Pertinent Category: Daily Economy

Steady Economic Growth Continues

– August 13, 2015

This morning’s retail sales numbers underscore a continued pattern of slow but steady economic growth.

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One Answer to Hillary Clinton’s Uber Concerns

– August 13, 2015

The employment status of Uber’s drivers and other workers in the “sharing economy” has become a hot political issue, with Hillary Clinton and others criticizing the lack of protections and benefits afforded to independent contractors.  Implicit in this criticism is the notion that independent contractor status is a bad deal for workers.  However, reclassifying contractors as employees would have both costs and benefits that would be felt differently by different kinds of workers in the sharing economy.

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Financial First Steps: Cautions on Credit Card Use

– August 12, 2015

Credit cards can be great. Their convenience and ease of use, combined with the ability to extend your budget, makes them almost a necessity in today’s world. However, credit cards are not all good; in fact, they actually lead many people into crippling debt, bankruptcy, and financial ruin. While many of my previous posts have discussed why credit is important, this post will exclusively provide caution to people just beginning their use of credit cards.

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Medicare is Hardly Self-Financed

– August 11, 2015

Many believe that Medicare (similarly to Social Security) does not add anything to the federal budget deficit because it is financed by dedicated tax revenue. This belief is one of the reasons for the outrage at the suggestion that Medicare needs to be reformed to prevent future budget deficits from spiraling out of control. But this belief is at odds with reality.

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A Reason to Celebrate Social Security’s Birthday

– August 10, 2015

Eighty years ago this week — on August 14, 1935 —  President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act. It created a national old-age retirement program in the United States for the first time. It was an investment that continues to pay dividends even today.

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Jobs Report Presages an Accelerating Economy

– August 7, 2015

The broad gains in the July Employment Report from the Labor Department this morning suggests the economy continues to grow at a moderate pace. We continue to expect the economy to post faster growth in the second half of 2015 following the weak first quarter.

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Is College Worth the Expense?

– August 6, 2015

The cost of attending a four-year college in the United States has increased sharply of late, from around $3,500 in the early 1980’s to around $24,000 for this upcoming academic year. Since 1980, nothing has increased in price more than college. Not health care. Not gasoline. Not housing.

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Hints Point to a Good Employment Report on Friday

– August 5, 2015

As we await the July employment numbers, some data that we’ve received this week suggest Friday’s report will be a good one. The Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing survey on Monday showed a weaker headline number, but the most important el …

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Financial First Steps: How to Establish Credit

– August 4, 2015

For those who aren’t students and are attempting to build credit, there is a hurdle to overcome, because lenders abide by the unwritten law, “you must have credit to get credit.” Fortunately, there are a number of ways to overcome this.

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Using “Parks and Recreation” to Teach Economics

– August 3, 2015

Economic educators are always trying to find new ways to breathe fresh air into the economics classroom and to get away from conventional “chalk talk” methods made famous in movies such as “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” (1986). I know we all remember Ben Stein putting the class to sleep during a macroeconomics class. A new article in the most recent edition of the Journal of Economics and Finance Education suggests a novel approach for capturing students’ attention: using the TV show “Parks and Recreation” to teach economics.

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Bernanke’s Math Problem

– July 31, 2015

Former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke argues that stock prices have returned to their earlier upward trajectory, following the chaos of the Great Recession. But there’s one problem: He did the math wrong.

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Consumer Spending is Bouncing Back

– July 30, 2015

Data released today by the U.S. Department of Commerce show second quarter real Gross Domestic Product grew 2.3 percent following an upwardly revised first quarter gain of 0.6 percent. Along with today’s first estimate of second quarter GDP, Commerce also released revised estimates of GDP for the past three years. 

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