70 Words
Mar
02

Asset Appraisals

Through 20Q2, the value of US farmland was $2.6 trillion, and investment grade bonds (BBB rated debt and higher) were valued at $6.4 trillion. That pales compared to Treasury bonds which were worth $19.9 trillion, and US commercial real estate at $20.4 trillion. Equities were almost double that at … [Read more...]

Feb
25

Moving Matters

In 2020, Idaho enjoyed the highest percentage of net migration, with 70% inbound and 30% outbound, a net of 40%. SC followed at 28%, then OR at 26%, AZ and SD at 24%, and AL, FL, NC, and TN at 20%. AR was 10th at 18%. CA at -18%, CT at -26%, IL at -32%, NY at -34% and NJ at -40% struggled most. … [Read more...]

Feb
17

Power Problem

If small changes in price lead to large changes in quantity demanded, think pizza, the item is elastic. Some goods, like gasoline, are inelastic. A change in that price does not alter the amount driven. Some things are infinitely inelastic, like electricity on a freezing day. The price per megawatt … [Read more...]

Feb
09

Minimum Money

Had the current minimum wage of $7.25/hour increased annually by the rate of inflation it would now be $9/hour. Since the minimum wage was adopted in 1938, its inflation-adjusted value peaked in 1968 when it became $1.60/hour, about $12 today. Raising it to $15/hour would lift 900,000 out of … [Read more...]

Jan
29

Flying Funds

The Friday File: Airplanes are not only expensive to buy, each B-2 costs $2 billion, they are also expensive to operate. The same B-2 costs $63 million/year to operate, the B-52 Stratofortress costs $25 million/year, and the B-1B Lancer, $24 million/year. Fighters are a bit cheaper to maintain. The … [Read more...]

Dec
22

Minimal Migration

Based on USPS data through 10/12/20, 150,000 persons have relocated from Manhattan and Brooklyn to more bucolic locations. Next, the 31,300 who left Chicago, 27,200 who exited San Francisco, 26,400 who departed LA, 15,500 who decamped from DC, and 14,900 that fled Houston. These are small … [Read more...]

Nov
17

Pandemic Pricing

For the nine months ending 3/20, 14% of all homes purchased were priced at $500,000 or more. Between 4/20 and 6/20, that percentage jumped to 25%! Relatedly, since the start of Covid-19 home buyer median income is $110,800 compared to $94,400 for pre-pandemic purchasers. Not surprisingly, the … [Read more...]

Nov
03

Election Elucidation

This is the 59th US presidential election. The first and only one to be held in an odd numbered year saw George Washington defeat John Adams in 1789. Adams, Jefferson, and Madison followed. Those were candidates! The Adams’ were the first couple to live in the White House. President George H.W. Bush … [Read more...]

Oct
14

Overwhelming Outlays

The FY2020 (10/1/19-9/30/20) budget deficit of $3.1 trillion more than tripled from $984 billion in FY2019. As a share of GDP, the deficit rose from 4.6% to 15.2%, the largest since 1945. Revenues totaled $3.4 trillion, down just 1% from a year earlier, as revenues from Oct-March rose 6% due to … [Read more...]

Oct
08

Safety Seats

Since 1977, and especially since the mid-1990s, states have steadily raised the age for which a child must sit in a car safety seat. These laws have saved 60 lives/year. So few because seatbelts are as safe as child car seats for children over two. These laws have, however, reduced births by … [Read more...]