May 23, 2013
The Odds of Disaster: An Economist's Warning on Global Warming
Harvard economist Martin Weitzman acknowledges that no one knows what will happen if carbon dioxide levels keep rising above the headline 400 parts per million level the world just hit. All the more reason to insure ourselves against disaster, he says.
May 22, 2013
Suicide and the Unemployed
The relationship between unemployment and suicide is well established. But is the persistence of long-term unemployment an added factor in the rising suicide rate these days, especially for older workers?
May 21, 2013
Ask The Headhunter: Over 50? Show How You'll Do the Job
Have you ever been skeptical of headhunter Nick Corcodilos' unconventional advice? One job seeker decided to put some Ask The Headhunter methods to the test and the results were extremely successful.
May 20, 2013
What About Social Security Benefits for Singles and the Divorced?
Fifty-two percent of women over 60 aren't married and nearly 70 percent of those over 75 are single. What Social Security benefits are they entitled to? And what about single or divorced men?
May 17, 2013
Inequality Today: Worse than a Century Ago?
Paul Solman explains how today's income disparity compares to the past. The theme of the presidential campaign of 1912 was economic inequality, he points out, but it's worse today and has been since the mid-1990s.
May 16, 2013
Economics, Game Theory and Jane Austen
A leading economist explains why game theory has become so important in economics, and how Jane Austen anticipated its results a mere 200 years ago.
May 14, 2013
Ask The Headhunter: Am I Getting Stiffed on Salary?
How do you approach your boss to argue that you deserve a raise? Headhunter Nick Corcodilos explains what to do when an employer is taking advantage of experienced employees and how to get the salary that reflects your contributions.
May 13, 2013
Will Social Security Benefits Increase This Year? By How Much?
Social Security expert Larry Kotlikoff explains how benefits change along with inflation and weighs the potential implications of President Obama’s proposed “chained CPI” inflation measure.
May 10, 2013
The One Safe Investment and Why You Never Hear About It From Financial Advisors
Economist Zvi Bodie, perhaps the country's foremost expert on pension finance, insists that every American at least consider an investment that financial advisors almost never mention -- I Bonds.
May 9, 2013
Seven Tips for the Reluctant Senior Entrepreneur
Two "senior" entrepreneurs (women in their 50s) explain how to overcome the reluctance to start your own business when you're older. These days, entrepreneurship is simply self-reliance, they explain.
May 8, 2013
Treasury Secretary Lew on Long-Term Unemployment, Party Divide on Spending Cuts
In a conversation with economics correspondent Paul Solman, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew addresses jobs and economic growth -- issues paramount to most Americans -- as well the political fight over automatic spending cuts, the implementation of Dodd-Frank and reform on Wall Street.
May 8, 2013
The Stockholm Syndrome and Printing Money
An economist argues we are headed for another stock market crash and Great Depression, due to the wanton printing of money by central banks like the Federal Reserve. Paul Solman provides a counterview.
May 7, 2013
Ask The Headhunter: Should Employers Pay to Interview You?
Ever feel like a company wasted your time after an interview because they never got back to you about their hiring decision? Headhunter Nick Corcodilos says that when employers ignore deadlines for hiring decisions, job seekers have a right to be compensated for their time.
May 6, 2013
How Underfunded Is Social Security and How Might It Be Fixed?
Social Security expert Larry Kotlikoff makes the case that the program is $220 trillion in the hole. Counter-expert Alicia Munnell disagrees, and shows how little it would take to fill the hole.
May 3, 2013
The Pros and Cons of Being a Jobless Single Dad for 711 Days
With only a slight improvement in April job numbers, Paul Solman talks with one of the 4 million Americans still unemployed, 55-year-old software developer and single dad Geoffrey Weglarz.
May 2, 2013
What Are the Risks of Low Interest Rates?
When the Federal Reserve buys up Treasury bonds to keep interest rates low, is this risky? Paul Solman answers a reader's question on the potential consequences and explains why this Federal Reserve practice -- known as "quantitative easing" -- may not achieve its goal of lowering long-term or short-term rates.
May 1, 2013
Long-term Unemployment: Is This Blatant Age Discrimination?
Nick Corcodilos explains why employers continue to discriminate against older job seekers despite some companies' worries that they are losing out on the institutional knowledge and experience older workers can bring to the workplace.
April 30, 2013
Ask The Headhunter: The Four Best (Not Easiest!) Ways to Land a Job
Nick Corcodilos breaks down the main differences between the "Ask The Headhunter" strategy and the traditional approach to job hunting.
April 29, 2013
How Long Must You Live To Make it Worth Waiting to Collect Social Security?
Larry Kotlikoff explains why you shouldn't bet on your life expectancy when determining the best age to start collecting Social Security benefits.
April 26, 2013
The Truth About Entrepreneurs: Twice As Many Are Over 50 As Are Under 25
Entrepreneur Vivek Wadhwa argues it's never too late to innovate as new ideas stem from experience and necessity and experience comes with age.
April 25, 2013
Will We Ever Get to 'Full Employment'?
Paul Solman explains what "full employment" is and how the measure of employment and unemployment has changed over time.
April 24, 2013
Why Older Entrepreneurs Are Crucial, Even in Silicon Valley
While young Zuckerbergs may have breakthrough ideas, it takes experience and leadership to develop successful companies. Entrepreneur Vivek Wadhwa explains why Silicon Valley's discrimination of older workers is a big mistake.
April 23, 2013
Ask The Headhunter: Transitioning to Civilian Work Without a Resume
When military personnel try to break into the civilian job sector, it can be difficult to translate their skills to an employer on a resume. Headhunter Nick Corcodilos advises dispensing with resumes and instead talking shop with the people and companies they want to work with.
April 22, 2013
A Boom in Entrepreneurship, Self-Employment Among Late Bloomers
Are mature entrepreneurs on the rise? Economics correspondent Paul Solman talks to older workers who decided to pursue their own business dreams later in life.
April 22, 2013
How to Start a Senior Business for 'Dummies'
Senior entrepreneur and mannequin-rental maven Judi Henderson-Townsend describes how she casually came to start an unusual business selling and renting dummies in San Francisco.
April 22, 2013
Why You Should Never Wait Until After 70 to Take Social Security
Social Security expert Larry Kotlikoff make his case for waiting to collect Social Security benefits, but warns NEVER to wait past age 70.
April 19, 2013
Why Paul Krugman, Others Think Reinhart and Rogoff Are Wrong About Debt
Paul Solman suggests four lessons learned from the high profile debate over the Carmen Reinhart/Ken Rogoff's government debt research.
April 18, 2013
The Chosen Few: A New Explanation of Jewish Success
Why are the Jews specialized in the most skilled and economically profitable occupations? Economists Maristella Botticini and Zvi Eckstein explain Jewish success in terms of early literacy and history.
April 17, 2013
Ten Tips for Senior Entrepreneurs
"Seniorpreneurs" Judi Henderson-Townsend and Cynthia Mackey both left their jobs in corporate America to start new ventures. Here are their 10 tips on launching successful businesses later on in your career.
April 16, 2013
Ask The Headhunter: How to Talk to the Boss Before and After Getting Hired
Headhunter Nick Corcodilos advises job seekers to be proactive by communicating with potential employers in between interviews and gives helpful tips on coaxing employers to provide job performance feedback.
April 15, 2013
The Income Tax in 1913: A Way to 'Soak the Rich'
When a permanent income tax was established in 1913, nearly 60 percent of Americans were exempt from paying. Paul Solman gives a quick history on the income tax and how it originally "soaked the rich."
April 15, 2013
Are Income Taxes on Social Security Benefits Egregiously Unfair?
Ever wonder how Social Security is taxed? Social Security expert Larry Kotlikoff explains the "simply insane" and "egregiously unfair" taxation of Social Security benefits.
April 12, 2013
Does Obama Have it Right or Wrong on Social Security?
A round table of economic experts weigh in on the impact of the President's new budget proposal on Social Security benefits.
April 11, 2013
The Hard Truth about Economic Inequality that Both the Left and Right Ignore
Economic historian Jerry Muller argues that the way we choose a mate contributes to the growing economic inequality. He believes your financial fate could be determined by who you choose as a partner, if you decide to get married and your family unit.
April 10, 2013
At Rikers Island, Investing in Decision-Making Lessons for Teens in Trouble
Economics correspondent Paul Solman reports on efforts to keep young people from returning to New York's Rikers Island once they've served their time. A privately financed pubic program utilizes evidence-based behavioral therapy to imbue teens with a sense of greater control over their lives and decisions.
April 10, 2013
Self-Censorship on Chinese TV: An American Comedian's Experience
When asked to perform his parody of "Gangnam Style" for Chinese TV, Fulbright fellow Jesse Appell received instructions to censor the lyrics of his YouTube hit. Appell explains the economic reasons for why Chinese TV stations preemptively censor content before the government.
April 9, 2013
Private Investors Put Money on Decreasing Teen Recidivism Rate
Rikers Island prison houses 88,000 inmates a year, many of whom are repeat offenders. In an effort to decrease the teen recidivism rate, high finance and do-good innovation have made an unlikely partnership. Economics correspondent Paul Solman explores a new way to fund government social services through private investment.
April 9, 2013
Ask the Headhunter: How New Grads Can Get in the Door for a Job Interview
Young people graduate from college in search of jobs, only to be rejected for a lack of experience. Headhunting expert Nick Corcodilos explains how to combat age discrimination at the start of a career.
April 8, 2013
Is There a Maximum a Husband & Wife Can Collect Monthly from Social Security?
Social Security expert Larry Kotlikoff explains the family benefit maximum and how to maximize spousal benefits.
April 5, 2013
How Dismal Were March's Job Numbers?
Paul Solman analyzes the March summary of unemployment data using his own unpatented measure called "U-7." Despite a lackluster 88,000 jobs added, Solman says the negative spin by mainstream media is overblown.
April 5, 2013
Why Saving for a Rainy Day is Pointless -- For the Economy
In retort to libertarian John Papola's advice to save for investment purposes, economic historian James Livingston says delaying consumption could have a negative impact on the general welfare.
April 4, 2013
A Libertarian Take on Economic Faith, 'Facts' and Follies
Filmmaker John Papola challenges economic historian James Livingston's opinion on savings versus spending. In his latest response in the debate, Papola believes "increased consumption is never a path to prosperity, but a result of it."
April 3, 2013
The Plusses and Pitfalls of Teaching Online
Behavioral psychologist and professor Dan Ariely explains the benefits and challenges of teaching an economics course online, especially when his class size is 140,000 students.
April 2, 2013
Ask The Headhunter: Why HR Should Get Out of the Hiring Business
Headhunter Nick Corcodilos offers advice to employers who want to hire talented workers that match their job description. His top tip: Take HR out of the recruiting and hiring process.
April 1, 2013
What to Do If Social Security Says You Can't File and Suspend
Social Security expert Larry Kotlikoff addresses readers' questions on what to do after being told you can't file for Social Security and provides suggestions on when you should choose to suspend benefits.
March 29, 2013
The Economic Benefits of Gay Marriage
Economist Lee Badgett lays out the financial bottom line of same-sex marriage and how it could be a driver for the economy.
March 28, 2013
High Foreign Tariffs on US Surfboards: Should We Retaliate?
Harvard economist Robert Lawrence sets the record straight on protectionist tariffs and makes his case for freer trade.
March 27, 2013
The Death of Dishonest Advertising
Co-host of NPR's "On the Media" and longtime advertising columnist Bob Garfield talks about the dark side of the digital revolution and the squeeze on journalism. The bright side is brands no longer try to manipulate the public to win over consumers.
March 26, 2013
Ask The Headhunter: Dealing With an Undeserved Nasty Reference
Headhunter Nick Corcodilos explains how to preempt a negative reference and what you can do to proactively compensate for undeserved nastiness.
March 25, 2013
Social Security Benefits to Take While You Wait Until 70
Social Security expert Larry Kotlikoff answers reader's questions on why it pays to wait until age 70, and how to maximize social security benefits in the meantime.
March 22, 2013
Economic Inequality: Isn't it Inevitable?
Paul Solman answers reader's questions on why equal opportunity doesn't necessarily mean equal economic opportunities. Plus, he provides tips on the ever-increasing price of bonds.
March 21, 2013
Is Globalization Wiping Out the American Surfboard Industry?
Economic correspondent Paul Solman reports on an American-born product hit hard by globalization: the surfboard. In Southern California, U.S.-based manufacturers fear they will soon be wiped out by competing, foreign companies due to discrepancies in labor costs and duty taxes.
March 21, 2013
Cyprus: The Nightmare Scenario and How to Avoid It in America
Social Security expert Larry Kotlikoff is also an economist renowned for bold public policy proposals. When he looks at the financial crisis in Cyprus, he sees enormous risk -- and a golden opportunity to reform the world's banking system.
March 20, 2013
Silicon Valley Discriminates Against Women, Even If They're Better
Entrepreneur Vivek Wadhwa reveals his latest findings on the "myth of meritocracy" in Silicon Valley, and how women are systematically discriminated against. He tells Making Sen$e correspondent Paul Solman about his plans to change the Valley.
March 19, 2013
Ask The Headhunter: How to Overcome Missing Job Requirements
Headhunter Nick Corcodilos provides tips on separating yourself from the crowd when interviewing for a job that could be a perfect fit.
March 18, 2013
Colleges and Universities See Graying Workforce Holding On to Coveted Positions
In academia, many professors remain working and teaching long past traditional retirement age, leaving younger potential professors shut out from highly coveted full-time, tenured positions. As part of a series on older workers, economics correspondent Paul Solman reports on how institutions are negotiating with aging faculty.
March 18, 2013
When Will You Retire?
The population of professors over 65 has more than doubled since 2000 and many say they have no plans to retire anytime soon, if ever. This prompted PBS NewsHour to want to know from you: how long do you plan to work before you retire? Take our survey.
March 18, 2013
How to Take Social Security If You Earn a Lot More than Your Spouse
Do you make significantly more than your spouse? Social Security expert Larry Kotlikoff explains that you may want to consider a couple of strategies to ensure you both maximize your Social Security benefits.
March 15, 2013
Senior Moments Author: Does Forgetfulness Drive the Economy?
“Senior Momentologist” Tom Friedman explains what pandemic amnesia is and how “senior moments” may lead to economic growth.
March 14, 2013
How Modern Finance Promises to Break Cycles of Recidivism
When U.K. investors no longer wanted to separate philanthropy from investments, they began buying up newly-created social impact bonds, which tied return on investment to an organization's ability to solve social problems. Rockfeller Foundation's Judith Rodin explains why this is a win for investors, governments and society.
March 13, 2013
Three Rules for How to Get the Highest Social Security Benefits
Social Security provisions are so nuanced and difficult to understand that they are sure to make anyone go mad. That's why Larry Kotlikoff has three general rules, which if followed, can help maximize Social Security benefits without the headache.
March 12, 2013
Premium Job Board Sued for Promising Customers Jobs That Don't Exist
Headhunter Nick Corcodilos reveals how some scammers may be taking advantage of job seekers through misleading job postings. Following the consumer protection class action suit filed Monday against a job board, TheLadders, Corcodilos questions whether the recruiting systems have become the root cause of the unemployment problem.
March 8, 2013
Is It Inevitable That the United States Will Default?
With all the talk of the fiscal cliff and the sequester, Paul Solman responds to a reader who wants to know if the economic dominoes are likely to fall, causing a government default, and he weighs in on why the NewsHour rarely reports on other stock indexes besides the Dow Jones.
March 8, 2013
Companies Hire 236,000 in February, But Long-Term Unemployment Unchanged
Is the jobs report for February as encouraging as advertised? Paul Solman breaks down the numbers with his own unique measurement of underemployment and unemployment.
March 7, 2013
The Depressing Data on Early Childhood Investment
Paul Solman talks with child psychologist Jerome Kagan about the widening achievement gap between affluent and poor children. They explore how an interest in learning from kids' homes can make all the difference, while Kagan explains that American society has often been reluctant to blame parents for not being more involved.
March 6, 2013
The Nonsense of Austerity
James Livingston responds to an earlier Making Sense post, challenging the libertarian-leaning John Papola's confidence in production as a more effective economic stimulant than consumption. The problem is not that there aren't goods being produced, he argues; it's that there's a lack of income with which to consume those goods.
March 6, 2013
Consuming Our Way to Prosperity is Macro Folly
Libertarian economist John Papola takes on Keynesian economists who have fallen for a consumptionist model of economic growth, arguing that we can't consume our way to prosperity. We have to stop thinking of ourselves as consumers only and start thinking of ourselves as producers again, he says.
March 5, 2013
Ask The Headhunter: Resume Blasphemy
Headhunter Nick Corcodilos urges job seekers to write their own resumes, in plain ol' English, so that potential employers can see how candidates would be profitable additions to their companies.
March 4, 2013
Remembering the Businessman Who Took a Chance on Ex-Cons
Paul Solman remembers John Neu, a businessman who took chances on convicted criminals by hiring them at his recycling company, WeRecycle.
March 4, 2013
How Unfair Is Social Security's Maximum Family Benefit?
Social Security expert Larry Kotlikoff looks into his own misgivings about the arbitrary and regressive nature of Social Security's maximum family benefit and just what the Social Security Administration means by a "maximum" benefit.
March 1, 2013
Is Obama's Climate Change Policy Doomed to Fail? Maybe Not.
Until there is an obvious, sudden and perhaps cataclysmic event, such as a loss of part of the Antarctic ice sheet, the odds would seem to be stacked heavily against climate change legislation, says Harvard's Rob Stavins. But the picture is not nearly so dark as one might think.
Feb. 28, 2013
Why We Want to Keep Spending and Cut the Deficit
How can Americans want to maintain or increase spending on almost every line item in the budget (except foreign aid) and yet insist we need to cut the yearly deficit and cumulative debt?
Feb. 28, 2013
Lessons from the Political Gridlock of 1842
A day before the sequester, could legislators be any more hindered by partisan politics? Think again. Budgetary gridlock was even worse in 1842, as the nation battled over the creation of a central bank and tariffs. Alasdair Roberts revisits the brink of a financial disaster that led to the public disgust of Washington.
Feb. 27, 2013
Why the Sequester Won't Solve America's Debt Problems
While Congressional leaders squabble about the sequester, scheduled to take effect March 1, Making Sense contributor Larry Kotlikoff says that the United States has bigger financial problems that could affect generations to come.
Feb. 26, 2013
Ask The Headhunter: The Only Interview Question That Really Matters
Headhunter Nick Corcodilos tells employers (and potential employees) about the most important job interview question out there. Plus, he explains how this question can help weed out lazy job hunters even before an interview occurs.
Feb. 25, 2013
Why Not Raise the Social Security Payroll Ceiling and Other SS Questions
Social Security expert Larry Kotlikoff answers readers' questions, including why raising the payroll tax ceiling must occur to "fix" Social Security, and a slew of questions from federal and public employees confused by government pensions' effects on Social Security and disability benefits.
Feb. 22, 2013
It Pays Off to Invest in Early Education, Says Nobel Economis
President Obama has proposed a major investment for early childhood education to improve American competitiveness. And Nobel Prize-winning economist James Heckman agrees. He says investing in kids before age 10 can increase their IQs as well as their chances for economic prosperity.
Feb. 21, 2013
How to Find a Financial Advisor, Step by Step
Finding a financial advisor that you can trust is tricky and difficult, especially when there are so many claiming they can increase your investments. Pension expert Zvi Bodie says you should make sure to choose an advisor who puts your interests first, and avoid advisors whose services are 'free.'
Feb. 20, 2013
How Social Security Pays You to Work Forever
Our Social Security expert, Larry Kotlikoff, explains why it's a smart financial move to put off retirement as long as possible in order to maximize your Social Security benefits.
Feb. 19, 2013
Ask The Headhunter: How to Ask For a Higher Job Offer
So you get a job offer, but you think that you deserve more? Headhunter Nick Corcodilos explains how to convince an employer to increase their original offer.
Feb. 18, 2013
How to Maximize Social Security If Disabled and Other SS Questions
Social Security expert Larry Kotlikoff answers readers' questions about how disability insurance impacts Social Security benefits, how applying for a reduced spousal benefit can lead to reduced retirement benefits and whether taking U.K. and U.S. Social Security benefits is double-dipping.
Feb. 15, 2013
Wouldn't a Minimum Wage Hike Lower the Welfare Rolls?
Paul Solman answers Next Avenue readers' questions about whether a minimum wage hike would induce people to leave welfare, and whether such a hike would increase the government's tax revenue
Feb. 14, 2013
The Man and the Thinking Behind the Minimum Wage Hike
President Obama is pushing a controversial hike in the minimum wage. It is surely no coincidence that his chief economic advisor is Alan Krueger, an economist who became famous in the 1990s for research supporting minimum wage hikes. But don't higher wages mean fewer jobs? Krueger explains at length why they don't.
Feb. 13, 2013
Obama Says We Must Never Default: American History Shows Us Why
President Obama says America must never default. Maybe that's because he remembers what happened when Pennsylvania did. And Illinois. And Maryland. And Mississippi still hasn't paid its debts from 1842. Law professor Alasdair Roberts recounts how states decided they could no longer operate with budget deficits.
Feb. 12, 2013
Ask The Headhunter: Networking for People Afraid of Being Obnoxious
Headhunter Nick Corcodilos advises job-seekers to maintain their personal contacts and build a network face-to-face within the office to get ahead of companies' internal hiring processes.
Feb. 11, 2013
Ask Larry: What's the Best Age to Take Spousal or Survivor Benefits?
Social Security expert Larry Kotlikoff answers readers' questions about when to take survivor or spousal benefits and how to maximize their own Social Security benefits.
Feb. 8, 2013
We Shouldn't Give a Cent About the American Penny
Paul Solman answers questions from Next Avenue readers about what the U.S. Mint can learn from Canada about the penny and why Germany is pulling their gold from the New York Fed.
Feb. 7, 2013
The Youth Unemployment Crisis: A Fix that Works and Pays for Itself
Economist Bob Lerman proposes a solution to the youth unemployment crisis in the United States arguing the quickest way to getting unemployed kids off the streets and onto the payroll is through work apprenticeships.
Feb. 6, 2013
What Good Do Money Management Firms Have to Offer?
When a feline can pick stocks better than a human, money manager Jon Shayne argues there are still very good reasons to have money management firms actively pick stocks and invest your money.
Feb. 5, 2013
Ask The Headhunter: Should I Reject a Counter-Offer from My Employer?
Flattered that your employer has offered you more money to dissuade you from taking another job? Headhunter Nick Corcodilos urges employees who have submitted their resignations to resist the temptations of a counter-offer from their current employers.
Feb. 4, 2013
How Maximizing Social Security Can Lead to Marriage or Murder
"Ask Larry" Kotlikoff takes a week off from answering readers' questions to sketch a macabre scenario illustrating a few of Social Security's more perverse benefit quirks.
Feb. 1, 2013
U.S. Economy Adds 157,000 New Jobs in January, Unemployment Ticks Up Slightly
The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the jobs numbers for January reporting that the official unemployment rate rose slightly to 7.9 percent, while 157,000 new jobs were added. Paul Solman breaks the numbers down, including his more inclusive "Solman Scale."
Jan. 31, 2013
Rising Inequality: Don't Blame the Robots
Rising inequality is hardly inevitable, argues Center for Economic and Policy Research co-founder Dean Baker; Rather, it has been engineered by a U.S. trade policy that overloads the low-paying job market with competition and protects Americans in the highest-earning professions.
Jan. 30, 2013
The Economics of Spam and What's So Funny About Monetary Policy?
Paul Solman samples more comedy routines from the American Economic Association Humor Session, with videos exploring the economics of spam and who's funnier at the Fed: inflation hawks or inflation doves?
Jan. 29, 2013
Ask The Headhunter: What To Do When Your Job Offer Is Cancelled
Do employers have a right to fire people? Of course they do. Can they legally offer you a job, then cancel it? That remains a question that Nick Corcodilos explores in his column this week.
Jan. 28, 2013
Ask Larry: Has My Social Security Office Given Me Bad Advice?
Social Security expert Larry Kotlikoff suspects that many people receive bad advice from their local Social Security offices. Plus, answers to readers' questions about collecting spousal benefits after getting divorced.
Jan. 25, 2013
Is the National Debt Harmful to Our Children?
Answering a query from a Next Avenue reader, Paul Solman looks at whether widening budget deficits will be a burden or an asset to future generations of Americans.