"You're only directed to the Beta site if you're not logged in."
When logged in, on several occasions, including this afternoon, I have opened-in-new-tab a number of Slashdot articles, and about 1 out of 10 open in the beta site (and logged in at the beta URL, to boot). I can delete the 'beta.' in the URL, and get the classic site.
I guess I'm not smart enough also?
Total Return (annualized %), over the past 5,10,15 years:
MSFT: 18.8, 5.0, 0.25
SP500: 18.5, 6.8, 4.1
Slightly lower performance that the standard benchmark, and with higher volatility to boot (as a tech/software company during 1998-2001, the starting date matters A LOT). Yes, the law of large numbers applies, but still, not a great reflection on Ballmer.
IANAEconomist, but I think the main way to distinguish structural from other forms on unemployment is to observe what happens to the labor market when the economy heads back toward a full-cycle peak, and not just to observe labor conditions near a business-cycle trough after a deep recession with continuing significant aggregate demand shortfalls of over $1 trillion in GDP.
Only then can you try to tweeze out structural vs. cyclical unemployment rates, and if see if the NAIRU has risen.
"Why look at trillion dollar deficits that are destroying the economy"
That is truly begging the question. Assumes facts not in evidence. Actually, assumes facts that are contrary to a lot of evidence:
- FY2014 deficit will be $300-500bn, and forecasted to be in the higher end of that range for the next 4 years.
- That's 3% of GDP and falling.
- Evidence shows that advanced nations are in a macro-economic liquidity trap.
- Evidence shows that governmental deficit spending in a liquidity trap has a positive multiplier to GDP.
- Evidence shows that "Expansionary austerity" is not a thing, in that austere economic policies have not caused economic expansion in the countries that have tried them. Even former cheerleaders of austerity have admitted those policies have not worked.
That's not how fraud works, economically. You've just described a number of costs, borne by various parties in a fairly-competitive economic market place, including "that's what your double digit interest rate is paying for." And the conclude that "the consumer doesn't eat the fraud."
Economic losses from fraud are first borne by the directly-impacted party, and then those economic losses are passed around the economy according to various factors like pricing power and elasticities of supply and demand. Since 70% of the economy is consumer spending, then I posit that approximately 70% of all economic losses due to fraud are borne by consumers. Might be more or less, but just because Target's 100+ million affected customers are not directly impacted financially in a first-order way does not mean that they, or all consumers, don't ever see the financial impact of this fraud. They just absorb the financial impact in a thousand minor and unseen ways, as the fraud loss is absorbed into the macro-economy and attenuates down to imperceptible levels like the CMB.
Fraud is sand in the gears of the economy, and the resulting inefficiency ultimately affects every participant in or user of that machine.
your wrote: "if we'd rather keep the laws as they are and accept high levels of permanent structural unemployment"
False dilemma, and assumes facts not in evidence.
Actually, assumes facts that are contrary to current evidence, which is that there does not appear to have been a permanent rise in the level of structural unemployment in the U.S. Pray tell, where in the U.S. are wages rapidly rising to meet the structurally-insufficient supply of a particular workforce or skillset? (and localized wage inflation as a result of the temporary inability for a workforce to quickly relocate to an area of new demand does not count as structurally-insufficient workforce supply: it's not structural)
What makes you think the human desire for more will ever cease? By the standards of 300-500 years ago, 99% of the modern world is thriving. So why is everyone working as hard as they are? Because humans want. And unless everyone becomes ascetic Buddhists, or advanced AI coupled with nanotech replicators removes virtually all resource and technical constraints, that will continue for a long time yet.
An interesting question, to be sure. Another interesting question: the sociological and economic effects of drastically-extended lifespans.
"People don't even do escrow when they buy a house. But they should. But I guess the real estate lobby wouldn't like that at all."
You are entirely incorrect: Every house purchased using a bank loan (i.e 95+%) is transacted through an escrow company with title insurance, and the entities involved in the escrow process are, in fact, the real estate industry.
"That bill was only a few pages long"
Paulson's 3 page plan was never a bill. It was proposed as an amendment to an existing bill, and that amendment was voted down in the House.
The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, which was part of H.R. 1424, and when enacted part of Public Law 110-343, was over 451 pages of legislation.
And it didn't allow the Federal Reserve to give out money to banks, it allowed the U.S. Treasury to BUY assets, in the market.
"Are you sure your source wasn't already inflation adjusted?"
It was, and his point stands.
40 years of productivity growth and technological advancement, with the average worker no better off financially (fn1).
fn1: at least per CPI/PCE deflators; there is some debate about the impact of BLS's hedonic adjustments and how the value of technological progress is included in inflation metrics.
Interesting comment (but I want to reply, so can't moderate)
"More Americans died in [the Civil War] than WWI, Korea, Vietnam, and the Revolution... combined. Only WWII had more."
re: WWII had more deaths: Yes (KIA) and No (total military deaths).
Also, disease prevention and battlefield medicine had and has advanced, so while the proportion of non-combat military deaths to total military deaths decreased from the Civil War to WWII (better disease prevention/treatment), the proportion of combat deaths to total injuries also decreased from the Civil War to WWII, and has kept on decreasing through Vietnam and to Afghanistan/Iraq (better battlefield medicine)
2/3 of Civil War military deaths were by disease, not combat injuries (dysentery, typhoid, TB, malaria, pneumonia). And if you got seriously injured, you were likely to die.
By contrast, 77% of U.S. military deaths in the Afghanistan/Iraq wars (post-2001) are combat deaths, not due to diseases. However, if you get shot, even severely wounded, you have a good chance of surviving.