August 18, 2019

Money

"At the end of last week, the three-month Treasury bills' yield rose above the yield for 10-year Treasuries for the first time since 2007, prompting warnings that the U.S. is headed for recession later this year or in early 2020."

"Democrats and Republicans seem to have irreconcilable views on economics, but on one point they agree: Small business is better than big."

"American landlords derive more profit from renters in low-income neighborhoods, researchers Matthew Desmond and Nathan Wilmers find."

"At the Jewish Museum in London called “Jews, Money, Myth.” The show explores the ways in which Jews have been associated with money over the past 2,000 years."

"America’s now trendy socialists mistake accretion for creation when it comes to wealth. This error of convenience serves as self-justification for the left’s policies, by simply assuming wealth will inevitably result...

"We have tied work closely to our overall life satisfaction — indeed, to our very identities. It isn’t surprising, then, that our jobs are letting us down."

"Ride hailing is going public. According to Reuters, both Uber and Lyft are on course for an initial public offering this year. Lyft will probably debut later this month. Uber is readying the paperwork..."

"What made millennials the way they are? Why are they so burned out? Why are they having fewer kids? Why are they getting married later? Why are they obsessed with efficiency and technology?"

"The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) might have your money. The tax agency has announced that more than $1.4 billion in outstanding refunds remain unclaimed from 2015. Yes, billion."

“For a decade now, the people whose job it is to predict the economy’s performance have made the same mistake, again and again and again. They have been too optimistic.

The pattern started during the 2007-09 financial crisis, of course. But it didn’t end there. In the immediate aftermath, the Federal Reserve was too quick to see “green shoots” sprouting across the economy. And in the years since, forecasters at both the Fed and in the private sector have repeatedly made forecasts that turned out to be too sunny.

I was inspired to dig into these forecasts — and the errors in them — after reading a new academic paper last week, by Lawrence Summers, the former Treasury secretary, and Lukasz Rachel, of the Bank of England. That paper is part of Summers’s continuing argument that the economy is suffering from something called “secular stagnation.” The economy isn’t simply enduring a slow recovery from the crisis. Its problems are deeper, as I lay out in the column.”

"From a retired couple who lived in a tent to a young woman who got divorced, we talked to people about how they stopped the debt spiral."

"If such a thing as American exceptionalism remains, maybe it can be found in this: most Americans still pay their income taxes every year..."

"It’s the empirically verifiable conclusion from the 20th century’s bitter contest between capitalist and socialist states. It’s not a race we should have to run twice."

"So, just how expensive is it? Despite the fact childbirth is one of the most common reasons for hospital admissions in the U.S., it can be difficult for an individual to estimate how much she might end up paying to deliver a baby."

"In 2008 the U.S. economy was collapsing, but I myself was experiencing a brief and temporary period of financial abundance, the first and only time like this I have ever known."

"Tipping is confusing, and paradoxical. We tip some people who provide services but not others who work just as hard for just as little pay."

"Democrats are avoiding questions about how to pay for Medicare for All and the Green New Deal. The answer is quite simple... Polling has shown that raising taxes on the wealthy is popular with a majority of voters."

"Conservatives need to start talking about the rich as ‘fountainheads’ and ‘Atlases,’ individuals who are indispensable to wealth creation and general prosperity."

"“It’s not that children make you unhappy,” Blanchflower told me. “It’s the fact that they bring lots of expenses and difficulties. You have to buy the milk and the diapers. And that financial pressure gets muddled up with this.”"

"I for one believe that commercial drivers licenses are a necessary thing. Ditto the restrictions that we rightly impose upon the ability of any lunatic to declare himself a dentist and start drilling away with the Crafstman in his garage. But hair?"

"Since 1980, the incomes of the very rich have grown faster than the economy. The upper middle class has kept pace with the economy, while the middle class and poor have fallen behind."

"It was just one branch of one company in one city, but Amazon’s cancellation of its planned New York office has cities and companies all over the country rethinking their plans."

"The super-rich are always looking for ways to decrease the amount of taxes they have to pay. But what are the things they do to ease their burden? Experts break down 5 common strategies that help save their clients money."

"Making our choices count is, however, far from straightforward, and this is the subject of Martin Hägglund’s book This Life: Secular Faith and Spiritual Freedom."

"For a decade, the oligarchs of Silicon Valley and Puget Sound worked overtime to win over progressives. For the most part, they enthusiastically back the Left on its immigration, environmental, gender, and racial agendas."

"Progress in technological innovation, reducing poverty, and increasing life expectancy around the world continues to increase. Yet there is also persistent poverty in poor and fragile states..."

"In talmudic tort law.. the responsible party must transfer to the plaintiff an area of his best land of equivalent value- rather than a larger area of low-quality land. From the standpoint of classical economics, such a requirement is nonsensical."

"Yes, we’re all overwhelmed with email. One recent survey suggested that the average American’s inbox has 199 unread messages. But volume isn’t an excuse for not replying."

"In his State of the Union address last week, President Trump vowed the country can make its middle class “bigger and more prosperous than ever before.”"

"S’well’s success is impressive, but the brand has a host of competitors nipping at its heels in what has become an enormous market for high-end, reusable beverage containers."

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