Archive for the Economy Category

Americs’a Problem with the 1%

Posted in Economy, politics on December 22, 2011 by Mike Procario

Joshua Brown explains to  the 1% what gets the 99% ticked off.

So, no, we don’t hate the rich.  What we hate are the predators.

What we hate are the people who we view as having found their success as a consequence of the damage their activities have done to our country.  What we hate are those who take and give nothing back in the form of innovation, convenience, entertainment or scientific progress.  We hate those who’ve exploited political relationships and stupidity to rake in even more of the nation’s wealth while simultaneously driving the potential for success further away from the grasp of everyone else.

No Food Stamps for Millionaires

Posted in Economy, Law & Politics on December 1, 2011 by Mike Procario

From the NY Times

Senate Republican leaders would go after “millionaires and billionaires,” not by raising their taxes but by making them ineligible for unemployment compensation and food stamps and increasing their Medicare premiums.

Your Congress at work, awe inspiring isn’t it?

Cutting the Deficit

Posted in Economy on January 27, 2011 by Mike Procario

 

The Republicans are having an internal debate on cutting defense spending. Steve Benen says this is a test of whether they are really interested in reducing the deficit. He closes with this observation.  

The United States now spends about as much on defense as every other country on the planet combined. With this in mind, it’s something of a litmus test: those who claim credibility on fiscal responsibility, but believe a bloated Pentagon budget is untouchable, shouldn’t even be part of the conversation.

I wish we could could outspend the rest of the world on scientific research. 

Who Needs to Understand Statistics?

Posted in Economy, Science on June 9, 2006 by Mike Procario

The New York Times has story about how the public's perception of the economy is different from the adminstration's. It seems to be that the adminstration does not have a good grasp of statistics.

The data he cited were averages, or means, and that can be misleading. "The average wage is a useful indicator if you want to know what's happening to the tax base, but it might not tell you what's going on for the individual worker," said Alan B. Krueger, an economics professor at Princeton and a former chief economist at the Labor Department. Consider a hypothetical country with 300 million workers. Say the chief executive of an investment bank gets a $300 million raise this year, while the other 299,999,999 workers don't get a raise. In the aggregate, the average per-capita salary has risen by $1, but only one person has more money in his pocket.

To see how typical workers are doing, it's better to look at median wages and incomes — the midpoint that separates the top 50 percent from the lower 50 percent. And median income, which was stagnant during President Bush's first term, is struggling to keep pace with inflation. "Median household income has gone nowhere since the turn of the decade," said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Economy.com.

Other effects like the rising price of gasoline, health insurance co-pays, home purchases, mortgage payments were also mentioned. Except for gasoline these are not well represented in the Consumer Price Index. Here one does not need to understand the math behind the stastics as much as the limits of statistics. The are not magic. If you do not put int he relevant data then you do not get a relevant number.

Gas Prices Are Going Up

Posted in Economy on April 13, 2006 by Mike Procario

gas_prices_2.png

Everyone who drives knows that prices are going up, but I have been recording my gas purchases since I bought my car in 2003, so I could track my mileage. I looked at the history that I have collected, and things are looking bad again. We are rapidly approaching last summer's high.

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