James Pethokoukis

The Great Wage Drop and wage insurance

January 11, 2011

Big WSJ story on how the Great Recession has reduced wage growth. When the unemployed do return to work, it is often with markedly lower salaries. Here is the money graf:

Obama deficit panel veers dangerously off track

October 26, 2010

Here’s the problem with President Barack Obama’s deficit reduction commission: Exploding debt caused by out-of-control healthcare spending is an Extinction Level Event for the U.S economy.  By 2050, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the national debt will likely be three times as big as the overall economy with Medicare and Medicaid gobbling up half the budget.

Austerity by default

October 26, 2010

Some folks want austerity in the worst way. They may just get it, says the NYTimes:

The Obama recovery vs. the Reagan recovery

October 13, 2010

Expect to see this chart from the Heritage Foundation all around the blogosphere. I don’ t think it is completely fair given the different flavors of the two recessions. But I certainly don’t think the current recovery is a robust as could possibly be expected. I think even the POTUS would concede that.

A chat with economist Glenn Hubbard

October 13, 2010

In their must-read policy manifesto, “Seeds of Destruction,” Glenn Hubbard and Peter Navarro outline the biggest economic problems facing America and what can be done about them. Hubbard is the former head of the Council of Economic Advisers under George W. Bush and is now dean of Columbia Business School. Navarro, a Democrat, is a business professor at the University of California, Irvine and author of  ”The Coming China Wars.” Here are some excerpt from a chat I had with Hubbard:

U.S. states in a $3.2 trillion pension hole

October 12, 2010

Some scary numbers from new research by finance professors Robert Novy-Marx of the University of Chicago and Joshua Rauh, Associate Professor of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.

The oh-so-slow recovery

September 21, 2010

A great chart from David Rosenberg of Gluskin Sheff showing just weak this recovery has been:

Obama’s September surprise?

September 1, 2010

A few initial thoughts on Obama considering tax cuts to boost economy (via WSJ story):

Why only 41 percent of Americans approve of Obama’s job performance

August 18, 2010

The latest Gallup numbers are not good for the White House or congressional Democrats. The overnight tracking has Barack Obama’s approval-disapproval rating at 41 percent-52 percent. Based on the Rahm Emanuel formulation that for every point below 50 percent, the Dems lose five House seats, it looks like the GOP will take the lower chamber. This bit from a Weekly Standard piece I did pretty much explains it: