Text Reviews -Economics and Finance

I can safely say that the two authors – Phil Thornton and Paul Knott are about the clearest and most engaging authors on the subject(s) to the extent of my reading.

Both are non-academic texts yet they are brimming with wisdom and clarity. Thornton as I understand used to be an economic correspondent. He has his own site aptly named Clarity Economics. (And yes, it is powered by WordPress.) Knott described himself as ‘one of us’, I can only recall (since I read his book a long while back) that he was in business. [Be prepared though if you intend to read his book <Ouch! : What You Don’t Know about Money and Why It Matters (More Than You Think)> for there are quite a few crude jokes… It’s published under Pearson at Harlow (2012).]

From Thornton’s book, I picked the chapter on Employment for more extensive review. [The book, <Economics Demystified> also hails from Harlow. Pearson Education. But it was produced in 2013; and reprinted in 2015.]

Before I go into that, the work truly made me understand the difference between Fiscal and Monetary economics/authorities/functions. The government decides tax rates and public spending. The central banks rule over (assuming central bank independence) interest rates and monetary policy. Hence why critics of the European Union (EU) argue that the EU would fail was conceivably due to the absence of fiscal union (uniformity). France and Germany (the continental powerhouses) therefore had to bail out Greece which had accumulated comparatively more debt. That the United Kingdom made a loss by its contributions to the EU aided too the case of Brexit proponents.

Employment

My unemployed father didn’t riot. He got on his bike and looked for work, and he kept looking ’til he found it.

Norman Tebbit, UK Secretary of State for Employment (1981-83)

The above quotation opened the chapter.

One other notable fact was Spanish unemployment was approximately 25% in 2011. This were the years of the subprime crisis and the global slowdown. (I still remember an article during those years from The Business Times, Singapore mentioning that youth unemployment was about 45%).

The UK takes employment rate for those from ages 16 to 64. (Now with lengthened life expectancy and less children, the upper limit should be increased…) From an ethical/moral perspective Nobel Prize laureate James Tobin actually posited 0 or NIL unemployment. After spending 15 (or 20) minutes verifying this claim from Thornton, I found two pieces online that support its veracity. One was from Murtaza Haider (who studied in the University of Toronto as an engineer and is himself now an academic at Ryerson University. The 1 Mar 2009 article was entitled <Tobin’s view on unemployment>. The second originates . (13 Oct 2011). <Whatever happened to full employment?> Thanks again BBC! And yes, I confirm, Tobin’s ideals are the minority.

There are several types of unemployment.

unemployment-graphic_2016

 With that I call a temporary halt  :  )

You might also visit the pages on Investopedia <What is the difference between structural unemployment and cyclical unemployment?> (7 May 2015); and EconomicsHelp <Definition of Unemployment> (3 Jun 2010) for extended research!

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