Ian Schaaf

170 Flips | 2 Magazines | 3 Likes | 1 Following | 204 Followers | @ian132 | Econ major at IU

Getting Capitalism Wrong - AI Will Reduce Economic Inequality, Not Increase It

We’ve another of those pieces shouting that artificial intelligence is going to overturn the world and thus we need more taxes, more government and even, in this argument from Kai-Fu Lee, more colonialism. It’s not going to work out like this of course, it’s just not going to work out like this at …

The world is sitting on a $400 trillion financial time bomb

Financial disaster is looming, and not because of the stock market or subprime loans. The coming crisis is more insidious, structural, and almost certain to blow up eventually.<p>The World Economic Forum (WEF) predicts that by 2050 the world will face a $400 trillion shortfall (pdf) in retirement …

Here's how big a home you can buy for $400,000 in the 25 biggest cities in America

To find out how markets compare across the country, real-estate listing site Zillow provided Business Insider with data on the average square footage of a home with a $400,000 price tag in the 25 largest metro areas.<p>While Zillow currently pegs the national median home value at $196,500, the …

Real Estate

Capitalism Will Shrink Inequality. In Fact, It's Happening.

Does capitalist economic growth lead to greater inequality, or less? The mid-20th-century economist Simon Kuznets believed that at first, industrialization would lead to greater inequality as a few pioneering entrepreneurs and workers moved to the cities where the growth was happening. But as rural …

Economics

Industrial Revolution Comparisons Aren't Comforting

“Why should it be different this time?” That’s the most common response I hear when I raise concerns about automation and the future of jobs, and it’s a pretty simple rejoinder. The Western world managed the shift out of agricultural jobs into industry, and continued to see economic growth. So will …

Economics

Why an electoral college rebellion would be a bad idea

MOTIVATED reasoning—ignoring inconvenient truths on a cognitive path toward conclusions that match our pre-existing beliefs or commitments—afflicts …

Hillary Clinton

Obama's Piece In 'The Economist' Gets Everything Wrong

<b>PRESIDENT OBAMA HAS</b> written an “open letter” of several thousand words to <i>The Economist</i> about capitalism, immigration, the economy and the economic areas on which his successor should focus.<p>The whole thing encapsulates the wrongheaded and obstinately held thinking that has brought the U.S. and the …

Economics

Yes, some people really struggle, but inequality isn’t the problem 

It’s simple, really, or so we keep being told by people who should know better. Inequality is surging, and this is the root cause of the revolutionary political change that we see all around us, from the Brexit vote to Donald Trump’s terrifying success in the race for the White House. Some even …

The White House

The Morality of Unemployment

Jerry Brown offers a gospel lesson in bad economics.<p>Democratic Governors on both coasts are busy deporting jobs to neighboring states, with minimum-wage increases to $15 an hour in California and New York. The novelty is how one of them is trying to sell it.<p>“Economically, minimum wages may not make …

Jerry Brown

Remember When The New York Times Understood The Economics Of The Minimum Wage?

If there’s one thing I never thought I’d get nostalgic about, it’s <i>The New York Times</i> editorial page of yesteryear. Yet the Grey Lady’s recent musings on the minimum wage have made me wistful for the late 1980s. Back then, I was a small business owner in northern New Jersey, and America’s paper of …

Economics

A Basic Income Is Smarter Than a Minimum Wage

Just as the U.K. raises its minimum wage and as Bernie Sanders's demands for a 50 percent increase in minimum pay keep winning him votes in the U.S., …

Economics

A huge new discovery in economics: The zero bound *is* absolute, after all

But in recent weeks, there has been a shift in the tides among economists. People have slowly come round to the realisation that negative rates don't have their intended effect. They may in fact do the opposite of what they are supposed to.<p>The zero bound, in other words, really may be the lowest a …

Economics

How Progressives Drive Income Inequality

The Obama years proved that transfer payments reduce incentives to work and lower incomes. Yet Clinton and Sanders are eager to go the same route.<p>Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are promising all types of programs to make America a more equal country. That’s no surprise. But when you look at …

How Economists Would Wage the War on Drugs

The monstrous cartels that run the narcotics business face the same dilemmas as ordinary firms—and have the same weaknesses<p>In April, the world’s governments will meet in New York for a special assembly at the United Nations to discuss how to solve the drug problem. Don’t hold your breath: Since the …

United Nations

Bernie Sanders Told To Stop Saying Bernie's Economic Plans Will Be Terrific

There’s a highly unusual and vastly interesting letter out there concerning the estimations of what the effects of Bernie Sanders’ economic plans will be. Essentially, please stop telling everyone that kittens will gambol down sunbeams and be reasonable in your estimations of the effects. Of …

Cities Try $6, $8 Hourly Parking to Cut Congestion, Pollution

A woman pays for parking in Chinatown, where Washington, D.C., plans to start demand-price parking. A handful of major cities are charging differing …

Here's how the Pentagon wasted $33 billion last year

The report by the Center for International Policy offers 27 examples of inefficient Pentagon spending. It comes one day after President Obama rolled out the department's $583 billion budget request for fiscal 2017, with the Pentagon second only to Social Security in terms of spending.<p>"Whether one …

Walmart's Oakland Store Closure: Oakland's Minimum Wage Is Blamed

That someone claims they know the reason something happened is not proof that they know the reason that thing has happened. But we do have someone claiming that Walmart’s decision to close its Oakland store is because of the rather higher local minimum wage in that city. What’s interesting is not …

Something strange is happening in housing

My wife and I recently looked at homes around Washington D.C. We were shocked. Prices in many D.C. suburbs are 30% to 50% higher than they were five years ago. We visited Seattle over Christmas and found the same: Prices are up anywhere from 30% to 70% since 2009.<p>D.C. and Seattle are big, wealthy, …

Housing

One big bank thinks the global economy is about to crash. What can the world powers do to stop it?

It looks already as if 2016 will be a pivotal year for the world economy. RBS has advised investors to “sell everything except for high-quality bonds” as turmoil has returned to stock markets. The Dow Jones and S&P indices have fallen by more than 6% since the start of the year, which is the worst …

The US economy is showing weakness in nearly everything but employment

A practically unnoticed phenomenon underpins the negative U.S. economic data trends we saw in Q4 2015 and the enormous increase in market volatility in the first week of 2016: The United States' global competitors are—once again—using vast pools of low-wage, underutilized labor, a huge excess of …

Bernienomics 101

There's a reason student loans are pricier than mortgages.

Loans

Opinion: Fed gradualism sets us up for another financial crisis

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (Project Syndicate) – By now, it’s an all-too-familiar drill. After an extended period of extraordinary monetary accommodation, the …

The War Against Cash, Part I

Politicians hate cash.<p>That may seem an odd assertion given that they love spending money (other people’s money, of course, as illustrated by this cartoon).<p>But what I’m talking about is the fact that politicians get upset when there’s not 100 percent compliance with tax laws.<p>They hate tax havens …

Money Laundering

Inflation will be the biggest economic story in 2016

The year 2016 will be all about inflation.<p>When the Federal Reserve raised interest rates on December 16 it did so with inflation running below its 2% target.<p>The latest "core" personal-consumption-expenditures reading, which excludes the more volatile costs of food and gas and is the Fed's preferred …

Economics

The Death Of The American Middle Class Has Been Greatly Exaggerated

To borrow from Mark Twain, a whole lot of people seem intent on reporting if not the death of the American middle class, then at least its demise. Thanks to a Pew Research Report, reported here by the Chicago Tribune as one example, casual readers assume the reports on the death of the American …

The 10 Richest People of All Time

A comparison of wealth across history<p>Who had more money, John D. Rockefeller or Genghis Khan? It’s a simple question with a very difficult …