Archive for the ‘Economic Perspective’ Category

The Keynesian prescription

Though most people are unfamiliar with the names of economists, the name John Maynard Keynes may generate some interest, says host Mary Walden. Keynes is associated with government stimulus programs, which are very controversial. She asks her husband, N.C. State economist Mike Walden to give a thumbnail summary of Keynes’ ideas.

The gender pay gap

Recently “equal pay day” was celebrated to highlight the continuing difference between average salaries of male workers compared to female workers. Females earn less, although the difference has been gradually shrinking over time. Host Mary Walden asks her husband N.C. State economist Mike Walden, why should there be a difference at all in what males and females earn?

Psychology and Money

You obviously majored in economics in college, whereas my focus was education and psychology. Yet you and I had a recent conversation that brought economics and psychology together, and it involved money, says host Mary Walden, who tells her husband, N.C. State University economist Mike Walden, “Your comments fascinated me. Give our listeners a summary.”

Will the Best Job Measure Stand Up?

Every month, when they are released, the job numbers receive a tremendous amount of scrutiny. Analysts focus on two measures: the unemployment rate and the number of jobs created. But some economists say neither is the best gauge of the job market, says host Mary Walden. “What do they say is?” she asks her husband, N.C. State University economist Mike Walden.

Why Are We Driving Less?

For much of the last half century, one of the major trends in the country has been increased driving, says host Mary Walden. Vehicle ownership rose. Households moved to the suburbs, and road construction couldn’t keep up with the increased driving. But this hasn’t necessarily been the case in recent years, she tells her husband, N.C. State University economist Mike Walden, and asks, “What happened?”

Where are the welders?

One of your cousins recently retired from a career as a welder. He told his children not to follow in his footsteps as a welder, arguing it was very hard work and was a dying occupation, says host Mary Walden to her husband, N.C. State University economist Mike Walden. She then asks, “Is he correct?”

Growth through Efficiency

A long time ago, I learned that sometimes the simple things are the most important. Some are saying this should be the guiding principle for our economy, especially as it applies to using our resources, says host Mary Walden. She asks her husband, N.C. State University economist Mike Walden, “Please explain.”

Peak population

For the first time in centuries, perhaps since the Middle Ages, experts are predicting an eventual limit for the world’s population. This is after decades of an exploding population and concerns about adequate resources, says host Mary Walden. “What has caused the turnaround?” she asks her husband, N.C. State University economist Mike Walden.

A switch in poverty

I can remember when I was a child several decades ago (we won’t say how many) that my family worried a lot about my grandparents, says host Mary Walden. That wasn’t unusual because living in old age wasn’t easy for many economically. Once they stopped working, older folks had no labor income and pensions were meager. “Has that changed today?” she asks her husband, N.C. State University economist Mike Walden.

Confusion from the Fed

New Fed Chair Janet Yellen recently held her first press conference. She was asked about rules or statistics the Fed would use to make decisions about changing interest rates. Some say Chairperson Yellen’s answer created more confusion than clarity, says host Mary Walden, who asks her husband, N.C. State University economist Mike Walden, “What happened?”

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