Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Assorted Politics

During 2009 I blogged much more about investing and the economy than ever before. Had I realized how much, I would have created a post category for investing. Oh well.

I sincerely hope both issues are boring in 2010 and I have no need to muse about them!

Remember to take advantage of adjusted capital loss for your 2009 taxes! Tomorrow will be the last day to sell depreciated investments and have the tax man absorb part of the sorrow.

Here are some final investing/economy links from my bookmark folder, to wind up the topic for the year.

Back in October there was an article in Forbes comparing the current recession with the Great Depression. It mentions Milton Friedman, whom I have blogged about fairly often in 2009, so I link to it now. It concludes by discussing the velocity multiplier, which is way down. Another article continues the discussion by describing other problems the low multiplier causes. A third article adds a bit more about how bonds play a role.

Here is a catchy slideshow about the spread of unemployment by county. Working less is not always a bad thing, as this article describes. (Personally, my wife and I are both working fewer hours than we did before little Smiley was born, with only a happier life from all the changes. A similar story even if our work week reduction was for family reasons instead of being caused by the recession.)

My blogging this year has occasionally betrayed my preference for Small Government at the Federal level. Classical Values rants about the 2008 Farm Bill, which is a intriguing read even though he exaggerates current problems. In contrast, City Journal reports about one event where the power of local government was needed when a supposedly benevolent charitable organization failed to help people in need.

Finally, Greg Mankiw graphs the "dead zone" that traps people in poverty.
Notice that as earned income rises from about $15,000 to $30,000, income after taxes and transfers is roughly flat. Indeed, it could even fall. The bottom line: If you are poor, the government is inadvertently ensuring that you have little incentive to try to improve your condition.

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