Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Solyndra Loan Drama Overblown

"Many have cautioned that the drama around Solyndra is overblown. The Solyndra loan represents just 1.3 percent of the $39 billion in loans that the loan-guarantee program has generated thus far, and only around 3 percent of the total loan guarantees targeting the solar industry. The fact that Solyndra received up to $1 billion in private sector banking alone would suggest that leaders at the DOE weren't the only ones who saw promise in the technology."

And meanwhile China is giving it's companies HUNDREDS of billions.


Thursday, September 29, 2011


I have never witnessed a protest geared directly toward my individual concerns about economics. Usually protests by Progressives are directed toward social issues, and as allies, for sake of solidarity, I might participate.

But what is going on in New York City right now seems to be targeted directly toward issues I personally care a lot about. I have visions of it being the '68 Democratic Convention for our time, after 10 years of pent up disappointment (instead of 2-4 years back then).

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

What They Don't Teach Economists: Hamilton

Google Hamilton's famous phrase and "macroeconomics" and you will get less than a page of links:
"the powerful cement of our Union" + macroeconomics

Hamilton felt that the Federal government would not be able to borrow money from anyone in the future if these debts were not paid. By selling bonds to pay the debt, bondholders would have a direct financial interest to help the new United States government survive and thrive. Creditors who purchased the bonds could use them as collateral for loans, stimulating the economy even more.
He also reckoned that failure to establish the creditworthiness of the Federal government would weaken the United States, and called a permanent, reasonably-sized public debt "the powerful cement of our Union."

Like it or not, the idea worked.


Friday, April 22, 2011

Wall Street Journal 100% Tax Hoax

A reader writes:
The Wall Street Journal notes, if you taxed everyone who makes over $100,000 at a rate of 100 percent, you still wouldn’t raise enough to balance president Obama’s budget, never mind pay off any debt.

I feel like there is something wrong with this statement... am I wrong?

WSJ link: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703730104576260911986870054.html

Well without even going further, he's saying the current TAXABLE income...
13,215,000 Americans earn more than $100k a year...

Seems they are ASSUMING THAT ALL OF THEM ONLY MAKE $100k, and no more.

6% of the US pop makes more than $100k. The top 1% of income earners alone accounts for almost 50% of all income. All income in the US is on the order of $14 trillion. So without going any further, 100% of the income (NOT WEALTH which is WAY WAY higher) of the top 1% (who earn MUCH MORE THAN $100k) would amount to roughly $7 TRILLION DOLLARS.
(and WSJ is alleging that the top 6% don't make even $1.4 Trillion)

If you want to be on the safe side and eliminate capital gains from the discussion (which pretty damn conservative given that a HUGE proportion of the top income earners income comes from capital gains), then you can work with the top 10% of income earners, who earn 45% of all income...
(see fig 1 tab in Excel spreadsheet linked to below)
which gives you about $6 Trillion.

Since $100k income earners are top 5%, you can very safely say that (ignoring capital gains, which account for more than half of actual income earned by top dudes) they earn $3 Trillion a year.

Saez, E. & Piketty, T. (2003). Income inequality in the United States: 1913-1998. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 118(1), 1-39.
data at: http://elsa.berkeley.edu/~saez/TabFig2005prel.xls

Census data:

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

24 Economists Were Asked What They Thought the US Wealth Distribution Was

And every single one got it wrong. By an order of 7x.

Michael Norton of Harvard Business School, surveyed two dozen academic economists to check their findings. The pros got it wrong, too, although they did better than the random sample of Americans. The economists estimated the poorest two quintiles owned about 2 percent of wealth, seven times their actual share.

United in Our Delusion - David Cay Johnston

James O'Keefe Can Suck It

Please, if you are going to be cognizant of the Ron Schiller "sting fail", watch the entire uncut video, which has been posted online (kind of surprisingly by O'Keefe himself, a strategic feint I suppose). Schiller says NOTHING wrong...surprise???

The most outlandish thing he says is that he is a registered REPUBLICAN. Yes, the head of fundraising at NPR is a Republican.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Conservative Forbes Magazine Says Leave Obamacare Alone

Rick Ungar, policy analyst for Forbes magazine, says:

"If these small businesses found the new law to be so onerous, why have so many of them voluntarily taken advantage of the benefits provided in the law to give their employees these benefits? They were not mandated to do so. And to the extent that the coming mandate obligations might figure into their thinking, would you not imagine they would wait until 2014 to make a move as the rules do not go into effect until that time?

Of course, there is the nagging banter as to how Obamacare is leading us down the road to socialism.

Let it go, folks."

Will the GOP listen? Boehner is not. If you love your country, you will share this article far and wide as fast as you can before it is too late.