Your Friendly Neighborhood Economist

Long story short, job openings have finally recovered their levels of SEVEN YEARS ago, but hiring is still 7.5% below 2007 levels. A big part of the story may be employers avoiding hiring the long-term unemployed (of which there are MANY). Another factor may be that the openings are in places that workers with the required skills are not.

Where have I heard this story before?
“The contracts were intended to protect the electricity producers, utilities and industries that need to buy power… . But Wall Street banks and other investors have stepped in, siphoning off much of the money.”
Financial deregulation makes this kind of predatory finance possible. Financial derivatives of the kind described in the article can be very helpful for providing insurance in markets for things like electricity that suffer from uneven and unpredictable demand. But if you allow anyone to participate in the market, rather than just, in this case, electric utilities, the benefit of the derivatives (like insurance really), get captured by banks and the cost gets passed on to electricity consumers.

This is the flipside of the story on the pensions and the Highway Trust Fund. The low interest rates are making it hard for public pension systems to keep up with their future obligations.

US Department of Energy signs off on the plan to bring electricity from Canada to NYC. This is apparently not the same as the West Point Project, which means that there are least four different power line projects going through our area and on new gas pipeline.

Not just a good deal, a life-saver. Literally. But hey, what are the lives of thousands of the people you supposedly represent, when it comes to opposing the president? Especially if those people are poor people and people of color.

Only three years and $17 million later. And that is just the road damage done by the storm.

This cleanup was supposed to happen 7 years ago, but as the recession unfolded the money from the state was pulled. This seems like a great way to spend the money the state is now getting from the banks that tanked the economy and so, the states’s finances, doesn’t it?

One of my economics professors talking about his experience during Freedom Summer, where he was part of the team in Meridian that included the murdered activists Jimmy Chaney, Andy Goodman, and Micky Schwerner.

In case you don’t know the history of nullification, the idea that states can ignore Federal laws they don’t like, it goes back to the pre-Civil War era and helped lead to that war, since many of the federal laws the southern states wanted to ignore had to do with slavery. But why let that stop us now? This is toddler temper tantrum stuff. Texas is going to hold its breath until that mean old Federal government starts acting more lawless (as in not enforcing the Clean Air Act). And Texas will not be alone in this particular example of teh stoopid.

Have I mentioned that we need to do something about this before? I have.