A policy of asset Inflation that locks out younger generations may have backfired

Piggy Bank
Piggy Bank
Image courtesy of Piqsels.com

Millennials ruin everything: wine, cereal, napkins. Add to their list of cardinal sins that they save too much. It’s not often the Federal Bank is presented for sympathy, but according to the New York Time aggressive saving by millennials is making the Fed’s job harder and limiting their ability to combat inflation:

A young generation of aggressive savers could leave central bankers with less room to cut interest rates, which they have long done to boost growth in times of economic trouble.

To leave the work force early, millennials would need to build up massive retirement funds and consume less…

What network theory suggests about the permanence of working from home

Image Courtesy of Geralt CC 2.0

A year into the pandemic, many companies are looking to make remote work permanent. While huge uncertainty remains around who will be returning to the office and when, remote work is likely to become a permanent arrangement for many companies and employees.

But what can we expect? Many remote workers don’t want to return to the office, and 30% have indicated they will switch jobs if ordered to do so. …

The increase in personal savings threatens an economy built on debt

Image courtesy of Kristina Paukshtite C.C. 2.0

Of all the boogeymen, no one saw this coming: savers are the new scourge. While a fed policy of long-term low interest rates has long been stacked against savers, recent handwringing over the notion that Americans are saving too much has the feel of a mania. Don’t spend it all in one place has become passé: in the debate over a $2,000 stimulus opponents argued to rescind it all because of the concern that people might save it.

Of course, the data on the past nine months indicates that many Americans (at least those fortunate enough not to have been…

2020 revealed problems but also potential solutions

broken glass
broken glass
Image courtesy of cottonbro CC 2.0

2020 was a miserable year, even by the standards of the last few. This year as the ball dropped in an empty Times Square many of us sighed in relief and hoped for better days ahead.

Yet if there is one silver lining the pandemic has revealed it is this: Things — even the things we hate and have long accepted as unchangeable — are far less rigid and enduring than they seem.

This notion may seem counterintuitive for Americans who have watched politics lurch right and then left and then right again with little to show for it over…

Image courtesy of Jeffery Czum CC 2.0

With the transition to remote work, a large number of Americans have traded their commute to the office for a short walk down the hallway. A few have lamented the loss of the commute, but for many it has reduced stress and improved quality of life. One study found working from home saved an average of 41 minutes of commute time. Of course, much of this regained time has been lost to spotty childcare, online learning or even working more hours.

While individual workers have gained, the rapid change brought about by workers heading to the office via laptop rather…

The economics of the US pandemic response have fueled growth at the top

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Record low interest rates have driven home sales and the stock market barreling upward, but it’s also left those with means chasing increasingly riskier investment opportunities. Money is rushing into special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) that let investors impatient with the IPO processs pool their money first, then embark on the search for a company. In our focus on whether the recovery will be V or K shaped, we overlook the risk that the economy is starting to take on the shape of a spikey COVID ball

America’s Inadequate Covid-19 Response Means Many Will Never Catch Up

Image courtesy of Nur Andy Ravsanjani Gusma CC 2.0

America in an era of COVID-19 is a tale of two economies: for the wealthiest, with their work having transitioned seamlessly to home and their stock portfolios barreling upward in a stunning trajectory, COVID-19 has been an inconvenience. For the bottom third of incomes, the pandemic has been devastating. Unpaid rents, shuttered businesses, and job losses have created a hole many will never dig themselves out of.

Efforts at a second stimulus bill and the much touted option of an Executive Order by President Biden to wipe away up to $50k in federal student loan debt for each recipient offer…

The Ideal of Eight Hours of Sleep is a Modern Invention

Woman hiding under covers in bed
Woman hiding under covers in bed
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

As we approach the shortest day of the year, the struggle to maintain a sense of normalcy is rapidly falling by the wayside—and our feral tendencies are emerging. The exhaustion of a sustained crisis that has dragged on for nearly a year and the cold darkness of winter mean that ambitious efforts to maintain some sense of normalcy have given way to stress, anxiety, depression, and a full-fledged metal health crisis even among those lucky enough not to be struggling with food insecurity or economic catastrophe. Especially for those who are unemployed or working from remote, the absence of a…

Scanidnavians can teach us a thing or two about how to maintain happiness in the long dark days ahead — but it requires more than twinkly lights

A bonfire sparks against a dark sky
A bonfire sparks against a dark sky
Image Courtesy of Min An on Pexels

COVID-19 has sucked the fun out of pretty much everything this year, and as temperatures drop and the days shorten there is a worry that not only will case counts continue to increase but the psychological strain of being house bound will take an even larger toll on mental health. …

In a time of COVID-19 owning less is more appealing than ever

Image courtesy of Libreshot

For all the media coverage of people hoarding toilet paper, paper towels, and tinned foods minimalism isn’t dead. In fact, paradoxically it makes more sense than ever. Even with the stay at home orders and the shift to remote work, being confined to home has made Americans recognize the shortcomings of their spaces like never before. It’s a challenge of which mothers, as the primary buffers tasked with absorbing the extra load, are accurately aware. …

K. Holland

I write about economics, technology and media. My views are my own.

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