John Irons's Blog


Economic News, Data and Analysis

Econ Blogging for Class

This seems like an interesting idea for teaching intro economics…

As a writing project for a Principles of Micro. class, I required blogging.

I am e-mailing you because I set up the blog and loaded it with a blogroll containing your blog. After that, the students wrote about what they found online that interested them in economics, and I commented where I could add something. It isn’t always great economics, but it is interesting to find out what actually interests students (penguins prostitution was surprisingly popular).

The Principles of Micro class ended today, and I will continue in the same blog with a Macro class starting Tuesday. Check it out at:

Also, if you have yet to check out my blog, you can find it at:

I have been blogging since late 2000, but only focused on joining the economics blog community this spring. Any links would be greatly appreciated.

David Tufte
Associate Professor
School of Business
Southern Utah University

Filed under: Website

GDP up 3 percent in 2004Q2

The economy apparently is not exactly setting any growth records…

Business > U.S. Economy Grew More Slowly Than Expected in Spring” href=””>The New York Times > Business > U.S. Economy Grew More Slowly Than Expected in Spring
U.S. Economy Grew More Slowly Than Expected in Spring
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of just 3 percent in the spring, a dramatic slowdown from the rapid pace of the past year, as consumer spending fell to the weakest rate since the slowdown of 2001, the government reported Friday.
The Commerce Department said that the gross domestic product, the country’s total output of goods and services, slowed sharply in the April-June quarter from a 4.5 percent growth rate in the first three months of the year.

Filed under: Economics


I’m back from vacation… and hopefully back to more frequent blogging.

Filed under: Website

Jobs and Tax Cuts

Worth a read:

American Prospect Online – ViewWeb

The Bush administration has a mantra that we hear whenever some jobs are created: “The tax cuts are working.” But are they? Mark Zandi, president of and a highly respected economic forecaster, gave us the answer in a new report analyzing the factors in the past three years of growth; the administrationís tax cuts, principally for the rich, have had very little to do with it. Increased government spending (particularly on defense) and tax cuts for middle- and lower-income people each contributed more to growth than tax cuts for higher-income people.

The heaviest lifting by far in response to the recession and sluggish recovery has come from lower interest rates. But what the Bush policies failed to fix is only half of this story. Zandi makes the point that better policies could have given us 2.6 percent higher GDP in 2003 and two million more jobs in 2004. Economic performance that vigorous would have, in turn, cut our current fiscal deficit in half. As an engine of growth and jobs, the administrationís policies have clearly been second-rate.

The Bush administration canít possibly believe its own rhetoric that any and all jobs created are due to the tax cuts. After all, the administrationís own regular forecasts since early 2002 have consistently shown that employment would be growing even without any change in policy. Nor have tax cuts been the only policy response to the recession; as Zandi points out, extraordinarily low interest rates (thank you, Federal Reserve Board) have led to stronger housing and auto sales, high levels of cash-out mortgage refinancing, and more business investment.

Filed under: Economics, Economy, Fiscal Policy, Policy