September 22, 2019

Economix Blog: Rick Perry’s Scientific Campaign Method

A coming book, “The Victory Lab” by Sasha Issenberg, looks at the new science of political campaigns, and a section about Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, “Rick Perry and His Eggheads: Inside the Brainiest Political Operation in America,” is being published as an electronic book on Tuesday. On The Caucus, David Leonhardt interviews Mr. Issenberg about Mr. Perry’s approach, described as “skeptical about the effectiveness of basic campaign tools” and “committed to using social-science methods to rigorously test them.” Read more

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Economix: Lowering Economic Expectations

CATHERINE RAMPELL

CATHERINE RAMPELL

Dollars to doughnuts.

As my colleague David Leonhardt has written, government officials (both in the White House and at the Federal Reserve) have been overly optimistic in their economic forecasts. In particular, conservatives like to make fun of the administration’s rosy projections from 2009 for how the economy would behave under the Recovery Act; the administration’s economic advisers predicted unemployment today would be below 7 percent, rather than the 9.2 percent we’re actually stuck with. Buzzwords like “shovel-ready” and “Recovery Summer” have also become major mockery talking points.

Last Wednesday, in his Twitter town hall, President Obama acknowledged that his administration had not predicted enough doom and gloom. When asked for examples of things he might have done differently in his presidency, he said:

One would have been to explain to the American people that it was going to take a while for us to get out of this.  I think even I did not realize the magnitude, because most economists didn’t realize the magnitude, of the recession until fairly far into it, maybe two or three months into my presidency where we started realizing that we had lost four million jobs before I was even sworn in.

And so I think people may not have been prepared for how long this was going to take and why we were going to have to make some very difficult decisions and choices.  And I take responsibility for that, because setting people’s expectations is part of how you end up being able to respond well.

It seems the administration may have learned its lesson, and then some. On “Meet the Press” on Sunday, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner seemed to be doing his best to lower people’s expectations going forward:

This is a very tough economy.  And I think for a lot of people … it’s going to be — it’s going to feel very hard, harder than anything they’ve experienced in their lifetime now, for some time to come.  And that — but that is because that is the tragic effects of a crisis this deep and this bad caused by a long period of lost opportunities to do things to make the country stronger.

It will be interesting to see if this is a more permanent shift in the way the administration talks about the economy, and how it advocates for stimulative policy measures in the next few months.

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=7cbaac3841ad04c25b9dc6ea4d9ac73c

Economix: Behind the Small-Business Funk

Economics doesn’t have to be complicated. It is the study of our lives — our jobs, our homes, our families and the little decisions we face every day. Here at Economix, Catherine Rampell, David Leonhardt and other contributors will analyze the news and use economics as a framework for thinking about the world. We welcome feedback, at economix@nytimes.com.

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=bdfcc833b8cb143805e4482e6537212e

Economix: The Job Market: Germany vs. the U.S.

Economics doesn’t have to be complicated. It is the study of our lives — our jobs, our homes, our families and the little decisions we face every day. Here at Economix, Catherine Rampell, David Leonhardt and other contributors will analyze the news and use economics as a framework for thinking about the world. We welcome feedback, at economix@nytimes.com.

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=4bfde0f2dcff4d6db067e2904381137e

Economix: Happy Tax Day

Economics doesn’t have to be complicated. It is the study of our lives — our jobs, our homes, our families and the little decisions we face every day. Here at Economix, Catherine Rampell, David Leonhardt and other contributors will analyze the news and use economics as a framework for thinking about the world. We welcome feedback, at economix@nytimes.com.

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=d131042f46756af67078bea7866be73b

Economix: What We’re Reading: Takes on the New Budget Proposals

Economics doesn’t have to be complicated. It is the study of our lives — our jobs, our homes, our families and the little decisions we face every day. Here at Economix, Catherine Rampell, David Leonhardt and other contributors will analyze the news and use economics as a framework for thinking about the world. We welcome feedback, at economix@nytimes.com.

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=56d4ca3d6eea7cd799cd7b80610e8992

Economix: What We’re Reading: China Finally Runs a Trade Deficit

Economics doesn’t have to be complicated. It is the study of our lives — our jobs, our homes, our families and the little decisions we face every day. Here at Economix, Catherine Rampell, David Leonhardt and other contributors will analyze the news and use economics as a framework for thinking about the world. We welcome feedback, at economix@nytimes.com.

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=a7d4ffccf3d50ad137f3f185f941861f

Economix: Unemployment’s Rising Toll on Families

Last year, nearly one in eight families included an unemployed person, the highest proportion since the Labor Department began keeping track in 1994.

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Of all families, 12.4 percent included an unemployed person, up from 12 percent in 2009, the department observed in a recent report. (Since this data set goes back to only 1994, though, we can’t compare how this trend compares to the last major recession, in the early 1980s, when unemployment was generally more widespread throughout the population. As my colleague David Leonhardt has noted, other measures have shown unemployment in this recession  to be unusually concentrated within a small group of workers.)

The report also included updates on how the labor market is affecting family dynamics and gender roles.

We’ve noted in the past, for example, that the recession was causing more women to serve as their families’ sole breadwinners. That trend continued last year: Of all families — that is, “a group of two or more persons residing together who are related by birth, marriage, or adoption” — 14.2 percent had only a female adult member (the wife or single mother) employed. That’s up from 14 percent in 2009.

The trend may be reversing now, though. During the recession, men disproportionately bore the brunt of job losses; in the feeble recovery, men have disproportionately claimed job gains. As a result, in the last year the share of men with jobs has risen and the share of women with jobs has fallen. In fact, the portion of women working declined to 53.2 percent in February, the lowest share since 1988.

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=f894ddf52b1227642953d8da4981110a