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The Economy: Spring is Just Around the Corner

Anemic job gains in January and stubbornly high new claims for unemployment insurance have led many to conclude that the economic recovery has stalled out and that more fiscal stimulus is needed to jump start the economy. It should be noted that the employment report for January contained some encouraging signs, and the economic fundamentals … Continue reading The Economy: Spring is Just Around the Corner

More Fiscal Stimulus Justified? A Contrarian View

The economic news of late—retail sales, labor market data—and the COVID-19 outbreaks and tighter restrictions has been somewhat discouraging. Many have concluded that the recovery has come to an end, and more fiscal stimulus is needed. The incoming president is proposing nearly $2 trillion in new stimulus—on top of the $0.9 trillion recently enacted. Such … Continue reading More Fiscal Stimulus Justified? A Contrarian View

The Demise of This Expansion is Greatly Exaggerated

Like the impending death of Mark Twain, the recent commentary suggesting that this economic expansion has lost its life is considerably overstated. Much has been said about the uptick in new claims for unemployment insurance, shown in the chart below, and its link to the restoration of restrictions by many governments in response to the … Continue reading The Demise of This Expansion is Greatly Exaggerated

Redistribution: Votes Versus Income Shares

While income redistribution has always been a hot topic, the debate has become more intense in recent years. In part, this has reflected stagnation in median family income. Also, standard measures of income distribution had been showing growing inequality in the distribution of income. However, inequality decreased and median family income improved in 2018 and … Continue reading Redistribution: Votes Versus Income Shares