Mar
25
2015

The Case Against Raising Interest Rates Is Simple, Despite WaPo’s Efforts to Confuse It

Unemployed workers (photo: Michael Raphael/FEMA)

The question here is pretty simple, in spite of Robert Samuelson’s efforts to sow confusion. There is very little plausible benefit from raising interest rates and slowing the economy at a point where the economy is far below its potential by almost any measure.

Mar
16
2015

Mind-Reading NYT Columnist Should Stick to His Day Job

Psychic with crystal ball.

Most of us recognize that politicians don’t always reveal their true thoughts. We know what they say their priorities are, but only a mind-reader would try to tell us what they really think.

Mar
10
2015

Yes, Wall Street Journal, It’s Possible to Be Not Generous Enough

Judge Dredd

Clearly there are judges who are too lenient and accept claims that probably should be denied; however, there are also judges who are too harsh and reject claims that should probably be approved.

Mar
05
2015

WaPo Lets Slip Why Dollar Is Over-Valued

Washington Post map of hotel room rates

An over-valued dollar hurts the workers who are subject to international competition to the benefit of workers who are largely protected from international competition.

Feb
24
2015

Robert Samuelson’s ‘Golden Age’ Mythology

The Golden Age, Lucas Cranach the Elder

Robert Samuelson says if we had kept up the rates of productivity growth we had until 1973, it would have mattered much more to middle-income families’ living standards than the rise in inequality since 1980. This is true in the sense of “if I were six feet five inches, I would be taller than I am,” but it’s not clear what we should make of the point.

Feb
19
2015

NYT Hopes India Can Avoid China’s Plight: a High-Paid, Well-Educated Workforce

Indian farmers (photo: Atul Loke/NYT)

A front-page lead New York Times story is mainly valuable for the insight it provides into what the Times considers to be a healthy economy–and who that economy is supposed to benefit.

Feb
17
2015

Borrowing a Climate Denial Trick to Erase Rising Inequality

New York Times chart showing rising inequality

New York Times economics columnist David Leonhardt has a new column headlined “Inequality Has Actually Not Risen Since the Financial Crisis.” This is mostly, if not entirely, BS.

Feb
14
2015

Setting SYRIZA Straight, NYT Gets It Wrong on Debt

Yanis Varoufakis (photo: Angelos Tzortzinis/NYT)

The New York Times suggested that the Greek Finance minister does not understand the basic debt dynamics of his own country–and followed this up with an erroneous definition of a fiscal “primary surplus,” a crucial accounting concept for the Greek debt work-out.

Feb
10
2015

Tell Us How You Really Feel About Fast Track Opponents, New York Times

Fringe (cc photo: John Lillis)

The New York Times’ Jonathan Weisman reports that President Barack Obama’s chances of getting “fast track” authority to negotiate trade agreements are shrinking as “the political fringes expand on each end.”

Feb
10
2015

Billionaire’s Paper Hopes Well-Off Will Identify With Wealthy

Obama in a diner (photo: Doug Mills/NYT)

The last thing that the wealthy want is for the rest of the populace to unite against them politically. Luckily for them, the New York Times seems determined not to let that happen.

Feb
04
2015

We Could Keep Government Small if Only the Old Weren’t Getting So Much Healthcare

Grandparents (cc photo: Ben Smith)

McClatchy wants us to be alarmed that Obama’s budget plan would move the federal government’s share of the economy from 20.9 percent today to 22.2 percent in 2024–a trivial redistribution of what is expected to be a much larger economic pie.

Jan
26
2015

Improbable as It May Seem to WaPo, Greek Voters Doubt Austerity Is Required

The Washington Post illustrates the victory of Greece's Syriza with a photo of marchers carrying the flag of an Italian neo-Communist party.  Caption: "Leftist victory could put Athens at odds with the rest of Europe." (photo: Petros Giannakouris/AP)

Warning Greece against a radical break with austerity has been a longstanding theme at the Washington Post. It’s worth emphasizing, though, that the creditors who “bailed out Greece” in reality didn’t bail out anyone but themselves.

Jan
23
2015

‘Poor,’ ‘Middle Class’–What’s the Difference to the 1 Percent?

Paul Ryan with colleagues

A New York Times piece seems to treat the poor and middle class as almost interchangeable. Thus Mitt Romney vowing to “end the scourge of poverty” is equated with Mitch McConnell calling for a focus on “the stagnant middle class.”