Ten Economics Pieces Worth Reading: January 8, 2010
England's Green and Pleasant Land (and Scotland, Wales, and Cornwall too)

A Better Employment Report than I Had Expected--Which Doesn't Mean That I Am Not a Very Unhappy Camper...

The BLS reports:

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Nonfarm payroll employment edged down (-85,000) in December, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 10.0 percent...

So why am I still a very unhappy camper? Because I am looking at the employment-to-population ratio, which continues to crash:


And while there has been some deceleration in the speed at which the employment-to-population ratio has been collapsing, it is still falling more rapidly than it was during the first three-quarters of 2008:


Can you say: "jobless recovery"? I knew you could...

And recall that a bunch of stimulative measures--from Federal Reserve quantitative easing via mortgage purchases to the ARRA are currently scheduled to be cut back over the next twelve months, putting downward pressure on the economy. And recall that state budgets are about to inflict more drag as the fifty little Herbert Hoovers wreak their will on state and local and state- and local-funded employment.

And recall that financial markets have absolutely no fear that the U.S. government will either run into its debt capacity and be forced to pay high real interest rates, or resort to inflation to try to stage a soft default on the public debt, so there is absolutely no conceivable reason not to wheel government spending and taxes in time--not to spend more and tax less now, and spend less and tax more in the outyears after 2012. Absolutely no reason at all:

Today's Interest Rates - Personal Finance News - Yield Curve - MarketWatch

Can you say: "liquidity trap"? I knew you could...

Economagic: Economic Chart Dispenser

Economagic: Economic Chart Dispenser