst as median incomes are adjusted downwards to global norms over the next decade". lectures + application + collaboration. "When will the floodgates open? The shift towards online education as the norm and in-person as the exception will arrive, however, the path is unclear. It is currently blocked by guilds/unions, inertia, credentialism, and romantic notions."
change  reform  education  learning  online  elearning  colleges  universities  futurism  future  business  trends  economics  opensource  mit  johnrobb  crisis  unschooling  deschooling  homeschool  lcproject  gamechanging  money  tuition  inflation  price  cost  bubbles  2009  credentials  teaching  students 
january 2009 by robertogreco
Jim Kunstler : Zombie Economics
"We're heading into a hard work economy in which people derive their pleasures and gratification more traditionally -- mainly through the company of their fellow human beings (which is saying a lot, for those of you who have forgotten what that's about). Our current investments in "education" -- i.e. training people to become marketing executives for chain stores -- will delude Americans for a while about what kind of work is really available. But before long, the younger adults will realize that there are enormous opportunities for them in a new and very different economy. We will still have commerce -- even if it's not the K-Mart blue-light-special variety -- and the coming generation will have to rebuild all the local, multi-layered networks of commercial inter-dependency that were destroyed by the rise of the chain stores. In short, get ready for local business. It will surely be part-and-parcel of our local food-growing and manufacturing activities."
jameshowardkunstler  future  local  economics  crisis  greatdepression  relocalizing  gamechanging  finance  education  training  relationships  peakoil  us  politics  trains  oil  meltdown  disruption  inflation  zombies 
november 2008 by robertogreco
Get Ready For 'Stag-Deflation' - Forbes.com
"In conclusion, a sharp slack in goods, labor and commodity markets will lead to global deflationary trends over the next year. And the fiscal costs of bailing out borrowers and/or lenders/investors will not be inflationary, as central banks will not be willing to incur the costs of very high inflation as a way to reduce the real value of the debt burdens of governments and distressed borrowers. The costs of rising expected inflation will be much higher than the benefits of using the inflation tax to pay for the fiscal costs of cleaning up the mess that this most severe financial crisis has created."
nourielroubini  crisis  deflation  2008  inflation  markets  commodities  banking  recession 
november 2008 by robertogreco
From Gleeful to Fearful in Latin America - NYTimes.com
"In only a few days, Latin American leaders have gone from schadenfreude to fear. Despite strong economic growth this decade and some aggressive efforts to break free of the American orbit, there is a growing nervousness that once again Latin America cannot escape the globalized connections in the financial sector that run through the United States."
latinamerica  brasil  argentina  venezuela  economics  world  global  china  us  crisis  finance  markets  inflation  brazil 
october 2008 by robertogreco
College tuition is far outpacing the cost of living - Aug. 20, 2008
"Costs are soaring twice as fast as inflation, even as salaries for graduates are falling. Time to examine the old belief that college is worth whatever you can pay."
colleges  universities  tuition  inflation  economics  employment  academia  price  cost 
august 2008 by robertogreco
All of Inflation’s Little Parts - The New York Times
"Each shape below represents how much the average American spends in different categories. Larger shapes make up a larger part of spending."
inflation  money  infographics  visualization  us  cpi  economics 
may 2008 by robertogreco
Across Globe, Empty Bellies Bring Rising Anger - New York Times
"That anger is palpable across the globe. The food crisis is not only being felt among the poor but is also eroding the gains of the working and middle classes, sowing volatile levels of discontent and putting new pressures on fragile governments."
food  crisis  world  global  money  economics  markets  inflation 
april 2008 by robertogreco
Zimbabwe: State of despair [Monocle]
"Zimbabwe is a country on the brink of economic collapse. With inflation running out of control, the supply of food, fuel and electricity is dwindling. Posing as tourists, Monocle reports from a country where international journalists are banned."
failedstates  zimbabwe  africa  economics  inflation  via:cityofsound  collapse 
january 2008 by robertogreco
A New, Global Oil Quandary: Costly Fuel Means Costly Calories - New York Times
"There may be worse inflation to come. Food experts say steep increases in commodity prices have not fully made their way to street stalls in the developing world or supermarkets in the West."`
food  energy  economics  globalization  markets  inflation  money 
january 2008 by robertogreco
Food prices | The end of cheap food | Economist.com
"Rising food prices are a threat to many; they also present the world with an enormous opportunity"
agriculture  economics  finance  food  inflation  poverty  sustainability  politics  money  environment 
december 2007 by robertogreco
BBC NEWS | Africa | Zimbabwe inflation 'incalculable'
"Zimbabwe's chief statistician has said it is impossible to work out the country's latest inflation rate because of the lack of goods in shops."
economics  history  news  politics  power  zimbabwe  africa  money  inflation 
november 2007 by robertogreco

Copy this bookmark:





to read