Illustrated (red squares):
I remember once seeing a book on a used bookstore shelf in Washington DC (Second Story Books?) years ago entitled “Great Public Policy Disasters” or something like that. Over this year, I’ve been thinking that one could write an entire book series entitled “Great Public Policy Disasters of 2020” . With that in mind, here’s the year in review:
Weekly Covid-19 fatalities are falling according to CDC estimates, although CDC determined fatalities are consistently below alternatively sourced estimates in recent weeks; excess fatalities have been revised upward.
When I first started working in the government, I was often confused by the many different ways in which economic data is reported. Now, thirty years into teaching economics – -particularly international economics – – I still have to help out my students when they venture outside of the safe world of textbooks to read official reports from different governments and institutions. So, here’s an incomplete (but hopefully helpful) primer on some conventions used in relevant government releases:
“… the quick fix, of the “countervailing tariff,” “voluntary” restraints, and the like, will only mean higher prices for consumers in the short run, and greater distress in the long term. “Reciprocity” … notwithstanding, protectionism will only prove a temporary, and costly, palliative for inefficient industries, in a world populated by NICs, MICs and [Advanced Developing Countries].”
Here’s the cumulative GDP decline relative to 2019Q4, nationwide:
Recovery in Wisconsin has brought real GDP back to within 4% of peak levels.
By Jeffrey Frankel, December 24, 2020.