We’re Measuring the Economy All Wrong | Opinion | The New York Times

Source: We’re Measuring the Economy All Wrong | Opinion | The New York Times, by David Leonhardt

The official statistics say that the financial crisis is behind us. It’s not. … The whole point of statistics is to describe reality. When a statistic no longer does so, it’s time to find a new one — not to come up with a convoluted rationale that tries to twist reality to fit the statistic.

Jobs are plentiful, so why aren’t wages rising? | Quartz

Source: Jobs are plentiful, so why aren’t wages rising? | Quartz, by Dan Kopf

RE: Labor Market Concentration (pdf) by Jose Azar, Ioana Marinescu, and Marshall Steinbaum

Follow-up: Concentration in US Labor Markets: Evidence From Online Vacancy Data (pdf) by José A. Azar, Ioana Marinescu, Marshall I. Steinbaum, and Bledi Taska

Using 2011 data from the job site CareerBuilder, the researchers calculate labor market concentration in cities and industries and show that the average market is highly concentrated. They also show that this concentration is associated with lower wages.

The Stock Market Is Shrinking. That’s a Problem for Everyone. | The New York Times

Source: The Stock Market Is Shrinking. That’s a Problem for Everyone. | The New York Times, by Jeff Sommer

When I say “shrinking,” I’m using a specific definition: the reduction in the number of publicly traded companies on exchanges in the United States. In the mid-1990s, there were more than 8,000 of them. By 2016, there were only 3,627, according to data from the Center for Research in Security Prices at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Because the population of the United States has grown nearly 50 percent since 1976, the drop is even starker on a per-capita basis: There were 23 publicly listed companies for every million people in 1975, but only 11 in 2016, according to Professor René Stulz.

In 2015, for example, the top 200 companies by earnings accounted for all of the profits in the stock market, according to calculations by Kathleen Kahle, a professor of finance at the University of Arizona, and Professor Stulz. In aggregate, the remaining 3,281 publicly listed companies lost money.

The 3 Levels of Wealth | A Wealth of Common Sense

Source: The 3 Levels of Wealth | A Wealth of Common Sense, by Ben Carlson

On a recent episode of How I Built This with Guy Raz, Butterfield was asked how this enormous wealth has impacted his life. He told Raz, “beyond a certain level of wealth it doesn’t make your life any better.”

He went on to list what he considers to be the three levels of wealth:

  1. Level 1. I’m not stressed out about debt: People who no longer have to worry about their credit card debt or student loans.
  2. Level 2. I don’t care what stuff costs in restaurants: How much you spend on a particular meal isn’t impacted by your finances.
  3. Level 3. I don’t care what a vacation costs: People who don’t care how expensive the hotel is or which flight they go on.

This was a new way of looking at this and it got me thinking about where most Americans find themselves on this scale.

 

How might you list wealth classes based on lifestyle and quality-of-life features?