EconoMonitor

Ed Dolan's Econ Blog

Roubini Topic Archive: Demographics

  • Don’t Sweat the Debt: Why the Federal Budget is Not Really Out of Control

    The GOP primary has become an orgy of fear mongering, and not just about immigrants and terrorists. The candidates regularly portray the federal debt, too, as a dire threat to America’s future. Some samples: Marco Rubio: “We have a $19 trillion bipartisan debt and it continues to grow as we borrow money from countries that […]

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  • Does Peak Phosphate Spell Doom for Humanity, or Will the Market Save Us?

    Although climate change catches the headlines, it is not the only doomsday scenario out there. A smaller but no less fervent band of worriers think that peak phosphate—a catastrophic decline in output of an essential fertilizer—will get us first. One of the worriers is Jeremy Grantham of the global investment management firm GMO. Grantham foresees […]

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  • Why Latvia’s Decision to Join the Euro Makes Sense

    Last week’s convergence report from the European Commission gave Latvia the green light to become the eighteenth member of the eurozone as of next January. “The eurozone is again a club with a queue–not at the exit but at the entrance,” crowed Herman Van Rompuy, president of the European Council. “Joining the eurozone will foster […]

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  • Is the Chained CPI the Right Fix for Social Security?

    One of the most controversial elements of President Obama’s 2014 budget is the proposal to reduce future cost-of-living adjustments to Social Security benefits by changing the inflation index. The Social Security Administration now bases inflation adjustments to on the consumer price index for urban wage earners and clerical workers (CPI-W), a close cousin of the […]

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  • Let’s Not Make it Any Harder to Retire; It’s Getting Harder All the Time as it is. (Part 1)

    Last week the Business Roundtable came out with a position paper entitled “Social Security Reform and Medicare Modernization Proposals.” Its centerpiece is an increase to 70 in the eligibility for Social Security and Medicare. According to Gary W. Loveman, Ph.D., Chairman, CEO & President, Caesars Entertainment Corporation, and Chair of the Roundtable’s Health and Retirement […]

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  • Fourteen Minutes a Day: What the Great Recession has Done to the Way We Spend our Time

    Writers of economics textbooks like to remind us that official employment and GDP data are not very good measures of how hard we work or of the goods and services we produce, but what alternatives do we have? One little­-noticed alterative is the annual American Time Use Survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which […]

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  • Understanding the New View of Poverty (2): What Helps and What Hurts

    Last week, the Census Bureau published a new Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) that changes our understanding of poverty in America. The first installment of this post looked at the way it erodes our stereotypes of who is poor, especially by showing that there are more poor white, working-age, home-owning Americans than we thought. No matter […]

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  • Understanding the New View of Poverty (1): The Erosion of Stereotypes

    We all thought we knew who is poor in America. Children, especially in one-parent households. Racial minorities. Families who aren’t able to participate in the great American dream of home ownership. Really? The Census Bureau’s new Supplementary Poverty Measure (SPM) erodes all of these stereotypes. They still contain some truth, but less than it seemed. […]

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  • Can Spaceship Earth Carry Seven Billion Passengers, and More to Come?

    According to the United Nations, the world population will reach 7 billion people this week. No one really knows the exact date, but the announcement has sparked a round of commentary, most of it pessimistic. The doubling of the world’s population over the past 50 years is the most rapid in history. Demographers expect another […]

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  • US Employment-Population Ratio Hits a New Low: Why it Matters for the Budget Debate

    By and large, U.S. media have spun the July employment report as more positive than negative. The 117,000 new payroll jobs created last month and the upward revisions for May and June were a relief after two months of very bad data. The downtick in the unemployment rate, although slight, was also welcome. One indicator […]

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