- Bryan Caplan has good thoughts on "malemployment" (I always thought this was just called "underemployment", although I suppose that has specific connotations about hours worked... or maybe "mismatch"?). I advise that people approach the "Team Georgetown" that Caplan discusses carefully. They are active in the STEM workforce debate and can be similarly misleading on these skilled labor classification questions.
- Obamacare and doctor shortages (HT Ryan Long). Readers know I don't think much high skill labor shortage claims, but this is one area where the problem is very real, largely due to AMA regulations.
- I am quoted in this article on the impact of the shut-down. There's nothing wrong with what is attributed to me but I don't think it really captures the details I communicated to the reporter. For those that are interested, here's our email exchange:
- What are you studying at AU? How many years left do you have and are student loans a concern?
A: Economics Phd, two or three years left, student loans not a concern.
- Do you and your family live in the District? How does this impact your household finances and ability to pay loans, a mortgage or rent?
A: We live in Falls Church, VA. The shut-down itself doesn't threaten our bills too much. We've saved, I have some grant income, and in all likelihood we should get backpay from the shutdown.
- Are you worried about the impact on household finances immediately or in the future? Do you have vacations or plans you need to cancel that are paycheck dependent?
A: This is the right question. What I'm really worried about is what this indicates about the future. I'm increasingly concerned about not raising the debt ceiling and more continuing resolutions as a result of these political dynamics. That puts increasing pressure on us. We have definitely scaled back vacation and been more frugal over the last several years because of this. This is what I think a lot of people don't understand. This is coming on top of years of pay freezes, hiring freezes, and a summer of furloughs for federal workers.
- How are your child care needs impacted?
A: Nothing directly yet. I work a lot from home and can take care of our newborn, and my wife is on maternity leave right now. This definitely will reduce our ability to pay for child care as our daughter gets older if the continuing resolutions and pay freezes continue.
- Where is your wife working? Has she already been hit by sequester-related furloughs and now facing another furlough through shutdown?
A: National Defense University. She has been hit by sequester, and she also hasn't had a raise since she's been hired. This is despite the fact that she is taking on more and more work because of the hiring freezes that are in place.
- Did you save money in the event of a shutdown impacting finances?
A: Not with a shut down in mind, but yes, we are very conscious of trying to save money.
- Who do you blame for the inaction in Congress? Do you see it getting better in Washington, or is this rock bottom? Will elections in 2014 turn things around?
A: The Republicans without exception. There is room for improvement on the Democratic side, but the only reason why this is an issue is that it is tied to the ACA, and that falls directly in the lap of Republicans. Republicans are also chiefly to blame for the fiscal austerity of the last several years.