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Updated: “How Stable Are Democracies? ‘Warning Signs Are Flashing Red.’ ” Or Maybe Not.

The global economy was doing pretty well in 1995. By contrast, 2014 was a year of economic stress. People are more likely to turn to authoritarian solutions during periods of economic malaise. That is a more plausible hypothesis for the authors’ results than a declining faith in democracy. Continue Reading →

Entry Exit Overstay Report FY 2015

The Entry Exit Overstay Report FY 2015 gives details of the number of people who have overstayed their visas broken down by country and in several other ways. … Regular readers know my fondness for Excel. I decided to do a quick-and-dirty export from pdf to Excel. Surprisingly the tables seem to have come through in very good shape. Continue Reading →

Marketplace Disses Trump

Mr. Ryssdal has made a fundamental error. He assumes the BLS gathers the data for the unemployment rate. That is not true. BLS outsources data collection to the Bureau of the Census. And, shortly after taking office in his first term, President Obama moved Census from it’s long-time home in the Department of Commerce to the Executive Office of the President. Which means the administration directly runs the critical data collection job for much of the government. Continue Reading →

U.S. Government Debt Revisited

Honestly, this material is not difficult and the data is readily available. I always have trouble understanding why people don’t simply look at the facts instead of trusting the media. Nearly everyone in the media, including most of those who report on economics, are illiterate about even the most basic economic concepts. Remember, their college degrees are in journalism or communications. Somewhere along the way an editor decided they knew some economics. They don’t. Continue Reading →