How Occupational Licensing Undermines Labor Fluidity

How Occupational Licensing Undermines Labor Fluidity

photo: yy yeung A healthy economy requires a fluid labor market. Even when total employment and output are stable, the labor market is in constant motion. Jobs disappear when firms close or downsize. Other jobs appear when new firms open or old ones expand. People move freely from one job to another in search of career […]

What Does the Unemployment Rate Measure? Labor Market Slack or the Social Stress of Joblessness? Why Does it Matter?

What Does the Unemployment Rate Measure? Labor Market Slack or the Social Stress of Joblessness? Why Does it Matter?

photo: Rui Duarte The unemployment rate published monthly by the Bureau of Labor Statistics is one of the most widely watched of all economic indicators. But why? What does it really measure? The news media, politicians, and voters tend to see the unemployment rate as an index of the social stress of joblessness. There is ample […]

For the Three Amigos, It’s Time to Face Their El Guapo

President Obama  is on his way to join Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Mexican President Enrique Pena Neito in the bustling city of Toluca, Mexico, for the 2014 North America Leaders Summit. The meeting could not come soon enough for the “Three Amigos.” In the 1986 movie, “¡Three Amigos!,” Steve Martin’s character explains how […]

Mexico Readies to Join North American Oil Boom

U.S. oil production last month reached its highest monthly total in 25 years. South of the border, the story is different, though Mexico’s decision to end a state oil monopoly in place for 75 years may consolidate the America’s supremacy over the international energy market. Mexican legislators passed a reform ending the 75-year state grip on the […]

The Decline of the United States

Writing in the New York Times, Stephen King, the chief economist of HSBC, quotes Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations. “It is in the progressive state, while the society is advancing to the further acquisition, rather than when it has acquired its full complement of riches, that the condition of the labouring poor, of the […]

Debt Ceilings and Other Things That Hurt When You Hit Them

Last week Washington tripped over its own power cord and in the process shut down the main power source of the Republic – the “continuing resolution.”  Sadly, the past week and, no doubt, the week to come, remind me of how discussions over other politically sensitive topics unfold.  Each side comes to the party with […]

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