Housing Policy

Hey, Why Not Keep the Bad News Here at Home?


For nationalists annoyed that all this overseas bad news from your Libyalands and your Japanistans is keeping our sad, tired eyes away from where they should be peeled–right here at home–here's a couple of econ nuggets to keep you an all-American depressive:

February housing starts lowest since April 2009 and a 22.5 percent plunge from January, and new building permits down 8.2 percent from January. (Let housing prices fall, though the heavens fall!)

* Producer food prices leap 3.9 percent in February, highest one-month increase since November 1974. Energy also jumped 3.3 percent. But don't worry, since the CPI excludes those relatively insignificant parts of our consuming lives, inflation just isn't happening.

NEXT: Republican Tariffs vs. Free Trade

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  2. We did this in the 1970s, high marginal taxes, big government, low interest rates and it caused stagflation, something Keynesians had assured the world for 40 years could never happen.

    Now unexpectedly the same policies are producing the same results. Who would have thought it? The world is just so complex. It must be the Koch brothers.

    1. Speculators.

  3. O/T: I have no idea what this is, but I’m hoping it’s somebody’s weird art project intended to call out idiotic zoning and signage laws.


    1. Really? “All the trix?” Those poor chicks in the mix will need to fix a lot of wicks with slicks and probably on some hicks. I predicts a quick fix to the pricks that inflicts licks on those conflicts.

    2. “”three night stands w/all the trix” for $2,400.”

      That’s a great value.

      1. Not if your escort looks like this.

        1. And your point is …?

  4. What percent of your monthly budget goes to food and energy?

    And don’t forget, if you eat at a fancy place the service/ambience are part of the cost and if you shop at Whole Foods you’re paying for the happy ending.

    1. What percent of your monthly budget goes to food and energy?

      Personally? Ballpark-type figures, we spend about $5,000 a month. On average, we spend, conservatively, $1300/month on food (HEB, we never eat out) and energy (electric bill and filling up the cars). So that would be just about 25%.

      Thanks for asking.

  5. Hey Brian, how do you know where my sad, tired eyes are? Why can’t I focus on anything? Can this rampage of dire apocalyptic news be wearing me out? making me depressed? causing mild hallucinations of breakfastfoods? schizo-waht?

  6. Gosh, if we would just privatize everything, all these problems would go away. Good old private enterprise would have done away with earthquakes long ago if it hadn’t been shackeled by stupid government regulations. Free minds and free markets will bring paradise on earth. Keep the faith!


    2. Maybe not, but you would be able to get that brain transplant you’ve been waiting for.

  7. There are like no vegetables anywhere in the nearby grocery stores. Its awesome.

    1. Sarcasm or vegetable hater?

  8. Let them eat iPads

    The former Goldman Sachs chief economist gave a speech explaining the economy’s progress and the Fed’s successes, but come question time the main thing the crowd wanted to know was why they’re paying so much more for food and gas. Keep in mind the Fed doesn’t think food and gas prices matter to its policy calculations because they aren’t part of “core” inflation.

    So Mr. Dudley tried to explain that other prices are falling. “Today you can buy an iPad 2 that costs the same as an iPad 1 that is twice as powerful,” he said. “You have to look at the prices of all things.”

    Reuters reports that this “prompted guffaws and widespread murmuring from the audience,” with someone quipping, “I can’t eat an iPad.” Another attendee asked, “When was the last time, sir, that you went grocery shopping?”

    1. FTL: If Mr. Dudley were wise, he’d take it to heart and understand that Americans aren’t buying the Fed’s line that rising commodity prices are no big deal. … [He] and Chairman Ben Bernanke ought to worry about losing the confidence of the middle class.

      Paging Dr Paul. Dr Ron Paul.

  9. …here’s a couple of econ nuggets to keep you an all-American depressive

    Yap, yap. Wake me up when we have rebels bum rushing the White House and we have nukes cooking off.


      1. Yes, we still have the horror of President Obama’s first NCAA picking going sour. How dare that freshman miss that shot! You’re making the President look bad, jerko!

        1. No insurance for you!

  10. At least we didn’t have to hear any more about the naughty spoiled children protesting in Wisconsin after the quake.

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