Thomas B. Fordham Institute
Society and Culture, Education, Pethokoukis, Economics, U.S. Economy

Study: A fourth of public school spending goes to salaries and benefits of nonteachers

A new Thomas B. Fordham Institute study finds that the number of non-teaching staff in the United States has grown by 130% since 1970. These three millions employers now account for half of the public school workforce with their salaries and benefits absorbing one-quarter of current education spending. read more >

Image Credit: MPD01605 (Flickr) CC
Economics, International economy, Pethokoukis, U.S. Economy

Look out, America, here’s how Europe’s debt crisis might reignite

I would be more confident in the US economy’s ability to withstand a new euro fiasco if, say, a nasty bout of weather hadn’t contributed to one of the worst non-recession GDP quarters since WW II. History suggests a 2%-growth economy is a fragile economy. And newspaper headlines suggest the eurozone is still stuck in a long recession or depression, which threatens to eventually reignite the region’s debt crisis. read more >

081514uncertainty
Economics, Pethokoukis, U.S. Economy

Study: Economic uncertainty has cost the US a million jobs since 2010

The new study “The Asymmetric Effects of Uncertainty” by Kansas City Fed economist Andrew Foerster looks at heightened uncertainty — as measured by the Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index, or VIX — from three specific events: the May 2010 European sovereign debt crisis, the August 2011 US debt ceiling crisis, and the June 2013 confusion about the Fed’s plan to wind down its bond buying program. Foerster finds that uncertainty generated by those key events had a big negative impact on economic growth and job creation. read more >

Marvel
Pethokoukis, Economics, U.S. Economy

How Captain America conquered China — and why it matters

The Marvel blockbuster “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” made $116 million in China alone as part of its $454 million overseas haul. You would think a move about a star-spangled, patriotic American supersoldier might not play well in China. Indeed, “Captain America: The First Avenger” made just $194 million overseas total. But perhaps the anti-government plot of “CA:TWS” struck a chord and, who knows, maybe planted a few subversive seeds. read more >