American voters are adept at sending mixed messages to elected officials. None are as confusing as the signals from the heartland over how to fix the federal budget.
In Economics 101, students learn that the share of national income received by labor stays roughly constant with the share received by capital. This is the first of “Kaldor’s stylized facts,” articulated half a century ago by the Cambridge economist Nicholas Kaldor.
Simon Wolfson, chief executive of British retailer Next Plc., has decided to play his part in deciding the fate of the European experiment. With much fanfare, he has offered a prize of 250,000 pounds to the economist who can find an orderly way for a country (read Greece) to exit the euro area.
Brazilian unions conducted two strikes that ended in October, with very different results. Bank workers came out smiling with a generous deal. Postal workers lost a court decision, humiliatingly, in what commentators called their union's worst result in 15 years. The different outcomes said a lot about modern Brazil.
What a jolt. The city council of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, my hometown, voted last week to file for bankruptcy. The state may prohibit the move, opting to force the city into receivership instead. Either way, it’s quite a comedown; Harrisburg has joined the list of casualties of fiscal crisis and economic transformation.