January 28, 2013
If you repeat some hoary old falsehood often enough, people will begin to assume it’s got some accuracy to it, right?
Paul Ryan and Eric Cantor are at it again, complaining that the Senate hasn’t passed a budget.
But that’s false. In fact, no only did the Senate pass a budget, but so did the House — and then (perhaps stupidly), they made it a law instead of the budget resolution the Congressional Budgeting process calls for.
Then-Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-North Dakota, explained last April how this worked:
We’ve got a budget, by law — and it’s a disaster.
We don’t need a budget resolution nearly so badly as we need some Congressional leadership who understand supply and demand, and who are committed to good government and not the destruction of America (even if unintentional).
Cartoon by Pulitzer Prize winner Pat Oliphant, syndicated by Go Comics
Text of Sen. Conrad’s remarks, below the fold.
Read the rest of this entry »
January 16, 2010
E-mail from Daniel Mintz at Move-On.org:
As the tragedy in Haiti unfolds, Americans are generously donating millions of dollars to aid organizations.
But when Americans donate to charity with their credit cards, the credit card companies get rich. In some cases they keep 3% of the donation as a “transaction fee,” even though that’s far more than it costs them to process the donation.
It’s outrageous and wrong—and it needs to stop.
Can you sign this petition to the CEOs of the major credit card companies demanding that they waive their processing fees for all charitable donations? Clicking here will add your name:
The petition says: “Credit card companies shouldn’t be getting rich off of Americans’ generosity. They should waive all fees on charitable contributions from today on.”
The credit card companies are trying to get ahead of this story, announcing they will temporarily waive the fees they charge on some Haiti-related charitable contributions for the next 6 weeks. But that’s nowhere near enough. Many emergency donations to Haiti will still get hit with hefty bank fees. (To give a sense of how limited the exemption is, Doctors Without Borders isn’t on any of the publicly available lists of charities that won’t be charged fees.)2
All American credit card companies should announce that they will waive ALL fees on charitable contributions, starting today, and going forward for good. This isn’t about helping political organizations like MoveOn, just helping true charitable organizations.
It’s the right thing to do, and honestly, it’s the least they could do after the role they played in crashing the entire global economy last year.
But they won’t do it unless they know how angry Americans are that they’re profiting off of this terrible tragedy. Click here to sign the petition, which we’ll deliver to the heads of the major credit card companies:
Thanks for all you do.
–Daniel, Kat, Peter, Lenore, and the rest of the team
1. “As Wallets Open For Haiti, Credit Card Companies Take A Big Cut,” The Huffington Post, January 14, 2010
2. “Some Card Fees Waived for Haiti Aid,” The New York Times, January 14, 2010
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September 25, 2008
Econ, government teachers: Are you ready to explain this one?
“China banks told to halt lending to U.S. banks“
And then this one:
“China denies shunning foreign banks“
“Fasten your seatbelts; it’s going to be a bumpy ride.”
June 11, 2008
Federal Reserve Branch banks take seriously the Fed’s pledge to education Americans, and to support educators in understanding economics and the work of the Federal Reserve Banking System.
The educator support team at the Dallas Fed recently secured approval to provide continuing education credits for a two-day session on globalization planned for San Antonio, on June 30 and July 1. These sessions are easy, generally loaded with details, and tailored for educations. Plus they are usually well catered.
$35.00 gets all materials, two lunches, one continental breakfast, and 12 hours of credit.
All details from the Fed’s press release, below the fold.
Read the rest of this entry »
May 2, 2008
Economics, history and geography, and “vocational” teachers take note: David Brooks’ column, “The Cognitive Age,” in the New York Times today should be a warmup in your classes next week. See why in this excerpt:
The chief force reshaping manufacturing is technological change (hastened by competition with other companies in Canada, Germany or down the street). Thanks to innovation, manufacturing productivity has doubled over two decades. Employers now require fewer but more highly skilled workers. Technological change affects China just as it does the America. William Overholt of the RAND Corporation has noted that between 1994 and 2004 the Chinese shed 25 million manufacturing jobs, 10 times more than the U.S.
The central process driving this is not globalization. It’s the skills revolution. We’re moving into a more demanding cognitive age. In order to thrive, people are compelled to become better at absorbing, processing and combining information. This is happening in localized and globalized sectors, and it would be happening even if you tore up every free trade deal ever inked.
The globalization paradigm emphasizes the fact that information can now travel 15,000 miles in an instant. But the most important part of information’s journey is the last few inches — the space between a person’s eyes or ears and the various regions of the brain. Does the individual have the capacity to understand the information? Does he or she have the training to exploit it? Are there cultural assumptions that distort the way it is perceived?
August 15, 2007
Jefferson dollars will be unveiled today in a ceremony at the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C. They officially go into circulation tomorrow, August 16, 2007.
Jefferson dollars are the third in a series commemorating U.S. presidents. The series started with Washington and will proceed, three new coins a year, through all the presidents. (Quick: What’s the cheapest amount you can invest to get dollars representing all 43 administrations? Don’t forget Grover Cleveland’s anomaly . . .)
The Associated Press story notes three things of interest:
History: Fewer than a third of Americans know Jefferson was the third president. They did better with Washington as the first president. I had a few scary moments last year covering a Texas history course when kids kept answering either “George Washington” or “Abraham Lincoln” to the questions, “Who was the the Father of Texas?” (Stephen F. Austin) and “Who was the first president of the Republic of Texas?” (Sam Houston).
Economics: The vending machine industry loses about $1 billion each year when dollar bills jam in the machine’s vending mechanism. The U.S. Mint and vending machine operators hope the dollar coins catch on and help reduce those losses.
Dollar coins are unpopular: This is another in a series of efforts to “wean” people from paper dollars to coins — remember the Sacagawea dollar? The Eisenhower dollar? The Susan B. Anthony dollar? Just last week I got an Eisenhower dollar in change from our local Starbucks — they had mistakenly put it in the coin drawer for quarters. You can get dollar coins in change at the U.S. Post Office, but not at many other places. Our local post office occasionally sneaks a Euro into the dollar change mechanism. Bonus!
The Washington Post story carried more details of the poll, conducted by the Gallup organization for the U.S. Mint: Read the rest of this entry »
July 15, 2007
Immigrants’ Contribution to Economic Growth
“The pace of recent U.S. economic growth would have been impossible without immigration. Since 1990, immigrants have contributed to job growth in three main ways: They fill an increasing share of jobs overall, they take jobs in labor-scarce regions, and they fill the types of jobs native workers often shun. The foreign-born make up only 11.3 percent of the U.S. population and 14 percent of the labor force. But amazingly, the flow of foreign-born is so large that immigrants currently account for a larger share of labor force growth than natives (Chart 1).”
Foreign-born share of U.S. Labor Force and Labor Force Growth; Orrenius, Dallas FRB
—Pia M. Orrenius, senior economist in the Research Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Southwest Economy, Issue 6, November/December 2003, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
June 30, 2007
Texas standards for economics require students to learn the history of money.
Jennifer Dorman, writing at Cliotech, points to an on-line article by economist Robert Samuelson, “The Cashless Society Has Arrived,” and then she adds a series of links to other valuable articles covering the history of money, and she strings it together in a coherent story that will give you a couple of moments of worry about where our economy is headed.
Go beef up your links, and get the ideas for the lesson plan that will knock the kids’ socks off.