Underground Economy

People will generally try and do what is best for their wallet. If this means going to lengths to avoid taxes, they will weigh the penalty and probability of being caught against the money gained. In our tax code, people weight the benefits of legal tax avoidance to the cost of navigating the labyrinth. When taxes are higher, people will go to greater lengths. This is the underground economy. Continue reading “Underground Economy”

U.S. Predicted to Become World Energy Production Leader by 2020

The United States is predicted to become the world’s leading oil producer by 2020, according to the International Energy Agency’s 2012 World Energy Outlook. The U.S. would overtake Saudi Arabia and Russia, largely due to increased production from unconventional oil resources, such as shale oil and tight oil. Additionally, the U.S. would become the world’s leading natural gas producer, overtaking Russia, by 2015. Continue reading “U.S. Predicted to Become World Energy Production Leader by 2020”

Should We Increase Minimum Wage?

President Obama has proposed raising the Federal Minimum Wage from $7.25 to $9.00 per hour, saying that “no one who works full-time should have to live in poverty.” There are of course two ways to bring his wish to fruition. The first is to prevent anyone in poverty from being able to work full time. The other, which Obama probably meant, would be to increase the wages of working full time so that those currently living in poverty will be paid more money. These are also the two areas that need to be examined when considering the effect of minimum wage laws on the economy: the effect on unemployment and the effect on cost of living vs. wage. Continue reading “Should We Increase Minimum Wage?”

Rich and Poor at War

Pitting the rich against the poor is no new development. It periodically rears its ugly head and it has been responsible for revolutions, wars, and the fall of nations. At the core, there is a fundamental assumption underneath all the propaganda and political talking points. It is that people must succeed at the expense of one another. It is the belief that, at least as things currently are structured, one person can only get ahead economically by grabbing an ever larger share of a fixed pie. Continue reading “Rich and Poor at War”

Obama Economics

“This growing inequality isn’t just morally wrong; it’s bad economics. When middle-class families have less to spend, businesses have fewer customers. When wealth concentrates at the very top, it can inflate unstable bubbles that threaten the economy. When the rungs on the ladder of opportunity grow farther apart, it undermines the very essence of this country,” Obama said during his speech on the economy. So what does this even mean? Are Obama Economics real? Continue reading “Obama Economics”

Millennial Generation is in for a Rough Road

The Millennial Generation, those born between 1980 and 2000, has had the privilege of starting their careers amidst the worst recession since the great depression. Likewise, they have the highest youth unemployment rate of any generation since then and diminished prospects for the future. Despite being the most highly educated generation, youth (age 19-29) unemployment was at 13.1% in January 2013. Only 47.6% of those in that age bracket worked full time. Continue reading “Millennial Generation is in for a Rough Road”

Labor Force Participation

Despite the unemployment rate falling to 7.6%, the jobs picture is not looking good. Since March 2012, new positions have roughly matched pace with population growth. The labor-force participation rate fell 0.2% to a seasonally adjusted 63.3% in March. This is the lowest rate since 1979 and includes the unemployed as participants. So who exactly are the 36% not participating? Continue reading “Labor Force Participation”

Entrepreneurship Success and Failure

The startup rate fell to an all-time low in 2012 at 7.87% of businesses. Fewer than 35% of companies are considered “young” compared to nearly 50% in the 1980s. Despite this, 0.32% of adults create a new business each month on average. Immigrants are almost twice as likely to start up a business as the native born, 0.51% to 0.28%. Continue reading “Entrepreneurship Success and Failure”

The Unemployment Picture: What does 8.1 % really mean?

There is more to the jobs picture in America than just the unemployment rate. This number is based on the amount of people currently seeking work. It does not reflect people who have dropped out of the workforce or people who are taking jobs below their level of skill. It does not show which jobs are being filled, who is creating jobs and how many. It also does not reflect the rate of turnover, new hires vs. people leaving companies. Continue reading “The Unemployment Picture: What does 8.1 % really mean?”

Out of College and Unemployed: Unemployment at the beginning of a career

You worked hard for the past four years. You worked two jobs and took out a few hundred thousand in loans. You finally got your college degree and are ready for the world. But the job tree isn’t giving and you find yourself sitting on your couch, in a daze, wondering where you went wrong. Continue reading “Out of College and Unemployed: Unemployment at the beginning of a career”