Worthwhile Reads – January 14, 2015

  • Paul Krugman’s “Recent History in One Chart” tells the economic history of the last twenty years: Extraordinarily good for global elites and the developing world’s middle class, and basically no income growth for America’s working class. This is a tale of too many Americans being left behind, of a lack of commitment to Fixing the Jobs.

Recent History in One Chart

  • Ben Casselman of 538 says that 2014 was the best year for jobs since 2014, but highlights the dark cloud behind this silver lining: Will Americans fully return to the workforce“The job market is finally gaining steam. But as Josh Zumbrun wrote in a Wall Street Journal column Monday morning, that improvement comes with an important caveat: Americans aren’t yet returning to the labor force. The important question for 2015 is whether they ever will.”
  • Matt Yglesias of Vox notes Americans are feeling just north of ok about the economy for the first time in almost seven years. A quick look at the chart seems to indicate that the falling gas prices are probably the decisive factor: “In 2008, Gallup started a daily tracking poll of Americans’ ‘economic confidence.’ It has been, unfailingly, negative on every single day. Until today. The index asks Americans to rank current conditions as good or bad, improving or worsening. This finding means that for the first time since 2008, the share of people expressing optimism exceeds the share expressing pessimism…
  • James Pethokoukis brings three charts that take away the party punch bowl: America’s labor-force participation, wage growth, and crowds of long-term unemployed all remain as deep issues.



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