Inflation! Debasement! April edition

Hyperinflation-era German currency Source: Flikr Creative Commons It’s time to check in on inflation!  and debasement! This is the certainty, expressed by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, that no matter what the data tell us, accelerating inflation and a depreciating currency are just around the corner.  Here are the new readings for April 2016: Inflation: steady as she goes.  Prices overall … [Read more...]

Luck, soft skills, and human capital

Source: Flikr Creative Commons Imagine growing up in the 1960s with two college-educated parents, surrounded by other kids whose parents also went to college and whose family incomes were above the national average. That was me: I grew up in Deephaven, Minnesota, in the 1960s and 1970s. I went to good schools and had excellent health care. I learned manners, patience, and a variety of … [Read more...]

Homeownership rates in historical perspective

Here is a Wall Street Journal headline from April 28: “The U.S. Homeownership Rate Falls Again, Nearing a 48-Year Low.”  “The homeownership rate fell slightly in the first quarter of 2016, dashing hopes that it had finally hit a bottom,” read the lead paragraph. This sounds pretty ominous. Let’s take a closer look; first, here are the data to which the article refers: Now, let's pull … [Read more...]