Monthly Archives: November 2011

Cities are timeless, usually…

One of the most enduring features of cities is that they are enduring.  Rome is the ‘Eternal City’  the Forbidden City in China was the seat of power for centuries.  As a rule, the trade patterns that cause the settlement of a city contribute to its longevity.

But, there are always rule breakers


More Macroeconomics Links

An Italian perspective on current problems.

A Greek opinion on the matter.

 By the way, this site has a great currency converter with historical data.

And finally, here is the latest on the Federal Reserve side of the crisis.




Income Inequality

This post has an excellent graph of the data behind the standard income inequality argument.

Combined with this data on the world-wide similarities in different countries, people are curious for an answer.

Here’s three potential solutions:

1) The nearer you are to the top percentile, the more likely it is that you have special skills that you can ‘sell’ internationally. With free trade, the internet, the fall of communism, and global telecommunications technology all improving access to foreign markets, we shouldn’t be surprised in the rapid growth of this sector.

2) The nearer you are to the top percentile, the more likely it is that you have invested in international markets. The real gain in many markets, think China over that period, has been huge and it is not surprising that only higher income folks have benefited.

3) The top and the bottom of the graph reflect life cycle income effects. Let’s face it, everybody is 16 to 21 sometime and few of us could claim, at that age, to have anything much more than entry level skills that make only a small marginal impact to our employers. We are “paid” in work experience at that age and we are expected to turn it into rewards later in life. Likewise, most of us will have 5 to 10 years somewhere in our late forties to early sixties when we have access to that best opportunity of a lifetime. Most of us will make our fortunes, for better or worse, during that brief highest earning period. Then, most people collect a fairly low income for several years as they close out their lives. This is intended and planned for as maintenance income, when you own your house and all the stuff in it and your medical bills are being paid from insurance or government sources.

Conclusion: I’d like to see the income data by age and educational attainment.

Macroeconomics Links – International trade basics

Here’s some macroeconomics links explaining international trade basics:

Economic freedom and wealth

International trade: Absolute and comparative advantage

Exchange Rate Basics