The recent release of budget plans for fiscal year 2014 makes a proper perspective of projections of public debt even more important. This week’s chart shows the debt held by the public as a percentage of the gross domestic product (GDP) under various budget proposals.
Unsurprisingly, the slow recovery has been particularly hard on families. New data released last month by the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that 8.4 million families had at least one unemployed member. That makes the family unemployment rate 10.5 percent, well above the average national unemployment rate of 8.1 percent in 2012. Some 20 percent of families had no one working in 2012, a number that includes both the unemployed and looking for work and the jobless and not looking for work. The statistics are grim when we look at families with children under 18 years old, where 12.2 percent have no one working.
The proposed rules would implement sections 806(a) and (c) of Dodd-Frank, which allow the Board to authorize Reserve Banks to establish and maintain accounts for, provide certain services to, and pay interest on balances maintained by or on behalf of financial market utilities (FMUs) that are designated by the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) as systemically important or likely to become systemically important.
Since 2009, the Department of Energy (DOE) provided guaranteed loans through its Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) loan program valued at approximately $8.4 billion to Ford, Nissan, Fisker Automotive, and other car manufacturers. The DOE touted the ATVM loan program as a tool for boosting America’s “clean energy economy” by adding nearly 38,700 jobs. Far less attention was paid to how the loan commitments exposed taxpayers to excessive risk, to the tune of about $217,028 per job “created or saved.”…
I do not believe that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage can be issued in large volume without taxpay- ers becoming liable for interest-rate risk. Conversely, if we reform the housing system so that the private sector truly bears the risk, then borrowers would encounter a large differential between the cost of a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage and the cost of a loan with an interest rate that is fixed for only 5 years. Borrowers should be making their choices based on this true cost differential.
The Supreme Court has long held that campaign finance regulations are permissible for preventing corruption or the appearance of corruption. Yet the implied hypothesis that campaign finance reforms are effective tools for combating public corruption has gone essentially untested. We conduct the first systematic evaluation of the effects of campaign finance laws on actual corruption rates in the states. We examine the effects of state reforms on both convictions and filings in public corruption cases over the last 25 years.
Even if Do Not Track takes root and some consumers turn it on, many will be incentivized by ad networks or publishers to opt right back in to “tracking” to retain access to sites and services they desire. In doing so, they may end up sharing even more information than they do today. Moreover, this may drive still greater consolidation since larger players will be in a position to grant Internet-wide opt-in exceptions, while smaller providers cannot…
Two significant problems have become evident through this lengthy period of slow job growth. First, there has been an unprecedented disengagement from the labor force with current participation at its lowest level in almost 35 years. This means there are currently 102 million jobless people in the United States, but less than 12 million are still actively looking for work and therefore counted as unemployed. Second, the number of long-term unemployed is at a record high. They currently represent over 4.6 million people, and the long-term unemployment rate (the share of the labor force unemployed for over six months) remains well above historical levels at 3.0 percent.