Sep 302015
Needed: More, not fewer, immigrants

Worried about your Social Security benefits? You ought to be. Whether you are in your 70s or your 20s , the number of workers taxed to support you in our pay-as-you-go social-insurance system are or will be fewer than supported your parents and grandparents. We’re living longer and having fewer [continue reading . . . ]

Sep 202015

Don’t miss the essay in the Wall Street Journal on Sept. 19, 2015 by Dr. Bjørn Lomborg, the Danish author and environmentalist, featuring what I regard as uncommon sense on climate change. No Wall Street Journal subscription? If you have a library card in your purse or wallet, you can [continue reading . . . ]

Sep 052015
Tonight's Top 10 List

Employment has been growing faster than average in the recent past on the West Coast generally and in the Pacific Northwest states in particular. Among the states I follow as a regional economist, Montana and Alaska, both hit hard by the collapse of oil prices, rank well below aveage. The [continue reading . . . ]

Aug 292015
The recovery: Still tepid

Good on us that the U.S. economy grew at an annual rate estimated at 3.7% in the April-May-June quarter rather than the 2.2% rate announced as the first estimate a month ago. But don’t get too excited. State and local government spending accounted for a higher-than-average share of the growth [continue reading . . . ]

Aug 192015
The next recession: Made in China?

If you haven’t read it, get to your library (or use your library card) to read Ruchir Sharma’s op-ed in the Wall Street Journal August 17 (Page A 11). He argues that with advanced economies stuck in slow-growth mode, the globe is “one shock away from recession” and that the [continue reading . . . ]

Jun 122015
Condemned to slow growth?

June marks the end of the sixth year since the Great Recession passed into history. At 18 months, it was the lengthiest recession since World War II, surpassing the 16 months of the other notably long-lived  post-war recessions, ended in March 1975 and November 1982. For duation, of course, the [continue reading . . . ]