My mind tends to think in terms of the political and policy implications of economic information and commentary such as Andrew's so I saw something in addition to what he mentioned: confirmation that James Carville was right: It is indeed the economy, stupid.
Last week, renowned philosopher Dan Dennett visited Dartmouth as part of the Neukom Institute's symposium on "The Human Algorithm." He gave a thought-provoking keynote address affirming the brain as a type of computer (with a competitive, not cooperative, design) and the mind as software. I've been reading through some of his other writings and thought this one, with the same title as the post, would be interesting to share. Here's my favorite part:
The BLS released information on real earnings in April this morning, and the news is not encouraging:
Real average weekly earnings fell by 0.5 percent from March to April after seasonal adjustment, according to preliminary data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor. A 0.1 percent increase in average hourly earnings was offset by a 0.3 percent decrease in average weekly hours and a 0.2 percent increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W).
The last three decades have not been kind to real earnings. Take a look at the full history of the real earnings series:
Here's my "Fiscal Fitness" column for this week from Roll Call.
Bush Budget Legacy:
Much More Debt,
Far Fewer Options
May 13, 2008
At the same time that the three main reality shows — “American Idol,” “Dancing With the Stars” and the 2008 election — are dominating much of the water cooler talk these days, I’m increasingly haunted by something George W. Bush promised as he was entering the White House: He said he would eliminate the national debt by the end of this decade.
That pledge was made for two reasons. First, federal budget surpluses were recorded from fiscal 1998 to 2001. Even though the surpluses were unexpected and no one was really sure why they happened, the president and almost everyone else assumed that, after four years in a row, they would continue.