Monthly Archives: March 2008

Leijonhufvud on the Economy

I found this buried on my desk and found it to be especially poignant given that it was written in October 2007.

Alphabet Soup

Getting lost in all the new Fed speak? The WSJ’s Real Time Economics blog has a guide the the Fed’s alphabet soup.

Quote of the Day

“There seems to be a view that monetary policy is the solution to most, if not all, economic ills. Not only is this not true, it is a dangerous misconception and runs the risk of setting up expectations that monetary policy can achieve objectives it cannot attain . . . to ensure the credibility of monetary policy, we should never ask monetary policy to do more than it can do.”

Charles Plosser

The Value of My Time

CNN reports:

In a typical family sedan, every 10 miles per hour you drive over 60 is like the price of gasoline going up about 54 cents a gallon. That figure will be even higher for less fuel-efficient vehicles that go fewer miles on a gallon to start with…

I have contemplated this concept many times during my commute as it consists of mostly highway driving where the speed limit is 70 miles per hour. I have a 6-month-old son at home and when I am not spending time with him (and my wife), I am teaching, studying, doing research, reading, blogging, or catching up on the world of sports. Any time spent otherwise is time away from these activities. In other words, since I highly value my time, I am not willing to spend a great deal of time doing things that detract from these activities. While I have never taken the time to figure out precisely how much it would cost me to slow down, it is undoubtedly not enough to compensate for the lost time.

HT: Environmental Economics

Teaching Through Song

Joshua Hall has an interesting way of making students think like economists.

By the way, you can view the songs he uses to teach economic concepts here.

UPDATE: Link fixed.

Taking the Money Out of Monetary Policy

A great summary of the recent expansion of the Fed’s tools can be found here.

Crisis Mode

“Silly Season is back…”

Young Entrepreneurs

The Daily Press reports on the creation of a black market:

With candy sales banned on school campuses, sugar pushers are the latest trend at local schools. Backpacks are filled with Snickers and Twinkees for all sweet tooths willing to pay the price.

“It’s created a little underground economy, with businessmen selling everything from a pack of skittles to an energy drink,” said Jim Nason, principal at Hook Junior High School in Victorville.

This has become a lucrative business, Nason said, and those kids are walking around campus with upwards of $40 in their pockets and disrupting class to make a sale.

The Private Sector and Disaster Relief

Steve Horwitz writes:

While the major media and political actors rightly focused on the failures of FEMA, the major government agency responsible for disaster relief, the successes of the private sector and of one particular government agency, the U.S. Coast Guard, have been much less publicized. Their effective responses deserve greater consideration as we seek to improve disaster relief and recovery policies….

Read the whole report.

Quote of the Day

“If Wal-Mart were a government program that created that many jobs, lifted that many out of poverty through higher wages, and gave poor folks back a billion dollars to spend while providing them needed prescriptions, you better believe the left would call it the greatest anti-poverty and healthcare program ever. But when the suppliers profit from it, the consequences take a back seat to the intentions.”

Steve Horwitz