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 in the process. That hit to demand could slow growth and force rates to drop ever lower to entice spending. And if today’s workers actually managed to retire young, it would exacerbate the situation by shrinking the labor force, further weighing on the economy’s potential. …


The increase in personal savings threatens an economy built on debt

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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 affected financially by the pandemic) have been…


2020 proved that things don’t have to suck anymore

broken glass
broken glass
Image courtesy of cottonbro CC 2.0

2020 was a miserable year, even by the standards of the last few. Every December since 2016 we’ve collectively bid good riddance and hoped for better days ahead. This year, rather than watching the ball drop in Times Square many of us sighed in relief as 2020 died in a dumpster fire.

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 the last two decades. But our political system is designed for inaction. The Constitution with its separation of powers explicitly stalls progress. …


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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 than cars, buses and trains has profoundly impacted cities. Economically, the reduction in commuting has been devastating to businesses that rely on the foot traffic of those heading into the office: Midtown Manhattan is a veritable ghost town; long running businesses that have served Grand Central Station and subway shops have closed or even shuttered their doors permanently. …


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

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Image courtesy of PIRO4D CC 2.0

Agood deal is increasingly hard to find these days. Record low interest rates have driven home sales and the stock market barreling upward, but it’s also left those with means struggling to find a place to park their new found cash. 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 itself — a bubble. …


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

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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 piecemeal solutions, but the reality is that a much bigger program is needed. …


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 commute, workplace, and school run that used to structure the day has left a void many are struggling to fill. …


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

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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. …


Picture of daisies against a blue sky.
Picture of daisies against a blue sky.
Image courtesy of Kathas_foto

While fantasizing about life’s possibilities can be fun, it can also reach a point of being destructive rather than helpful. There is never a satisfying end or resolution to day dreaming, and it is easy to find yourself drawn into an endless string of ruminations. Suddenly, you look up from your computer hours later and realize day dreaming has kept you from your writing and other creative endeavors.

Day dreams should be about orienting where your life is going and how to get there, not holding you back. If you find yourself loosing track of time, or day dreaming too much, recognize day dreaming can be a symptom of depression, too. Yet visioning your life can be incredibly powerful. …

About

K. Holland

Xennial. Political news junkie. Feminist. Mom. I write about economics, technology and media. My views are my own.

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