Greg Mankiw started a Fad of determining your political stature by way of a web questionnaire; read about it at George Borjas’ blog. Dani Rodrik, it seems, has come up with the Suggestion that Everyone should inform the Readers of their position on the Graph. I am terribly stupid in the Graph building exercises, so I will simply state that I practically match Dani in my placement; I am sure this is bound to be a great embarrassment to such an esteemed colleague. Still, One should not throw bricks if you live in a Glass House.
David Smith again came in with an excellent article with which I totally agree. The lack of U.S refineries is the major drive behind the U.S. fuel prices, and a Trend-Setter of the World Oil price. The American economy is doing this to itself, what with its refusal to sanction new Refining capacity at the State and Local level; OPEC sets its Pricing schedule off of what level Americans will use Oil at what Price. We have to either cut Consumption, or build more Refineries, in order to bring down the Price of Oil. One help would be a switch to dedicated Refineries, the transfer between fuel types at combination refineries cost Us about 30 Days of Refinery Downtime per year.
This Post from Tim Worstall holds great truth, but also a great Lie. It is true that Ease of Firing grants Employers the liberty to hire more personnel more rapidly. It is also true, though, that increased Downtime of no Paycheck coming in, plus the Costs of Job-Hunting, eat up the Savings rate of the Anglo-Saxon model, eat up much of the 401(k) programs, and force an excessive amounts of Credit Card debt. It could very well be Happy, Happy, Happy with a grimace on the face.
This blog by Dean Baker is well worth a Read, as is the blog from which I stole it by PGL at Angry Bear. The real clincher here is the reduced Participation rate of the Population, dropping from 63.3% to 63.0%, or a loss of 600,000 from the Labor Force. This is significant in the fact that the illegal Immigration rate has remained relatively steady over the Interval, and the BLS statistics do not record this information in their model. A simple Statement says that the Job Destruction rate is much higher than reported, and the Job Creation rate is much slower than reported. This is not a time to ‘Smell the Roses’, because of a faint scent of putridity. lgl