Tag Archives: great resignation

Inflation and Asset Prices:  I’m Tired of the Whining

When it comes to state and local government in New York, the primary subject of this blog, it is now reasonable to be unreasonable.  Because after decades of being reasonable and fair minded, willing to pay more in taxes and accept less in services while being supportive of the “heroes,” we find that we have been robbed and robbed and robbed.  Things have gone so far that demanding more, and demanding that we pay less, including a demand that the State of New York, City of New York, and related agencies declare bankruptcy — and shirk their obligations to those who have shirked their obligations to us — is now a fair-minded thing to so.  And the reverse – expecting that we’ll be forced to pay and pay and pay even more, while getting less and less and less in exchange, and be required to provide what used to be public services for ourselves, bike riding instead of transit, homeschooling co-ops instead of schools, neighborhood watches instead of police – is now the sensible thing for those who choose to live here.

On the other hand, with regard to the current whining about inflation, in general and with regard to specific goods and services, and decreasing asset prices, I have the opposite attitude.  What seems to be happening is that those who benefitted from their own past inflation, for decades, at the expense of those (people, groups of people, generations, industries) left poorer and facing personal deflation, now find that the serfs, and the lowest-wage workers in particular, have briefly gotten a little more at their expense.  And demand that something be done – by force through the government, rather than through voluntary action by themselves in the marketplace — to restore the natural order of things.

Question:   did the super-rich, today’s seniors – the richest in history, those working in industries that have been raising prices far faster than the average for decades, existing homeowners that bought their houses decades ago at far lower prices, and the political/union class in places such as New York, ever, during the past four decades, really concern themselves with those who have been facing personal deflation to offset their own personal inflation?  Those who were being left further behind so those cutting the deals could get further ahead?  The average later-born worker, and the lowest wage workers in particular, have been falling behind overall inflation, compared with those at the top and the generations that preceded them, for decades.  Yet only now, when the self-dealing winners of the past four decades are paying more, that is a national crisis that requires drastic measures?   And if an economic era is now ending, is that really a bad thing?  Bad for whom?

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Bureau of Economic Analysis Local Income Data and Bureau of Labor Statistics Labor Force Data:  A Few Notes

The Bureau of Economic Analysis released its Local Area Personal Income data for 2020 last week.

https://www.bea.gov/data/income-saving/personal-income-county-metro-and-other-areas

Last year I produced a two-part analysis of the data, going back to its earliest availability in 1969 through the peak of the recent boom in 2019.

But thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic 2020 was an odd year that is not indicative of any long-term trend in our economy and society.  Or so we hope.  But since I had to download the data anyway for another purpose, I’m going to present a few notes on just how hard New York City was hit economically by pandemic, following up on the Current Employment Survey data at I wrote about earlier this year.

Then answer is pretty damn hard.

In addition, since it is in the national news, I’ve also downloaded, and made some charts from, data on who is and who is not in the labor force.  For all the talk about the “great resignation,” “lying flat,” and people loafing on unemployment insurance, the decrease in people working or looking for work is actually an inevitable consequence of demographics. With more and more members of the relatively large Baby Boom generation hitting retirement, and no more members of the also relatively large Millennial generation hitting the workforce at the same time. 

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