Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Economic impact of gas prices

Link here

It's tough to understate the impact high gas prices can have.  With higher prices, consumers have less disposable income and feel poorer, but that lowered disposable income also ripples through the rest of the economy, as less will be spent in other sectors (dining, movies, etc.)

If gas prices spike into the $4.50-$5.00 range, it's really bad news for the economy - and bad news for Obama, too, heading into the fall elections.  Especially since he's seemingly done nothing to help lower gas prices.  Prediction markets were giving him over a 60% chance at reelection (62% at the highest point a couple weeks ago) at one point, but that's now down to 59%.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Stories worth reading

I'm still in London for another month and a half.  I have been keeping up with readings, even though I'm not posting often.  Here's a few recent articles that are worth reading:

More young adults living with parents.  The article doesn't mention one likely reason - the increase of the minimum wages several years ago.  When the minimum wages were increased, it made it more difficult for teenagers to get entry level jobs.  It's tough to understate the value of a first job - any job - on a young person's skill set.  Learning to work well, to deal with a boss, to keep a schedule, to learn the value of money, etc. are skills that are learned in almost any boss.  Most other jobs teach some other skills.  For example, in my first job at a fast-food restaurant I learned a lot on how to deal with both customers and co-workers - skills that have served me well since.

The unintended consequences from a well-meaning but ill-advised policy move can be nasty and long-lasting.

Sometimes I have a thought - but then Thomas Sowell says it so much better

A good story on the budget