All posts, listed chronologically (newest to oldest)
Numeracy (Posted 5/10/2013)
Literacy is the ability to understand letters and words. Numeracy is the abilty to understand numbers and relationships in the same way. Why does numeracy matter? Here's what I think...
What happened in Cyprus? (Posted 4/26/13)
Aaron B. asks about the financial crisis in Cyprus. Don't let the only lesson to the world of the crisis be that the demonym of "Cyprus" is "Cypriot." This is actually a pretty dramatic story, and a great case study of today's intricate economy.
Bitcoin (Post 4/11/13)
Who is this hip new currency on the block? Is it really a "currency" at all? John W. asks "What is Bitcoin, and how does it work?" I hope this post provides you some context, and can help you understand Bitcoin a bit better.
The scale of Social Security & Medicare (Posted 3/22/13)
The Federal government's two largest expenses are huge in comparison to all their other ones. Find out by how much.
The Sequester (Posted 3/8/2013)
Economystifed Kate W. asks about the Sequester. The Sequester is like a movie time bomb countdown - only without the dramatic bomb defusing bit.
Raising the minimum wage (Posted 2/22/2013)
In his recent state of the union address, Obama called for an increase in the minimum wage. Here's some of the popular arguments for and against the move.
The Fed's S&P lawsuit (Posted 2/8/2013)
The US govt recently announced its intents to sue the rating agency Standard and Poor's for their alleged role in the housing bubble. What, exactly, is S&P being accused of?
Take an econ class for free online (Posted 1/25/2013)
No joke. Coursera.org offers free online classes on a variety of topics - including economics!
Why does my paycheck look small today? (Posted 1/11/13)
Many of you might be looking at your paychecks today and noticing they're a bit smaller than what you're used to. Find out why. (Today's topic is a reader request coming from Jory O.)
Three Major Historical Economists (Posted 12/27/2012)
Nearly all of modern government economic policy has its origins in the ideas of three men - John Keynes, Friedrich Hayek and Karl Marx. Watch a 3 part BBC series about their lives and their theories.
Earnings Gap Between Sexes (Posted 12/13/2012)
There is a gap between the average earnings of men and women in the US. We know that much. But we know surprisingly little else.
The Fiscal Cliff (Posted 10/25/12)
Reader Tim C. asks about "the Fiscal Cliff" - a looming economic crisis that's unfortunately of our own doing.
Asymmetric Information (Posted 11/8/12)
From health insurance, to used car lots, to the box office, asymmetric information can distort all kinds of economic behaviors.
Obama and Romney's proposed tax plans (Posted 10/25/12)
A compare and contrast of the current presidential candidates' proposed tax plans.
Public transportation: always going uphill? (Posted 10/11/12)
Even where public transportation fares are low, Americans still love to drive! Why aren't more of us getting on the bus?
"The 47%" (Posted 9/28/12)
Presidential candidate Mitt Romney came under fire for a comment he made about "the 47% of people who pay no income tax." Who and what is he talking about?
TED Talk - Eleni Gabre-Madhin (Posted 9/14/12)
Some incredibly valuable ideas regarding market failure and the tricky business of economic development are presented in this great TED Talk from the economist Eleni Gabre-Madhin. I really recommend it!
Gold Prices (Posted 8/24/12)
Tim C. asks if the gold market looks like its in a bubble. We'll talk about the tricky art of gold valuation.
Economic Profit vs Accounting Profit (Posted 8/10/12)
The difference between the two and some real world applications of the concept (along with a few words on opportunity costs for good measure).
Misinformed by Infographic (Posted 7/27/12)
I call muster on a particular infographic I've seen floating around on facebook. While appreciate what it's trying to do, it's only half right.
Stock Markets and IPOs (Posted 7/13/12)
What is a stock, who can I buy 'em from, and why do people buy 'em?
Irrationality in economics (Posted 6/22/12)
Economystified reader Sarah S. asks "How do you explain or account for irrationality and/or irrational forces in markets and/or in economics writ large?"
If Paychecks Could Talk (Posted 6/8/12)
A short cartoon from the National Priorities Project explaining the information that appears on your paystub. Video was passed along to me by Economystified reader Andrew T.
One percent of what? (part 2) (Posted 5/24/12)
My opinion of the "99%" slogan...and some relevant numbers.
One percent of what? (part 1) (Posted 5/11/12)
A fuzzy rallying cry?
Keynes vs Hayek (Posted 4/27/12)
One of economics finest rivalries.
Inflation (part 2) (Posted 4/12/12)
Details on effects of inflation.
Inflation (part 1) (Posted 3/22/12)
What is inflation and how does it happen?
Is it WORTH it? (Posted 3/8/12)
You get what you pay for and there's no free lunch!
The 2013 prelim Federal Budget (Posted 2/23/12)
The president has put in his two cents on next year's federal spending plan. Here's what he said.
Clarifying Krugman (Posted 2/10/12)
Economist Paul Krugman's recently made a really great point in his personal blog recently about the national debt. I wish he had fleshed it out a bit more...so I'm going to do it for him.
A little perspective... (Posted 1/26/12)
How does the recent recession compare to American recessions of the past?
GDP (Posted 1/12/12)
What it is and how its calculated.
2012 US Federal Budget (part 2) (Posted 12/22/11)
Stepping through the Federal government's current spending plan, category by category.
2012 US Federal Budget (part 1) (Posted 12/8/11)
Overview of the Federal government's current spending plan.
Capital Gains Taxes (Posted 11/24/11)
How income from investments are taxed.
Hans Rosling (Posted 11/10/11)
He makes data (specifically public health data) fun, interesting, and best of all...usable.
Income Taxes (Posted 10/27/11)
Every April, you pay your income tax bill. Find out how your bill is calculated.
Corporate Taxes (Posted 10/13/11)
Corporations pay taxes on profits, but how much they pay is varies a lot.
Austerity Plans (Posted 9/23/11)
Economystified reader Jay S. asks "How do you feel about austerity measures?"
The Income Gap (Posted 9/8/11)
Economystified reader Mike F. asks about America's "income and how it happened." Well, the gap is definitely growing. But the "how and by how much" is a tricky question. It all depends on how you measure it.
How are 'prices' determined? (Posted 8/25/11)
How much does an item "cost"? Depends...how much are you willing to pay?
Debt Ceiling and Downgrade (Posted 8/11/11)
Even the Federal government has a credit limit. And its set by...the Federal government.
Very Big Numbers (Posted 7/20/11)
Economists talking in trillions, billions, millions - tough numbers to conceptualize. Here's a trick to wrap your head around them.
Supply Side / Demand Side Rivalry (Posted 7/7/11)
How should we stimulate an economy? By helping producers, or helping consumers?
Take the Economystified Challenge!! (Posted 6/23/11)
Whats the connection between the economic and political power of nations? Play a game and find out!
Utility (Posted 6/9/11)
Economists aren't worried about your "happiness" or your "satisfaction." Its your "utility" they want to maximize! So what does that mean?
Economics comes in all shapes and sizes... (Posted 5/26/11)
Some of the many subcategories of economics - its a pretty diverse bunch!
The National Debt (Posted 5/13/11)
When a country's highest government overspends, the nation itself becomes responsible for the debt. Economystified readers Kate W. and Chris B. ask how do governments manage to do this.
The IMF and World Bank (Posted 4/21/11)
Economystified reader Evan T. asks “The IMF and other international banks: How they do what they do, and what effect it has.”
Marginality (Posted 4/8/11)
It doesn't always really matter where you are or where you've been. What you're about to do next is where it gets interesting.
Is "The Recession" over? (Posted 3/24/11)
The economy can still be weak, without technically being in a "recession."
Cost vs Price (Posted 3/10/11)
Price is just the money you give up to get something. The "cost" of that purchase involves so much more.
The heck is "economics" anyway? (Posted 12/17/10)
Economics - its not just about money. Its about how human beings allocate their limited resources.
A welcome for the Economystified out there (Posted 12/14/10)
Intro to this blog and what I hope to accomplish with it.