Sunday, May 01, 2011

McJobs:Would you like to super size that recession?

The Great Recession continues with little hope is sight for a robust economic turnaround. The recession is over, and has been for some time, if you take the classic definition of a a recession: two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth. But is it really over? It is time to for us to ponder the terms nominal and real within the context of the term recession. Usually we use these terms when we look at prices, and leaave it at the fact that real prices are nominal prices adjusted for inflation, usually converted for  comparison purposes to a base year in constant dollars. If the price level in 1996 constant dollars = 100, and the current price level id 145, we could say that the price level has risen 45% in the last 15 years and 3% annualized.

Mc Donald's, with its 14,000 US locations, held a National Hiring Day. One million people showed up. Lets repeat that. 1,000,000 people tried to get a job at McDonald's, a job that teenagers shun. About 50,000 were hired. That leaves 950,000 to go, at a company that has 1.7 million people on its payroll worldwide. looks like there is some work to do.

To be continued/updated...

Saturday, April 09, 2011

The (Almost) Federal Government Shutdown

Whew, that was close. So a deal was brokered to cut spending at the 11th hour, and the tourists can still visit the Washington Monument, tax refunds will be processed, and troops will get paid.

There are, of course, problems with this.
First is that the deal is a short term solution, a continuing resolution (CR) for six months. That brings us to next October. So we are going to continue our politics of constant crisis. This phenomena is really the transformational element of the way we conduct politics, and thus government in the last twenty years. A crisis, real or imagined,
The second issue is that this illustrated the biggest problem with our political moment. Once again, social issue warfare so sucked up the air in this circular firing squad that the real issue is ignored.

With people like John Kyl spreading misinformation like PP using 90% of its budget on abortion services, it is no wonder that people are outraged at mis-allocation of taxpayer resources. The problem is that is just isn't remotely true.

No, the big problem is how this is yet another example of the political showdown as continual crisis, and how social issues once again have been used by legislators in service to the disproportionately powerful in this country. Keep the regular folk confused, frightened and at war with each other over issues presented disingenuously or worse through the Big Lie. Give the people  Panem et Circenses, and they will never ask a thing, or notice for that matter.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

The Millionaires Behind Charter Schools

Another step in the long march to the privatization of public services.

The public good is now in the hands of those with the most to gain privately.

Progressive Taxation, Discretionary Spending: Visualizations

Original post here.

Click here for link to chart.
These are the actual cutoffs for our current tax structure. I think this helps answer part of Hannah Riley's question 2nd period. I am working on a good itemized expenditure component, and will post it when I find it.

Come Rally on Staurday in Times Square!

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

I'm back

So the transformation is complete. Since Facebook and  Twitter just don't do it for my purposes, I have returned to blogging more actively here.

Most of what I will be writing about will follow my interests in historical narratives, social justice, economic fairness within the capitalist system, education, the place of unions in the educational system, technology and pastrami sandwiches.

The experiment with the kids using the site was ok, but a grading logistical mightmare. So although I am not going to actively seek them out, if they happen to stumble on this site while they are in the neighborhood, I am not going to chase them out either. Lets see how this goes...

Saturday, January 08, 2011

It has been a while

We're back to blogging, and hopefully the site will be better than ever. A great course topic can be really improved by student involvement, and I hope that this will help my students not only learn economics, but actually secretly enjoy it too.

Start off by reading this article from the NY Times education Life section, and you will see why current events and a good handle on data will be essential for students going forward. The AP curriculum is going from wide and shallow to focused and deep; and thus a lot more interesting to study.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

How Does Society Change in a Bad Economy?

Ok lets start with this article as your required reading. If you are really into stock market psychology check out this graphic and this one too. Of course I am trying to keep you current, so here is a quiz. Finally, please read a fairly straightforward description of the reason why Paul Krugman won the Nobel. It is striking in its simplicity of insight, and a model of clear thinking.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Saturday, September 06, 2008

How Obama Reconciles Dueling Views on Economy

Please take the time needed to read this article carefully. It really lays out alot of what we will be talking about in class.