Economics @ ITT

Upward Mobility Is a Lot Easier in Some US Cities

Posted in economics, employment by ittecon on July 22, 2013

A major new study by academic economists show that it’s still possible to get ahead in America but a great deal depends on where you’re trying to do it. As is the case with many socio-economic indicators, the northeast, and mountain and ocean west come out shining while the southeast and rustbelt lag behind.

via Upward mobility is a lot easier in some cities –


Big Unemployment, the New Normal?

Posted in economics, employment, macroeconomics, Policy Issues, Regulation, Taxation by ittecon on July 9, 2013

I tried to respond to a post by Don Peppers responding to this article, but LinkedIn limits the character count. I quote Don’s post here for context.

It’s common knowledge that LESS government, LESS regulation, and LOWER marginal tax rates will all improve employment. Unfortunately, the politics of envy is irresistible to some, and there are very few politicians on either side of the aisle who will vote for less of anything related to the government.

It may be common knowledge that less of these things might increase employment, but this favours a local maxima at the expense of a global maxima. It is the typical short-term benefit with a long-term detriment. Still, this argument and its subarguments are specious. I won’t even give any more attention to the dubious official unemployment figure definition and methodology.

Less government is a vague term. What government? Fewer dog-catchers? Interesting how, ad reductio, this becomes an argument for anarchy.

As for regulations, business favours regulations that shield it from the public and markets; intellectual property “rights” come to the top of my mind. Government (or a quasi-government acting entity) are necessary so as not to devolve into a situation where warlords rule. Afghanistan comes to mind. I could imagine a football match with no rules or regulations. Even rugby and UFC have rules, as do wars.

In economic terms, the lower marginal taxes argument is patently false (without even delving into marginal verse effective territory). Laffer’s concept is not false in and of itself, but it fails on two accounts. First, we can agree that at some point lowering marginal tax rates will create positive incentives, but it doesn’t follow this is true at all levels. Empirically, we can easily determine that we are below that point. On a practical level, this not only means that a reduction with not have positive effects; there will be negative effects. Second, the primary driver to hiring is demand for products or services (or at least the prospect thereof). A marginal tax rate of zero has no impact if no one is purchasing what I am offering.

Posted in economics, employment by ittecon on May 30, 2013

Got jobs?

We give them jobs, They give us gold,

Free Trade


Whats Wrong With the U.S. Job Market?

Posted in economics, employment, macroeconomics by ittecon on May 10, 2013

The breakdown of the labor market can be blamed on either supply or demand. Those who argue that the supply of labor is the main problem say that many Americans simply aren’t qualified for the jobs available. On May 7, the BLS reported that there were more than 3.8 million job openings in the U.S. at the end of March—at a time when more than 11 million people were looking for work.

via Whats Wrong With the U.S. Job Market? – Businessweek.


Black Woman Pretends To Be White, Job Offers Skyrocket

Posted in economics, employment by ittecon on April 10, 2013

Pathetic, but still happening in 2013. Anyone else surprised by this? I didn’t think so.

Spivey then created a fake profile, with identical information [to her original profile indicating that she is “African American”], except that her fictitious job candidate was white, and was aptly named “Bianca White” (Bianca means “white” in Spanish). Suddenly, responses from employers came pouring in.

Black Woman Pretends To Be White, Job Offers Skyrocket (VIDEO) | Addicting Info.


3.3 job-seekers for each job opening in the US

Posted in economics, employment by ittecon on April 4, 2013

The January Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS), released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, shows job openings increased in January to nearly 3.7 million, a rise of 81,000 since December. The number of job openings, which had been improving generally since reaching its low of 2.2 million in July 2009, is still below its recent peak of 3.8 million in March 2012.

via Job openings and hiring increased slightly in January, but there are still 3.3 job-seekers for every job opening | Economic Policy Institute.


Joseph Stiglitz: Innovation should focus on quality of life, not just productivity

Posted in economics, employment, environment, externalities, Policy Issues, Regulation by ittecon on March 16, 2013

“We have a lot of unemployment and yet firms are investing in machines to replace unskilled workers,” he said. “Do we want to create more unemployment of unskilled workers? No. We want to focus our innovation on saving our planet, resources, the environment and the quality of life.”

via Joseph Stiglitz: Innovation should focus on quality of life, not just productivity | Bangkok Post: business.


How Racism And Sexism Are Net Drains on the US Economy

Posted in economics, employment by ittecon on March 1, 2013

Discrimination isn’t just an insult to our most basic notions of fairness. It also costs us money, because those who are discriminated against are unable to make the best use of their talents. This not only hurts them, it hurts us all, as some of our best and brightest players are, in essence, sidelined, unable to make their full contributions to our economy.

via How Racism And Sexism Are Net Drains on the U.S. Economy | Alternet.


The Productivity Dividend: Raising Pay While Working Less

Posted in economics, employment by ittecon on February 13, 2013

Given increases in productivity and stagnating wages in the US since 1973, it appears that a proper solution would be to decrease the work week, increase wages, and employ previously unemployed people. This seems to be a win-win-win proposition.

When economic gains are shared broadly, there is no reason prosperity cannot include significant reductions in work hours as well as material improvements.

via The Productivity Dividend for Dummies: Raising Pay While Working Less | CEPR Blog.


New Jersey Governor Vetoes Minimum Wage Increase

Posted in economics, employment, Policy Issues by ittecon on January 28, 2013

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie R[epublican] today vetoed an increase in the minimum wage that was passed by the state’s Democratic senate. Using what’s known as a “conditional veto,” Christie sent the bill back saying he would sign it if certain changes were made, including: shrinking the increase from $8.50 to $8.25 per hour, phasing it in over three years, and eliminating a provision tying the wage to inflation.

via New Jersey Governor Vetoes Minimum Wage Increase | ThinkProgress.